Best Day Trips Around Charlotte

We’ll admit it—we’re a little spoiled living here in Charlotte. There’s a reason (or rather, many of them) that U.S. News and World ranked us the No. 14 best place to live in the United States! Beautiful neighborhoods, world class shopping and dining, four distinct seasons, lower cost of living than the national average … you get the idea.

Still, even in a beautiful city such as this, it’s still important to get out once in a while! Maybe you’re in a bit of a rut with your daily routine. Or maybe you’ve recently recovered from heel pain thanks to one of our specialty treatments (laser therapy, for example) and you want to celebrate by doing some exploring!

Here are a few of our favorite destinations and activities within a couple hours of home.

Asheville. There’s something for everyone in this Western NC tourist town. Live music spilling out from street corners and local restaurants. More independently-owned small breweries per capita than any other city in the United States. Tours of the beautiful Biltmore Estate, where the 1895 gilded age mansion (and largest private home in America) still stands. Stunning landscape views from the forested Great Smoky Mountains.

Salisbury. If you’re into local history, preserved buildings, and architecture, there are few better places to spend a day than this historic city just 45 miles up I-85. Salisbury has one of the densest collection of 19th and early 20th century homes and commercial buildings anywhere, with ten National Register historic districts and dozens of individually listed buildings. Not everything here is old fashioned, though—with a 10-gigabit capacity, Salisbury’s fiber broadband network is the fastest municipally-owned system on the globe.

Crowders Mountain State Park. Enjoy the outdoors and fresh mountain air, less than 30 miles from downtown Charlotte. Enjoy rustic and secluded camping sites, fishing, canoeing (rentals available), rock climbing, and hiking trails that range from newbie-friendly to enthusiast-challenging. If the day is exceptionally clear, you can even see the Charlotte skyline from the top of Crowders Mountain!

Hiking

Lake Norman. This manmade reservoir lake covers more than 50 square miles of clear, fresh water and more than 500 miles of coastline. Sandy beaches, public boating and fishing, extensive bike and hiking trails, camping, golfing, shopping, dining and more can be enjoyed in and around the lake and along the encircling parks and villages. (If you like lakes but are after something a little quieter, your best alternative is Lake Lure, about 90 miles west of the city.)

Yadkin Valley. You don’t have to go all the way to California to enjoy world class American wine—and tobacco isn’t the only thing we grow here in North Carolina! The Yadkin River Valley is home to almost 40 wineries and more than 400 acres of vineyards. Whether you like white or red, sweet or dry, a winery tour through the Blue Ridge foothills will delight even the most discriminating palate.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. If you’re in a contemplative (or, dare we say, romantic) mood, make the trek to Belmont and enjoy this 380-acre paradise. Named to HGTV’s list of the nation’s “20 Great Gardens,” the grounds include local and exotic plant life, beautiful blooming flowers, an orchid conservatory, and more. Nothing beats visiting in the summer, of course, but there’s something going on every season.

Paddle Boarding

Carowinds. Okay, okay. We admit that we’re stretching the definition of “day trip” a bit here, since half the park falls within the city limits—and what Charlottean hasn’t already been there countless times? Still, when you happen to have the greatest roller coaster in the world right in your backyard (among other things), you gotta go once in a while!

U.S. National Whitewater Center. Since we’ve already cheated and included Carrowinds, we’ll also throw in the US National Whitewater Center, located just outside the city limits to the west. Featuring the world’s largest artificial whitewater river—designed by Olympic champion Scott Shipley—it’s the place to be if you love whitewater rafting, kayaking, or paddleboarding.

The Booty Loop. One more hyper-local option. For our money, this tranquil 3-mile loop around Myers Park is one of the best urban routes here or anywhere—minimal traffic, beautiful tree-lined streets, and no left turns! The most classic iteration of this loop proceeds clockwise from Queens Rd W to Hopedale, Queens Rd, and finally Selwyn Avenue before returning to the start.

So … did we hit your favorite? What did we miss? We’d love to hear about some of your favorite day trips the next time you visit us!

Of course, if all of these trips look too challenging to contemplate due to foot pain, neuropathy, arthritis, or other limitations, well … that’s what we’re here for! Make your first “day trip” to our offices in either Myers Park or South Charlotte for an examination and effective treatment options. Let’s get you back out, about, and exploring!

  • Myers Park: (704) 334-8682
  • South Charlotte: (704) 542-8253