Over the past couple years we’ve started doing things to celebrate our birthdays instead of doing gifts. We’ve never been big into gifts anyways but living in a 40 ft. fifth wheel definitely makes us think twice about what we buy and bring into our home. Clutter is not our friend 🙅🏻♀️ Plus, I tend to remember things I did and experiences vs. a gift you might have bought me 5 yrs ago 🤷🏻♀️
For the past two years we’ve gone on a cruise on or around my birthday to celebrate and this year was going to be no different until covid had other plans… 🙄 Like so many others out there we had to re-arrange our plans because 2020 threw us a curve ball 🤪
We rearranged a lot and just happened to end up near Charlotte, North Carolina at the beginning of September. I wanted to do something epic since our cruise had been postponed, so I got to researching! My birthday happened to fall on Labor Day this year so I knew no matter what we did most things would probably be busy because of the holiday weekend.
Saturday morning we started out with a trip to Hanging Rock State Park. We decided to do the Hanging Rock Trail, which was a tough 1.3 mile trek to the top. The views from the top were incredible!!
We then grabbed some face masks from the store, some epsom salt, and one of my favorite treats a Speedy Freeze and had ourselves a little spa night. Don’t we look cute? 🤣🤣🤣
We were off to a great start for an awesome birthday weekend. Hiking and a spa night… what more could a girl ask for? And then we found the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Just an hour drive from our campground. Neither of us had ever been white water rafting before and we thought this would be the perfect place to give it a go. Not only do they have rafting but tons of other thrilling activities. For $59 ($49 youth) you get all day access to all the activities that are available that day including white water rafting! Parking is $6 and they have lockers available for rent if you need it too.
I think the draw for most people is the white water rafting available here. For rafting you have the option for Family or Adventure Rafting. We obviously chose the adventure rafting and it was a blast!! We already want to go again 😆 They also have whitewater kayaking (you must provide your own gear) but you are required to have previous whitewater experience. You can even take a class to learn how to whitewater kayak, I think that’d be so cool to learn how to do!
It’s so fun to watch all the rafters go down stream. Many people were there to just hangout and watch. We even saw a raft flip over. Yikes! 😬
Another fun activity we got to try out for the first time was zip lining and ropes courses! The U.S. National Whitewater Center has a total of 5 zip lines (2 of which are an upgrade from the day pass) and 8 different ropes courses. So you can take it easy and soar above the rapids and through the forest or test your mental and physical strength by taking on a ropes course challenge. I loved the zip line but the ropes course was a struggle for the both of us. Philip is afraid of heights and I’m so proud of him for finishing it 👏🏻 (I may have been behind him so he couldn’t turn around 😂).
Additionally, they have flat water kayaking & SUP, rock climbing, mountain biking, and even controlled jumps 🤯 (We decided to save that adventure for another day).
Just look at all these awesome activities awaiting you 😱
The USNWC is dedicated to promoting the outdoor, active lifestyle and bringing people together outdoors. We definitely felt that they achieved this goal when we were there. There were so many activities to do, we didn’t have enough time to squeeze everything into one day! This is a place we will most definitely be going back to and is one worth checking out and adding to your list.
Have you ever been rafting before? If not would you give it a try??
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