A great part of traveling to a new city is learning about the unique events and moments it has bared witness to. The little tidbits of history we take from our trips can be entertaining and informative, and leave us wanting to learn more about our travel destination’s background. Charlotte, being the largest city in North Carolina, has both its fair share of new visitors and personal stories to tell for those who seek them out. Here are some interesting facts and events about the Queen City.
The First American Gold Rush
When people hear the words “gold rush”, most think of the finding of gold in California in the 1840’s and the subsequent mass migration of many settlers to the west coast. This makes sense, as the movement of hundreds of thousands of people from one side of the country to the other ultimately resulted in the large population of California, Oregon, Washington, and the other western states. But did you know that this was not the U.S.A’s first gold rush? The first American gold rush actually took place in and around Charlotte in 1799! After a young boy found a large gold nugget in Little Meadow Creek, located about 20 miles from Charlotte, and another was found in 1803, farmers and prospectors from all around Carolina came to the Charlotte area in search of wealth. A federal mint was even founded in Charlotte to mint gold coins in the 1830’s. Though Charlotte’s gold rush is not as well known as the California gold rush, was the first of its kind and an important part of the development of its western successor, as the skills and knowledge held by the miners in Charlotte would spread to the west coast in the 1840’s.
Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and other water based activities are a favorite for lots of Americans to take up as a hobby or something to do on vacation . Of course, to do an activity like this you’ll need a large, well-made whitewater river to do it in, especially in populous areas where there may be lots of people looking to do the same thing. Charlotte is unique in this aspect, as it has the largest man-made whitewater river in the world! The U.S National Whitewater center, at around 700 acres in size, offers passes of people to go wild and enjoy themselves in the rapids of the artificial river with rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and other non-water related activities like rock climbing and hiking. The center is both something for Charlotte to boast about, and for tourists and residents to enjoy.
The Hunger Games
Movies are a staple of American culture, regardless of whether you are or are not a fan of modern Hollywood. One of the most popular film franchises in the last decade was the Hunger Games Trilogy, based on the books written by Susanne Collins. The books and films were widely successful, and the first film was shot in North Carolina, including in Charlotte! The creators of the film have confirmed that almost the entire movie was filmed in North Carolina, and while the exact set locations were never discovered or disclosed due to tight security and well-maintained secrecy, the general locations where the movies were filmed include Asheville, Concord, and of course, Charlotte. Specifically, it has been found that the Knight Theater, located in uptown Charlotte, was used to film the interviews each tribute has with one of the Hunger Games’ commentators, including protagonist Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence. Fans of the films may recognize outdoor areas during their visit to Charlotte, creating some fantastic picture opportunities.
Charlotte is a very old city, and it has seen and experience many things that would catch the interest of many. This list is only a small sample of some of the intriguing facts about the city. Did you know Charlotte is the largest metropolitan area in the U.S.A that doesn’t have a zoo? Look up and visit Charlotte to learn more, and you may return with something new and interesting.