Where to take your parents when they visit Charlotte

Where to take your parents when they visit Charlotte
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When parents or close relatives come to town, you want to show them you’re happy, successful and have a thriving social life.

For the purpose of this guide, let’s assume your parents are arriving on a Friday afternoon and leaving Monday morning.

  • Fair warning: There’s no way you will be able to do everything on this list in one weekend, but keep it handy for when they inevitably return.

Friday: Keep it low-key.

Odds are you’re going to have a jam-packed weekend, so you don’t want to get too crazy on a Friday night.

(1) Take them to a brewery with an outdoor space.

Mom will love: Town Brewery‘s live music, sitting by the fire pit, and their slushy alcoholic options.

Dad will love: Sycamore’s food truck Fridays, and all the dogs.

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(2) Charlotte Beer Garden

Mom will love: The world’s largest selection of draft beers available in one restaurant.

Dad will love: Talking about all the developments reshaping South End.

rooftop view charlotte beer garden

(3) A nice dinner in Uptown.

Mom will love: The scenic views at Mariposa, Merchant & Trade or Fahrenheit.

Dad will love: When you pick up the tab.


Saturday: Full send.

Saturday will most likely be your busiest day, consider sticking to one or two neighborhoods for minimal Ubering.

(1) South Charlotte

  • Start your day with games at Queen Park Social.
  • Then, walk over to Protagonist for pizza and beer for lunch.
  • End the day at OMB with live music in the Biergarten starting at 5pm, and dinner at the Brauhaus.

Mom will love: Walking from place to place.

Dad will love: Beating you at bowling.

bowling at queen park social charlotte

(2) Optimist Park/Plaza Midwood

  • Grab brunch at Optimist Hall.
  • Throw in some friendly competition, and some semi-dangerous weapons, at BATL axe throwing.

Mom will love: The food variety at Optimist Hall.

Dad will love: Teaching you how to throw an axe.

botiwalla chaat

(3) Road trip to the mountains

  • Asheville is a quick two hour drive from Charlotte.
  • There’s plenty to show your parents: The Biltmore, The Omni Grove Park Inn or anything on this guide.

Mom will love: Antique shopping and the wine tour at the Biltmore.

Dad will love: The fall foliage, and driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Sunday: Chill

You have work on Monday, time to relax. Pick one main activity or location and plan around that.

(1) Top Golf

There are two Topgolf locations in Charlotte: one in University City and one in southwest Charlotte.

  • There’s a full-service bar and great food options.
  • Price: $30-$50 per bay depending on what time you go, plus a one-time $5 membership fee for new members.

Mom will love: The stuffed doughnut holes.

Dad will love: Showing off the golf clubs he brought.

top golf

Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

(2) Camp North End

Each time I visit Camp North End, I discover something new. One thing I do know is there’s something for everybody, with plenty of food & beverage options and event venues, it’s a fun place to spend the day.

Mom will love: Immersive Van Gogh.

Dad will love: All the murals.

(3) The U.S. National Whitewater Center

Whether you want to spend the day in the water (kayaking, paddle boarding, whitewater rafting) or on land (mountain biking, rock climbing and zip-lining), there’s something for everybody on the 1,300 acres of space.

  • Price: $7 for parking, plus day passes ranging from $25-$64 depending on the activity.

Mom will love: Spending the day outdoors.

Dad will love: Comparing the man-made river to real white water rafting.

Whitewater Center Rafting

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