Best Day Trips Within One Hour of Charlotte

When you’re looking for a something new and exciting to do around Charlotte, sometimes you must venture outside the I-485 highway loop to find your next adventure. While there are many things to see and do within Charlotte’s borders, you can check out our city guide for a few ideas, the areas surrounding Charlotte are chock-full of farmland, mountains, towns and endless beauty to explore.

Here are some of our favorite day trips for Charlotteans to take within an hour of Uptown and our Cypress of Charlotte campus.  

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Adventure is right around the corner at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The vast recreation grounds are free to explore (apart from $6 parking), but thrill-seekers can purchase a ticket and enjoy one of their many attractions. A Day Pass gets you access to any of the following outdoor activities: Whitewater Rafting (with a guide), Kayaking and Paddle Boarding, Ziplining, Rock Climbing, Ropes Course and 100-Foot “Hawk” Jump.

Individuals can also purchase a Single Activity Pass if they want to try a single experience. In addition to their paid activities, visitors can take advantage of the center’s 35+ miles of hiking and biking trails. Check out the Whitewater Center’s Daily Activity Schedule for more information about activity availability during your day trip.

Are you more interested in a relaxing day trip near Charlotte? The Whitewater Center has something for the whole family, no matter their age or physical capabilities.  You can pull up a seat and watch the daring rafters descend the artificial whitewater course or join in on the center’s daily yoga practices. The grounds are also host to frequent festivals, a beer hall, restaurant and much more for your enjoyment.

Crowders Mountain State Park

Crowders Mountain State Park is located in Gaston County and hosts 5,126 acres of a beautiful terrain. Crowders mountain towers above the surrounding flat terrain with two peaks atop the mountain: The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain. Depending on your level of physical activity, try one of the state park’s relaxing 0.8-mile loops, Fern or Lake Trail, or make your way up Crowders Trail to experience the stunning overlook.

For the outdoorsy and adventure seekers, some activities include: hiking (easy, moderate and strenuous), fishing, camping, rock climbing and water sports.

Historic Latta Plantation

Step back in time as you explore the grounds of a restored 1800 cotton plantation. Located in Huntersville, NC, Historic Latta Plantation is just short drive north of Charlotte. Access to the 1,343-acre Nature Preserve at Historic Latta Plantation is free, however guided tours at the living history farm and plantation home is $9 for adults, and $8 for seniors and students.  Pack a picnic, go fishing or walk around the beautify grounds for a relaxing, nature-infused day trip with family or friends.

Visitors with young family members may enjoy the educational programs that run throughout the year. These fun activities include animals, workshops, re-enactments and more! Make sure to check their gift shop for handmade artisan goods, traditional toys and books before you leave.

Wise Acres Organic Farm

Travel southeast of Charlotte to Wise Acres, a u-pick organic farm in Indian Trail, NC. This family-run farm uses natural methods to grow their produce and offers fun activities for people of all ages. Depending on the season, you can enjoy: seasonal produce and décor, pumpkin and strawberry picking, a free corn maze, wagon rides and farm animals.

Don’t forget to stop by the Wise Acres barn store for local goodies like an apple cider slushy, organic popcorn and cotton candy, local honey and jam, and much more! Perhaps the best part of Wise Acres Organic Farm is their Wise Pie Pizza. Enjoy the farm’s delicious wood-fired pizza, boasting all-natural flavors from the farm, open Friday to Sunday during open seasons.

Kids will love climbing, swinging, riding or zip lining in the Wise Acres playground or playing in the giant corn pit.  Check Wise Acres’ frequently-updated website for open dates and more information about their seasonal activities and services available.

The Cypress of Charlotte

If you’re a resident of Charlotte, NC or are looking for a fun, new place to live during retirement, visit us at the Cypress of Charlotte! We are not a public space; however, our luxury retirement community is a spectacle that is enjoyed by all residents. Contact us or take a tour of our campus today!

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