Sure, we all know the best kind of summer activity is a lazy afternoon in a hammock, but if you’re looking for more creative ways to have fun in the sun, we’ve found the top spots for it. From standup paddleboarding lessons to movies under the stars, consider this your guide to getting outside this season.
In the Water
BoatForget sunning on the sidelines. Get out on the water now with one of these top boat clubs around the lake!
Carefree Boat Club of Lake NormanAt this Cornelius boat club, you’ll get training, unlimited access to boats, and with their high selection, the odds are good you’ll have a boat just when you want it. Ready to join? You could be on the water in under a week. www.carefreeboats.com
Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals and Boat ClubAt this club, you’ll find jet skis and ski boats alongside luxe pontoons. Plus, they offer wake boats, skis, and knee boards to ensure that you’re boating experience is as active as you can handle it. www.aquaventure-rentals.com
- The Boat Club of Lake NormanWith a membership at this Mooresville club you don’t have to worry about maintenance or storage expense for a boat. Which means it’s that much easier to relax when you’re with your friends on the water in one of their boats like the Azure or the Sweetwater Pontoon. www.boatcluboflkn.com
Fish: Guided Adventures with Capt. GusOk, he can’t guarantee you’ll catch the big one, but you can be certain you’ll have fun when Captain Gus of Lake Norman Ventures takes you out on the lake. He provides the bait and rods for up to six people on a boat at a time so you can reel in your catch. www.fishingwithgus.com
Jet Ski: Kings Point MarinaHold on tight! The Yamaha VX 1100’s for rent at this Cornelius marina can speed across the water at more than 40 mph, offering you a thrill for your day on the lake. www.morningstarmarinas.com
- Paddleboard: My Aloha Paddle and SurfReady for a bikini body? In addition to paddleboarding classes and rentals, this spot also features fitness group classes focusing on cardio and yoga exercises designed to work your core. www.standuplkn.com
TennisReady to get into the swing of things this summer? Make a match at one of these local public courts.
Jetton ParkLocated on the lake, this 106-acre park features eight lighted courts, making it the perfect spot to play day or night. www.charmeck.org/ParksandRec
North Mecklenburg ParkThese six courts come with an official stamp of approval. In 2011, the United States Tennis Association worked with the town of Huntersville to create the lighted courts at this popular 98-acre park. www.charmeck.org/ParksandRec
Birkdale Golf ClubThis Arnold Palmer-designed 72-hole course is located on 200 pristine acres and features challenging conditions—perfect for reminiscing about over a drink at its onsite tavern. www.birkdale.com
Fox Den Country ClubSet on 400 acres in a residential part of Statesville, this lush course offers scenic rolling hills and gorgeous water features. www.foxdennc.com
Westport Golf ClubTree-lined fairways and manicured greens set the scene at this elite club in Denver. www.westportgc.com
- Cornelius Road ParkThis spot, which just opened two years ago, is one of the newest in the area and features six lighted tennis courts at the 80-acre park. www.charmeck.org/parksandrec
Outdoor Movies: Movies in the ParkThis month, at this (free!) summer family favorite you can catch flicks like Despicable Me 2. The park opens to the public at 6 p.m. and offers the chance for games and free popcorn before settling in for the viewing at dusk (typically around 9 p.m.). www.moviesintheparkhuntersville.com
Catch the Game: The Charlotte KnightsNothing says summer like cold beer, hotdogs, and cheering for a home run. And at the new BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte you can do all that with panoramic views of the city. (Oh, and that beer? It comes in a Mason jar. Now we’re talking seriously summer.) www.milb.com
- Ice Cream: Carolina ConesThis beloved spot in downtown Cornelius has been serving up its famed scoops since 1981. For a real indulgence, order the Chocolate Doughnut Crunch with thick and chewy bites of frozen chocolate donut holes. www.facebook.com/Carolina-Cones