Five Must-See Landmarks near Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the underrated gems of the East Coast. Though it may not be the first big-name city of the region that comes to mind, it actually has an enormous amount to offer regardless of whether you’re looking for adventure, art, entertainment, or important historical sites.
Wait—what’s so special about Charlotte?
Charlotte was founded in 1769—though various English, Scottish, and Irish groups had lived in the area for more than a century before that. The city itself was founded at the crossroads of two important Native American trading routes.
The city is a historical hub—it has been an important center of transportation, cotton production, and the tobacco industry for several centuries, and it was even the site of a gold rush in the early 19th century. Now, in the 21st century, it’s one of the United States’ centers of wealth.
In other words, there’s a lot going on in Charlotte, and that’s been true now for several centuries.
Charlotte’s history on display
If you’re in town for a week, or even simply a few hours, you’ll find that there’s more than enough to fill your time. All the history in the area means that there are plenty of cool historical places to visit and important sights to see.
Here are five of the most interesting historical landmarks within an hour’s drive of downtown Charlotte:
- Historic Latta Plantation—the Latta Plantation is a “living history” farm that offers visitors a glimpse of North Carolina plantation life in the early 19th century. For a small admission fee, visitors can explore the grounds and take a guided tour of the plantation home (built in 1800.)
- Hezekiah Alexander Homesite—the 8-acre homesite is located on the grounds of the larger Charlotte Museum of History. The museum itself contains a lot of interesting artifacts from the region’s history, but the older buildings—including an original 5,000 square foot rock house constructed in 1774—just outside the museum are the real focal point.
- Reed Gold Mine—in the late 18th century, Conrad Reed, the son of a local farmer, stumbled across a 17-pound solid gold nugget while exploring the land around his home. The discovery trigged America’s first gold rush. The Reed Gold Mine commemorates this oft-forgotten part of North Carolina. Visitors to the site can tour one of the historic mines, visit a museum, and even pan for gold.
- Andrew Jackson State Park—the seventh US president, Andrew Jackson, was born in the Carolinas area. The park museum includes a number of rooms that recreate the kind of Colonial-era farmhouse Jackson grew up in. The park is actually located right across the border in South Carolina, but it’s within about a half-hour drive of Charlotte.
- Historic Brattonsville—located about an hour southwest of Charlotte, Historic Brattonsville is a living history village containing more than 30 historic buildings, including several original plantation homes built between 1776 and 1830. The village is also the site of a Revolutionary War battlefield.
These five sites are just a sample of all that the Charlotte-area has to offer. Whatever your interests, Charlotte has something for you!