What better way to celebrate the return of picturesque summer mornings that blend seamlessly into late afternoons than to shut off the TV, ditch your phone for a while and get outdoors? That might mean putting in hours on the lake, setting your sights on a target, or slowly drawing back your bow and arrow. Regardless of your definition of a day well spent, there are plenty of ways to accomplish it in the Queen City.
Reel in fun at Fish On! Lake Norman
When you take a guided tour with Fish On! Lake Norman, you’ll spend a day on the lake soaking up the sun and reeling in catch you can be proud of. You’ll set sail with veteran fisherman Captain Craig Price, who welcomes you aboard a 22-foot-deep vee center console vessel that’s filled with tournament-grade tackle. Whether you venture out regularly and are just glad to have someone else handle the logistics or are looking to improve the quality of your catches, Price has 40-plus years of techniques and tips to share. All aboard!
Trot along picturesque grounds with Country Time Equestrian Events
Break free from the traditional cake, ice cream and bounce house trifecta and make your child’s next birthday a pony party (read: memorable). Just be prepared to stand your ground when he or she begs to take home a new four-legged family member. Located in Huntersville, Country Time Equestrian Events offers guided trail rides for all ages and romantic sunset rides and dinner for couples. If you’re stuck in a date night rut, this is the perfect solution.
Practice your target shooting at Charlotte Rifle and Pistol Club
Fire away at Charlotte Rifle and Pistol Club in Waxhaw. The members-only facility boasts both indoor and outdoor ranges for pistol and rifle work as well as skeet and trap fields. When you step up to the rifle range, you can try hitting targets from 50, 100, 200 or 300 yards away. Check out spaces for prone and kneeling positions for an extra challenge. The private indoor range is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and practice fields offer beginners a chance to get comfortable. The club also puts on a free handgun safety course.
Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen at Barefoot Archery
Put your bow and arrow abilities to the test at Barefoot Archery on Old Pineville Road. The facility features a 20-yard, eight-lane USA Archery-approved range. Come during the warmer months and revel in the indoor range’s air conditioning during your session. If you’re serious about refining your skills, take a private lesson with a professional. Or book a birthday party, family reunion or corporate event just for fun. Barefoot Archery hosts camps and programs for scouts throughout the year. Equipment is available to rent on-site, but customers are welcome to bring their own gear.
En garde! Draw your sword at Charlotte Fencing Academy
For 15 years, Charlotte Fencing Academy, located blocks from Uptown, has developed Charlotte fencers’ prowess, working off of the principles of honor, integrity and courage. Newbies are welcome to give the sport a try, though the school also coaches those looking to compete. In fact, a number of alumni have gone on to fence at the collegiate level. During its tenure, the Charlotte Fencing Academy has earned more than 25 national medals in recognition of its excellence. At the end of introductory classes, students partake in a practice tournament through which their newfound skills can shine. All equipment is provided.
Learn horsemanship at Leg Up Equestrian English Riding Academy
Aspiring equestrians can learn proper riding techniques at Leg Up Equestrian, a family-owned and operated school in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Programs include Dressage, Combine Training, Stadium Jumping and Cross Country. Students have a chance to show off their newly honed skills at two annual in-house shows and can participate in camps and clinics to keep their knowledge fresh throughout the year. Beyond acquiring beautiful in-saddle abilities, riders can also get familiar with the proper care and keeping of horses.