Friday, July 7, 2017

The US National Whitewater Center

Do you like being outdoors? Kayaking? Whitewater rafting? Or rock climbing? Or maybe you just like to sit and have a beer and listen to some good music? Either way you might want to give the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina a try. 





Opened in 2006 to train Olympic athletes in kayaking, the Whitewater Center is 1300 acres on the Catawaba River offering an all day experience in the outdoors. You can purchase a season pass or an all day activity pass. Or you can purchase single activity passes if you just want to zipline or rock climb or raft. Or if you want to just come in and drink a beer in the Beer Garden or listen to some bluegrass music, it's just $5 to park.

My college alumni association recently hosted a picnic at the Center so I was able to make my first trip here. Mr. UR, his brother and his wife plus myself ate dinner in a pavilion with the alumni association and then walked the grounds to see what it was all about. There are several rock climbing walls, including some slanted ones with a pool underneath to drop in, whitewater kayaking, whitewater rafting, ziplining, canopy tours, stand up paddleboarding, ropes course, jumps, mountain biking and trail running. Whew.






Then we hung around a little to listen to some bluegrass music. Every Thursday and Sunday from May to September is River Jam - concerts of local bands for just the parking fee. Bring your own chair or blanket and settle in for a fun evening concert. 




Every spring and fall on Friday nights the Center hosts the Whitewater Film Series featuring a variety of outdoor feature-length films from all over the world. And that's not all. Yoga is offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Once again, all you pay is the parking fee.




Plus there are the festivals. There's a Labor Day Festival, the Memorial Day Festival,Uncorked for wine tasting and live music, the Fall Finale for cider tasting and live music and CycloFest - a cycling demo experience. And they dye the river green for St. Patricks Day - along with some live music, of course and a trail run. There's also Tuck Fest which is a 3 day event celebrating outdoor lifestyles with competitions, exhibitions, demos and....live music. And my favorite name for a festival - the Brew Stash Bash which is an American Craft Beer Tasting with....live music.

There are also summer camps, team development sessions, instruction and certification courses and field trips. All to promote the active, outdoor lifestyle. The USNWC wants you to play, relax and learn outdoors. A very cool place with a cool goal. I'm going back to zipline!





This post is part of a link-up with: The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute,The Weekend Wanderlust Facebook Travel Blog Party  and Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox!












22 comments:

  1. Whitewater rafting is so fun. I have done it a few times, most recently in Whistler. I am going to have to give the Whitewater center a try. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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    1. Whitewater in Whistler sounds awesome! I have rafted on the New River in West Virginia and it was really fun - going to give ziplining a try at the Center! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Oh my goodness! This looks like a dream for me. Rock climbing and Rafting! What could be better?

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    1. I agree - what could be better?! Thanks for visiting, Kathryn!

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  3. What a cool place. Would love the ziplining. As much as I like to kayak, I don't think I'm at the white water level, but I bet it's fun to watch other kayakers and rafters take the run.

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    1. I feel exactly the same - I can kayak but after watching the kayakers in the whitewater I think I'll just stick to flat water! And it is very fun to watch. Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  4. I tried whitewater rafting once. I wasn't too much fun because I got stuck on rocks quite often. Luckily, the water was not too deep. I prefer kayaking on a calmer water. Thanks for joining me for #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. Both have their pros, don't they? I popped out of the raft when I went whitewater rafting and had to be helped back in. Quite the experience! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road - and for the link-up!

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  5. I have heard about this place before. I think it is cool that the public is allowed to use the facilities. A picnic in here sounds great. #TPThursday

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    1. It is a very nice place to use the facilities, picnic and listen to music. I really enjoyed it! Thanks for visiting, Ruth!

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  6. Wow how interesting and how fun! I'd totally buy a season pass! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!
    (www.caliglobetrotter.com)

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    1. Who knew it'd be in Charlotte, right? Thanks for visiting, Lori!

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  7. The name National Whitewater Center doesn't tell the whole story. This location sounds like an all-in-one entertainment venue with the whitewater aspect in the middle of it. Kudos to the center for increasing their appeal to a wider audience.

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    1. It's a very cool place - and they appear to have been planning their growth in a good way! Thanks for visiting, Rhonda!

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  8. Very cool! What a great way to extend the usefulness of this facility. Thanks for linking in to #wkendtravelinspiration!

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    1. Thanks Jim! And thanks for the link-up - and for visiting!

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  9. An awesome place for outdoors adventurers or if you want to drink and listen to music!

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    1. I can't wait to go back! Thanks for visiting, Jan!

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  10. My cousin's family lives in Charlotte, and her kids love getting annual passes for Christmas each year. We keep saying we're going to spend the weekend and visit the Whitewater Center with them but keep not making plans to do it. That said, I really didn't know much about it until I read your post! Thanks for enlightening me. :-) #weekendwanderlust

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    1. We thought about gifting each other day passes for Christmas so we can zipline, raft, kayak (still not sure about this one!) and enjoy the center for a whole day. Hope you make it there someday! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  11. I lived in Charlotte for a couple of years as a teenager, and I don't remember anything quite this adventurous there back then. This looks like a lot of fun!

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    1. It is a really fun place - and who knew it would be in Charlotte? Thanks for visting, April!

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