Best Day Trips Within One Hour of Charlotte

When you’re looking for a something new and exciting to do around Charlotte, sometimes you must venture outside the I-485 highway loop to find your next adventure. While there are many things to see and do within Charlotte’s borders, you can check out our city guide for a few ideas, the areas surrounding Charlotte are chock-full of farmland, mountains, towns and endless beauty to explore.

Here are some of our favorite day trips for Charlotteans to take within an hour of Uptown and our Cypress of Charlotte campus.  

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Adventure is right around the corner at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The vast recreation grounds are free to explore (apart from $6 parking), but thrill-seekers can purchase a ticket and enjoy one of their many attractions. A Day Pass gets you access to any of the following outdoor activities: Whitewater Rafting (with a guide), Kayaking and Paddle Boarding, Ziplining, Rock Climbing, Ropes Course and 100-Foot “Hawk” Jump.

Individuals can also purchase a Single Activity Pass if they want to try a single experience. In addition to their paid activities, visitors can take advantage of the center’s 35+ miles of hiking and biking trails. Check out the Whitewater Center’s Daily Activity Schedule for more information about activity availability during your day trip.

Are you more interested in a relaxing day trip near Charlotte? The Whitewater Center has something for the whole family, no matter their age or physical capabilities.  You can pull up a seat and watch the daring rafters descend the artificial whitewater course or join in on the center’s daily yoga practices. The grounds are also host to frequent festivals, a beer hall, restaurant and much more for your enjoyment.

Crowders Mountain State Park

Crowders Mountain State Park is located in Gaston County and hosts 5,126 acres of a beautiful terrain. Crowders mountain towers above the surrounding flat terrain with two peaks atop the mountain: The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain. Depending on your level of physical activity, try one of the state park’s relaxing 0.8-mile loops, Fern or Lake Trail, or make your way up Crowders Trail to experience the stunning overlook.

For the outdoorsy and adventure seekers, some activities include: hiking (easy, moderate and strenuous), fishing, camping, rock climbing and water sports.

Historic Latta Plantation

Step back in time as you explore the grounds of a restored 1800 cotton plantation. Located in Huntersville, NC, Historic Latta Plantation is just short drive north of Charlotte. Access to the 1,343-acre Nature Preserve at Historic Latta Plantation is free, however guided tours at the living history farm and plantation home is $9 for adults, and $8 for seniors and students.  Pack a picnic, go fishing or walk around the beautify grounds for a relaxing, nature-infused day trip with family or friends.

Visitors with young family members may enjoy the educational programs that run throughout the year. These fun activities include animals, workshops, re-enactments and more! Make sure to check their gift shop for handmade artisan goods, traditional toys and books before you leave.

Wise Acres Organic Farm

Travel southeast of Charlotte to Wise Acres, a u-pick organic farm in Indian Trail, NC. This family-run farm uses natural methods to grow their produce and offers fun activities for people of all ages. Depending on the season, you can enjoy: seasonal produce and décor, pumpkin and strawberry picking, a free corn maze, wagon rides and farm animals.

Don’t forget to stop by the Wise Acres barn store for local goodies like an apple cider slushy, organic popcorn and cotton candy, local honey and jam, and much more! Perhaps the best part of Wise Acres Organic Farm is their Wise Pie Pizza. Enjoy the farm’s delicious wood-fired pizza, boasting all-natural flavors from the farm, open Friday to Sunday during open seasons.

Kids will love climbing, swinging, riding or zip lining in the Wise Acres playground or playing in the giant corn pit.  Check Wise Acres’ frequently-updated website for open dates and more information about their seasonal activities and services available.

The Cypress of Charlotte

If you’re a resident of Charlotte, NC or are looking for a fun, new place to live during retirement, visit us at the Cypress of Charlotte! We are not a public space; however, our luxury retirement community is a spectacle that is enjoyed by all residents. Contact us or take a tour of our campus today!

Try These Hobbies to Reduce Stress

Whether it’s due to health, money or any other number of reasons, many Americans live with stress and finding the time to relax doesn’t always come easily. While most would assume that students and those with challenging careers must deal with the most stress, modern seniors have plenty of stresses that they need to navigate as well.

