Sometimes when I'm travelling, I get a little homesick, but not because I miss my bed and definitely not because I miss my job. Usually, it's on a Sunday when I'm overseas in a place where nobody cares that my Minnesota Vikings are playing football. At such times, I always wonder where I could find a good sports bar with a strong satellite system.
Here are the top 3 sports bars in Charlotte in my opinion:
1. Picasso's: This place is great if you're close to downtown. It used to be a brewery, but was converted to a sports bar in the late 90s. I go here a lot to watch football on Sundays and the crowd is usually young and friendly and the food is the best of any of the sports bars in town. I love the pizza here. Lots of beers on tap as well. Picasso's is located at 1301 East Blvd. in Dilworth (see my restaurant tips for more info).
2. Coach's: If you're in South Charlotte, head over to this place which is technically in Pineville. They have three different rooms, pool tables and the ability to beam in games via satellite from all over the world. 10403 Park Rd., Suite J. (www.coachssportsbar.com)
3. If you're on the southeast side of town, head over to Matthews and go to Kristopher's Sports Bar. Their wings (Buffalo-style chicken wings) are great and they TVs all over the joint. 250 N. Trade St. in Matthews.
Equipment: Okay, so I could have put this tip under restaurants, but you don't go to these places only for the food. You go here to watch great sporting events in an accomodating atmosphere with friendly people.
The Charlotte Checkers play at Cricket Arena (pictured here). An evening at a Checkers game is a great and affordable way to entertain a family. Most of the crowd is made up of young people all enjoying the game, hoping for a brawl on the ice and generally having a great time. Tickets are cheap and the action is fast and furious.
For the skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, North Carolina has a lot to offer. From Charlotte, you can be flying down a snow-covered mountain in around 2 1/2 hours, but if you're a serious skiier, you might want to drive about 4 hours north to the slopes of West Virginia. Here's a picture of me preparing to fall down a lot at Appalachian Ski Mountain in North Carolina.
Charlotte's AAA baseball team is called the Knights. Technically, they play just across the border in South Carolina, but Knights Castle (their ballpark) is only 20 minutes south of downtown Charlotte on I-77. The Knights provide a great family atmosphere are tickets are very reasonably priced.
The Charlotte Eagles are an A-League (like Triple A baseball) professional soccer team. I'm fortunate enough to be friends with a number of the players so you have to root for these great guys!
They play their games at various local stadiums so check their website for details. They are the farm club for the MLS's Colorado franchise and every year they play some exhibition matches against a couple MLS squads.
The Panthers have had their good and bad years, but recently it's been more good than bad, and they are a good team! So go see them!!! :-)