Places to Take Out Of Town Guests in Charlotte

Charlotte is a charming city filled with things to do, from breweries to museums, sports, outdoor adventure, rooftop restaurants, delicious food and much more.

Show your out-of-towner what makes the Queen City unique by taking them to these local outings:

BEST PLACES TO TAKE GUESTS IN THE QUEEN CITY

On a mural tour around the city.

If your guest is an art lover like ourselves, they’d appreciate how artists from near and far transform our streets into works of art.

We listed some of our favorite murals around the city here for you to visit, and be sure to check out resources such as www.artwalksclt.com to go on a self-guided art walk, where they provide you with the specific location, artist info, story, and key art terms; and www.talkingwallscharlotte.com to find new work and artists featured in this year’s and prior years’ Talking Walls celebration.

Photo Credit: @brookebrownphotography_clt via Instagram

Take in stunning city views from a rooftop restaurant or bar.

Image via Instagram of Nuvolé Rooftop TwentyTwo

Charlotte has a beautiful skyline that’s meant to be stopped and stared at. Take your guest to enjoy dinner and drinks with a view at one of Charlotte’s many rooftop restaurants or bars:

Hop on an electric bike from Charlotte Joy Rides and explore Uptown.

Image via Instagram

There’s nothing like fresh air and beautiful city views.

Show off your skills at Top Golf.

Image via Facebook

Play a game or two at one of Charlotte’s Top Golf locations: Southwest Charlotte or University City. While you’re there, explore the many food options and full-service bar for a quick snack in between turns. Prices per bay vary depending on what day and time you go. A $5 one-time fee is charged for new members. We recommend going on Half Price Tuesdays where all game play is half price. Visit their website here for more information.

Visit Charlotte’s top museums.

Image via Instagram

Discover history, art, science, racing, and much more by touring museums around the Queen City. Here’s a quick list of our favorites, but keep in mind there are MANY more to explore.

Go for a picnic and walk in one of Charlotte’s beautiful parks.

Image via Instagram of Ballantyne’s Backyard in Ballantyne

Charlotte is home to many gorgeous parks and greenways, from Ballantyne all the way to Cornelius. Take your out-of-towner for a picnic and a walk for some fresh air and change of scenery.

Have trouble deciding where to go? We listed 25+ of our favorite places to picnic here.

Explore Camp North End

Image via Instagram

Camp North End is filled with things to do, and the best part is there’s something for everybody at the 76-acre industrial site. We’re talking 50+ murals throughout the site, outdoor markets every Wednesday from 4 – 8 p.m., live music every Friday under the watertower from 6 – 9 p.m., 14 food and drink spots, and a variety of local shops.

To one of Charlotte’s many breweries.

Image via Instagram

Charlotte is known for its good beer and great social scene. Show your guest a taste of local craft beer by going on a brewery tour. Here’s a quick list of local favorites:

Be adventurous at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Image via Instagram

A popular hangout for families, couples, and adrenaline junkies. The Whitewater Center is home to over 30 recreational activities ranging from whitewater rafting, whitewater and flatwater kayaking SUP, ziplining, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and much more. Visit their website here to plan your visit and purchase passes to the Whitewater Center.

Find your inner zen with goat yoga.

Image via Instagram of Critter Creek Farm

Don’t knock it ’till you try it! Spice up your guests yoga session by having goats join you at local farms and yoga studios. We recommend trying out Critter Creek Farm in Rock Hill, SC as they have classes at least once a weekend. Visit their website here for upcoming goat yoga events.

Visit Duke Mansion.

Image via Instagram

A museum that doubles as a bed and breakfast all in one. Visit the beautiful property of Duke Mansion where you and your guest can stay the night in one of their individually decorated luxurious guest rooms or explore for just a few hours. While you’re there, be sure to walk through the four and a half acres of gardens and grounds, tour the library, enjoy a drink at the bar, and order a pre-order a chef-prepared picnic to enjoy on the property. You’re guest is sure to love Duke Mansion and the beauty that it holds.

Channel your inner foodie & go on a food tour.

Charlotte chefs are known to push the limits when it comes to food. Show your guest what we’re all about and create your own food tour around the city.

Image via Instagram of Village Tavern

Almost every type of cuisine can be found here in the Queen City, which makes it hard to decide where to dine out when visiting. Here are a few of our favorites:

5Church
Uptown
An upscale, loftlike steakhouse where all the VIP’s dine.

Fin & Fino
Uptown

Fresh seafood and a cocktail menu that stands out.

Village Tavern
SouthPark
One of our favorites, with great daily specials and an impressive patio.

