The Mountains, Charlotte
Take a day-trip to Asheville
Asheville is a mountain city less than 2 hours from Charlotte (hop on I-85 westbound to 26 to Asheville).
It is a beautiful location with a rich literary community and tons of arts and crafts.
It is right along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, which is one of the prettiest drives anywhere in the country.
In Asheville, be sure to go the the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in the United States.
It's spectacular! The Biltmore Estate is a full day all by itself. The manicured gardens are perfect for picnics. Besides the chateau-style estate, Geoge Vanderbilt's Estate includes hundreds of acres of beautiful hills, streams, lakes and waterfalls. There is an award winning winery, an equine center, a recreation center, a 203 room hotel, hiking trails and 3 restaurants.
The Smoky Mountains.
Take I-85 South from Charlotte
merge onto I-26 North from Greenville/Spartanburg
Visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/ for more info