An airport layover in Charlotte doesn’t have to be boring. What do you normally do if you have several hours or an airport layover in Charlotte? Stay in the hotel? Watch Netflix or Hulu at the airport? NO! There is so much to see and do in Charlotte. It’s a wonderful city so don’t miss it!
Here are some fun things to do in Charlotte on an airport layover, depending on how you want to travel around the city. And if you have kids, you can get my e-book that shows you how to have fun in Charlotte with them!
PLEASE NOTE: Because of Covid, please check the hours of all of these recommendations so you don’t waste your time.
Airport Layover In Charlotte by bus:
From Charlotte Douglas Airport you can take the Sprinter bus into Uptown. Catch the Sprinter bus across the street and to the right from Terminal D. The bus costs $2.20 per ride per person (please have exact change) and it takes you right in the heart of Uptown (which is what Charlotte’s downtown area is called). From there you have several options.
Walk to Epicentre, an entertainment and dining complex. You can spend hours here if you so choose. There are several different options within this complex and if you only have a few hours this is a great place to visit.
7th Street Market
If that isn’t your speed walk down to 7th Street Market located at 300 E. 7th Street. The market has a large variety of food and drinks. You can also rent a bike at the market. With CharlottebCycle you can rent a bike for as long or as little as you’d like and see the city at your leisure.
Elmwood Cemetery and Little Sugar Creek Greenway
If you rent a bike, make sure to ride through Elmwood Cemetery, It’s beautifully scenic and filled with tree-lined pathways. If cemeteries aren’t your thing then no worries, there are plenty of parks and greenways to check out while on your bike. Don’t have a bike, you can take a walk on one of the many pathways located in the city. Check out my video on one of the fab places you can see in the city!
Another lovely neighborhood you can check out is Ayrsley. It’s about a 15 minute Uber ride from Charlotte Douglas Airport and there is lots to explore. Check out my video showing you what you can get up to while visiting Ayrsley.
If you just want to have a good meal and relax then head to Fahrenheit restaurant which has one of the best views of the city skyline. And make sure to try the chorizo stuffed and bacon stuffed dates. Simply divine.
Airport Layover In Charlotte using Uber:
Amelie’s French Bakery
If you like good coffee and French pastries head to Amelie’s French Bakery which is a local favorite. This is a 24-hour spot so no matter what time your flight is you can get a great meal or delectable dessert in an amazingly quaint environment. There are multiple locations but the one in Noda is 24 hours.
Have your Uber driver take you to Central Avenue, which is fast becoming one of the best areas in Charlotte. Central Avenue is filled with restaurants, cafes, and cool shops that have their own unique vibe. You can definitely spend several hours exploring this part of the city!
If you’re visiting during wintertime, there are several ice skating rinks you can visit and skate away.
The Holiday on Ice is an outdoor skating rink located at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Pineville Ice House is another option for ice skating. This rink is inside so if skating outdoors doesn’t appeal to you, this is the place for you.
The Charlotte Whitewater Center has 17,000 square feet of ice for you to skate on. This is also a great option to visit if you have more than a few hours to kill on your layover (see below for more info).
Charlotte is filled with amazingly beautiful parks, and Freedom Park is one of the best. There are several playgrounds for kids and a lovely pond with a path around it, which is perfect for those of you who want to exercise a bit.
Fun Things To Do In Charlotte with a rental car
Crowders Mountain State Park
Have you heard of Crowders Mountain? If you have more time on your hands why not venture out a bit into nature? The weather is beautiful in Charlotte and will be for several months so Crowders Mountain is always a great idea. Not only can you get a bit of exercise but walking the paths amongst the huge trees is very calming.
Even during summer when it’s really hot, the trees do their job and keep you cooler by shading you with their long branches. Crowders is about 30 minutes south of the airport so renting a car would be your best bet, or you could hop in Uber or Lyft. It’s free to park and also free to walk the trails.
U.S. National Whitewater Center
If you want to experience multiple adventures throughout the day why not check out the U.S. National Whitewater Center? While taking a break from flying you can find a plethora of activities like rafting, zip lines and rope courses to do on the 700 acres. It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!
This is just a small sample of what’s possible in Charlotte. For more ideas check out more options here and enjoy The Queen City!
Have you had a layover in Charlotte? What did you do?