Budget Friendly Charlotte
Updated: October 25, 2023
Don’t let Charlotte’s reputation as a financial powerhouse make you think there aren’t affordable things to do. The following events and activities add to the fun without breaking the bank when you visit Charlotte, the “Queen City.”
Queen City Quarter (Epicentre)
210 E. Trade St.
This rebranded complex features numerous shopping and dining options — not to mention a convenient location by Lynx light rail and the Spectrum Center. Make time for snacks, gifts and a variety of drinks. One good place for a late-night snack is Insomnia Cookies. Or enjoy the entertainment on-site. Highlights include a dine-in theater and a bowling alley (for when you want to spend a little more).
First Ward Park
301 E. 7th St.
This fun spot includes a “sprayground” where kids can splash and play, fitness stations and a giant globe for kids to climb. Summer ushers in a free concert series. Though there are numerous green spaces in Charlotte, this park rates highly for both things to do and walkability. It’s across the street from ImaginOn, Lynx light rail and food places in 7th Street Public Market.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E. 7th St.
This expansive children’s library is one of the best places to see in Charlotte if you are traveling with kids — and free to enter. Floors of books, daily story times and interactive activities provide plenty of diversions to keep tots to teens occupied. There’s also a performance hall on-site where you can catch a live act if your budget allows.
Museums in Charlotte make seeing the city on the cheap quite easy. Both Mint Museum Uptown (500 S. Tryon St.) and Mint Museum Randolph (2370 Randolph Rd.) are free from 5-9 each Wednesday, while Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (420 S. Tryon St.) presents Bechtler By Night for free from 5-9 on the third Friday of the month. For those wishing to understand the history of Charlotte and the region, Levine Museum of the New South (401 S. Tryon St.) halves admission on Sunday, though watch for events with complimentary admission. The Billy Graham Library (4330 Westmont Dr.) is free daily.
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Sherry is an experienced #AAAEditor and former journalist who enjoys writing informative travel articles and reviews. Her commitment to making meaningful connections with people and places fuels her work for AAA. Sherry's favorite activities range from skiing to backpacking abroad and taking ghost tours.