19900 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 102
Cornelius, NC 28031
Created in 1963 by Duke Energy, Lake Norman provides a variety of activities for couples or families. This 34-mile lake has 520 miles of shoreline nestled between Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius. You can rent a boat or a jet ski, drive your own boat if you have one or relax with a fishing pole. Take a cruise down the lake and search for the fabled monster “Normie.” You can even go kayaking or sailing on the beautiful waters. This lake, nicknamed “Inland Sea,” is a beautiful haven to spend an afternoon.
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28214
The Whitewater Center is only 15 minutes away from Charlotte proper and is a wonderful and active way to spend a day. It is home to the “world’s largest man-made whitewater river” with a variety of rapids to raft. There are both family rafting and adventure rafting opportunities with Class I-IV rapids. If you are feeling even more adventurous, there is also Rodeo Rafting, which tackles the most aggressive lines the river has to offer. For a more leisurely activity, the center also offers its Microbrews Cruise, with a “sunset paddle along the Catawba River, followed by a fireside dinner and craft beer tastings.” Each trip offers a different brewery beer tasting and runs from May through the end of June.
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5225 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC 28078
Looking for a more historic trip? Visit the Latta Plantation, a circa 1800 cotton plantation and living history farm. The plantation, located in the Latta Plantation Nature Reserve, offers guided tours through the sprawling home and self-guided tours around the grounds. Live demonstrations give children and adults alike a picture of how life was over 200 years ago. The location is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Yadkin Valley Wine Tours
157 Yadkin Valley Road
Advance, NC 27006
Finally, here’s the good stuff. Charlotte Wine Tours offers day trips around Yadkin Valley. Travel around several local wineries and enjoy some tastings of all Yadkin Valley has to offer. The tours depart from the Hampton Inn Bermuda Run in Advance, NC. Wineries include Hanover Park, RayLen Vineyards, Flint Hill Vineyards and many more. The price of each trip includes transportation, lunch, all tasting fees and a tour guide. It’s a little more pricey, but since it’s all-inclusive, it just might be worth it.
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC 29726
For another taste of history, visit Historic Brattonsville. This 775-acre plantation turned museum explores history as well as African American issues. Healing in 19th Century York County is a permanent exhibit located in the Homestead House wing of the estate. The exhibit gives “an introduction to medical practice in the area and gives an introduction to a series of prominent practitioners, including members of the Bratton family.” The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
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Gerianne Bartlett is a high school teacher who graduated from Wake Forest University with degrees in English and Music. She is knowledgeable on all things Charlotte. You can find her work on Examiner.com, where she writes on cooking, books, and movies. Check out her work here.