Charlotte is fairly metropolitan, but it's still the south, so yeah...NASCAR.
There's some stuff there though:
Whitewater - http://usnwc.org/
Asheville is close-ish and worth checking out
Lake Norman is nice and you can do the whole boat rental thing if you like that.
Discovery Place - cool for kids http://www.discoveryplace.org/
Carowinds - cool for overgrown kids (aka adult-ish types) https://www.carowinds.com/
Yes, Bean is on Independence I think, east-ish Charlotte
My favorite vegan spot is Luna's though: http://www.lunaslivingkitchen.com/
. It's a raw place, and the food is amazing. Lasagna, Burritos, burgery things. All raw. So good.
Also, if you happen to be a BJJ player, Lucas Lepri's gym is there, opened recently. For sure check that out.
This is all making me miss Charlotte. :(