Whether you're spending a vacation in Lake Norman or have lived here for years, there are many things the area has to offer, such as outdoor activities, family entertainment, and more that you must do while spending time in Lake Norman. Don't know where to start? We covered you with over 30 things to do in Lake Norman with friends and family.


Outdoor Adventure


1. Latta Nature Preserve 

Latta Nature Preserve is located in Huntersville, offering many amenities. There are 16 miles of trails for hikers, and offers other programs, such as paddle boarding, fishing (you can borrow fishing poles), and kayaking tours available through the Nature Center. The preserve has a New Quest Center, a beautiful new facility encompassing interactive indoor exhibits, and a 6,000-gallon gar aquarium. You can also visit the Carolina Raptor Center, an education and rehabilitation facility for conserving birds and prey and home to the Southeast's largest eagle aviary. 

2. Blythe Landing 

Blythe Landing is located off Highway 73 in Huntersville. This is a 26-acre park featuring floating piers, six boat launch sites, and other amenities, including a playground, picnic areas, and sand volleyball courts. 


Fisher Farm Park

Fisher Farm Park

Fishing at Latta Nature Preserve

Latta Nature Preserve

3. Lake Davidson Nature Preserve

Lake Davidson Nature Preserve is a pristine body of water adjacent to Lake Norman. Take a hike along the Sterling Martin Trail or put in a launch at the preserve. Locals can enjoy a self-guided adventure on Lake Davidson with their watercraft rentals on Saturdays April-October. Life jackets and a paddle/oar and citizens' choice of canoe, double kayak, single kayak, or paddle board will be provided.

4. Fisher Farm Park 

Fisher Farm Park is a 200-acre park located off Shearer Road. It is an amazing place for an easy stroll among nature. Their farm is a natural area with various wildlife, insects, and plant life. The park offers four mountain bike trails with beginner to advanced challenges. Recently an archery range was added to the park in May 2023, where people of any skill level can come and participate in archery for free during open range times.  

5. Ramsey Creek Park 

Ramsey Creek Park has a 46-acre waterfront beach featuring a swimming area, boat launch and docks, a playground, picnic shelters, nature trails, a fishing pier, an enclosed dog park, and a volleyball court. Shelters are available to rent and provide an instant picnic shelter along the shores of Lake Norman.

6. Jetton Park

Jetton Park is a 104-acre lakefront park near Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius. The park includes a sunning beach (no swimming), paved 1.5-mile loop walking trails, picnic sites, lighted tennis courts, and playgrounds. Waterfront Hall is a meeting space the park has that can be reserved for special events.  Whether with friends or alone, Jetton Park is the perfect place to unwind after a long work day and watch the sunset. 

Copy of Jetton Park

Jetton Park

Family Entertainment 


Frankies's Fun Park

Frankie's Fun Park

Urban Air

Urban Air Adventure Park

7. Frankie's Fun Park 

Frankie's is a fun park for entertaining teenagers with indoor and outdoor activities. It is open year-round with free entry as you pay per attraction. Some amenities the park offers include 24 bowling lanes, three mini golf courses with 54 unique holes, and three go-kart tracks. There are also bumper cars, laser tag & many arcade games. Finally, Frankie's includes a lounge area with a full-service bar and food menu. 

8. Discovery Place Kids 

Discovery Place Kids is a children's museum in Huntersville that provides opportunities for kids to be creative and learn to explore their world. The two-story museum has immersive and interactive stations allowing kids to be firefighters, chefs, explorers, and so much more. Opportunities for fun are limitless. 

9. Urban Air Adventure Park 

Urban Air is an indoor trampoline and adventure park in Cornelius that is open year-round. The ultimate playground is perfect for spending a fun day with friends and family or hosting your kids' birthday party. Urban Air has been voted BEST Gym in America for Kids by Shape Magazine. 

10. Northern Regional Recreation Center

This state-of-the-art facility is the biggest playground in the area for all ages. Featuring an 8-lane lap pool, a family-friendly leisure pool, fitness areas, multi-purpose indoor sports court, many programs and classes, and more! Activities range from preschool to seniors, beginner to advanced skill levels, and inclusive of all abilities. The Northern Regional Rec Center is open to the public and offers memberships as well as daily options for those just visiiting.

11. Lake Norman Mini Golf

Lake Norman Mini Golf is a small family owned business and is the perfect outing for families, friends or group events. The 18-hole course is designed so that the first 5 and last 4 holes are linked in a way that make them wheelchair accessible. They also feature axe throwing, laser maze, Saz's snoballs, a rock climbing wall, food and drinks. They are open seasonally from mid-February through Thanksgiving weekend so make sure to call or check their website for seasonal operating hours.

