Spring Break Road Trips from Charlotte

Published on March 14, 2022 - Updated on March 14, 2022

Spring Break is the perfect time for families to get out and explore their local surrounding areas. If you happen to live in Charlotte, well, you are in luck! The city is a great jumping-off point with a variety of activities such as hikes, amazing restaurants, and nearby small towns to visit. Whether you want a full day of activities or just a half-day of fun, we have got you covered. From road trip adventures to local hot spots, this list will get you started on some of the best spots for Spring Break!

Get Outdoors

Parks and Playgrounds

Charlotte has fantastic spaces to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather that spring always brings in. In town, our favorite parks are Freedom Park and Park Road Park. South of town, we like Pineville Lake Park and Marvin Efird Park.


On the west side of Charlotte, toward Gastonia, our favorites are Goat Island Park and Martha Rivers.


On the north side, be sure to check out Cornelius Road Park and Harrisburg Park. Finally, on the east side, you have Crooked Creek Park and Stallings Park. Honestly, there are so many parks and outside spaces to enjoy that you could spend an entire week hitting up spots and never repeat one!


If you are looking for more of an adventure into nature, you don't have to go far. These are two of our favorite mountains to climb under two hours away from Charlotte!

Crowders Mountain is the closest to Charlotte and also everyone’s favorite. The main trail that takes you to the pinnacle is a moderate climb and around 2 miles one way. The views at the top are worth the steady climb.


South Mountain State Park has many trails but is most known for its waterfall hike. The High Shoals Falls hike is a steady climb to the falls. Kids love this hike for all the rocks and water nearby. While the 550 feet of elevation gain to the falls can be tough, it's worth the climb.


Don't feel like driving? In the city, there is Reedy Creek Park which has a large variety of trails, a nature center, and playgrounds. McDowell Nature Preserve, near Lake Wylie, is another great location for hiking trails with a nature center and has a playground as well! Don’t forget the US National Whitewater Center for hiking, white water rafting, biking, and more for a paid adventure. 

Indoor Fun

Weather outlook not so good? No worries, we have you covered! There are lots of great indoor spaces to let kids get their wiggles out. For younger kids (8 and younger) check out Playland in Indian Trail or Just Play in Pineville. These spaces offer indoor jungle gym play areas the kids climb, run, and have fun.


For older kids, check out Big Air or Urban Air for a trampoline park with ninja courses, jumping, and climbing activities. If you have a kid into rock climbing, check out Inner Peaks in Matthews for their large indoor rock-climbing gym. There are also numerous museums around Charlotte to learn and have some fun.


In uptown, check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Discovery Place, and the Mint Museum. For young children, check out Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville and Rockingham. 


Day Trip, Weekend Getaways, or a Weeklong Trip

Looking for more of a getaway? Charlotte is the perfect central location for making a quick day trip, a long weekend trip, or a whole week's vacation! Most places are also only three hours away or less!

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

For a day trip, head to Winston-Salem (an hour and a half north of Charlotte) for a full day of fun. Start your day by visiting the ByGood Coffee for handcrafted, house-roasted coffee and delicious waffles. Then visit many of the beautiful parks and playgrounds such as the Washington Park and Playground which has a dinosaur-themed playground your kids will go crazy for! Leinbach Park and Playground is another fun one that has a boat-themed playground that any water lover will enjoy.


You can also take a hike at Quarry Park or Salem Lake Park and Playground and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the area!


Downtown Winston-Salem is also a great walkable city with fantastic eats such as Crafted The Art of the Taco, Foothills Brewpub, Finnigan’s Wake, and dessert at Cheesecake by Alex.

Greenville, South Carolina

Since Charlotte is extremely close to the South Carolina border, traveling there is easy. Greenville (around 2 hours from Charlotte) is a fantastic family-friendly city. The downtown is walkable with many eateries, shops, and several attractions you won't want to miss like The Falls on the Reedy. You can easily spend a few days to a week here. Greenville has some fun playgrounds like The Runway Park at the Greenville Downtown Airport and Conestee Park along with the nature preserve for a hike. 


Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

There are so many family-friendly activities to do in Raleigh/Durham area that you could spend a few days to a week here. Between amazing museums, parks and playgrounds, fantastic eats, and outdoor fun, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Check out the Marbles Kids Museum or the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science for family fun and learning. Head to the many towns around like the Apex/ Cary area. 


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The beach during spring is actually a fantastic time to visit and get some sun. There are fewer crowds, the beaches are cleaner, and you get treated more like a local. There are still many places open for fun during the spring as well. Check out WonderWorks (aka the upside-down house), Ripley’s Aquarium, Top Golf, Pirate Dinner Show, and more. Barefoot Landing has shops, brewery, restaurants, playgrounds, and more to spend an afternoon and evening to enjoy too. 


North Carolina Mountains

A trip to the mountains is never a bad day. Whether you take a day trip or spend a few days, there is everything for everyone from shopping to eateries in Asheville! Explore the small towns of Blowing Rock and Boone, or take a hike to some awesome waterfalls like Catawba Falls, Dupont State Forest, Linville Falls, or make a stop at the many falls just off the road along the Blue Ridge Highway. There is always a new place to explore in the mountains!


No matter how you do Spring Break, happyly has activities for you. Spend this Spring Break having some family fun in around and Charlotte!

Where are your favorite spots to go around Charlotte? Did we miss any good ones? Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to tag us on Instagram @gethappyly with all your family adventure pictures!

Headed to North or South Carolina for spring break soon? Check out the happyly blog for some great tips on places like Cumberland Island, and Savannah, Georgia. Or if you are looking for other great spring Break road trips in the southeast part of the US, be sure to check out some fun activities in and around Atlanta!

And if you want even more family-friendly activities, be sure to download the happyly appand have locally-curated adventures right at your fingertips!

Thoughtfully captured by:
Allison Towner
A Charlotte, NC transplant, Allison was born and raised in Texas. She has a degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University. Allison loves to scuba dive, travel, garden, and be active. She has a lovely husband and two smart, playful kids, a girl and boy. A love for nature and the outdoors has always been a passion of hers and now she gets to continue that with her family. They love to explore new places and go on family camping and hiking trips. Allison and her family live on a 12-acre homestead with ducks, chickens, and a garden. Outside life is important to their family and wants to share that passion with others.
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Spring Break is the perfect time for families to get out and explore their local surrounding areas. If you happen to live in Charlotte, well, you are