Lake Norman from the Sky looking down

29 Fun Things to Do in Huntersville NC 2024

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Huntersville, NC, is located about 12 miles north of Charlotte, NC, in the Lake Norman area. It’s located in Mecklenburg country and has a population of 61,839. Incorporated in 1873, and it’s growing quickly; currently, it’s the 15th largest municipality in NC.

Huntersville was originally called Craighead but was renamed Huntersville in honor of Robert Boston Hunter, a local landowner and farmer. The first industries to be established in Huntersville were Cotton Mills and a brickyard. Now let’s dive into the things to do in Huntersville NC.

Best things to do in Huntersville NC

Everything listed is within the Huntersville, NC, area. Some things listed below will be seasonal events only, but most are available year-round. You will find things to do outdoors, indoors, and everything in between.

1) Latta Nature Preserve / Quest Center

Address: 6345 Sample Rd. Huntersville, NC 28078 

Are you looking for outdoor recreation? You will find lots of options here!  They first opened back in 1981, and they built a Nature Center in 1982.  Later, in 2019, they built Quest to replace the Nature Center, and it opened to the public in 2021. 

Quest is the gateway to all 1,468 acres of the Latta Nature Preserve, and it’s also a joint facility to the Raptor Center, which we will talk about below.   If you are a paddling enthusiast, you will find two launch areas that provide access to Mountain Island Lake and Gar Creek. 

In addition, you’ll find a fishing dock and other fishing opportunities available.  Latta Nature Preserve has 16 miles of trails, 13 of which are designed for horseback riding and hiking.  

Latta Nature Preserve Tail - Things to Do in Huntersville NC

On the Preserve, you will find it home to many amazing species, including bald eagles, wild turkeys, red foxes, gray foxes, minks, and red-spotted newts.  In addition, you will find two federally endangered plants here: Schweinitz’s sunflower and Michaux’s sumac.

Dogs are welcome on the trails but must remain on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times. All trails are marked with color symbols.

Quest Center Operating Hours
Monday through Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm
Closed on Mecklenburg County Holidays


2) Carolina Raptor Center

Address: 6000 Sample Rd. Huntersville, NC 28078

The Carolina Raptor Center is a rehabilitation program for birds of prey.  They have admitted over 20,000 birds in over 40 years.  They started in the UNCC science building but outgrew it and moved to the Latta Nature Preserve in 1984. 

They take in over 800 birds annually, and about 60% of the raptors that are admitted are released back into the wild.  You will also find a 3000 sq ft interactive exhibit hall, including a 6000-gallon aquarium.  

The center has different learning options, including summer camps, at-home activities you can download from their site, and PhotoWILD events where you can get up close and action shots with your camera and even professional seminars.  

To visit, you can enjoy the Raptor Trail, which is a ¾ mile-walking trail where they display more than 30 birds of prey.  You can learn about them as you walk and explore. The Raptor Trail is open daily from March to October and Wednesday to Sunday between November and February.  

Admission Fees 
$16 – Adults
$14 – Seniors, Teachers, Military Adults
$12  – Students 3 and Older with Student ID
Free – Children 3 and Under and Members

Operating Hours
10 am – 4 pm (they encourage you to arrive by 3 pm)
Closed: Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day


3) Rural Hill

Address: 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Rural Hill is a nature preserve and historic site that sits on 265 acres; it was the home of Major John and Violet Davidson.  Today, it’s one of the last remaining rural vistas in Mecklenburg County. 

Open Monday – Friday to the public, they have lots of activities, including guided tours, educational programs, and walking trails, and you might even find hayrides from time to time! 

When you visit, you’ll see the original home ruins, smokehouse, ash house, barn, chicken shed, and granary. On the property, you will find two of the last remaining one-room schoolhouses as well.   

Leashed pets are allowed except during public events (unless they are specifically stated otherwise).  Picnics are allowed.  

They host special events, mark your calendars for April 20-21, 2024, and join in the fun for their 30th Anniversary of the Loch Norman Highland Games and Scottish Festival. During the Fall, they have the Amazing Maize Maze, which is seven acres of corn and is one of the largest corn mazes in the Southeast.  

Operating Hours
Monday through Friday 9 am – 4 pm
Adults 13 and over start at $18.00
For children aged 5-12, start at $9.00
Children 4 and under FREE


4) Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville

Address: 105 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Want a place to let your creativity run wild? Discovery Place Kids brings together science, nature, and design.  They have interactive exhibits for all ages of kids. 