Northern Regional Rec Center

Northern Regional Recreation Center

Copy of Lake Norman Mini Golf

Lake Norman Mini Golf

Tempo Golf

Tempo Golf

Ninja Nation

Ninja Nation

12. Tempo Golf

If you're a golf enthusiast, Tempo Golf offers an unparalleled golfing simulator experience for players of all skill levels. They are the first indoor golf course in Huntersville and whether you’re trying to beat the weather or the wait, this facility is the place to keep swinging seven days a week! With professional golf simulator technology and an augmented reality putting system, beginner, casual, and scratch golfers alike are invited to play 650+ gorgeous virtual golf courses from around the globe- without booking a flight.

13. Ninja Nation

Ever wonder how you would make it out as a contestant on American Ninja Warrior? Ninja Nation in Huntersville features world-class ninja obstacle courses optimized to engage, challenge, and inspire kids and adults. Behind this facility is former stuntman Kevin Cassidy, who has worked on the set of Marvel films including Avengers Infinity War, Far From Home, Black Panther, and more. After retiring from Hollywood, he moved to Lake Norman and opened this premier facility. Stop by for open gym, join a class or host a birthday party or event.

Waterfront Restaurants


14. Hello, Sailor 

Hello, Sailor is a modern take on fish camp serving fish dishes and fried favorites in Cornelius. The bright, sunny, casual waterfront restaurant and bar are open every Wednesday through Sunday. Joe and Katy Kindred own the restaurant and tapped big-name Charleston chef Craig Deihl to lead the kitchen. 

15. Port City Club

Port City Club is a uniquely designed 13,500 sq. ft. waterfront restaurant in Cornelius. Each room has a view of the Lake and was designed to be bright, cheerful, and reflect a casual yet classy atmosphere. The restaurant serves only the best fresh ingredients to make steak, seafood & cocktails. 

16. North Harbor Club

The North Harbor Club is a regatta-themed New American fine-dining destination with a waterfront patio & 9 boat slips for guests. Located in Davidson, the restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The North Harbor Club offers fine cuisine using fresh ingredients serving popular meals such as Stuff Roasted Chicken Breast, Herb Crusted Tilapia, and a Light House Burger. 

Hello Sailor

Hello, Sailor

Salmon plate with lakefront view at Port City Club

Port City Club

Lake Activities


17. Carolina Cruising Charters 

Carolina Cruising Charters is one of the various businesses offering watersports rentals in Lake Norman. Their fleet of boats are all captained by US Coast Guard Master Captains so that you can enjoy the boat ride. Don't forget to ask the captains for all the local sightseeing knowledge and history of the lake! Each cruise is tailored to your party, and every booking differs depending on what you want. Add-on options include paddleboard, tubing, waterskiing, and wakeboarding.

18. Carolina Boat Rentals 

Carolina Boat Rentals offers pontoons, sailboats, fishing boats, kayaks, and jet ski rentals seven days a week. Boats are available for delivery and pick up any day of the week, parasailing and tube rentals are also available. You can also tour beautiful Lake Norman on a 24 ft. Bentley Pontoon with an experienced Carolina Boat Rentals driver. They also provide a two-person tube for tubing for the more adventurous. 

19. Mountain Island Lake Paddle Co.

kayak or paddleboard through quiet coves along the shoreline of Mountain Island Lake. The least developed of the three Catawba River-fed lakes in the area is home to fewer boats and lots of wildlife. Mountain Island Lake Paddle Co. provides all the equipment dropped off right to you at Latta Nature Preserve's Gar Creek Kayak Only launch and rental includes everything you'll need for a fun and safe day on the lake!

Carolian Cruising Charter

Carolina Cruising Charters

boat rentals

Carolina Boat Rentals

Paddleboarding at Latta Nature Preserve

Mountain Island Lake



Birkdale Village

Birkdale Village

Village Store

Village Store

20. Birkdale Village 

Birkdale is a popular, open-air shopping, dining, and residential area in Huntersville. It is perfect for those who want to spend an afternoon shopping for items such as clothes at Francesca's Boutique, books at Barnes and Noble, or jewelry at Kendra Scott. You will also find many places to grab a bite, whether a pizza at Brixx or a treat at Kilwin's. The area is perfect for walking around and includes a movie theatre that plays all the newest showings. 

21. Village Store 

The Village Store is family owned business since 1966 located in downtown Davidson. Open daily, 9 am-6 pm and 10 am-4 pm on Sundays; the store offers shoppers a fantastic variety of gifts in a charming setting. 

