7 of the best places for water-based activities in and around Charlotte

Deep water solo climb at USNWC. Photo courtesy of U.S. National Whitewater Center

In 2015’s “The Comeback Kid,” comedian John Mulaney quoted a former boss as saying, “One feels like a duck splashing around in all this wet, and when one feels like a duck, one is happy!”

And you know what? He was right. Check out this list of water-based activities close to Charlotte to start feeling like a duck this summer.

Craft City Social Club

555 S. McDowell St.

Miles from Charlotte: Right here in uptown’s Second Ward

Activities include: Craft City describes itself as “bridging the gap between outdoor poolscape and indoor adult playground.” Private cabana rentals are available at the pool, as well as billiards, darts, foosball, life-size Jenga and shuffleboard.

Prices: $175-$250 for cabanas, $5 for parking, $7-$14 for food, and $10-70 for the bar

Hours: Monday-Sunday: 4:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

Riverside Paddle and Row

1500 River Drive, Belmont

Miles from Uptown Charlotte: About 14

Activities include: Paddle board and kayak rentals, and paddle boarding lessons

Prices: Varies depending on what equipment is rented and how long it is kept out.

Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy

Miles from Uptown Charlotte: About 14

Activities include: The main attraction of the Whitewater Center is, of course, the whitewater rapids, where rafting and kayaking are offered. There is also deepwater solo climbing, and flatwater kayaking and paddle boarding are also available on the Catawba River. On land the Whitewater Center offers climbing walls, jumps, ropes courses, ziplines, hiking and mountain biking.

Prices: Day passes are $59 for adults and $49 for children (9 and under), while passes for single activities are $25. Parking is $6 per day or $50 for an annual pass.

Hours: Timing and availability of activities change day-to-day and can be found on the website.

Charlotte Cycleboats

17505 W. Catawba Ave. Waterfront, Cornelius

Miles from Uptown Charlotte: About 20

Activities include: Help power these eco-friendly pedal boats around Lake Norman. Resistance can be changed depending on the group’s wishes. Currently, only the Pedal Party Cruise is available, but history cruises, dinner cruises, wine tasting cruises and spin group sessions are in the works.

Prices: Individual tickets: $37; Whole boat reservation: $525

Hours: Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Friday: 3-8:30 p.m; Saturday: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m; Sunday 3-8:30 p.m.

Carrigan Farms

1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville

Miles from Uptown Charlotte: About 33

Activities: Swim at the granite quarry during open swim or a private swim party, then stop at the farm to pick produce or take a hayride.

Price: $15

Hours: Check the website for daily swim times.

Cannon Water Adventures

7515 Stonewall St., Sherrills Ford

Miles from Uptown Charlotte: About 33

Activities include: Water sports rentals including paddle boards, kayaks and boat tubes, as well as paddle boarding and kayaking lessons

Prices: Rentals start at $18 per hour, but that rate decreases depending how long you keep the equipment out

Hours: Monday-Sunday: 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

Lake Norman State Park

759 State Park Road, Troutman

Miles from Uptown Charlotte: About 39

Activities include: Pedal boats, kayaks, paddle boards and canoes are available for rent. Guests can also swim on a 125-yard sand beach or fish. After you’re done in the water, the park has 30.5 miles of trails for hiking or biking, as well as 7.5 miles of hiking-only trails.

Prices: Swimming (only when a lifeguard is on duty): $5 per day for adults (age 13+) and $4 per day for children (ages 3-12); Rentals: $5 per hour

Hours: Varies depending on month, check website for times.

Featured photo: courtesy of U.S. National Whitewater Center


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