Summer is here and that means summer fun. Good news if you live in North Carolina, we actually ranked as one of the most fun states. This means finding plenty to do this summer shouldn’t be difficult. One of my personal favorite things about North Carolina is that you’re always a short drive from the beach or the mountains, which means there is plenty to do! So with so many options, it can be overwhelming. I know for me personally planning and making lists is the only way I can get things done. And that includes all the summer activities I want to take place in. So of course I had to make a North Carolina summer bucket list, and of course, I had to share it with you!

I spend most of my days browsing endless information about things to do in North Carolina whether that’s restaurants, small towns, beaches, tourist attractions, and everything else. So I had a lot to pull from. On this list you’ll see very specific items such as visiting certain restaurants, but there are also some more generic options that could include several destinations. So take a look at my list, perhaps it will influence you to do some of these things this summer. Have something on your North Carolina summer bucket list? Let me know I’d love to hear about it!

Summer is going to go by quickly so get to work crossing off that list, and most important of all? Have fun!

  • Go River Tubing In The North Carolina Mountains

    Man floating down a canal in a blow up tube

    River tubing has been on my bucket list for years now and I finally thought I was going to cross it off last summer, but the weather had other plans. There are many places to participate in this activity (most have you bring your own tube which you can purchase at Dicks or on Amazon). Some are in the North Carolina mountains, or you can make the drive across the border to South Carolina.

  • Visit Carowinds

    curves of a roller Coaster at Sunset or sunrise

    I’ve been to Carowinds countless times in my life, but it’s been a few years and I need some roller coaster thrills. I’m hoping to make it out there at least once this summer, preferably when the water park is open. I haven’t been to Carolina Harbor since it was expanded and have a soft spot for waterslides.

  • Dip My Toes In The Ocean At A North Carolina Beach


    Technically I’ve already crossed this off my list, but it wasn’t in the summer so I’d like to get at least one more beach trip in this summer. I went to Topsail Island a few weeks ago, but a future trip may be to a South Carolina beach. Only because of the shorter drive and I have friends and family which beach houses. Free places to stay always win. Planning an NC beach trip? Here are some beaches to consider!

  • Try Frose At The New Co-Op In Charlotte

    Co-op which just opened in Southend is absolutely on my summer list. The main draw is the fact that they have frose, which is a frozen rose wine drink, and one of my favorite things. But even beyond the drinks, the menu of breakfast items and sandwiches looks fantastic, and I have a feeling it will become a go-to for me.

  • Shop The Deals At Charlotte Premium Outlets

    woman with colorful shopping bags walking in modern mall.

    I was talking to my mom yesterday and she mentioned wanting to drive out to the Charlotte Premium Outlets. This shopaholic definitely wants to make a trip out there this summer. And also perhaps the ones in Mebane and Myrtle Beach (for that lululmenon!).

  • Enjoy A Relaxing North Carolina Spa Day

    Spa complementary package,on top of the bad.

    It may end up being just a quick massage, but the ideal summer activity is a full spa day at the Grove Park Inn, Umstead, or Ballantyne. Hey, a girl can dream, right? The ultimate relaxation day, complete with pools, hot tubs, and champagne is a must do this summer.

  • Try The New Sycamore Brewing In Charlotte's Southend

    One of Charlotte’s most popular breweries just recently reopened in a new state-of-the-art space. Not only do they have the beer and atmosphere that you know and love, but I’ve also browsed the menu and photos of the food and it looks incredible. I can’t wait to try everything on the menu at Sycamore Brewing.

  • Go For A Hike Perhaps At Crowder's Mountain

    I’m admittedly not the most outdoorsy of people, and I’m not going to hike anywhere off a very public trail. But a trip to Crowder’s Mountain or another nearby trail is something I do want to take part in this summer. Just to get outside, and accomplish something! Check out some of the best hikes in North Carolina here.

  • Visit A Charlotte Area Museum

    Charlotte has numerous museums, from two locations of the Mint Museum, the Betcher Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B Gantt Center, or even Discovery Place. There is something for everyone. And on a day when it’s over 100 degrees outside, taking in one of these fantastic museums seem like a great option. Which one will it be for me? Only time will tell!

  • Take A Winery Tour In The Yadkin Valley


    While North Carolina isn’t known for wine the way some other regions are, we have a plethora of wineries in the state. I’ve visited a handful including Biltmore, Childress, Divine Llama Vineyards, among others. But I’d love to go up to the Yadkin Valley with a driver or hotel to stay at, and winery hop. Who wants to join?

  • Try Little Mama's Brunch

    One of my favorite local Italian restaurants is Little Mamas in Southpark. And while I’ve been there a few times I’ve tried the brunch which I’ve heard fantastic things about. This summer is when I finally give it a try. See their menu here!

  • Take A Charlotte City Tour

    When you live in a city you often don’t take advantage of tourist activities like tours. Two that have always caught my eye and I just haven’t gotten around to doing are the Funny Bus comedy tour and one of the several ghost tour options. Who knows maybe I’ll cross both of them off the summer bucket list this year!

  • Visit The North Carolina Zoo

    I’ve always loved visiting zoos and have had the opportunity to visit several around the country throughout my life. We are lucky enough to have a fantastic one a short drive from Charlotte in Asheboro. And to make it even better, there have been several births of animals over the last few weeks, as well as the addition of a new baboon habitat so there is lots to see!

  • Attend An Outdoor Concert At One Of Charlotte's Music Venues

    Whether it is at PNC Music Pavilion or the newly renamed Skyla Credit Union Amphitheater (previously Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater aka the one at the Music Factory) nothing says summer like an outdoor concert. This is one I plan to cross off multiple times!

  • Book A Flight

    While technically not on my North Carolina bucket list, it won’t be summer without booking a flight somewhere. We are lucky in Charlotte to have an airport with easy access to so many places. Whether it’s one of the 11 Caribbean destinations we have direct flights to or my pending trips to Florida, Rhode Island, and Tennesee the world is just a flight away!

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