What to Do in Charlotte When You Have Out-of-Town Visitors


Whether you’ve lived in Charlotte for years or have just moved to the city, at some point you’re bound to have some out-of-town visitors. If you’re at a loss for what to do when your friends or family comes to town, below are several ideas for what you can do together.

Visit Nature Sights

For natural beauty, one of the best sights to see is Lake Norman. The lake is a large man-made, freshwater lake located just outside of Charlotte. It’s the perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying the view, but there are also plenty of sports in the area. Some of the most popular sports include fishing, boating, water skiing, tennis, lawn bowling, and golf.

While touring the nature sights around town, entertain your guests with some local movie trivia. Plenty of movies and TV shows have been filmed in Charlotte over the years. For example, Dirty Dancing was filmed at Lake Lure just outside of Charlotte, and The Hunger Games was filmed in and around Charlotte.

Go to a Museum

NASCAR is big in Charlotte, and because of this, it’s the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. There are famous race cars of years past on display, interactive exhibits for people of all ages, race car simulators, and so much more.

If you’re more into history and art than race cars, there are a lot of options. There’s the Levine Museum of the New South, which is a museum on post-Civil War Southern history. And if you love airplane history, there’s the Carolinas Aviation Museum. As for art, there’s the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Museum Randolph, which has a wide variety of ancient and ceramic art. But these selections listed aren’t the only museums in Charlotte, so be sure to do some research to see what all of your options are before you make any plans.

Go on a Hike

There are plenty of hiking opportunities in and around Charlotte. Surrounding the city are not one but several national forests. Depending on how far you want to drive, some of your options include Chattahoochee National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Cherokee National Forest, and Uwharrie National Forest. Many of these forests are known for their beautiful waterfalls, if that’s a selling point. These are also great locations for water sports and camping (if you want to add more to your hike).

Spend the Night In

Sometimes, you just want to stay in for the night — especially after a long day of adventuring around town. In that case, have a game night with your family or friends. Before they visit, make sure you have a few popular options on hand, such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Scrabble (or whatever games your visitors like). Game nights are fun, relaxing, and a great way to catch up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while — and show off how you’ve brought your Monopoly skills up a peg or two since they last saw you.

Not into a game night? Have a movie night or binge your favorite TV show together. If you want to spend more time catching up, try cooking or baking together. No matter what you decide on, you’re sure to have a good time.

Go Out to a Nice Restaurant

Charlotte has grown significantly in recent years, and many great restaurants and cafes have opened up in the area like The Fig Tree (fine dining) and Zinicola (Italian). You’re sure to find a wide variety of great Southern food and international cuisine, so don’t skip out on the best local spots in favor of a popular restaurant chain.

Get Tickets for a Game

There’s no doubt that Charlotte loves their sports teams. Depending on when your guests visit, try to get tickets to a game. If you can, see the Panthers or Hornets during the season. If you or your guests are into minor-league sports, get tickets to the Charlotte Knights or the Charlotte Checkers. Additionally, Charlotte is also home to NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 race and the Wells Fargo golf championship. There are plenty of options to choose from — your guests may even want to plan their trip in advance around one of these events.