Outdoors & Adventure

Outdoor Dates in Charlotte for Every Couple

Take time to soak up some sunshine with your sweetheart.

Per a COVID-19-related Mecklenburg County health directive issued Jan. 12, 2021, please note that some businesses may have modified their hours of operation and changed procedures in order to comply with CDC and Mecklenburg County Health Department guidelines. Please wear a mask, limit any non-essential activities and refrain from gathering with anyone outside of your household.

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For the Explorers

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Neighborhood: West Charlotte

If you both share an adventurer’s spirit, then get ready to take a 100-foot leap of love off Hawk Jump — or zipline through a canopy of trees exploring a whole new outdoor world together. Spend the day getting to know each other while enjoying standup paddleboarding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, ropes courses and more at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Note: Some activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center are seasonal. Check the website for hours and a list of what activities are currently open.

Crowders Mountain State Park

Area: Kings Mountain, NC

This nearby state park offers a romantic escape into nature but with a shorter drive time than other North Carolina mountains. Crowders Mountain features more than 20 miles of scenic hikes ranging from leisurely to strenuous, and three of them lead up to gorgeous companion peaks that offer amazing views. The park also offers camping grounds, if you’re looking to pair up and pitch a tent for a weekend getaway. Pack a picnic to eat at the top and bring your couple selfie A-game for lots of Insta-worthy moments from the peak.

Latta Nature Preserve

Area: Huntersville, NC

Latta Nature Preserve is 1,460 acres with features like 16 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails along the banks of Mountain Island Lake, as well as options to tour the Historic Latta Plantation, a restored 19th century federal-style home and living history farm. If you’re animal lovers, the property is also home to the Latta Nature Center and the Carolina Raptor Center, both of which will be moving to a new facility on the property called QUEST. QUEST features an expansive space for exhibits on water, woods and wildlife as well as classrooms, a community room, a 200-seat amphitheater, a bird care building with observation windows and a new paved raptor trail.

Anne Springs Close Greenway

Area: Fort Mill, SC

Explore the wonders of Fort Mill’s 2,100-acre natural treasure (twice the size of Central Park) with your special someone. Spend the day at Anne Springs Close Greenway surrounded by beautiful lakes and hardwood forests while discovering hidden waterfalls and photo-worthy backdrops. Explore the greenway on foot, from the seat of a mountain bike or in a tandem kayak.

For the Thrill-Seekers

Photo courtesy of Frankie's Fun Park

Frankie's

Area: Huntersville, NC

For an adrenaline rush, Frankie's 20-acre fun park is the perfect place to get hearts racing. Get into some heated competition when you challenge your special someone to a game of mini golf at any of the three 18-hole miniature golf courses. Or take it to the next level with some high-octane fun at the outdoor go-kart track where you and your date can put the pedal to the metal and race to the finish line.

The Speedpark at Concord Mills

Area: Concord, NC

The Speedpark at Concord Mills offers the chance for the more competitive couples to best each other again and again. Race around four unique tracks on single or two-seater go-karts, or enjoy the modern and challenging 18-hole miniature golf course. Take a leap of love with their bungee jump or impress your date by climbing up the eight-story spider web. Keep the good times rolling at Dave & Buster’s or SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium in Concord Mills mall next to The Speedpark.

For the Water Lovers

Dave's Paddle Boats at The Shoppes at University Place - Photography by Cody Hughes

Dave's Paddle Boats

Neighborhood: University City

Slowly make your way around the pond in one of Dave's Paddle Boats at The Shoppes at University Place while enjoying an ice cream cone or milkshake from local favorite Ninety’s Ice Cream & Sandwiches. It’s the perfect way to take in the scenery and enjoy the water and the weather.

Rockin' River Adventures

Area: Rock Hill, SC

Take the weekend to paddle down the Catawba River in kayaks, or let your worries float away while you drift in a tube. Make plans to let the easy current and natural beauty of the river make a romantic backdrop to any date with Rockin' River Adventures.

Note: Rockin' River Adventures plans to reopen Memorial Day weekend in 2021.

For the Day Drinkers

Charlotte Rooftop Lounges

Neighborhood: Uptown, South End and Plaza Midwood

Take in the skyline and watch the clouds drift by while sipping on a drink. At The Waterman Fish Bar you can enjoy fresh seafood with your view — or grab their signature Fish House Punch or Nautical Mule cocktails to-go and enjoy with your sweetie at home. For an unforgettable view of the Queen City, make a reservation for Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo’s patio seating, complete with outdoor heaters and firepits. The view from Fahrenheit is stunning whether you’re visiting for brunch or post-dinner cocktails, while Cloud Bar by David Burke boasts a 360-degree view of the city.

Merchant & Trade is perched on the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, offering couples a curated cocktail menu plus elevated bar bites. For a more casual vibe, head to Whiskey Warehouse and savor good company and a plate of Whiskey Poppers (fried pimento cheese poppers) or The Unknown Brewing Co. to grab a drink and find a seat on the high tops adorning the rooftop patio.

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery - Photography by Kate Magee

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Neighborhood: South Charlotte

Charlotte’s original craft brewery, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery boasts the largest biergarten in the southeast. Set on 8 acres and modeled after the world-famous biergartens of Munich, this natural, tree-shaded oasis is the perfect place to enjoy a cold brew and sample some of the traditional German food offered on the menu.

VBGB Beer Hall & Garden

Neighborhood: Uptown

Take advantage of one of the largest outdoor patios in the city at VBGB and choose from over 30 local and regional brews on tap, as well as a full bar of wine and liquor. Make plans to play a game of volleyball on one of the sand courts out front.

Note: VBGB is temporarily closed but plans to reopen on March 2, 2021.

Dilworth Tasting Room - Kate Magee

Dilworth Tasting Room

Neighborhood: Dilworth and SouthPark

The indoor seating area is impressive on its own, but it’s when you step outside to Dilworth Tasting Room's open-air private courtyard/patio space complete with koi pond and string lights that you really start to feel the magic. Their patio was even named Charlotte magazine’s 2019 Best of the Best Awards Editor’s Pick for best Secret Garden Patio. Their menu also features rotating to-go cocktail kits for two with weekly specials such as Oh, Honey Beehave and Cucumber Fresco. Dilworth Tasting Room also has a second location in SouthPark.


Article originally written by Emily Nobles. Updates by Kristen Moore.