Summer Travel Guide for Charlotte

Family travel throughout North Carolina is fun and easy.  We were able to visit the Outer Banks, Durham, Asheville and more over the summer of 2023.  Our family reunion on Lake Norman and our time spent in the Charlotte area was the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.  If you are looking for itinerary that hits some special spots in this area, we got it covered. 

First, our Airbnb was in the most peaceful section of the lake you can imagine.  The accommodations were perfect for our group of 12 though you could fit a couple more people if needed.  It came fully equipped with all the amenities to enjoy a good week on the lake with family and friends and plenty of space to eat outside, make s’mores on the firepit, access to swimming, tubing, floating and more.  There were three levels to the house, so privacy was also easy to find. 

On one of our first nights in the Charlotte area we hit a new ice cream place called Ellie May’s Dang Good Ice Cream that was amazing and had a great vibe.  It is located along country road of 1827 Shearers Road in Davidson.  During our visit the hours were only on the weekends.  I loved this little spot – it had country charm with dang good ice cream and fun lawn games to round out the experience. 

During our stay on the lake, we were lucky enough to borrow a boat from a friend and spent hours tubing on the lake.  We also rented a jet ski for the day at CS Boat Rentals/Lake Norman Jet Ski Rentals and this added another special day for all on the lake.  So much fun and great memories to last a lifetime! 

Most of the time we ate at the lake house, but we did venture out for a dinner at Hello, Sailor.   This unique location is connected to the same husband and wife chef team of Kindred and Milkbread in Davidson.  Hello Sailor has a fun modern fish camp theme to it and opened in 2018.  The dishes are simple but yummy and something for all ages!     

Another pretty epic location in this area about 30 minutes from the lake house spot is Carrigan Farms.  If you love to swim, float, and jump into water from a natural source, this place is pretty cool.  For a minimal fee of around $25 per person and includes a food voucher, you have access to grounds and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy.  

After our deep dive into the variety of water and nature activities in the area, we craved a little more urban experience and went to downtown Charlotte.  Our favorite area was NoDA where we got to check out Mac Tabby’s Cat Café and the cutest little store full of worldly delights at Pura Vida.  A little bit away by car is Cold Hearted Gelato which on a hot day hit the spot and seriously has the most amazing light and yummy waffle cones I have experienced.

The Charlotte area has a lot going for it.  I loved all the lake communities and the lifestyle seemed so pleasant.  We found good food, great ice cream, nice people, amazing waterplay recreation, and wonderful accommodations.  If you want to learn more about road tripping around North Carolina, check out our other posts in this series for Outer Banks, Durham and Asheville.

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