Staycation: Why don’t you just stay?


Jetton Park is known for its beach, trails, picnic areas / Photo by Jason Benavides

Aug. 5. By TL Bernthal. Travel costs are up and there’s still plenty of summer left for a vacation.

So, why not a staycation? Lake Norman has a boatload of options, some free, others requiring tickets or reservations, all promising fun.

Nearby Davidson could be a day trip offering parks, shopping in historic downtown, a meal at Kindred and a self-tour of Davidson College.

Here’s a list to get you started on LKN fun!

Machined Nature: Anchored Candy no. 9
by Vivian Beer

Outdoor art tour

Davidson College is home to beautiful artwork of all different sizes and format. You’ll find all kinds of sculptures and standing pieces of art from all over the world.

405 N Main St., Davidson. 704-894-2000

For the bird lovers

The Raptor Trail at the Carolina Raptor Center provides a space for people to connect with the natural world by featuring over 30 species of birds.

6000 Sample Road, Huntersville. 704-875-6521

For nature lovers

Amenities at the Latta Nature Preserve include 16 miles of hiking trails and horseback riding, picnic area with shelter overlooks, fishing opportunities and kayak launch areas.

6345 Sample Road, Huntersville. 980-314-7878

A walk in the garden

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden features spectacular gardens, sparkling fountains, a conservatory dedicated to the display of tropical plants and orchids, a visitor pavilion, a garden store and nature trails.

6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont. 704-825-4490

A trampoline and more

Urban Air Adventure Park is a trampoline and adventure park touted as the ultimate indoor playground for the entire family.

17001 Kenton Place, Cornelius. 704-800-4699

Lazy 5 Ranch

A safari adventure

The Lazy 5 Ranch is a privately owned Animal Park that is open to the public for tours. Home to over 750 animals from six continents, the Lazy 5 offers horse drawn wagon ride tours or drive-through tours from the comfort of your own vehicle.

15100 Mooresville Road, Mooresville. 704-663-5100

go fishing

Patriot Pier at Ramsey Creek Park is an ADA-compliant pier dedicated to veterans. it also offers some amazing views of the lake, so the whole family can enjoy the day out at:

18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius. 980-314-1001

Borrow tackle from the town and check out the fishing pier around the pond at Robbins Park pounds, or find a spot on the lake. Cornelius Parks & Recreation has a Tackle Loaner Program to provide individuals, groups and families with fishing equipment without requiring them to purchase gear.

Cornelius Parks & Recreation office located on the 2nd floor of Cornelius Town Hall. 21445 Catawba Ave. 704-892-6031×160

A night of live theater

Check out Lake Norman’s community theater, Davidson Community Players, which offers both year round adult theater productions and on-going children’s programming.

Armor Street Theatre. 307 Armor St, Davidson. 704-892-7953

Lake Norman Mini Golf

A golf experience

Lake Norman Mini Golf Offers 18 holes of pristine mini golfing, but you can also try out ax throwing, run through the laser maze, or beat their rock climbing wall.

18639 Statesville Road, Cornelius. 704-892-9800

Mooresville Golf Club is an award-winning public golf course with a redesigned 18-hole course, new 18,000-square foot clubhouse with fine dining restaurant, and a top-tier practice facility. All amenities are open to the public. Mooresville Golf Club,

205 Golf Course Drive, Mooresville 704-663-2539

A trip to the beach

The swim beach at Ramsey Creek Park is open Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. The waterfront park also features a playground, picnic shelters, nature trails and a fishing pier that’s ADA-compliant.

18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius. 980-314-1001

A movie and meal

Cinergy Entertainment is a one stop entertainment experience providing movies, food and beverages for guests of all ages.

During the Kids’ Summer Movie Series, kids can watch some of their favorite kids’ movies on Tuesday and Thursday for $1.50 per ticket, and adults $2 per ticket.

One Saturday a month, Cinergy presents a sensory-friendly screening. A family-friendly film will be shown in an auditorium dedicated to guests affected by autism and sensory sensitivities.

5336 Docia Crossing Road. University City, Charlotte. 980-825-7500

adult fun

Do you consider yourself a great problem solver? Put your problem-solving skills to the test at Escape 109. You’ll have 60 minutes to try to successfully escape.

109 North Main St., Davidson. 704.975.3647

Lost Worlds Brewery in Cornelius

Take your pick of the local breweries and wine or whiskey bars: Lost Worlds, Eleven Lakes, Primal, D9, Royal Bliss; On the Roxx, Bin 110.

Take a hike in the parks

Cornelius is home to many town parks as well as three county parks – Blythe Landing, Jetton Park and Ramsey Creek Park.

Jetton Park is known for its beach, bike and walking trails and picnic areas. Stroll the 1.5 mile trail and stop by the tanning beach for a spectacular view of a Lake Norman sunset. Alas, no swimming allowed.

For more details and addresses click here.

In Davidson, click here to find the parks and gardens. Here are some highlights:

Fisher Farm consists of a 200-acre park populated with a variety of wildlife, insects, and plant life. Fisher Farm offers 4 miles of mountain bike trails with beginner to advanced challenges. walkers
welcome as well.

21215 Shearer Road

Take a hike along the Sterling Martin Trail, or put in at the launch at Lake Davidson Nature Preserve just behind Davidson Day School.

Get out on the water

Cornelius Pontoon Rentals

Blythe Landing: 15901 NC 73 Hwy, Huntersville. 516-426-6036

Carolina Boat Rentals

20511 Harborview Drive, Cornelius. 704-614-2118

What’s Up Watersports – Lake Norman

8400 Long Island Road, Catawba. 704-931-8787

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