They have exhibits that are focused on movement, splash in the water table, stop by the train table, or take care of that race car by changing tires, checking fluids, and preparing for that next winning race! 

Stop by the cafe and start preparing nutritious foods, equipped with an oven, cashier checkout, and table settings.  There are so many more as well.  Each exhibit has a specific focus, such as, I can move, Town Center, I can grow, I can build, and I can create.  

Looking for a place to host a birthday party?  Discovery Place Kids offers party packages and everything you need for a birthday party!  In the summer, they host youth programs and summer camps.  

Hours: 10:30 am – 4:30 pm, and members can arrive an hour earlier at 9:30 am Tuesdays through Sundays.

Discovery Place Kids Website

Things to do in Huntersville NC Discovery Place Kids entrance

5) Mountain Island Lake

Mountain Island Lake was created in 1924 with the construction of the Mountain Island Hydroelectric Station. Mountain Island Lake is located south of Lake Norman and is about 1/10th of its size.  

You will find three canoe/kayak launches; the best access for paddling are the launches at Latta Plantation Preserve.  This lake provides drinking water to over 3/4 of a million people in the Charlotte, Mount Holly, and Gastonia areas.

Kayaking on Lake Norman

The Catawba River BluewayLake Norman Section stretches 31 miles along the Catawba River; along the way, you will pass Lake Norman State Park and the Latta Nature Preserve. 

There are ten launch areas along this path: Long Island Access, Lake Norman State Park, Stumpy Creek Access, Pinnacle Access, McCrary Access, Hagers Creek Access, Little Creek Access, Beattys Ford Access, Ramsey Creek Access, and Blythe Landing Access.

The Catawba River Blueway – Lake Wylie Section is 27 miles long of flatwater traveling on the Catawba River into Lake Wylie.  Here, you will pass the well-known U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte and the Tailrace Marina in Mount Holly, NC, both of which provide access points.  

If you don’t have a kayak or SUP, check out Mountain Island Lake Paddle Co., where you can rent one for the day.  They provide all the equipment and drop it right off at the Latta Nature’s Preserve’s Gar Creek Kayak-only launch.  

6) Frankie’s of Charlotte

Address: 10621 Bryton Corporate Center Drive, Huntersville, NC 28078

Fun park with go-karting, mini-golf & bumper cars, plus bowling, laser tag & arcade games. They don’t charge an admission price to enter; you just pay per activity you choose.  They are open year-round; if it rains, some attractions outside will close down. 

They do offer birthday party packages as well; there are many different levels to choose from.  Add this to your family’s things to do in Huntersville, NC.

No outside food is allowed, but they have several food options, including Frankie’s Cafe and The Lounge.  The cafe serves pizzas, salads, burgers, wings, sandwiches, and more.  The Lounge is a full bar and serves appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups, and pizzas.  

Hours of Operation 
Monday – Thursday: 2 pm – 11 pm
Friday: 12 pm – 12:00 am
Saturday: 11am – 12:30am
Sunday: 12 pm – 11 pm
Only adults who are 18 years and older will be permitted to be inside Frankie’s after 8 p.m. on Saturdays. 



7) Go Shopping at Birkdale Village

Looking for a place to shop, dine, and gather with friends and family?  Birkdale Village is a perfect place for this!

You will find numerous shops, including Barnes & Noble, Loft, Lululemon, Sephora, Williams-Sonoma, White House Black Market, and more!  This is something you can add to your list of things to do in Huntersville, NC, today.

For dining, you’ll have many options to choose from; we will list some options below as well.  One of our favorites is the Midwood Smokehouse.  Other popular options are Red Rocks Cafe, eeZ Fusion and Sushi, Cheesecake Factory, Dressler’s, and make sure to stop off for a treat at Kilwin’s. 

In addition to all the shopping and dining, you will find the Regal movie theater as well. 

They have lots of parking available, including some valet at restaurants.  Enjoy their outdoor plaza, where they host different events.  During the winter, they also host Birkdale on Ice, which will have an ice skating rink for everyone to enjoy.  With all the lights at the skating rink, this is one of those things to do in Huntersville, NC, at night.

General Admission:
$18 per person includes skates (plus tax)
Children (12 years old & under): $14/child includes skates (plus tax)

Monday – Friday: 3 pm to 10 pm
Saturdays: 10 am to 10 pm
Sundays: 12 pm to 7 pm
Holidays (November 20-November 24 & December 19-January 1, January 15): 10 am to 10 pm  

8) Lake Norman

Want to spend some time out on the water?  Lake Norman has many options for doing so.  In case you didn’t know, Lake Norman is the largest manmade lake in NC, with over 520 miles of shoreline. 

