What does Spring time in the Carolinas look like? I’ll let good old Mr. Mark Twain answer that one…
“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours”.
Now if anyone that has lived in the Carolinas for any amount of time disagrees with that, they must not get out much. That being said, Spring in Charlotte can offer so many beautiful colors that can be found in the mountains, by the lake, and even in the vibrancy of attire you’ll see people sporting as soon as the Winter weather starts to subside. In celebration of the steady rise of warm weather, there are tons of events, festivals, and fun things to do throughout the area. Here are a few that will be sure to kick your Spring time fun into high gear:
Close to Home (Charlotte):
The UNCC Botanical Gardens are a local favorite. There is no shortage of beauty and color here – weather you’re looking to learn about local wildlife, study plants and want to learn more about nature in general, or are just looking for a fun and relaxing stroll through a beautiful setting, you will not be disappointed. Admission is always free, and the gardens are open 7 days/week during daylight hours.
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve is one of my personal favorite places to go (during any time of the year), but particularly in the Spring. In the Spring, the 16+ miles of trails are bustling with blooming flowers and the sound of flowing water from Mountain Island Lake. There are tons of friendly people to greet and connect with, and weather you like to jog, stroll, bike, swim, fish, canoe/kayak, ride horses, or even have a picnic, Latta Plantation will have you covered. Always free and open until sunset.
Freedom Park is a great place to take the kids for a day of fun activities – bring a blanket and lay on the grass with your picnic basket (or walk to one of the nearby restaurants for some to-go grub), or make use of one of the sand volleyball courts. There’s a “Kid Zone” so parents can allow kids to run around while still being perfectly in sight, and there are also paths for walking, jogging, or biking. Always open and always free.
A Little Further (Outside the city)…
If you’re willing to spend about 25 minutes in the car, Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, South Carolina is a great option for a day of fun for any age. The 25-foot suspension bridge is great for a little bit of adventure, while the trails are great for a casual stroll with a beautiful view. The 200-year old cabins and the historic Springfield House add to the beauty and wonder of this attraction as well. Hours vary, and admission is only $5 per person (free for kids 4 and under).
Greenville, South Carolina is becoming a very popular destination city. There are endless options of things to do, places to eat and stay, sites to see and activities for all ages. Great for a romantic getaway, a fun family vacation or a friends day (or weekend) trip. One of the most talked about attractions is the 355-foot Liberty Bridge at Reedy River Falls as well as the many waterfalls throughout the area (get out your camera for some Insta shots)!
Another increasingly popular little town to visit for the day or weekend is Asheville, North Carolina; a lively town with fun experiences around every corner. If you’re into craft beer, hiking and/or seeing beautiful wildlife, this is the place for you. Visit or stay at the Biltmore Estates for a historic experience, or stay in town at one of the other many hotels/Air BnB’s to be front and center with Asheville nightlife.
The North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina is something anyone can enjoy, and is held in the Spring time (this year it’s April 3-7). This festival combines art and beauty with music and entertainment in the perfect way, and for an entire week, Wilmington is taken over by street fairs, live music, parades, and of course, beautifully blooming azaleas! Some events are free and some require an admission fee.
More Spring Festivals and Events!
There are tons of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and festivals throughout the Charlotte and Lake Norman area; the biggest of them all is the one in uptown. This parade starts on N. Tryon St. at 9th, and goes down 3rd Street to Caldwell Street. This is a free event and will be on Saturday, March 16th at 11am this year. Enjoy the food, Irish music and dancing, kids activities, food, and other vendors!
If you’re a fan of food trucks, the Rural Hill Food Truck Rally is where you’ll want to be on March 30th. This festival is free and family-friendly, and offers local beer & wine, food, music, and a “Kids Zone” for the little ones. Admission is free and the festival will be held at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville.
Another big family-friendly event this Spring is the Family Fun Fest in the Sycamore Brewing Beer Garden. There will be carnival-themed events, face-painting, favorite carnival foods like cotton candy and popcorn (among other food and snack), live music and more. Admission is free, and this event will run from noon to 5pm on Sunday, March 9th.