Daycation Destinations

Smack dab in the middle of two of the largest metropolitan areas in the Carolinas, Cleveland County is a daytripper’s paradise. Fast-paced cities, world-class theater, mountains, beaches and hiking trails—all of these and more are either in Cleveland County, or just a stone’s throw away. Outdoor adventurers will enjoy trips to three breathtaking state parks, while culture coinsures, shopping enthusiasts and foodies will revel in Charlotte’s museums and boutiques, and Asheville’s vibrant arts and beer scene—all in less than an hour’s travel by car from Cleveland County. Here are just some of the many ways we daycation in Cleveland County.

Thrills for the Whole Family
  • Horse Country and Antiquing Adventure | 35 minutes – Spend a day at the world’s premier Equestrian Lifestyle Destination, Tryon Resort and International Equestrian Center, to watch riders and horses from all over the U.S. compete while you dine and shop at the 1,400-acre resort, soon to be home to the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018. While you’re in Tryon, check out other local spots for horse-lovers, including the Farm House Tack House and the Block House Steeple Chase — then head to Saluda, NC and Landrum, SC for food, small-town charm and some of the best antique stores around.
  • Amusement Park Fun in Charlotte and Concord | 45 minutes – Visit the Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte, complete with a waterpark and 34,000-square-foot wave pool, rollercoasters, tube slides and more. Just up the road in Concord is the Great Wolf Lodge Resort, another great option for family fun in a waterpark setting.
  • U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte | 45 minutes – Experience whitewater rafting in Class II, III and IV rapids, or try mountain biking, zip lining or climbing on the 1,100-acre outdoor playground.
  • Educational Family Fun in Charlotte | 45 minutes – Start with Discovery Place, an interactive science museum complete with an IMAX Dome Theatre, and then head to ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, a theater, library and educational center ranked by as the #1 children’s library in the U.S.
  • Charlotte Sports Bonanza | 45 minutes – Check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Motor Speedway or take the kids to see the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets or the International League’s Charlotte Knights.
  • Explore the Animal Kingdom in Charlotte and Mooresville | 45 minutes – See majestic birds of prey at the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, then head north to Mooresville to the Lazy 5 Ranch to take a horse-drawn wagon tour of the exotic animal zoo, home to giraffes, zebras, emus and all sorts of other creatures.
  • Whitewater Rafting and Ziplining in Saluda, NC | 50 minutes – Less than an hour west of Shelby you’ll find Green River Adventures, which offers whitewater rafting, waterfall rappelling and other thrilling activities, plus The Gorge Zipline, America’s steepest and fastest zipline canopy tour. Once you’ve had your fill of adrenaline, head to the Purple Onion for food, drinks and live music, or the Orchard Inn for farm-to-table dining and quaint lodging, if you decide to stay the night.
  • Apple Picking and Entertainment in Hendersonville and Flat Rock | 1 hour – Visit North Carolina’s #1 apple producer in Hendersonville, NC. The North Carolina Apple Festival is held every Labor Day weekend in Hendersonville and features freshly picked apples, arts and crafts, festival food and free entertainment. When you’ve had your fill of apples, explore the downtown shops and restaurants or head to Flat Rock for shopping and entertainment at the Flat Rock Playhouse.
  • Zipline Tour of Asheville | 1 hour 20 minutes – Soar hundreds of feet above the ground to experience Asheville’s beauty from a whole new angle.
  • Asheville Shopping Spree | 1 hour 20 minutes – Peruse unique boutiques, open-air markets and craft galleries; Asheville’s diverse retail scene has something for everyone. The Historic Biltmore Village, created as a modern shopping-focused counterpart to the Biltmore Estate, is a must-see for shopping lovers, history buffs and architecture aficionados, while the Asheville Outlets are a staple for shoppers throughout North Carolina.
Brews and Views
  • Winery Tour in Polk County, NC | 40 minutes – Take a tour of Polk County’s wineries, including Overmountain Vineyards in Tryon, Green Creek Winery in Columbus and Parker-Binns Vineyard in Mill Spring.
  • Charlotte Beercation | 45 minutes – Sample local craft beer while exploring Charlotte’s NoDa arts district and historic South End.
  • Charlotte Distillery Tour | 45 minutes – Visit Doc Porter’s, known for its vodka made with grains from nearby Marshville, North Carolina, followed by a trip to the Great Wagon Road Distilling Company, an Irish distillery known for its moonshine.
  • Asheville Craft Brew Tour | 1 hour 20 minutes – Visit the city voted “Beer City USA” for four consecutive years, home to more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. Sierra Nevada and New Belgium both recently opened new breweries in Asheville that are attracting visitors from miles around.
