Wednesday June 10 | “Microcations” around Charlotte

June 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 16 Comments

With the economy still sluggish and gas prices on the rise, many people are avoiding vacation plans that involve a lot of travel. That doesn’t mean they can’t go on vacation though, because Mecklenburg county experts say there is plenty to do within a very short radius of Charlotte. We’ll explore the idea of “microcations.” Local residents can go camping, see Shakespeare, visit museums, jump from airplanes or a variety of other recreational options. Our experts help us vacation in our own backyard.

Laura Hill
– Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Visit Charlotte
Darcy Grimes
AAA Carolinas
Lynn Saul
– Public Information Officer, Meck. Co. Park &Recreation
** Click “Continue Reading” below for a list of activities in Charlotte **

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This is only a partial list of the many things you can do in and around Charlotte this Summer- please add your own favorites and suggestions!

More Resources to explore

Things to See and Do in Charlotte this Summer



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  1. I would encourage your listeners in Charlotte to head 45 minutes or so south to Lancaster, SC. The Lancaster campus of USC is now home to the world’s largest collection of Catawba Indian pottery. Pieces from this collection will be on display all summer as part of an exhibit on animal effigies. And on June 20th, the campus is hosting honoring the animals day with live animals, storytelling, Catawba dancing, other activities. It will be a great event for families, and best of all its free!


    Lancaster, SC

  2. Are there any special programs/events that I can participate in for free?

    • Hi Sophia-
      The Billy Graham Library is free and open Mon-Sat, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Designed after the style of presidential libraries it houses interactive theaters, galleries, photos, artifacts, a bookstore and cafe.

  3. Take the self-guided walking tour of uptown Charlotte (through the visitors’ center). There’s also a good walking tour around uptown focused on the public art.

    Spend the day visiting all the Ben Long frescoes in the area, including up in Statesville.

    Saturday mornings visit the Cook Shack in Union Grove (an hour up I77) and listen to (or take part in) an informal jam session of authentic mountain bluegrass music.

    Ride the train or drive up to Salisbury and visit the museums, parks, and craft shops uptown. Then go out to Spencer Shops.

    Ride the train for a day trip up to Raleigh and visit our wonderful free state museums (history, natural history, old state house).

    Gold Hill features a little restored mining town and park with things to see related to gold mining.

    Take a day trip to Hiddenite and mine for gems.

  4. The Charlotte Shakespeare Festival continues with another week of Twelfth Night outdoors at the Green Uptown: tonight through Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 6:30pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy a great night of FREE theatre under the stars. More at

    (The Festival continues in August with Julius Caesar, at the McGlohon Theatre.)

  5. Local stuff I have taken visitors to see and do:

    4th Ward
    Settlers Cemetary
    Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
    Vanlandingham Glen and Greenhouse at UNCC
    Jame K. Polk Birthplace
    The Mint
    NC Zoo

  6. Kings Mountain National Military Park 4,000 acres just down I-85 (take exit 2) interprets the Revolutionary War Battle with a museum & many miles of hiking & horse trails. Next door is 6,000 acre Kings Mountain State Park (SC) with many family-friendly activities.

  7. Can you tell me where you can get a good look of the planes taking off and landing? I came in on the end of that part of the conversation.


    • Josh,

      I’m checking with the folks at Visit Charlotte to see if they have actual directions but I took my little boys there the other day and if you take Little Rock Rd. south off of I-85 you drive right by the tarmac and there are signs to get to the overlook. I’ll let you know if the Visit folks tell me more. Have fun!

      Tim Ross
      Associate Producer, Charlotte Talks

      • Laura Hill, with Visit Charlotte, sent these directions for the airport overlook park:

        Overlook Park is located off Old Dowd Road near the intersection with Besser Drive.

        I hope this helps.

  8. One of Charlotte’s best kept “secrets”: Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary, 3.5 acres in the heart of Myers Park, created by Eddie & Elizabeth Clarkson. 248 Ridgewood Avenue

  9. I really enjoyed todays show. I knew there were a lot of hiking trails around town; but you introduced me to quite a few that I didn’t know about. Of course almost all of the greenway parks have great walking trails and there is Crowder’s Mountain for a really good workout. I have cut out my gym membership as a cost saving measure and am walking the various places around town. Maybe you should have a show called “Charlotte Walks”.

    David Segrest is an International REALTOR in Charlotte, NC. His email is , His webpage is , and his international real estate blog is

  10. Don’t forget about Carolina Raptor Center. Take the family and enjoy the beautiful birds!

  11. I heard someone talking about Lake Laura or Laura Lake or something like that this morning on Charlotte Talks. It’s where Dirty Dancing was filmed. I can’t find it online – did I get the name wrong?

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