While a nutritional diet and an active lifestyle will help to reduce your blood pressure and lead to decreased stress, sometimes you need a fun and interesting hobby to help take your mind off of things. If you’ve already started yoga or you’ve been reading more and want something new to try as a stress-reliever, check out our list of great hobbies below.

9 Awesome Hobbies That Help to Reduce Stress

1. Gardening

Did you know that gardening can lower the body’s main stress hormone, cortisol? It also works as a mood booster and is a great way to reconnect with yourself and the Earth. Enjoy the fresh air and take your time while caring for your plants. Not to mention, when you learn to become a successful gardener, you are lucky enough to receive flowers, herbs and food!

2. Journaling

Keeping a journal is a great way to reduce stress while stimulating your brain cells and improving your memory. Additionally, if you have any symptoms of anxiety or depression, writing down your thoughts can be a great way to reflect on your feelings and make positive changes in your life.

3. Knitting

A common stress-relief hobby among our residents at the Cypress of Charlotte is knitting; in fact, the increase in popularity led to the creation of a new knitting group! While society seems to think knitting is just for the elder community, knitting is becoming a popular hobby for people of all ages because the repetitive movements involved are very calming and have a meditative effect. When your body is in a meditative state, it is more likely to release serotonin, the feel-good chemical that makes you feel positive and calm.

4. Coloring

Like knitting, coloring is a hobby that gets put in a box and most people think it’s just for children. In reality, coloring is a great hobby for people of all ages. Adult coloring books have become hugely popular over the past several years – and for good reason. Studies show that art therapy is very successful at reducing stress and relieving many symptoms related to anxiety and stress.

5. Baking

Whether you feel comfortable in the kitchen or not, baking is a hobby that can be very relaxing. In fact, it’s not even a hobby that demands you take it too seriously. Baking can be very meditative and once you tackle your first few bakes, you can slowly start moving up the difficulty level as you see fit – or not. Remember that you’re not on a reality television baking competition and just have fun with it. And in the end, you’ll have a few yummy treats that you can share with your favorite people as well.

6. Play Video Games

Video games are not only a great way to reduce stress, but they can help to improve your memory and other important mental skills. So, whether you want to play games online or you’re interested in updating to the latest game console, dedicating a couple of hours a week to relaxing with your favorite type of game is a great way to de-stress. Additionally, if you have loved ones who play video games, like Words with Friends, you might be able to connect and play with them online.

7. Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is a great hobby to take up whether you have hundreds of photos lying around or you’ve just invested in a new camera. While the convenience of digital photos is great, it’s often more fun and relaxing to log your memories in a physical album that can be revisited and shared with others. Combining journaling and artistry, this a hobby that is more popular than ever – so look for local scrapbooking groups to join if you need a bit of inspiration to get started.

8. Puzzles

Looking for a hobby that can be enjoyed on your own or with a few friends? Tackling a puzzle is an ideal way to take your mind of the stresses of the day while developing your brain power. Additionally, when you put time into a puzzle, you get to enjoy a nice break and a challenge all at once!

9. Get a Pet or Volunteer with Animals

Spending time with pets can be much more than just a leisure activity. In fact, studies show that caring for animals can help to reduce tension and improve your mood. For retirees, pets can also help to give you a sense of responsibility, prevent social isolation and provide you with companionship. So, whether you enjoy spending time with furry friends or you’re interested in purchasing a home aquarium, think about how you can de-stress with the added company of a pet.

Activities to Reduce Stress at The Cypress of Charlotte

This is the perfect time of year to say goodbye to common stresses in your life and invest more time in hobbies that boost your mood. Whether you want to explore outdoors, feel like staying in and baking or you’d like to challenge your brain with a new activity – there are plenty of awesome stress-relieving hobbies for you to explore here at The Cypress of Charlotte.

Interested in more great health and lifestyle tips for seniors? Be sure to check out our blog! And if you’d like more information on life here at our continuing care retirement community in Charlotte, contact our friendly team today.

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