Whether it’s planes, trains or automobiles that have your attention, it’s time to activate your sense of adventure. Charlotte is brimming with engaging quests that invite you to slide into the driver’s seat or take command of the captain’s chair. When you’re in the market for a weekend you’ll still be thinking about on Monday morning, it’s all aboard for some of these Queen City spots:
Track the Tar Heel State’s railway history at the N.C. Transportation Museum
If you’ve got train enthusiasts in your family, the N.C. Transportation Museum is worth a visit. It’s set on the site of what was once the Southern Railway’s largest steam locomotive repair facility. Kids and adults alike will get a thrill out of scoping out the exhibits. Check out steam and diesel locomotives, plus take a peek at classic automobiles and an old-fashioned dairy wagon. The museum’s fascinating “How the West Was Won” attraction details how railroads impacted America’s post-Civil War development.
Let your free spirit soar at Aerowood Aviation
Sure you can pack your luggage, hop on a plane and leave the rest to the professionals, but if you’ve ever dreamt of claiming your own spot in the cockpit, you’ve got options. The certified instructors at Aerowood Aviation in Monroe, North Carolina give you the training you need to earn your private pilot’s license. With more than a dozen aircraft models available, there are plenty of ways to get comfortable flying. Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are more advanced planes to charter for longer flights.
Take the lead at Belmont Rowing Center
Get competition-ready or just enjoy the full-body workout that rowing provides at Belmont Rowing Center. Located on the Catawba River in Belmont, North Carolina, the site is an old mill property offering Belmont Rowing Center exclusive access and use of the shoreline and river. The facility offers a number of programs for adult rowers, including a four-week introduction to the sport, plus sessions to help those with experience fine-tune their technique. Belmont Rowing Center also trains young athletes 14 and older.
Three to See
Mix up your traditional day on Lake Norman with the eco-friendly Charlotte Cycleboats experience. All you need are your closest friends and favorite drinks then prepare to pedal your way to scenic views. Cruises last two hours and can accommodate between 14 and 15 people. Glide at a leisurely pace or challenge your companions to get in some cardio. If you’re more of the sit-back-and-watch type, you’ll appreciate the non-pedal seats on board. Book a private celebration or unique company bonding excursion or jump on a pre-planned trip.
If you always dreamt of being the captain of a sports team but didn’t quite have that athletic prowess in high school or college, SportsLink invites you to team up with coeds of any skill level to compete in your favorite sports as an adult. The intramural organization draws 29,000 participants year-round in battles of soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, kickball, bowling and more.
Lake Norman Marina
Few things are better than spending a lazy Saturday lounging on the lake. But if you’ve got all parts of the equation handled except for the boat, there’s no need to stress; Lake Norman Marina has you covered. LNM carries a fleet of pontoons and bowriders that are available to rent for a full or half day. That means you get to enjoy your time cruising on the water and let someone else handle the maintenance of your vessel.
This article was featured in the June 2017 issue of Charlotte Happenings magazine. Updates by Ryan Wixted.