  • Picnic with 360-Degree Views in Asheville | 1 hour 20 minutes – Experience breathtaking views while you enjoy an al fresco meal with your sweetheart at one of these eight Asheville destinations.
  • Scenic Drive Along the Blue Ridge Parkway | 1 hour 20 minutes – Explore this 469-mile gateway to America’s cultural heritage and the second most-visited attraction in the National Park Service.
  • Tour America’s Largest Home | 1 hour 20 minutes – Take in the beauty of the historic Biltmore Estate, an 8,000-acre estate, home to America’s largest home, built by George Vanderbilt in the late nineteenth century, and majestic gardens, vineyards and pastures framed by the surrounding mountains.
  • A Taste of Asheville’s Foodtopia | 1 hour 20 minutes – Asheville’s famous restaurant scene, known as Foodtopia, is home to unique venues for life-changing culinary experiences, like Smokey Park Supper Club, a restaurant built inside a shipping container, The Admiral, an eclectic new American spot that has diners raving, and Pack’s Tavern, a fresh take on pub fare housed in an historic building in Pack Square with more than 35 rotating craft beers on tap.
  • Have the Time of Your Life at Lake Lure and Chimney Rock | 1 hour – Known for its role in the hit film Dirty Dancing, Lake Lure is the perfect place to relax with your loved one. Take a boat tour, play on the beach, swim, hike, mountain bike or attend the annual Dirty Dancing Festival. Stay or dine at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant, or find other fun things to do in these charming communities.
Unleash Your Creative Side
  • Charlotte Arts and Culture Tour | 45 minutes – Explore Charlotte’s arts and culture offerings, including its world-class museums and galleries, and breathtaking dance and theater performances.
  • Asheville’s Art Scene 101 | 1 hour 20 minutes – Explore Asheville’s famous arts scene, featuring hundreds of fine artists, performing arts venues, art galleries and hip arts neighborhoods, like the River Arts District, a vast array of working studios in more than 20 former industrial and historical buildings.
  • Music Lover’s Guide to Asheville | 1 hour 20 minutes – Experience Asheville’s eclectic music scene, coupled with its historic downtown, craft beer and great food. Catch a show at The Orange Peel, one of the Southeast’s preeminent concert venues, or visit the Blue Ridge Tap Room during a live music event.
Get Outside
  • Golfing in Shelby – Spend the day at one of three golf courses located in Shelby, North Carolina: Cleveland Country Club, a 72-par, 18-hole course with a slope rating of 126, River Bend Golf Course, an 18-hole gem featuring well-conditioned MiniVerde greens and Bermuda fairways, and Deer Brook Golf Club, a charming 72-par course measuring 6,950 yards from the longest tees.
  • Hiking in Crowders Mountain State Park| 30 minutes – Hike, rock climb and boulder while experiencing Crowders Mountain’s rugged terrain and towering cliffs, with 25-mile views of the surrounding piedmont.
  • Hiking, Fishing and Historical Sites at Kings Mountain State Park | 30 minutes – Hike miles of forested trails, fish at one of two lakes, or visit Kings Mountain’s national park Revolutionary War site
  • Hiking, Riding and Mountain Biking in South Mountains State Park | 45 minutes – Experience an 80-foot waterfall, picturesque mountain streams and more than 40 miles of trails for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers.
  • Swimming, Camping and Mountain Biking in Lake James State Park | 1 hour – Lake James State Park, located an hour north of Shelby in Burke and McDowell Counties, North Carolina, offers a 6,812-acre lake and 25 miles of trails, 15 of which are open to mountain biking.
  • Hiking, Biking, Riding and Fishing at Croft State Park | 1 hour – Located an hour south of Shelby, just a few miles from downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, Croft State Park covers more than 7,000 acres terrain, including 20 miles of equestrian trails, 12 miles of biking and hiking trails and two lakes, one of which is suited for fishing and boating.
  • Waterfall Tour Along the Blue Ride Parkway | 1 hour 30 minutes – Explore the top 12 waterfalls near the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina near Asheville, all within a 10-mile detour of the Parkway.
  • Visit the Grand Canyon of the Eastern USA | 1 hour 45 minutes – Known as the “Grand Canyon of Eastern USA,” Linville Gorge is one of Eastern America’s most scenic and rugged gorges, created by the scouring action of the Linville River. Up the road, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, are Linville Falls; 90-foot waterfalls with campgrounds and a lodge and cozy cottages nearby.
  • Ski Resort Adventures | 2 hours – Spend the day, or the whole weekend, at one of several world-class ski resorts located within two hours of Shelby. Local favorites include Beech Mountain Resort, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, Appalachian Ski Resort and Hawk’s Nest Ski Resort, also home to the largest tubing park on the East Coast.

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