Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, Gaston County boasts a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and warm Southern hospitality. From the picturesque landscapes of Crowders Mountain State Park to the compelling exhibits at local museums, every mile reveals new wonders and opportunities for exploration. As you traverse the scenic routes and meander through charming towns, you’ll have the chance to savor local cuisine, shop for unique treasures, and connect with the welcoming community.
- After your long drive, relax and unwind in downtown Gastonia, the county seat and largest metropolis. Enjoy a delicious meal, visit The Vintage for a relaxing drink, or check out Esquire and head straight to the rooftop for panoramic views.
- If your evening runs long, we recommend the nightlife at Cavendish, City Cade, Freemans Pub, or the Rooster.
- Start your day at Crowders Mountain State Park for a scenic hike around the lake, or head to the top for breathtaking views. We recommend going early or on a weekday to avoid crowds.
- In the afternoon, visit Veronét Vineyards, where you can indulge in wine tastings and enjoy the picturesque vineyard setting overlooking Crowders Mountain.
Discover Natural Beauty
- Begin your day by exploring the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Admire their stunning gardens, beautiful Orchid Conservatory, art installations, spectacular fountains, nature trails, and special events.
- Since you will be close, we recommend a leisurely afternoon on Lake Wylie. Enjoy water activities, relax, and enjoy the serene surroundings by renting a boat from Morningstar Marina.
- Head to Drift for dinner on the patio overlooking the water or back into downtown Belmont where the dining options are numerous.
- The Whitewater Center offers a full day of thrilling outdoor activities like rafting class II-IV rapids from a manufactured river, rock climbing or zip-lining, and over 50 miles of biking and hiking trails. Keep an eye on the calendar as they also have live music many nights in the summer.
- Head into Mount Holly to explore the town. Visit local shops, boutiques, and enjoy a leisurely walk through the charming streets with several great casual dining options.
Paddle our Historic Rivers
- Try a half-day guided or unguided kayaking adventure along the South Fork of the Catawba Riverkeeper from the Boathouse in McAdenville. Explore the scenic waterways and see remnants from our historical past – old textile mills while enjoying the natural beauty.
- After your paddle, take a trail hike along the Carolina Thread Trail, or take the short walk to McAdenville for a delicious meal at Terra Mia or Spruced Goose.
Bike under a tree canopy
- Head to Cramerton for a fun day exploring Goat Island Park and Rocky Branch Park, leading you to Belmont, where you can indulge in retail therapy by exploring the unique shops and boutiques. Bike rentals are available at Confluence.
- The end of your day will bring you back to Cramerton, where you can grab a bite to eat in one of the local restaurants or get your food to-go and enjoy it on Goat Island, picnic style.
Elevate Your Trip
Enhance your trip by immersing yourself in the region’s flavors, beverages, and artistry along three captivating trails.
Indulge in the Gaston County BBQ Trail: Embark on a culinary adventure along the Gaston County BBQ Trail, where you can savor mouthwatering barbecue dishes from various local establishments. Experience the distinct flavors and styles of Gaston County’s renowned barbecue scene.
Explore the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail: Discover the flavors of Gaston County’s craft beverage scene by following the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail. Visit breweries, wineries, and even a distillery, enjoying tastings and learning about the art of craft beverage production.
Discover the Gaston County Art Trail: Visit art galleries, studios, and public art installations, showcasing local artists’ talents and experiencing the area’s vibrant creative culture.
NOTE: Remember to check operating hours and the availability of attractions and restaurants in advance. Many businesses in Gaston County are closed on Mondays.
Embarking on a road trip through Gaston County, NC, offers an affordable getaway and presents a tapestry of unforgettable experiences. The benefits of a road trip are manifold as you embrace the freedom to chart your course, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the authentic charm of the region.