It seems that we’re all rediscovering some low-key activities these days, and a visit to the CLT Airport Overlook fits right into that plan.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the few airports in the United State that maintains a public viewing area.
The CLT Airport Overlook is at 7300 Airport Overlook Drive, right off of Old Dowd Road. It offers a close-up, unobstructed look at planes as they take off, with the Charlotte skyline in the background.
Food trucks and carts will be at the Overlook on the weekends, weather permitting. Here’s the current schedule (subject to change) for October, 2021.
- October 10: Mustache Mike’s (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Phresh Italian Ice (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- October 15,: Jus Taste (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Mabry’s Que House (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- October 16: 716ers Food (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Phresh Italian Ice (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- October 17: Phress Italian Ice (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.)
- October 22: Riley’s Red Hot (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), 22 Street Kitchen (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- October 23: Phresh Italian Ice (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.)
- October 24: Phresh Italian Ice (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Mabry’s Que House (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
- October 29: Jus Taste (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Made From Scratch (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
Unfortunately, there’s an end in sight for this laidback, idyllic spot for Charlotteans. The airport is going to start construction on a fourth runway in 2024, and we will lose the CLT Airport Overlook at that time. Promises have been made for a new overlook. We hope so.
It’s free to visit, and it’s open every day from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. It was closed for a while this spring, but it is open again.
There are no restroom facilities.
There’s plenty of parking, and if you have a vehicle with a hatchback, or if you have a pick-up truck, you can back into the front row of parking spots and watch from the back of your car or truck.
Otherwise, you can bring your own chairs, or sit on one of the benches. You can also bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic. The grassy area is fairly narrow, but it’s long enough that you can keep a safe distance from others.
There are also a couple of picnic tables.
This is an ideal place for aspiring artists or photographers to practice their craft. Of course, kids love it. And aviation enthusiasts can spend an afternoon identifying the different planes that take off or land.