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Special tours created each year by the host city offer spouses and guests the chance to explore the city for its educational value.

7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Spouse/Guest Tour: Biltmore Estate

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Take a day trip to Asheville to visit America’s largest home. Enjoy an in-depth audio guided tour of this iconic chateau, as well as the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding it, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

The luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt is a marvel of elegance and charm, as magnificent today as it was more than a century ago. Your tour of the house will span three floors and the basement. You’ll see displays of vintage clothing, accessories, art, furniture, and more that tell stories and illustrate the lives of the Vanderbilt family, their guests, and employees.

Get a close look at original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent. Marvel at magnificent 16th century tapestries, a Library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, and a bowling alley. Almost all of the priceless objects that you see throughout the house are from George and Edith Vanderbilt’s original collection.

Stroll acres of formal and informal gardens designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. From the beauty of the Italian Garden to the breathtaking trees in America’s first managed forest, Biltmore’s lush landscape is a living tribute to Olmsted’s genius.

Hike the grounds of the estate at your own pace with an extensive network of trails. Enjoy a walk along the French Broad River, through lush green forests, or the open meadows of Deer Park. Take a stroll on the 2.5 miles of paths in the manicured gardens, and be sure to visit Antler Hill Village and the estate’s historic  winery, where you’ll receive a complimentary tasting.

Cost: $152 per person

Tour includes transportation, guide, admission and audio-guided tour, buffet lunch at Deer Park, access to historic gardens and Antler Hill Village and a wine tasting at the Winery

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Spouse/Guest Tour: A Day with the Queen Tour

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(Offered both Wednesday morning and afternoon.)

Climb aboard, sit back and enjoy your official welcome to “The Queen City.” This tour begins with a two-hour bus tour of Charlotte in the comfort of a climate-controlled luxury motor coach. Our professional tour guide will educate you about Charlotte's early history and its fascinating involvement in the birth of this nation. You will get to experience the gleaming, vibrant Center City as your guide points out fascinating works of arts, architecture, public parks, museums and entertainment venues.

You will also experience some of the most visually stunning aspects of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods, their mansions, landmarks and gardens, including the historical Duke Mansion and VanLandingham Estate. Plus, get a look at some of the area’s Treasured Trees – very old trees in the Charlotte area that are documented as the largest known of their species or the only of their kind in the state.

After the bus tour, you’ll visit the Levine Museum of the New South for a self-guided tour.  This interactive museum provides the nation with the most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War southern society featuring men, women and children, black and white, rich and poor, long-time residents and newcomers who have shaped the South since the Civil War.

Cost: $44 per person

Includes transportation, professional Charlotte tour guide, plus a self-guided tour of the Levine Museum and museum admission.

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Spouse/Guest Tour: A Quick Lap in NASCAR Valley

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(Offered both Wednesday and Thursday mornings.)

Get an insider look at the world of NASCAR racing on this two-stop tour.

Charlotte Motor Speedway - On the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Feel the Thrill” Tour you’ll experience the 24-degree banking in the turns and areas of the legendary superspeedway that are not accessible to fans on race days. You will also get to see the NASCAR garages located in the infield, travel the two infield road courses, ride down pit road and stop for a picture in Victory Lane.

Hendrick Motorsports - One of the most successful teams in NASCAR history, Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) is the home to the Sprint Cup teams of record-tying seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., NASCAR winning driver Kasey Kahne and current rookie-of-the-year Chase Elliott. Tour the museum and team store and check out the race team shops to get a good feel for the fascinating world of racing and the many drivers who came through the HMS tables.

Cost: $49 per person

Includes transportation, guide, admissions, guided tour of the speedway and time at gift shops

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Spouse/Guest Tour: Carolina Raptor Center and Latta Plantation

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This unique tour will appeal to animal lovers and history lovers alike.

The Carolina Raptor Center

The Carolina Raptor Center, which got its unlikely start in the basement of the science building at UNCC, has come a long way. Since the arrival of the first injured owl in 1979, the non-profit organization has grown to one of the largest raptor rehabilitation centers in the United States. Last year, more than 650 injured and orphaned birds of prey were brought to the center for help.

Boasting one of the country’s most extensive collections of birds of prey, get a glimpse of what’s behind the scenes at Carolina Raptor Center’s raptor hospital and education trail. At the hospital, staff admits, treats and performs surgery and physical therapy on more than 900 birds a year. The goal is to get the majestic creatures healthy and released back into the wild as quickly as possible. Depending on availability at the time of the tour, it may include a private bird presentation and flight show.

Latta Plantation

Built in 1800, Latta Place was owned by James Latta, an immigrant from Northern Ireland. A successful traveling merchant through 1820, Mr. Latta then retired and turned his property into a cotton plantation consisting of 742 acres and 34 enslaved people. Visit rare and endangered breeds of historic livestock, see the process of growing short-staple cotton firsthand, visit the honeybee exhibit, and much more! We’ll take a guided tour of the house and explore the grounds.

The Carolina Raptor Center, paired with The Latta Plantation, makes for a wonderful afternoon excursion.

Cost: $54 per person

Tour includes transportation, guide and admissions

12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Spouse/Guest Tour: A Day with the Queen Tour

Date: , Track:

(Offered both Wednesday morning and afternoon.)

Climb aboard, sit back and enjoy your official welcome to “The Queen City.” This tour begins with a two-hour bus tour of Charlotte in the comfort of a climate-controlled luxury motor coach. Our professional tour guide will educate you about Charlotte's early history and its fascinating involvement in the birth of this nation. You will get to experience the gleaming, vibrant Center City as your guide points out fascinating works of arts, architecture, public parks, museums and entertainment venues.

You will also experience some of the most visually stunning aspects of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods, their mansions, landmarks and gardens, including the historical Duke Mansion and VanLandingham Estate. Plus, get a look at some of the area’s Treasured Trees – very old trees in the Charlotte area that are documented as the largest known of their species or the only of their kind in the state.

After the bus tour, you’ll visit the Levine Museum of the New South for a self-guided tour.  This interactive museum provides the nation with the most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War southern society featuring men, women and children, black and white, rich and poor, long-time residents and newcomers who have shaped the South since the Civil War.

Cost: $44 per person

Includes transportation, professional Charlotte tour guide, plus a self-guided tour of the Levine Museum and museum admission.