Charlotte Relocation Guide

VOL2 ISS2 2018

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CHARLOTTE | VOLUME 2 — ISSUE 2 58 GASTON COUNTY Gaston County outdoor spaces, indoor culinary If you have lived in Gaston County for any length of time you know that its "bread and butter" is the outdoor lifestyle. In the colder months, the icing on its cake are spectacular, one-of-a-kind holiday events held at museums, gardens, and a town that once a year transforms into "Christmas Town USA." First and foremost, Gaston County celebrates the "Great Outdoors" in a myriad of ways. You might say it is "Colorado lite." Mountainous terrain, woods, lake and forests highlight nature all four seasons, and attract a fitness minded population that reveres biking, hiking, mountain climbing and time spent on waterways. Crowders Mountain are words spoken with reverence by nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This mecca for adventure seekers is like a whisper beckoning hikers to return to spend the day hiking on one of North Carolina's most scenic and prolific mountain ranges. Rising a stunning 800 feet above the surrounding Piedmont, the mountain makes a statement of serenity and beauty with a come-and-try-me attitude. Crowders Mountain is a main fixture in the park by the same name - Crowders Mountain State Park - which is built around two peaks - Kings Pinnacle to the west and Crowders to the east. Spend the day and test your endurance on the Ridgeline Trail by hiking through Kings Mountain State Park to the trailhead at Kings Mountain National Military Park. Have a "Rocky Mountain High" experience and climb to the highest point in the county, King's Pinnacle. BY LYNNE BRANDON Get outside on the Carolina Thread Trail - a network of trails, greenways, blueways (routes on waterways such as rivers, lakes, canals and coastlines), and conserved corridors that links 15 counties. In Gaston County, try out Avon/ Catawba Creek Greenway, Catawba River Blueway, Crowders Mountain Trail, Goat Island Greenway and others. Forests are a vital part of Gaston's landscape. In the near future, locals will be able to learn more about the complex interdependent forest ecosystems that make up Mountain Island Forest. Trails, including one that has "talking trees" are also planned. Gaston's waterways are a favorite way to relax. Kayak on the Catawba River or try the sport of stand up paddle boarding with the help of Anchored Soul. Rent a canoe or old fashioned pedal boat and spend the day at Rankin Lake Park. Outdoor recreation might be Gaston's sweet spot, but a closer look reveals a place that is more than an outdoor playground. A cultural lifestyle on par with big cities awaits discovery in Gaston with museums, performing arts, gardens and more. Situated on the banks of Lake Wylie in Belmont, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is an ideal respite any time of year. Bubbling fountains, 12 themed gardens and a stunning 8,000-square-foot Orchid Conservatory are just a few lures for visitors. Nearby, McAdenville, aptly dubbed "Christmas Town USA," is transformed each winter into a magical Christmas wonderland. In its 63rd year, the town's light display (the town starts decorating in October) brings in thousands each year. All ages gravitate to the Schiele Museum of Natural History. See exhibits like Henry Hall of the American Indian featuring tools, artifacts and weapons from the five major tribal groups, or Creepy Nature that explores how unusual plants and animals inspired horror fiction concepts. Audiences are entertained by the Gaston Dance Theatre with a repertoire of classical and contemporary dance works in ballet, jazz, tap and modern. At the holidays, audiences enjoy the perennial favorite, "The Nutcracker." Culinary entrepreneurs and artisans are making their mark with locally owned restaurants, bakeries, farmers markets, niche grocers, breweries, wineries and a distillery. Bring your appetite to Peace-N-Hominy Q Shack in Belmont for barbecue prepared with smoke, love and plenty of time. Try TimeOut C-Store Grill for old fashioned comfort food from homemade chicken salad to oyster stew. Grab a bite at Nellie's Southern Kitchen in Belmont, McAdenville Table and Market or go more highbrow at Webb Custom Kitchen. Webb's takes fine dining to a new level with GASTON COUNT Y STATS LAND AREA: 356.03 SQUARE MILES 2016 POPULATION ESTIMATE: 216,965 SOURCE: WWW.NCPEDIA.ORG

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