Restoration Hardware Rooftop
SouthPark
One of the most Instagrammable restaurants in CLT with fountains, marble tabletops, and elegant chandeliers.

Optimist Hall
Optimist Park
A variety of food stall options to satisfy every craving, from fried chicken sandwiches to sushi.

Hawkers Asian Streetfood
South End
Asian street food and craft cocktails in the heart of South End.

If you’re looking for something more casual, visit our list of best happy hours for food and drink specials offered throughout the city.

Spend the day at Carowinds.

Image via Instagram

Take your guest for a day of thrill at Carowinds, where you’ll find 60 world-class rides, a waterpark, live entertainment, Camp Snoopy, and classic Carolina cuisine.

To the Panthers stadium or NASCAR Track.

Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram

If your guest is a sports fan, they’ll appreciate the variety of sporting events in Charlotte. Take them to a NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, a Panthers game at the Bank of America Stadium, to Truist Field for a Charlotte Knights baseball game, or experience a Charlotte Hornets win at the Spectrum Center.

Soar over to Carolina Raptor Center.

Image via Instagram

For a living museum experience, head to the Carolina Raptor Center located in Latta Plantation Nature Preserve in Huntersville. The 3/4 mile Raptor Trail is home to over 20 different species of birds such as eagles, vultures, hawks, and falcons. The tour is self-guided and is currently open Wednesday through Sunday with special winter hours. Visit here for more information and to purchase your tickets.

Visit the Botanical Gardens at UNCC.

Image via Instagram

Unwind and enjoy the smell of roses at UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, which features 10 acres of outdoor gardens, eight on-site greenhouse rooms that house exotic plants year-round, and themed collections that can be found all over UNCC’s campus. Visit the calendar here for a list of special events going on in the Botanical Gardens.

WINTER ACTIVITIES

Get in the winter spirit and go ice skating.

Image via Instagram of the USNWC

For a city with mild winters, Charlotte sure does enjoy ice skating. Usually available in mid-November, you and out-of-towner can head to the U.S National Whitewater Center to iceskate on their new ice trail with four distinct skating areas, and is open to all ages and experience levels.

If you’re closer to the South Carolina border, check out the Founders Holiday Ice Rink in Rock Hill, SC, open November 19 through January 17.

Cruise through Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Image via Instagram

A unique holiday tradition to Charlotte, Speedway Christmas features millions of lights, creative displays, all synced with cheery Christmas music. Take your guest for a cruise of the four-mile course for the ultimate holiday-themed night out.

Cheer on the Charlotte Checkers hockey team

Image via Instagram

Cheer on Charlotte’s hockey team, Charlotte Checkers as they play October through April. Check out their 2021-2022 schedule here.

& DAY TRIPS LESS THAN A 3 HOUR DRIVE

Have time to take your guest on a day trip? Head to these places below that are close enough to the city and offer new experiences.

Spend the day at Lake Norman.

Image via Instagram of Hello, Sailor

Lake Norman is an approximately 44 minute drive from Charlotte, and offers a wide variety of things to do. We recommend grabbing a meal on the deck at Hello, Sailor and then renting a boat for the day if the weather permits. Afterwards, explore the beautiful 520-mile coastline that make up Lake Norman, and watch the sunset on the water.

Visit a nearby winery.

Image by Veronét Vineyards & Winery

North Carolina is home to almost 200 wineries that are spread out across the state all the way from the sandy coast to the mountains, with all accessible by car and many close enough for a day trip.

If your guest is a fellow wine-o, take them to a local winery to spice up their time in Charlotte. We lined up 20 of our favorites here, with many being right outside of the city.

Tour the Biltmore Estate.

Photo via Instagram

There’s tons to do at the Biltmore Estate, which makes it a must for any guest to visit while in town. Enjoy handcrafted tastings and delicious cuisine, hiking trails, live entertainment, shops, tours of the estate, and special events such as Van Gough Alive and complimentary wine tastings. Visit here for the full calendar on upcoming events at the Biltmore Estate.

Head to NC’s coolest mountain city, Asheville.

Image via RomanticAsheville.com

A short 2 and a half hour drive from Charlotte lies one of our favorite mountain cityies, Asheville.

Dubbed as the “Paris of the South” because of its diverse and unique variety of culture, art, and music, Asheville is great to take guests because there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Mountain lovers will love the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround Asheville and can be enjoyed from downtown, or by driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pro tip: Go during sunset for an extra beautiful view.

If you and your guest want to explore the culture of Asheville, head downtown where over 100 restaurants, museums, locally owned stores and boutiques, breweries and parks make up the city. Visit here for a detailed guide on things to do, courtesy of our friends over at Romantic Asheville.

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