15 Famous Things Charlotte is Known For

Charlotte North Carolina is famous for many things, not just because it is a beautiful city, but also because it has a rich history.

Charlotte is probably the most well-known city in North Carolina and is the state’s most populous city. It’s well-known as a gold rush city, its film industry, and its love of NASCAR.

Below are the top reasons why Charlotte is popular not only in the United States but in the world.

What is Charlotte Known For?

1. Location of the First Gold Rush

The city of Charlotte and the entire state was the first location of the gold rush in the late 1700s.

In 1799, a 12-year-old boy named Conrad found a large gold nugget, and this incident led to the Carolina Gold Rush.

The gold nugget weighed 17 pounds. At that time, people did not fully understand how valuable gold was. He sold it for a meagre $3.50. Conrad’s father partnered with several people.

Eventually, they found gold nuggets as heavy as 28 pounds. This discovery spread like wildfire from news agencies, and the gold rush began.

2. Pimento Cheese Capital

Charlotte is famous because it holds the title of World’s Pimento Cheese Capital.

Reportedly, one company, Ruth’s Salads, makes up to 45,00 pounds of pimiento cheese spread every week.

Another company, Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese, creates a product that they call Pimento Cheese Royal. This product is handcrafted, and they use delectable ingredients such as cream cheese.

They use less mayonnaise, and they also hand pack the product in a tub.

3. Charlotte is a Popular Filming Location

Like other cities, Charlotte is a popular filming spot. For example, some shots of the Hunger Games were made in the city.

Here are some other notable films shot here:

  • Banshee TV series
  • Homeland TV series
  • Tusk 2014
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby 2006
  • Sully 2016
  • Shallow Hal 2001
  • Days of Thunder 1990
  • The Color of Purple 1985

There are great locations in Charlotte ideal for filming. For example, the Charlotte Motor Speedway is an excellent choice for a movie that involves car racing.

The filmmakers of Days of Thunder shot the race scenes here with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman back in 1990.

4. The City is Named After a Queen

Charlotte has a moniker, which is The Queen City. The city has this nickname because it was named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

Queen Sophia Charlotte was of mixed heritage, and she had African ancestors. King George III, on the other hand, had the nickname, The Mad King. Charlotte was chartered in 1768, at a time when these two monarchs were the rulers.

The locals named the town after the queen to be in the good graces of the king. At that time, they called it Charlotte Town.

The people who chartered the town also named the county after the queen’s homeland in Germany, Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

5. It is the Biggest City in North Carolina

Charlotte is popular because it is huge. It is in the top 25 largest cities in the country, and it is the biggest one in North Carolina. The city nearly houses 800,000 residents.

The city spans 308.6 square miles. The city is high with an elevation of 751 feet. As a big city, it is popular because it is the home of many Fortune 1000 companies. As such, it naturally follows that the city has a prosperous economy, and people can find a job here.

6. Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first modern racetrack to host night racing events. The speedway is 1.5 miles long, and its capacity is 95,000 people.

It has been in operation for 60 years, and there are so many things that people can do here.

Its popularity stems from the fact that it is located in NASCAR country, and people can shop for gift items and even visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame when they are here.

The speedway is so huge that in a typical racing weekend, racing fans eat about 34,000 slices of pizza and drink 9,500 gallons of soda.

7. NASCAR Hall of Fame

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is a museum, not for political and geographical history but for the sport of racing—specifically, NASCAR.

Located in the Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR offers a unique presentation of historical artifacts about racing. There is a dedicated spot here for the racing legend, Jimmie Johnson.

The facility is also high-tech, which is just apt as the museum is related to technology. People can get their entry cards activated, and then use the interactive touchscreens to learn more about cars and racers.

The interactive screens can provide a visitor an inside look of racing cars. There are also actual, physical racing cars where people can have a photo-op.

8. The Mint Museums

The Mint Museum, which many people address in its plural form, is an institution that keeps records of culture.

There are two museums here: The Mint Museum Randolph and the Mint Museum Uptown.

Here are some examples of what people can see here:

  • American art
  • European Ceramics and deco
  • Pottery of North Carolina
  • Contemporary art
  • Historic art

The museums showcase art and designs found globally. The Randolph sits on a place that once stood as the Charlotte Mint. It opened in 1936 and was the first art museum in the state.

Mint Members get free admission. Those who have no membership must pay a ticket.

9. Charles Moss Duke Jr.

Charles Moss is an American astronaut and is one of the few people who walked on the moon.

He was born in 1935 and he went to the moon in 1972 through the Apollo 16. In addition to this, he was the youngest person to walk in the moon at 36 years old.

Charles served in the US Air Force before becoming an astronaut. He quit the USAF as a reserve when he got the notification that he was selected to become an astronaut. Who wouldn’t?

The Apollo 16 had several achievements, one of which is to carry the largest payload in lunar orbit. It was Charles and his team that deployed the first cosmic rat detector and the first lunar observatory unit.

10. CLT Airport Overlook

The Charles Douglas International Airport is popular to people who want to see planes taking off and landing. The Charlotte skyline is also at a viewing distance.

The specific area to watch these planes is at 7300 Airport Overlook Drive. It is popular because people are not allowed in many airports in the world. Seeing a plane take off and land is an exhilirating experience.

11. AvidXchange Music Factory

This entertainment complex is famous because many big events are hosted here.

Located in downtown Charlotte, the complex has two concert venues and there are many restaurants that people can go to after watching a concert.

The complex has been around since 2006. At that time, it was called the NC Factory. It was in 2016 when a payment software company, AvidxChange, took over, and that is why the name was changed. 

The two venues here are the Charlotte Metro Credit Union and the Filmore Charlotte. The former can seat 5,000 guests, not including the 2,000 reserved seats. The latter opened in 2009.

12. The Carowinds

The Carowinds is famous because it is a huge amusement park that covers 165 hectares. It has been open since 1973, so it is part of the culture and iconic places of the city and the state.

It was in 1982 when the operators added a water park attraction. Today, it is the largest waterpark in the Carolinas.

The oldest ride in the Carowinds is the Carolina Goldcrusher. It is a roller coaster that was made in 1973, and it is made of wood and steel. The speed is 30 miles per hour with a 43-foot drop.

13. Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a themed amusement park. It is famous because it offers one of the largest fairs in the country.

The festival is based on a fictional storybook village called Fairhaven.

The fair covers 325 acres of autumn woodlands, and there are many cottages and bungalows here that depict life in the 16th century. The architecture is European, and there are 16 stages outdoors where people can watch a variety of shows.

Each year, around 195,000 people come here to watch knights jousting in an arena or see the Falconry Presentations and the Swimming Mermaids.

14. Indoor SkyDiving

iFLY is an indoor sky diving close to Charlotte. Instead of taking the risk jumpingout of a plane, the participants get lifted inside the tube.

Those who want to become professional skydivers one day can use the facility to practice and become adept at movements while in the air.

15. Haunted Walking Tour

The Haunted Walking Tour in Charlotte is famous because it takes a participant to a walk in one of the oldest cities in the country.

The expectation is that you would see ghosts during these walks.

The tour takes 90 minutes, and participants can learn the history of the city that has been founded in the 1700s.


Charlotte is a bustling city that has many things to offer. Now three hundred years old, the city is still thriving, and the residents manage to create astounding structures, events, and activities worthy of historical anecdotes.