Ultimate Nature Experience
The Ultimate Nature Experience
on Lake Norman
With picturesque Lake Norman and the beautiful nearby mountains, there’s no surprise
that there are many nature-related attractions in the area just north of Charlotte on
Interstate 77. Visit the Lake Norman area and explore everything from a greenhouse to
a hot-air balloon ride to waterfront dining, and capture that magnificent sunset.
Experience the nature of Lake
Norman by exploring nature
attractions and enjoying a
waterfront picnic and an
outdoor shopping and dining
Visit a nature center and energy
explorium, and then take a hotair balloon ride over the Lake
With so much to see and do
in the area, we recommend
the following 2-day itinerary.
Enjoy all the area has to offer
by mixing and matching events
to your particular interest. Be
sure to check days and hours of
operation for each venue.
We suggest beginning your day with breakfast at Toast or Egg at Davidson, two of
the local favorites. With extensive breakfast menus, you’ll be sure to find something
delicious at either location that will leave you energized for the day ahead. Then
explore the Davidson Sculpture Garden at Davidson College to see magnificent
Spend your morning visiting Metrolina Greenhouses. Enjoy a tour of the largest
single-site heated greenhouse in the United States. Experience beautiful and vibrant
flowers in seasonal displays of spring bedding plants, summer annuals, fall mums and
pansies, and winter poinsettias.
Stop by Bagel Bin & Deli and pick up a fresh sandwich or salad perfect for a waterfront
picnic at Blythe Landing. With a playground, sand volleyball courts, floating piers and
a beautiful view, this is a great place to stop and enjoy a nice lunch by the water.
Then travel east to the Blue Planet Water Environmental Center and learn about
the journey water takes in the Lake Norman community. At this hands-on educational
center, adults and children can test water quality, operate water pumps, and learn
about the water source for the area with interactive learning stations.
Next visit Birkdale Village and enjoy a great combination of shopping and dining.
With bubbling interactive water fountains and colorful gardens, you are sure to enjoy
walking through the village to the various stores lining the main street. Then dine at
one of their many great restaurants such as Bonefish Grill, Red Rocks Café, Galway
Hooker Irish Pub, or Dressler’s Restaurant.
Start the day off at the Latta Plantation Nature Center,
which includes the Latta Plantation Equestrian Center
with 13 miles of hiking and horseback riding to explore. It
also includes the Carolina Raptor Center, which features
eagles, falcons, owls, hawks and other birds of prey. You
can also walk on the Nature Trail, watch the bald eagles
nesting, and learn about raptor rehabilitation, research
Then visit Duke Energy’s Energy Explorium and learn
about everything from the McGuire Nuclear Station to
how and why Lake Norman was built. Learn about the
environment, weather, electricity, and the nuclear energy
process in creative and fun exhibits. Then, explore the
field guides and activities on the beautiful mile-long
nature trail that borders Lake Norman or spend time in the
Next, have a late lunch at Prosciutto’s Pizzeria Pub & Restaurant, the area’s only
Boston-themed pizzeria. Having been called “Lake Norman’s Best Pizza,” this unique
restaurant features delicious brick oven pizza, along with pasta, subs and salads.
Finally, see the nature and scenery of the area in a hot-air balloon ride at sunset with
Balloons Over Charlotte. Overlooking Lake Norman and the surrounding area is a
wonderful experience and the perfect way to end your nature-filled trip.
You can follow this itinerary or build your custom itinerary, just go to www.
For more information:
Visit Lake Norman