22. Main Street Books

Main Street Books had lived in the old general store on Main Street in Davidson since 1987 when Barabara Freund and Betty Reinke established the most esteemed independent bookstore. After 27 years of expertly putting books in the hands of bibliophiles around town, Betty and Barabara retired in 2015, and Adah Fitzgerald now owns the bookstore. 

Historic Locations


23. Rural Hill 

Rural Hill is Lake Norman's exciting working farm, nature preserve, event space, and cultural event site at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville. The historic farm showcases over 250 years of local Scottish heritage. There are many exciting annual events, including the Amazing Maize Maze, which runs from mid-September through early November, and the Loch Norman Highland Games in mid-April. 

24. Hugh Torance House & Store

The Hugh Torance House & Store is North Carolina's oldest surviving store and one of Mecklenburg County's few serving 18th-century structures located in Huntersville. Visit the store open every Sunday 1-4 pm selling snacks, drinks, sundries, and more. Guided tours are at 1:15 pm and 3 pm. 


Rural Hill

Rural Hill

Hugh Torrance House

Hugh Torance House & Store

Downtown Cornelius


Cain Center Art Gallery

Cain Center for the Arts

Oak Street Mill Antiques

Oak Street Mill Antiques

25. Cain Center for the Arts 

Cain Center for the Arts opened in January 2023 and is Lake Norman's newest home for inspiration, creativity, and community in Cornelius. This cultural and educational organization promotes and presents the literary, visual & performing arts for the enrichment of our community by providing a venue for artists to exhibit and perform. The Cain Center has a 400-seat indoor auditorium and an outdoor amphitheater, there is also a gallery space and event spaces within the center. 

26. Oak Street Mill Antiques

Oak Street Mill Antiques known as the popular antique shop in downtown Cornelius, used to be a cotton purchasing business named the Gem Yarn Mill in the late 1800s. The Gem Yarn Mill employed 45 people when it first opened in 1905 and up to 150 people during its peak years (1941-1946). Now this antique shop is stocked with a great variety of antiques and collectibles and has over 85 vendors and 10,000+ square feet of unique finds. 

27. Old Town Public House

The Old Town Public House is the town of Cornelius' newest bottle shop and taproom. There is always something new and exciting to experience at the Old Town Public House, from rotating craft beverages and hand-selected wines, to food trucks, gallery shows, pop-up events and the area's best nightly live entertainment!

28. Thigs Cocktail Bar

Thigs Cocktail Bar is a premier European cocktail bar located in the heart of Cornelius with an upscale ambience and an expansive cocktail menu full of unique beverage options. This social district was inspired by co-owner Kas Matos' 2016 visit to Amsterdam. Thig's is open Thursday, 5 pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am; and Sunday, 2 pm to 10 pm and hosts live music on the weekends. 

Public Grounds

Old Town Public House


Thigs Cocktail

Downtown Davidson


29. Davidson Farmers Market 

The Davidson Farmers Market has been around for 15 years featuring over 35 vendors within a 100-mile radius of the market, serving more than 1,300 shoppers per week. It has become Lake Norman's prime farmers' market as a producer-only market to provide local farmers and purveyors a place to sell their products directly to the consumer while supplying shoppers with healthy, fresh, and locally grown products. The market is located on Main Street in Davidson, and you can visit it every Saturday morning from 9 am-12 pm between April 1 through November 18. 


Davidson Farmers Market

Davidson Farmers Market

30. Davidson College 

Davidson College was established in 1837 as a liberal arts college that has since been shown to be the staple of the town of Davidson. There are art galleries and 20 on-campus sculptures with rotating art exhibits within the Belk Visual Arts Center. The campus is a beautiful spot to walk around, and audio tours are available on your mobile device. American professional basketball player Steph Curry recently graduated from Davidson College in 2022. 

Davidson Wine Company Patio

Davidson Wine Company

Summit Coffee

Summit Coffee

Davidson College Sculpture

Davidson College Sculpture

31. Davidson Wine Company 

The Davidson Wine Company is the newest urban winery in Davidson, owned by the African-American lawyer and winemaker Lindsey Williams. While the winery has only been open for four years, the building space has a rich history as it used to be an organ-making shop. Take a visit for wine tasting, wine drinking, bottling parties, and more.

32. Summit Coffee

Summit Coffee is a popular spot to grab coffee and listen to live music on the weekends. It is located in Downtown Davidson, where you can walk around town to shop, explore the Davidson College campus, and see the beautiful art structures. If you are taking summer classes or need to answer emails, Summit Coffee is the perfect study/work spot to get everything you need done while sipping coffee and enjoying the warm atmosphere.

Make sure to take lots of photos of the places you visit and post your favorite places on social media and tag us @visitlakenorman