Image via Flickr by cassdalessandro@gmail.com

I’m in love with North Carolina, even though I’ve never been there before. Thanks to Nicolas Sparks and his heart-tugging novels, North Carolina has become a destination that I dream about visiting. After reading one of his latest novels, “Two by Two,” Charlotte joined my list of cities I want to visit by the end of the year.

Charlotte is the largest city in the North Carolina. Its Uptown is vibrant and has many art and science attractions, such as Discovery Place and the Bechtler Museum of Art. It’s also known for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Charlotte is beautiful and has some amazing natural attractions. If you’re like me and love being outdoors, you’ll be amazed at the natural beauty you can find in and around the city. Add Charlotte to your bucket list and be sure to check out these five outdoor attractions that will make you fall in love with Charlotte.

Freedom Park
Spend one of your afternoons in Charlotte exploring Freedom Park. Only about 3 miles from the heart of Charlotte, the 98-acre park is filled with beautiful flowers, trees, and wildlife. You can take a relaxing stroll by the park’s 7-acre lake, peaceful creeks, or gorgeous duck ponds. Freedom Park also has basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, as well as baseball and soccer fields. Freedom Park is the perfect destination for a picnic and fresh air.

Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve

Image via Flickr by cassdalessandro@gmail.com

If you are into hiking, you need to stop by the Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve. It protects over 900 acres of beautiful, untouched natural forest. It has 10 miles of hiking trails, which will leave you in awe as you explore the area and spot wildlife.

Romare Bearden Park
A gorgeous little spot right in the center of Charlotte, Romare Bearden Park is the perfect spot to eat and mingle with friends. It has a beautiful fountain and gives you a cool view of the heart of the city. Throughout the year, there are also many festivals and events that are held there. You must add this spot to your Charlotte itinerary.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Image via Flickr by cassdalessandro@gmail.com

Whether you are looking to relax, play, or learn, you must stop by the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Based around the Catawba River, the center provides lessons and programs that involve hiking, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and lots more. Throughout the year, the center also has nine unique festivals. Every summer, the center hosts The River Jam concert series and has bands play every Thursday and Saturday night. The U.S. National Whitewater Center is a great place to experience the beauty of Charlotte and have heaps of family-friendly fun.

McDowell Nature Center and Preserve
The McDowell Nature Center and Preserve protects about 21 species of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, and 119 species of birds. Enjoy a lovely hike in the preserve and learn more about the environment around you. Take a camping trip to the preserve and immerse yourself in Charlotte’s beauty.

These are only five out of a million reasons why I’m dreaming of Charlotte. Need a place to stay while you visit Charlotte? Don’t stress! Find the perfect place to stay with Hotel Planner. Start creating your Charlotte itinerary now!