As one of the 25 biggest cities in the USA, Charlotte is known for many things
including a plethora of art, culture, history, science and sport attractions. Considering that 13.7% of people in North Carolina are living with a disability, it should come as no surprise that many of the top tourist attractions in Charlotte are striving to be increasingly accessible to people of all ability levels. From the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium, here’s a closer look at some of the most accessible tourist attractions in the city
Accessible Art from Across the Pond
Designed by Swiss Architect Mario Botta, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is home to the artwork of the Swiss family Bechtler. Andreas Bechtler gifted the collection, which comprises of modern art pieces dating back to the mid-20th century, to the city. It includes the work of famous artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miro, and Alberto Giacometti. The museum, which is part of the new Levine Center for the Arts in Uptown, is wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs are available from the admissions desk near the main entrance. Accessible restrooms are situated on the lobby level and an accessible water fountain is also situated nearby.
NASCAR Caters to Disabled Race Fans
The sprawling NASCAR Hall of Fame
is home to many interactive exhibits and authentic racing artifacts. Nearly 150,000 square feet in size, the facility comprises various sections such as the High Octane Theater, the Race Week Hall, and Heritage Speedway. The Hall of Fame is not only wheelchair accessible but the majority of the videos shown are also captioned. In addition to this, the High Octane Theater offers assisted listening devices and the iRacing Simulator also makes provisions for wheelchair users. Wheelchairs are available from the Customer Service desk and accessible parking is located on levels P3 and P4. If more attractions in Charlotte made a similar effort to be disability-friendly, North Carolina might rank higher in terms of overall accessibility
An Accessible Aquarium for Young and Old
There aren’t many malls in the country that sport their own on-site aquarium. When you pop into the Concord Mills Mall, however, you can visit the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium at the same time. A singular entry ticket gives you wheelchair-friendly access to several feeding sessions and informative talks throughout the day. Although the aquarium is predominantly aimed at children, adults are bound to enjoy the outing just as much. Wheelchairs can be rented from the mall. Service animals are permitted everywhere in the aquarium (except on the behind-the-scenes tour) and caregivers receive a free entry ticket. For added convenience, free dedicated accessible parking is available and a special passenger drop-off zone can be found at Entrance 7.
Charlotte has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike. It is also home to several accessible attractions that welcome visitors living with disabilities with open arms.