Don’t have a boat?  No worries, check out Cornelius Pontoon Rentals.  If you would prefer a beach, the closest beach would be Ramsey Creek Beach in Cornelius, just north of Huntersville.  

If you want to drive a little farther, you can also head up to Lake Norman State Park for camping and hiking, plus enjoy their beach access to Lake Norman as well.

9) Carolina Renaissance Festival 

Address: 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Travel back in time and experience jousting knights on horseback, falconry, dragons, fairies, arts and crafts, games and rides, and so much more!  This seasonal festival is open on Sat & Sun from October 5, 2024, through November 24, 2024.

  • Jousting Knights battle three times a day in the Shire’s tournament arena.
  • Shop at the open-air Artisan Marketplace with over 140 vendors.
  • Visit the array of birds of prey with the Royal Falconer.  
  • Feast on Festival food like meats on sticks, stews, and more!
  • Find lots of entertainment from 14 different stages, which vary from comedy, music, dance, and more!

Daily tickets start at $32 for adults 13 years and up, and children 5-12 are $20. 
Under four are free. 
Season tickets are also available on a limited basis and are available while supplies last.  

Operating Hours
9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Free Parking, and they are open Rain or Shine! No pets are allowed.  

10) NC Brewer’s & Music Festival (May 2024 TBD)

Address for Rural Hill:  4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Hosted at the Historic Rural Hill, come out and enjoy your favorite breweries and enjoy various music lineups.  You will find vendors and food options as well. They will have over forty breweries pouring craft beer and cider.  

Want to stay the entire weekend? They have camping options as well. There are FIRST COME FIRST SERVE water hookups for RV’s in the campground and spigots located nearby for tent campers. The Historic Rural Hill Campground is located right across the road in the secluded Rural Hill Nature Preserve.

Tasting Tickets are $50 and include all-day admission.  
Music Tickets are $28 and include all-day admission to the festival. You can purchase beer and wine, but you cannot participate in the tastings.  
Designated Driver Tickets are $16 and include all-day admission to the festival; no beer and wine may be purchased at any time.  

Parking is free.  

Website for NC Brewer’s & Music Festival

11) Charlotte Dragon Boat Race and Asian Festival
(May 11, 2024)

Come celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US.  This is a family-oriented event and welcomes everyone to join in the fun. 

You will find vendors set up representing their favorite Asian signature dishes.  In addition, you can watch amazing performers on stage during the day with music and dance, allowing you to experience different traditions.  

Front of a dragon boat

Each year, they have The Dragon Boat race, which is a team competition open to anyone 15 years and older.  Dragon boat racing started over 2,300 years ago on the rivers of southern China as a fertility rite to ensure plentiful crops.  The race would be held to avoid misfortune and encourage the needed rain.  

Admission is free

Parking: 8900 North Pointe Executive Park, Huntersville, NC 28078
The lot is open to festival visitors at 9 a.m., with continuous free shuttle service to and from the venue. Traffic attendants will guide you to the appropriate section to park and board a shuttle bus to Ramsey Creek Park.

Charlotte Dragon Boat Website

12) BoatYard Lake Norman

Address: 18418 Statesville Rd, Cornelius, NC 28031

Looking for some live music?  The BoatYard hosts live music from Wednesdays through Saturdays.  In addition, they do have food & drink available.  They also allow you to book private parties or reserve a large area.  This is something you can add to your what-to-do list in Huntersville, NC, this weekend!

Hours of Operation:
Thursday: 4:00 pm-close
Friday: 12:00 pm-close
Saturday: 12:00 pm-close
Sunday: 12:00 pm-close

13) Spare Time Huntersville

Address: 16317 Statesville Road, Huntersville, NC 28078 Website

Want to find an indoor location to have some fun?  Spare Time has bowling, an arcade, laser tag, and Escape Rooms.  In addition, they have a full restaurant and bar.

Weekday Open Bowling: $5.99 per person/game
Monday – Thursday: $35.99 per lane/houe
Friday & Saturday after 5 p.m.: $45.99 per lane/hour
Shoe Rental $5.25
Laser Tag $9.00

Sunday 10 am – 11 pm
Monday – Thursday 10 am – 11 pm
Friday 10 am – 12 am
Saturday 10 am – 12 am

Daily After 11 am during the week and 10 am on weekends.

