Outdoor concerts are a big part of Charlotte's entertainment scene. Acts ranging from Faith Hill to Dave Matthews to Linkin Park are scheduled to take the stage on summer nights at this North Charlotte venue. Great sightlines, a friendly staff, awesome sound, and easy access to I-485 and I-85 make Verizon Wireless Amphitheater a fantastic place to catch a concert.
Mecklenburg County made a decision years ago to unite the city via a web of parks and green spaces. They've poured lots of money into the project, and the result is something that can be enjoyed by all. Over 30 miles of greenways have been developed, and almost 150 miles are still being planned. In fact, the greenway system is quickly becoming one of the country's finest, and the eight existing parcels, like McMullen & Lower McAlpine Creek, are definitely worth checking out.
If sand, boats, and water are your way to relax, then head a little north of Charlotte. Jetton Park is a 105-acre waterfront park on Lake Norman that gives you opportunities to sit on the beach, watch boats go by, walk on the trails, or take your own vessel on the water and listen while you coast over the waves.
Some say it's the attractive backsides of the runners/walkers who cruise this 3-mile route that inspired its "cheeky" nickname. Others insist the term pays homage to the old Southern money firmly ensconced in the beautiful Myers Park neighborhood. Either way, this circuit is the place to be seen taking a jog in Charlotte. In July, the course is used for the popular Lance Armstrong Foundation event, 24 Hours of Booty (a cycling fundraiser for cancer charities).
Cruise Lake Norman north past Midtown Sundries, and steer to the right. You can't miss the rockin' party that comes together every Saturday with sometimes 100+ boats floating in the area. In attendance are DJs, heavy sound systems, beautiful people, skimpy swimsuits, and even food-carrying water taxis to take care of hot dog and ice cream cravings. Entirely too much fun to be had on the water!
Located between the posh Myers Park and Dilworth areas of town, this park has it all. Its basketball and volleyball courts are some of the most popular in town, and you can always find a pick-up game. If you're more in the mood for relaxation, take a walk by Sugar Creek and down to the enormous duck pond while enjoying some of your favorite tunes. If you're lucky, you might even happen upon an event at the amphitheater in the back of the park.
The Whitewater Center delivers high-octane outdoor adventures like rafting, kayaking, and paddling. Other – and dryer! – activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, and taking on ropes courses. The River's Edge Bar & Grill offers healthy American cuisine and is a great place to quiet your heart after a long day on the rapids. An annual festival in September offers races, music, and fun for the kids.
Lake Norman's 520 miles of shoreline create an oasis for fun in the sun, just north of Charlotte off I-77. The lake is where Charlotte's "beautiful people" – and those who imagine themselves to be – come to spend summer weekends. Boats are often tied together to create makeshift parties on the lake, and "float up" restaurants like The Rusty Rudder are worth checking out if you're cruising about. Contact the Visit Lake Norman Visitor Center for info about activities on the lake.
If rock climbing is your thing, then Crowders Mountain is your place. Folks scale the rock faces at their own risk when they tackle the challenging terrain – but most climbers are quick to tell you that views of the countryside surrounding the cliffs are amazing. Other exciting outdoor activities are also available, including canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. After a long day of fun, take a break at one of the park's many picnic areas.