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A day trip from the big city might be just the ticket for some calming time spent with Mother Nature. Within a couple hours of driving time, you have a number of natural North Carolina attractions to explore. Consider these 10 ideas for day trips from Charlotte.

  1. Crowders Mountain State Park

    Crowders Mountain State Park is 30 miles to the west of town. Several trails are available for hiking with varying degrees of difficulty. There are picnic areas and campsites. It’s a popular spot for thrill-seeking rock climbers, too.

  2. Asheville

    The scenic drive from Charlotte to Asheville offers spectacular vista views as you wind up the mountain about two hours away. Asheville is a thriving city known as a foodie town with lots of breweries, but it also has hiking trails, wildlife and outdoor adventures.

  3. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

    Drive 20 miles outside of Charlotte to Belmont where visitors tour Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. The lush gardens grow on 380 acres of land with a variety of seasonal blossoms. The gardens host numerous outdoor events throughout the year.

  4. Boone

    Boone is about two hours from Charlotte. It’s loaded with outdoor recreation opportunities like zip lining, river tubing and trail hiking. If you dare, walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge.

  5. Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve

    Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve is situated in Huntersville, just north of Charlotte. It’s a family-friendly attraction with interactive exhibits and educational programs in the nature center. Hiking trails and picnic areas are scattered throughout 1,460 acres.

  6. Blue Ridge Parkway

    The Blue Ridge Parkway has magnificent views along the drive that runs from Virginia to North Carolina. Lookouts and observation decks are great photo ops where you can see for miles. Stop for a picnic, and breathe in fresh mountain air.

  7. Reed Gold Mine

    Take the family to Reed Gold Mine in Midland, which is about 40 miles from Charlotte. Guided tours, underground tunnels, panning for gold and exploring some of the over 800 acres fill an afternoon. This mine is said to be the first place gold was found in the U.S.

  8. Lake Lure

    Lake Lure is in the Hickory Nut Gorge in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The mountain views, peaceful lake water and shoreline attract visitors each year.

  9. Morrow Mountain State Park

    Morrow Mountain State Park is in Albemarle about 50 miles from Charlotte. The park has 15 miles of hiking trails and 16 miles of horseback riding trails. Canoe and boat rentals are available to explore Lake Tillery or launch your own boat. Tent, cabin and trailer camping is an option for extending your day trip overnight.

  10. Anne Springs Close Greenway

    Anne Springs Close Greenway is located to the south of Charlotte over the state line in Fort Mill, SC. Forty miles of trails wind through 2,100 acres of natural wonderland. Lake Haigler is an ideal spot to kayak or paddle board.