In Charlotte, things to do are as abundant as the chimpanzees in the North Carolina Zoo. The zoo itself has plenty to crow about, since it houses the largest population of chimps in the United States and holds the record for largest walk-through zoo in the world at over 2,000 acres. Folks looking to spend a day watching wildlife in name only can take in the gridiron antics of the Carolina Panthers for a day of hootin’ and hollerin’ along with nearly 75,000 other fans. Of course, the rough and rugged, high-octane enthusiasm found in bulk at the Bank of America Stadium or the Charlotte Motor Speedway says little about the genteel elegance that characterizes the region. For that, travelers might want to scope out a few Charlotte restaurants, which range from the upscale “farm-to-fork” bistro Heirloom Restaurant to the downhome feel of the city’s myriad barbecue restaurants.

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