14) Torrence Creek Greenway 

One question people ask is, how long is Torrence Creek Greenway? Torrence Creek is 2.36 miles through woods and behind neighborhoods off of Gilead Rd.  It’s a great place to walk or ride your bike. 

Torrence Creek Parking is available nearby as street parking on Rosewood Meadow Ln, which is close to the Rosedale Nature Park, where restrooms are available as well. 


15) Golfing

Golf courses near Huntersville, NC, include 3 of the following:

Northstone Country Club
This is a private country club in Huntersville.  NorthStone provides exceptional golf, tennis, fitness, swimming, and dining experiences.  Memberships are available. 

Birkdale Golf Club
This Arnold Palmer signature-designed 18-hole Championship golf course is located on 200 acres.  It’s a challenging par 72 course made up of Bermuda fairways and the new ultradwarf Bermudagrass.

The golf course has been voted the “Best New Golf Course in North Carolina,” one of the “Top Five Public Courses in the State,” and Charlotte’s “Best Public Course.” 

Skybrook Golf Club
This is a semi-private club; from the Championship tees, the course covers almost 7,000 yards of remarkable mountain-like terrain.  The par 72 course offers five sets of tees to complement the skill level of each golfer. 

Things to do in Huntersville NC Golfing

16) Joe Gibbs Racing

Address: 13415 Reese Blvd. West, Huntersville, NC

If you are a fan of NASCAR, then you probably know the Lake Norman area is full of NASCAR teams.  One team located in Huntersville is Joe Gibbs Racing.  They have a race shop and gift store available.  The drivers on their team include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Brandon Jones, Ty Gibbs, Drew Dollar, and Trevor Bayne.   

Every year, they host a Fan Fest at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Appearances will be made by drivers.  

Hours: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Joe Gibbs Racing

17) Old Store Produce

Address: 14720 Brown Mill Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Would you like to find local products?  This is the place to find many different goods from the area.  They produce both local and fresh goods.  They also own Hubbard Farm, which is located across the street, and grow most of their own items.  They offer a CSA program through the farm.

Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10:30 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

18) Huntersville Growers’ Market

Downtown Address: 105 Gilead Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078

The market was established in 1999 to provide locally-grown food to the community.  There are two locations. You can follow them on Facebook as well for special events. 

One location is at Novant Health on Gilead Rd; they are open between May and August.  Open on Tuesdays between 9 am and 1 pm.
Novant Health Address: 10030 Gilead Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078

The other location is downtown at the Town Center Lawn/Discovery Place Kids, on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and usually open between May and October.

Growers Market Sign

19) The Bradford Market

Address: 15915 Davidson-Concord Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078

Come visit this beautiful market where you can find a huge selection of organic and local produce.  The store was built back in 1911 and is a great piece of history.  Come stock up on local pasture-raised meats, eggs, dairy, supplements, gifts, coffee, bread, and more.  You can also find organic plants, seeds, and gardening supplies.  

They also host a variety of events throughout the year; check out their website for details.

Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm
Sat 9 am-5 pm
Sun – Closed

Bradford Store Sign

20) Hugh Torrance House and Store

Address: 8231 Gilead Rd, Huntersville, NC 

Come check out the oldest surviving store in Mecklenburg County.  The home was built in 1779, and a store was run in the home from 1805 until 1825.

Today, it’s run by a nonprofit.  They want to share experiences focused on the topics of history, ecology, arts, reunion, trails, and the store. They are located adjacent to the McDowell Greenway.  

They offer house and store tours on Saturdays as well as different events.  

21) Primal Brewery

Address: 16432 Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078; they also have another location in Belmont, NC.

Primal has been open since 2013; they brew beer for all different tastes and style preferences.  Recently, they were voted 1st place in CharlotteFive Readers’ Choice for best breweries in Charlotte.

They have fun events each week, and you can find updates on their Facebook page. Events include music bingo every Monday, corn hole, food trucks, paint and brew, backgammon tournaments, a running club, and more! 

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from Noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 8 p.m.  

22) Blythe Landing Park

Address: 15901 NC Highway 73, Huntersville, NC 28078

Blythe Landing is a 26-acre park that gives you access to Lake Norman and has six boat launch sites and boat trailer parking.  There is no swimming access here. You will also find a playground, picnic areas, and some sand volleyball courts.

