I am from NC, so I can tell you this:

If you like architecture photography, be sure to stop at some of the small towns between the mountains and Charlotte, or between Charlotte and Winston-Salem. Towns like Lexington (the home of Southern BBQ-worth a stop by itself. Makes you wanna slap your momma!), Salisbury (my hometown--absolutely beautiful downtown area), Albemarle, Concord, Kannapolis (a huge new biotech campus is going up on the site of the old Cannon Mills towel plant), and many others. Also, there's the zoo in Asheboro (about an hour from Charlotte), which is built on the ancient Uwharrie Mountains (Purgatory Mountain to be exact) and is often regarded as one of the better zoos in the country, if not the world.

If you do happen to go to Albemarle, go to Morrow Mountain State Park. It's quite a hike to the top of the mountain, but you can see clear to Charlotte from the top. It is an amazing view.

If you have any more questions from a native North Carolinian, just ask!