It’s time to get out of the house. COVID-19 has forced many North Carolinians to work, play and spend their time indoors. But going outdoors is a great way to stay active and have fun, as long as you practice social distancing and wear a mask. If you are looking for outdoor areas in NC to visit for a nice day-trip, we’ve got 12 great ones to get you started!
Although the NC Museum of Art is not open due to COVID-19, the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park is still open to the public. This vast outdoor area features a variety of art installments, gardens and trails, which you can enjoy while walking, jogging or riding a bike!
2. NC Arboretum
Located in Asheville, the North Carolina Arboretum features 65 acres of gardens. People can enjoy a wide variety of flowers, trees and other fauna in this outdoor area. The arboretum also has hiking and biking trails for your experience experience.
3. Sliding Rock
Sliding Rock is a 60-foot mountain water slide located in the Pisgah National Forest. Children and adults will, of course, enjoy sliding down the rock, but there are also viewing platforms for those not wishing to get wet. There are also nearby outdoor area attractions, such as Looking Glass Falls, and others.
Even though some policies have been adjusted for COVID, people can still enjoy seeing animals at the North Carolina ZOO in Asheboro. Onlookers can appreciate the animals North America and Africa as they walk throughout the many outdoor habitats. There is also a selection of art pieces throughout the park to be viewed as well.
This outdoor area is a 76-acre park, located in Knightdale. The park offers two miles of trails through trees and along a boardwalk by a pond. There are also vast athletic fields, as well as a dog park for your four-legged friends.
Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is located in Cary, and covers close to 140 acres of land. The nature preserve offers miles of beautiful trails for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, as well as bird and other wild animal watching opportunities throughout.
Located off of Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, Craggy Gardens is known for it’s pink and purple Catawba rhododendrons. The gardens are also nearby Craggy Pinnacle Trail, which gives hikers a phenomenal view of the surrounding mountains.
This Franklin-located mining company has been operating for over 40 years. Families can enjoy digging from their own pile of dirt, or purchasing pre-filled buckets, to hopefully find gemstones like rubies, sapphires, and many more!
The Botanical Gardens at UNC Charlotte began back in 1966. They offer different walkways, where you can enjoy a variety of wildflowers, trees, as well as other plants. The gardens are also dog-friendly.
U.S. National Whitewater Center is located in Charlotte, and offers a variety of activities. Those looking for a thrill can enjoy whitewater rafting and kayaking, as well as ziplining and jumps. There is also rock climbing, mountain biking, and other activities for lovers of the outdoors.
Located in Yadkin County, Yadkin Valley Wine Country offers four different scenic wine trails. Enjoy miles of wine-trail driving between wineries in areas rich with history. Travelers will also be able to see a horse farm, alpaca farm, nature trails, and many activities.
12. Coker Arboretum
Coker Arboretum has been around since 1903, and now covers five acres of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Enjoy a variety of flowers, trees and other plants in these beautiful outdoor areas.
Get Outdoors Today!
Hopefully this list gave you some guidance on some great outdoor areas for you to visit during these unprecedented times. If you know of any more fun and interesting places, please let us know in the comments!
If vacationing and staying stay interests you, please check out our article to learn about Fort Macon, another great destination.