Best Places to Live

Charlotte, NC

Population: 792,137
Photo: Todd Bennett

A slew of kid-centric attractions, enriching museums, free parks, and outdoor activities in and around Charlotte, NC, make the Queen City a royal choice for spring break travel.

Traditional and hybrid-electric buses, a light rail system and trollies allow families to get around the city easily and affordably. Top attractions such as the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, McDowell Nature Center and Preserve, and the Billy Graham Library appeal to diverse interests. Great places geared especially to kids include Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum and ImaginOn, a combination library/theater with exhibit space. Thrill seekers will find a collection of roller coasters and other rides at the Carowinds amusement park, which opens March 29. When it comes to chow time, Charlotte's eating options range from food trucks and diners to sophisticated bistros and quaint cafés.

Average Spring Temperatures:

High: 72, Low: 39

Must-Do Activities and Attractions:

Hike at the US National Whitewater Center

Frolic in Freedom Park

Bike the Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Ride a carriage through historic Fourth Ward

Tour the Historic Rosedale Plantation

Dip into Ray's Splash Planet

Explore the Mint Museum Uptown

Watch birds at the Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary