Villa Brazil bedecks bodies of Northern climes with wearable wares of Brazilian origin. Browse handcrafted jewelry imported from Rio, or adorn style-craving shoulders with a wide array of handbags ($32.50 on average). Surf-seeking stylistas can slip into bikinis ($49 on average) of the Brazilian, American, and Martian variety, and flip-less feet can flop with more than 20 types of Brazilian Havaianas sandals ($16.50–24.50). Villa Brazil also stocks handmade scarves, soccer jerseys, and crafts.
Drawing from the more frightening pages of the area's history, Carolina History & Haunts? guides lead lantern-lit tours of eerie and haunted locales. The ?Nightmares Around Elm Street? tour sends groups through the specter-laden streets of Greensboro, while the Beyond the Grave tour braves uptown Charlotte?s paranormal avenues to learn the fates of the less fortunate and possibly even witness a prankster ghost grabbing a dog's tail as it's chased.
Carolina History & Haunts partners with local businesses to give tour goers discounts on accommodations and food, and large groups are eligible for discounted pricing and private tours.
Queen City Segway Tours offers two-hour tours of downtown Charlotte aboard easy-to-maneuver Segways. Each Segway is equipped with high-speed microprocessors, solid-state gyroscopes, and powerful electric motors that keep riders of all ages balanced as they discover their Seg-legs. Cruise past sights such as the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus, Bank of America Stadium, Frazier Park, the Irwin Creek Greenway, and the historic Fourth Ward District, or customize your own route through the city's lesser-known lava pits and leopard-infested labyrinths. Tours are led by a knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, and with group sizes limited to a maximum of six, you'll never have to worry about lagging behind. Whether you're visiting the Queen City for a day, or you've lived in its trees all your life, an expedition from Queen City Segway Tours is an exciting way to see Charlotte.
Named one of “ten great dates” by Charlotte Magazine, VanLandingham Estate’s picnic dinner guarantees an exquisite, elegant evening. Picnic sites are available through the estate’s five-acre charming garden and grounds. Upon arrival, you and your romancee will be directed to either a private table or a cushy blanket, with food and wine prepped for romantic consumption in a large picnic basket specially designed to thwart smarter-than-average cartoon bears. This deal comes with the “Simply Southern” meal, so your basket will be overflowing with barbecue pork sandwiches, fresh fruit salad, a green bean, corn & tomato salad, and creamy banana pudding. Also included in the basket are lemonade and a bottle of the red or white house wine. While dining, you and your date can sink into the wildlife beauty of the gardens, with the waterfall’s gentle whoosh, and birds singing the score of The Barber of Seville. Couples can also share the evening with the furry friend in their life, as dogs are welcome.
Palmetto Outdoor Center promotes the preservation of natural rivers and forests. Because awareness is the best way to maintain the environment and cultural heritage, Palmetto spreads knowledge of local gems with river trips and walking tours. These organized tours and vessels for rent allow amateur explorers to discover South Carolina's uncluttered riverbanks while learning about how they can be protected. Civil War walking tours illuminate the history of the region, and canoe and kayak rentals plunge into the tree-lined waterways of the Congaree, which flows through protected national parkland with the continent's largest old-growth floodplain forest.
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden garnered a best-day-trip award from Charlotte magazine in 2009 for its copious collection of exotic and endangered animals that captures the majesty and variety of the wild. Explorers of all ages journey through nine locales that artfully re-create natural habitats, encountering ring-tailed lemurs, slender-tailed meerkats, and tale-spinning birds that sing of their raucous college days. When it's time to smell the roses, adventurers may cool their heels in one of five botanical gardens, each representative of a different plant group. Budding zoologists and their families may engage in animal demonstrations and discover the keys to keeping rattlesnakes or learn that giraffes, unlike their animal-cookie cousins, love being fed.