Top Free Things to Do in Charlotte

Everyone is looking for ways to save money these days. Whether you're living in Charlotte or visiting the Queen City, there are many things to do in and around town without busting your budget.
  • 01 of 09
    North Carolina Transportation Museum - Antique Car 1930 Ford Model AA Truck
    ••• Wikimedia Commons

    The birthplace of James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States is on display in Pineville, just southwest of Charlotte. Visitors may go on a 30-minute tour of the restored 19th Century homestead. The historic site is available for viewing Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    12031 Lancaster Hwy.
    Pineville, NC 28134
    704-889-7145

  • 02 of 09
    Gallery L at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County's Main Branch features rotating exhibits. Visitors may view the art collections during the library's main hours, Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

    310 N. Tryon Street
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    704-416-0100

  • 03 of 09
    The gardens and the McMillan Greenhouse at the University of North Carolina Charlotte are free to view and explore. The outdoor gardens are open seven days a week during daylight hours while the McMillan Greenhouse is open Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m.

    9201 University City Blvd.
    Charlotte, NC 28223
    704-687-2364
    704-687-2870

  • 04 of 09
    Part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation, the Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve is one of the cities treasures featuring fishing, 10 miles of trails and serves as a habitat for 109 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles, and 12 species of amphibians.

    2900 Rocky River Rd.
    Charlotte, NC
    704-336-8866

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    View the museum and take a 30-minute underground tunnel tour for free at this historic gold-mining location. And, if you're so inclined you can pan for gold for just $2.

    9621 Reed Mine Rd
    Midland, NC 28107
    704-721-4653

  • 06 of 09
    Located in Albemarle, the Stanly County museum features Native American artifacts and information about this area of the North Carolina Piedmont region. The museum is open Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    245 East Main Street
    Albemarle, NC 28001
    704-986-3777

  • 07 of 09
    Located on the site of what was once Southern Railway Company's largest steam locomotive repair facility, the site features an authentic train depot, antique automobiles, and a 37-bay Roundhouse that includes 25 locomotives, dozens of rail cars and other exhibit areas. Visits to the museum are free, but admission may be charged for special events, and there is a small fee for the train and turntable rides.

    411 S. Salisbury Ave
    Spencer NC 28159
    704-636-2889

  • 08 of 09
    Hike and explore this mountain for free or camp out for a small fee.

    522 Park Office Lane
    Kings Mountain, NC 28086
    704-853-5375

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    The Fieldcrest Cannon Textile Museum & Exhibition celebrate the history of the mill village and textile industry in a self-guided tour. The museum is open Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    200 West Ave
    Kannapolis, NC 28081
    704-938-3200