Warm weather means more days spent chasing the kids outside, picnics with friends or family, and relaxing in the sun with a good book. In a bustling city like Charlotte, you might think it would be challenging to find a nice outdoor space, but thankfully we are here to help. No need to try to track down the best outdoor places to visit this spring because we have already done all the work for you.
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Just 30 minutes south of Charlotte is Anne Springs Close Greenway where any type of outdoor adventure can be had. If you want to hang by the water, fish for bass and catfish, or rent a kayak or canoe for the day. Land lovers can try horseback riding, hiking, or mountain biking. Make sure to pack a picnic to enjoy at any of the picnic locations. This 2,100-acre nature preserve offers tons of family friendly activities located in Fort Mill, SC.
Lake Norman State Park
Lake Norman is North Carolina’s largest man-made lake with beach access, hiking and biking trails, and camping. Pack your bathing suit and some sunscreen for any of the swimming areas with restrooms, changing stalls, and lockers. Beach access to Lake Norman is available from April – October. Lake Norman has three separate picnic areas for you all with tables, restrooms, and grills.
You already knew Freedom Park was going to make it on this list. This popular Charlotte park is beloved because of its 98 acres of park space. Freedom Park is perfect for any sports lover with its four baseball fields, 12 tennis courts, two volleyball courts, and a full basketball court. For a nice picnic, set up by the 7-acre lake and feed the ducks. Another option is any of the five outdoor shelters that are all equipped with grills.
McDowell Nature Center and Preserve
This spot is chock full of outdoor activities located along Lake Wylie. The McDowell Preserve is the oldest in Mecklenburg County and provides outdoor activities and educational programs for all ages. The Nature Center includes, a discovery hall, native animals, and a gift shop. Take a paddling tour of Lake Wylie or have the kids take a course in environmental education. Bring your fishing pole and fish in Lake Wylie and check out the 7-miles of hiking trails. Copperhead Island is another place in the preserve to have a picnic, fish, hike, or camp at any of the six camping sites.
Reedy Creek Park
With three ponds, fishing pier, dog park, and tons of recreational areas Reedy Creek Park is perfect for a day spent outdoors. Have your picnic at any of the ponds or along the boardwalk. After lunch take a stroll on any of the three walking trails encompassing 10 miles. There is even an indoor shelter with restrooms and grills if you need to escape the heat. Bring your furry friends along with the family to Reedy Creek Park for an unforgettable day spent outdoors.
McGill Rose Garden
A Charlotte gem for anything from picnics to weddings is McGill Rose Garden. Located near Center City Charlotte in NoDa this garden is a breathtaking and comforting place to have a picnic basket lunch. McGill Rose Garden has 1,000 roses, and over 230 other flower varieties in the quaint 1 1/3-acre space. The garden is open to the public with seasonal hours.
First Ward Park
Stay in Uptown for your picnic at First Ward Park where you can get a spectacular view of the city. This park is located off 7th street with easy parking. Make sure you visit on a Friday evening because First Ward Fridays are the new must-attend weekly events. Starting at 6 pm, enjoy games, music, food, and beer. This is a fun kid-friendly event with giant chess, connect four, corn hole, ping pong, foosball, pop a shot, jenga, and spike ball.