Summer is slipping away and, although the cooler weather, warm apple cider, and changing Fall colors definitely give us things to look forward to, as the temps drop, our outdoor options and free time decrease with them. To help you prioritize these last 5 weeks, we’ve gathered some of our favorite Summer activities into a handy Charlotte Summer 2018 Bucket List. We do these lists every year (here’s our 2017 Summer bucket list if you want more inspo) and there’s a lot of new and fun things to get done by September 3rd.
The good news is, whatever you don’t get to this Summer can be revisited in 2019 – HOW is it already almost August… at this pace the warm weather in 2019 will be here before we know it! Make the most of our dear friend Summertime before she packs her bags with Scoop’s picks for the best warm weather activities below.
Get Festive at Wilmington Riverfest
Party like a local on Downtown Wilmington’s historic riverfront and cross your fingers for an extended summer at Riverfest this October 5th-7th.
Ride a Scooter
Admittedly a skeptic at first, these things are seriously fun to zip around on. I wouldn’t have tried it if a good friend’s sole birthday wish wasn’t to “scoot” to a brewery, but I’m really glad I did. Not only are they fun, but also super useful too- working in Uptown and trying to get from one side to the other during the lunch rush is made less tricky (and painful in high heels) with a quick scooter ride. Just remember to be cautious and courteous of those around you!
Ride a Bikeshare Bike
Get to know Charlotte’s O.G. bikeshare, B-Cycle, or try out one of the new dockless bike options like Lime or Spin. They’re perfect for brewery hopping, exploring the Rail Trail, or getting from one side of the Freedom Park pond to the other quickly.
Try Stand Up PaddleBoarding
With plenty of options on The Catawba, Lake Norman, or Lake Wylie, your standup paddle board (or SUP, like the kids are saying) dreams are within reach just a short drive from Charlotte.
Go Ice Skating
Although ice skating is technically a year-round activity, imagine the relief from our humid summer weather that could be yours by escaping to Pineville’s Ice House mid-heatwave. They offer skate and (optional) helmet rentals during their public skating times.
Swim at The Quarry
Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming open swim dates before packing your towels, sunscreen, and cooler. Can’t make any of the remaining dates? Not to worry- pumpkin patch season is up next and Carrigan is one of the area’s best places for this quintessential Fall festivity.
See the Fireworks Friday at the Knights Game
Win or lose, our Knights put on a show brighter than shining armor every Friday night from their Uptown stadium.
Take a Hike
Get outside while the Vitamin D is still yours for the taking with Scoop’s picks for the best nearby hikes here.
Grab your most fashionable watershoes… just kidding, those don’t exist… and hit the river with your pals. Scoop has you covered with ideas for how to go it alone or use a tubing tour company here.
Chase a Waterfall
We did the hard work of looking at countless beautiful waterfalls across the NC mountains for you here.
Hit a Food Truck Friday
When our beloved Food Truck Friday lot (formerly at the corner of Camden and W Park in Southend) was sold, loyalists were relieved to find the event would be relocated to Sycamore Brewing’s ample back parking lot. Get your Papi Queso grilled cheese and one of Sycamore’s craft beer options and watch the Lime Bikes wiz by on the Rail Trail for a perfect Friday night.
Work Out Outside
With options like Yoga in McGill Rose Garden in NoDa (Tuesdays) and on the Mint Museum’s Randolph location’s front lawn (Wednesdays), there’s little reason not to stretch and pose in the great outdoors. Checkout options for yoga at the USNWC, BLoC’s x Orange Theory’s Friday bootcamp in Southend, and FIA too!
Go to the BIG Farmers Market
The Charlotte Regional Farmers Market is open year-round offering seasonal delights to Charlotteans from local farmers. From grass-fed beef to local peaches and fresh-cut flowers to tasty baked goods, you could spend a LOT of time here, collect a huge haul, and still walk away having done less damage on your wallet than if you had bought the same loot from your local grocer. My personal favorite booth is Dunx Coffee (you can also catch them tucked away behind the greeting cards section in Blackhawk Hardware).
Brave the Waterpark at Carowinds
Win mom, aunt, or nanny of the year by taking the kiddos to Carowinds for a couple hours of splashing around their various attractions. Reward yourself with a funnel cake on the way out of the park.
Eat All the Ice Creams
With the recent arrival of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in South End’s The Design Center, Charlotte is covered with excellent ice cream options ~ here’s our 2018 round up of the best from North to South and everywhere in between. Some of my personal favorites are Golden Cow (South End and South Park), Two Scoops Creamery (Plaza Midwood and South End), and Va De Vie Gelato (Park Road Shopping Center). As the proud co-owner of upwards of 30 pints of ice cream at any given time (not an exaggeration), South End’s ice cream saturation is blessing and a curse for my ice cream-loving boyfriend and me.
Experience a NC Winery
NC wine gets a bad rap. Most say the local grapes are too sweet and, unless you’re enjoying them in a wine slushie at Treehouse Vineyards in Monroe, I tend to agree. However, there are many exceptions in the almost 200 wineries in our state if you have an open mind. Once on site, the wines will likely surprise you and the views are usually breathtaking. Raffaldini has long been on my list of wineries to visit with its scenic setting. Dobbins Creek Vineyards, Laurel Gray Vineyards, and Shadow Springs Vineyard were part of a fun Bachelorette wine tour I did a few years ago and highly recommend for a girls’ day out.
Don’t let Summer pass without checking at least one of these must-do activities off of your list and tag us in your adventures using @ScoopCharlotte!