Walking with a Vulture May Be the Coolest Experience in Charlotte

Even better: it's only a 20-minute drive from Uptown.

If you’ve ever passed Exit 16B on Interstate 77 and wondered what the Carolina Raptor Center is, you’re not alone.

And no, it has nothing to do with Jurassic Park. The center is actually part educational park, part rehabilitation hospital. Visitors can take a 3/4 mile walk through the trails and observe raptors of all shapes and sizes, from owls to falcons to vultures.

During the summer, the center hosts¬†‘nose-to-beak’ encounters, where you can actually see these animals up close. And the coolest one? Definitely taking a walk with a vulture. Resident King Vulture Pishimatakoa hobbles through the trees with you as you learn about the funky and awkward bird.

Many of the encounters begin Memorial Day Weekend and require reservations.

The center will also be offering its Summer Flight Show free with admission this summer with the help of a grant.

Learn more at their website here. 

The Carolina Raptor Center is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.