Outdoors & Adventure

How to Plan a Day on Lake Wylie

Spend the day exploring this man-made reservoir by boat and relaxing amidst some epic lake views.

Named for Dr. W. Gil Wylie in 1960, Lake Wylie is nestled between the South Point Township of North Carolina and South Carolina’s Tega Cay, Rock Hill and Fort Mill areas. Like its sister body of water to the north, Lake Norman, this man-made reservoir provides ample things to do including family activities, boat rides, laid-back bars and an array of eateries. Make your way down to Lake Wylie from Charlotte to explore the lake, discover the activities on land, grab a bite to eat or just take in the beauty of the marina.

Things to Do on Lake Wylie


Grab your friends to cruise around the lake with Lake Wylie Boat Rentals for a relaxing day out on the water. Or, explore the lake yourself by renting a paddle board or kayak through Holley Watersports, at Papa Doc's Shore Club.

Head to the Pier 88 Yacht Club where you can rent a boat, explore the gift shop or have a bite at the lakeside restaurant.

If tubing down a lazy river is more your speed, cast off at the Lake Wylie Dam and float down the Catawba River to Riverwalk Carolinas. Plan two to three hours for the trip and remember to arrange transportation to and from the launch and end points in advance.

Things to Do on Land


If you’re looking to see the beauty of Lake Wylie from land, there are several options to take in these scenic views. Ebenezer Park and Pitcairn Park offer plenty to do, including activities on the lake and serene walking trails to capture the lake’s natural essence. Plan a trip to the picturesque McDowell Nature Center and Preserve which offers over 56 reservable campgrounds and seven miles of walkable hiking trails. Get your feet wet with a plethora of things to do at Copperhead Island, a 14-acre park with direct boating access to the lake. This park features four boat ramps, fishing piers, trails, a picnic shelter, and other outdoor activities like beach volleyball and horseshoes. Just across the water is the Buster Boyd area, a bustling boat landing and waterfront. The landing features unique shops and epic land activities against the backdrop of Lake Wylie, including the eclectic Sweet Repeat Thrift Store and Lake Wylie Bowl n’ Bounce for bowling and bouncing fun that’s perfect for all ages.

Lake Wylie Restaurants


Buster Boyd Bridge provides a diverse selection of lakeside eateries. Start your day on the lake with a stop at Bagel Boat for bagels, sandwiches and specialty drinks, including some of the best coffee on the lake.

Experience bold flavors at the lauded Rey Azteca after a long day on the water. Opened in 2001 by the Garcia family, Rey Azteca is Lake Wylie’s go-to for authentic Mexican cuisine, including some of the best fajitas on the lake. Head over to Cherry Sushi Bar for flavorful sushi and fan-favorites like General Tso’s chicken and beef with broccoli.


Keep the party going with great brews and cocktails at Copper Premium Pub. For a family-friendly dining experience, head down to Sweetwater Sports Bar & Grill, featuring signature American cuisine and bingo nights. If you have a taste for seafood, look no further than Papa Doc’s Shore Club. Complete with fried fish and shrimp plates, seafood boil options and even brunch, this lakeside restaurant is truly a seafood-lover’s paradise.

If you’re feeling a little more sophisticated, head to The Shore Club at Tega Cay for delicious banquet-style dining with captivating lake views. Or, have a sit-down, waterfront dinner at Drift on Lake Wylie, a chef-driven chophouse featuring locally grown ingredients.

Article originally written by Anders J. Hare. Updates by Arielle Patterson in March 2023.