The beginning of a new year can feel like a fresh start. In 2021, many of us are especially eager for one. But the colder weather and having to continue to social distance can leave us feeling stuck. You can still go out and explore. Here are eight fun things to do outdoors in Charlotte this winter.
No, we’re not telling you to get lost. Just encouraging you to explore the city’s many beautiful parks with hiking trails or paved paths along the Greenway. If you haven’t already been to these city favorites, check out:
Lower McAlpine Creek, McMullen Creek, and Four Mile Creek Greenways combine for 5.8 miles in south Charlotte
Plus, Charlotte is not far from Crowder’s Mountain State Park, which offers more challenging hikes and 25-mile views. To the east, you can also get to the Uwharrie National Forest and its many trails in under 90 minutes.
No, this isn’t in Charlotte itself. It’s a day trip back and forth to Asheboro. But, once there, you can get in a good walk and see a wide range of animals. The North Carolina Zoo is the world’s largest natural habitat zoo and features 500 developed acres to explore.
Closer to home, you might visit the Lazy 5 Ranch where you can see antelope, deer, elk, giraffes, sheep and goats, and more, and take a wagon ride with an animal feed bucket in hand.
Tired of walking that same route over and over with your dogs? Try a dog park to let the canines cavort with company. The city’s largest dog park is at William R. Davie Park. The dogs get five fenced-in acres to play.
Or visit one of the city’s dog-friendly bars to enjoy a socially distant drink while the dogs get to run and wrestle. You might try:
There are many public and private golf courses around Charlotte for you to explore. TopGolf is another option, too. But if you’ve never swung a club it can be daunting to start now. Trying your hand at Disc Golf may be easier. Find yourself a Frisbee and head out to one of the several city parks with a course to play. These include:
Learn more about this game in Charlotte with the Charlotte Disc Golf Club.
Charlotte has always had its fair share of public art, but there has been an explosion of murals recently. You can plan your own fun exploration drawing on this map of the city’s 70+ painted exteriors. Or take a guided tour on your own time:
Community historian Tom Hanchett shares several neighborhood walking tours at his History South site. The previous Staff Historian at the Levine Museum, Hanchett shares self-guided tours for Plaza Midwood, NoDa, Dilworth, West End, Central Avenue and the Elizabeth Neighborhood.
Pineville Icehouse is an NHL-size rink where you can skate throughout the year indoors. But for now, you could lace up some skates at:
Enjoy some natural beauty coordinated by people who know what they’re doing while waiting for Spring to give your garden the help it needs:
As of this writing, some other favorites are closed for COVID-19. However, you’ll want to keep in mind Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, The Carolina Raptor Center, and the Historic Latta Plantation when the restrictions let up more.