Freedom Park picture
Ann Rivall for USN & WR

Key Info

1900 East Blvd.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.6

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Boasting nearly 100 acres, Freedom Park is a refreshing (free) escape from the Uptown hustle and bustle. Situated on the east edge of the Myers Park neighborhood (about 3 miles north of the city center), the "Central Park of Charlotte" is popular year-round thanks to the various walking and biking paths, not to mention the abundance of picnic spots. Amidst the dog walkers, joggers and families, you'll also find four baseball fields, 12 tennis courts and a basketball court, among other recreational facilities. Several events take place here throughout the year, including the Festival in the Park in September and the Kings Drive Art Walk every May. Though they warn it can get crowded, travelers highly recommend planning an afternoon trip here, saying it's a great place to take pictures. 

The best way to get to Freedom Park is to drive. Parking is free, but limited. Plan to station your car on one of the streets surrounding the park, such as Princeton Avenue. Keep in mind while there are bathrooms here, there are no food or beverage facilities. However, within about a mile of the park, you'll find a bevy of restaurants and shops, including Starbucks, as well as locally-owned eateries, such as Kid Cashew, The Summit Room and JJ's Red Hots. The park is open daily but tennis court hours vary by season; check the park's website for the latest hours.

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#1 U.S. National Whitewater Center

Take your pick between more than 30 different land and water activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a 1,300-acre facility northwest of downtown Charlotte along the Catawba River. At the world's largest man-made whitewater river, you'll have your choice of a variety of activities, including kayaking (both flatwater and whitewater), stand-up paddle boarding, and, of course, whitewater rafting. If you'd prefer to stay dry, the center can accommmodate you there, too: land activities include mountain biking, rock climbing and zip-lining, with plenty of running trails and obstacle courses for those with a competitive edge.

Past travelers said the center is a great place to take your family for the day  though visitors admit tickets can get pricey.

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Kyo H Nam/charlottesgotalot.com
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