Locals relish the area's abundant museums and cultural arts centers, including Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Discovery Place Science Museum, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum. Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the Coca-Cola 600, one of the nation's largest NASCAR events. Plus, two professional sport teams, the NFL Panthers and the NBA Bobcats call Charlotte home. Time Warner Arena is a popular venue for many concert events. Children of all ages enjoy Ray's Splash Planet and Carowinds Amusement Park. The U.S. National White Water Rafting Center is a favorite for U.S. training Olympians.
The area boasts an abundance of shopping destinations including North Lake Mall, South Park Mall, Birkdale Village, Concord Mills Mall, Carolina Place Mall, shopping villages and upscale stores.
Lake Norman, another recreational paradise, is situated in the northwest corner of the county for residents to enjoy waterskiing, fishing, tubing, as well as relaxing on the many sandy islands. At night, boaters flock to the many waterfront restaurants and bars. Additional activities on the lake include the Bass Pro Fishing Tournament, Sailboat Regatta, and Cruises on the Catawba Queen Ferry.
Nearby to the north at a little over an hour's drive are the Blue Ridge Mountains and its many ski resorts, while the Atlantic Ocean and its sandy beaches are about a three hour ride to the south.
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