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Arts & Culture

Best Museum Tours In Charlotte

August 18, 2014 8:00 AM

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(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for MA Design International Limited)

(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for MA Design International Limited)

Museums that specialized in the arts have been featured in previously published articles (including the most recent Best Museum Exhibits This Spring). As a diversion from art exhibits, there are museums in Charlotte that offer tours that focus on Carolina culture and specialties. From aviation to NASCAR racing to a house of stone that was built in 1774, these tours are led by expert docents with profound knowledge in their fields. Other attractive features are interactive exhibits, fun for the kids and their grown-up companions.
Charlotte Nature Museum
1658 Sterling Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
(704) 372-6261
www.charlottenaturemuseum.org

Discovery Place is well known for science exhibits that kids can touch, feel and experience first hand. Their administration of the Charlotte Nature Museum results in captivating adventures in biology. Located near Freedom Park, local flora and fauna are the objects of seasonal studies. Daily puppet shows are featured as another fun way to learn about science. The aim is to stimulate an interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and and math) that will be critically important in the 21st century and beyond.

Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC 28215
(704) 568-1774
www.charlottemuseum.org

Docents in period costumes provide tours of the grounds, which include the Hezekiah Alexander homestead, the oldest house standing in Mecklenburg County. Built in 1774, this house made of rock is the reason that the museum came into existence. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) founded the Hezekiah Alexander Foundation in 1969 to raise funds to restore the damage that time had caused. The foundation changed its name to the Charlotte Museum of History in 2002. Tours may include such topics and activities as scavenger hunts, the Southern campaign for the American Revolution, 18th Century folkways and the Civil War.

Carolinas Aviation Museum
4672 First Flight Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
(704) 997-3770
www.carolinasaviation.org

If airplanes are your thing, visit the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Expert docents can speak to you about the history of flight since the 1920s. Housed in the original Charlotte Airport hangar, erected through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program in 1936 through 1937, it was saved from destruction in 1991. The Carolinas Historical Aviation Commission (CHAC) was subsequently formed, “To preserve the past, present and future aviation history of North and South Carolina.” Tours include early commercial aviation, war time helicopter flight and other aspects of military aviation.

Related: Best Murals In Charlotte

LATIBAH Collard Green Museum
720 Tuckaseegee Road
Charlotte, NC 28208
(704) 333-2426
www.latibahmuseum.org

Named for the collard green, which is a symbol of survival in the South among blacks and whites alike, this facility has survived its former NoDa location, which was flooded, to take root on Tuckaseegee Road. “LATIBAH” is an acronym for “Life and times in Black American History.” Such historic moments are displayed with art and artifacts, including “slices of life,” life-sized displays in the context of survival and resilience. Visual representations from slavery to the election of President Obama are movingly depicted. The gallery space is inhabited by resident artists, including Charlotte’s esteemed Tommie Robinson. LATIBAH Alive! is presented on the fourth Fridays in conjunction with the ArtHouse Gallery Crawls.

Charlotte Motor Speedway
5555 Concord Parkway S.
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 455-3200
www.charlottemotorspeedway.com

When NASCAR races are not on the schedule, the Charlotte Motor Speedway offers on-track experiences to thrill racing enthusiasts. Tours are only $5. STEM field trips are offered for student visitors, and the entire family can enjoy the “Feel the Thrill Speedway Tour” or the “Over The Wall Tour” for hardcore fans. May and October Race Week Tours, when the Coca Cola 600 or the Bank of America 500 are running on the Speedway track, include a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame or the Race Shop Tour at Hendrix Motorsports Museum for an extra fee.

Related: Historic Walking Tour Of Charlotte

Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

 

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