5 ways to learn about Charlotte while getting in your steps this May

Courtesy of UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

We all want to find fun and unique ways to get in our daily steps. And there’s nothing better than finding activities that allow you to do so while not even noticing that you are actually working at hitting your goals.

Charlotte City Walks is an amazing way to get in a little exercise while learning more about the city and even participating in some fulfilling experiences in the process.

Now in its eighth year, residents new and old can participate in free walking tours that provide the opportunity to learn more about Charlotte’s history, food scene and its neighborhoods. The walks are put together by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and go on throughout the month of May.

“City Walks are important to Charlotte because they allow residents to tell unique stories about their communities,” said Angelique Gaines of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.

“This is our first year doing more experiential walks. We wanted to engage people in issues affecting our communities by putting themselves in other people’s shoes.”

The tours are open to all ages and fitness levels. No walk will be longer than one mile, although it’s up to the individual walk leader on the actual distance. Bikes, wheelchairs, walkers and strollers are also welcome. Terrain details can be found on the City Walks site.

Here are 5 unique tours that will allow you to walk away with more than just extra steps on your counter.

(1) The Past, Present and Future of a City within the City

Venture through Charlotte’s own mini city by foot. This one-hour walk will bring a better understanding on the history of University City and answer questions on where developers envision it going next. The tour will end with the chance to get to know fellow walkers over a light snack.

When: Friday, May 10, 6 p.m.
Where: Famous Toastery, 8933 J. M. Keynes Drive #2, Charlotte, NC 28262.

(2) Camp North End to Brightwalk

Learn how the progression of one of Charlotte’s fastest up-and-coming areas for art and innovation came about. You will start the walk in Camp North End and eventually make your way over to the nearby Brightwalk neighborhood.

When: Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at the foot of the water tower, 1824 Statesville Ave., Charlotte, NC 28206.

(3) Walk Tall: Wander Among the Trees

A scenic route is always a plus when getting in your steps. On this tour, you will journey through the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, taking winding paths filled with beautiful plant life. You will make your way through a couple of gardens before ending up at a greenhouse.

When: Monday, May 13, 11 a.m. – noon
Where: McMillan Greenhouse, UNC Charlotte, 9090 Craver Road, Charlotte, NC 28262.

Courtesy of UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

(4) “Walk in My Shoes”

This mind-changing experience will require you to go around to various community organizations to seek resources for a homeless person based on a profile that is provided at the beginning of the tour. In addition to the 90-minute walking component, there will be a 15-20 minute class at the beginning and end of the experience. You will surely go home with a new perspective.

When: Monday, May 13, 2-4 p.m.
Where: Urban Ministry Center, 945 N College St., Charlotte, NC 28206. Meet in the large brick building to the left side of the parking lot. 

(5) An Audible City Walk

Through this tour — Technology Providing Wayfinding for People Living with Vision Loss — you will have the chance to experience firsthand what it is like to live in Charlotte while blind. You will venture through Little Sugar Creek Greenway while listening to information via the BlindSquare app. After the tour, you’ll be treated to a light snack.

When: Wednesday, May 15, 4-5 p.m.
Where: Midtown Park, 805 S Kings Dr., Charlotte, NC 28204. Meet at the giant, silver ball near the Metropolitan Shopping Center.

These are only a few of the walks still available for registration. You can learn more about all tours currently being offered and register for your favorite tours here.


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