23) Abernathy Park

Address: 207 Glendale Drive/Huntersville, NC 28078

If you are looking for a nice place to have a picnic in the park, Abernathy Park is a great choice.  They also have a baseball/softball field, a basketball court, and a playground.  Restrooms are available.  

24) Greenway Park

Address: Greenway Drive and Dallas Drive, Huntersville, NC 28078

Greenway Park is a small park on the corner of Greenway and Dallas Streets.  Come enjoy the playground or sit and read a book under the large oak tree.  

25) Holbrook Park

Address: 100 Sherwood Drive, Huntersville, NC 28078

You will find Holbrook Park near Huntersville Elementary School.  They have two picnic areas with grills, a covered picnic shelter, a playground, swings, six tennis courts, walking trails, and restrooms.  

26) Bradford Park

Address: 17005 Davidson-Concord Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

This is Huntersville’s largest park, which sits on 213 acres. This is a great place for sporting events.  They have ballfields, a disc golf course, two picnic areas with grills, three playgrounds, two restrooms, two shelters, and three soccer fields. 

This is one of the premier Disc Golf Courses in the Charlotte Metro Area. The 18-hole course is both challenging and fun; it features short tees around 5,600 ft and long ones around 6,800 ft.  This course was one of the fourteen courses used for the 2012 Professional and Amateur World Championships. 

It’s open seven days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to dusk.

27) Buckeye Cove Nature Preserve (Formerly Stephens Road NP)

Address: 5901 Stephens Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Although most of the 352-acre Stephens Road Nature Preserve is undeveloped, you will find some beautiful nature trails; here is their 3.6-mile loop.  It can be muddy after rain, though, so be careful. 

Most of the trail is in the shade.  The trail can be quite buggy depending on the time of year, so prepare accordingly.  Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.  

28) Crafty Beer Guys Taproom & Bottle Shop

Address: 14503 S Old Statesville Rd Huntersville, NC 28078

Come make yourself home downtown Huntersville, NC, at Crafty Beer Guys Shop. They have a large back deck and a beautiful front patio. They are located in an old home built in the early 1900s. They serve fresh craft beers, packaged beer, and wine.

You can enjoy it there or take it to go. Check out their website for the current menu, as well as their food truck and live music calendar. Find their menu online.

29) North Mecklenburg Park

Address: 16131 Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078

North Mecklenburg Park is a sprawling 98-acre natural oasis featuring a wide range of recreational amenities. It boasts well-maintained baseball and soccer fields, inviting basketball courts, engaging playgrounds, and scenic hiking and biking trails.

Additionally, the park offers a pump track for cycling enthusiasts and a challenging mountain bike trail for those seeking an adventurous ride.

Restaurants in Huntersville, NC

Restaurants located within Birkdale Village

Dressler’s Restaurant
eeZ Fusion and Sushi
Midwood Smokehouse
Red Rocks Cafe
Kung Foo Noodle
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
First Watch
Cheesecake Factory
Brixx Wood Fired Pizza + Craft Bar

located near Rosedale Shopping Center

Killington’s Restaurant and Pub
Pinky’s Westside Grill
Metro Diner

located near Northcross Shopping Center

Link & Pin
The Lost Cajun
Kabuto Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar
Antico Italian Restaurant
Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse
Lancaster’s BBQ

Things to do in Huntersville NC Main Street Coffee location

Does Huntersville, NC have a downtown area?

Yes, Huntersville does have a downtown location; you will find the Discovery Place Kids Children Museum located here.  

Restaurants you’ll find downtown include the Neighborhood Cafe, Main Street Coffee & Coworking, Huntersville Ice Cream Shop, Taqueria Rosita Mexican Restaurant, Mama Mia Too Italian Restaurant, Slice House Pizza, and Hunter House & Gardens.  Stop off for some drinks at the Crafty Beer Guys Taproom & Bottle Shop. 

You can access the Downtown Huntersville Greenway, which connects downtown to several parks, including Holbrook, Rosedale, and Ranson Park, all the way to Torrence Creek Greenway.  

Things to do in Huntersville NC Downtown Greenway Sign

Shopping in Huntersville, NC

The Birkdale Village in Huntersville, NC, is one of the more popular shopping locations.  You will find our details on this above at #7 on our list. You can also enjoy movies at Birkdale too!

In addition, you will find shopping at:
Northcross Shopping Center, located at 9751 Sam Furr Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078
Rosedale Shopping Center, located at 9925 Rose Commons Dr, Huntersville, NC 28078

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