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Great Getaways


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Outdoor Adventure

Kayaks. Paddleboards. Mountain bikes. Hiking shoes. You have the gear, we have the places to use it. Now is the time to get outdoors and discover a recreation wonderland.


Crowders Mountain State Park

The crown jewel of Gaston County is Crowders Mountain State Park. The views here are spectacular. Outdoor adventurers can enjoy miles of hiking, camping, fishing, and more.


Carolina Thread Trail

With the help of the Carolina Thread Trail, Gaston County offers miles of trails including both greenways for hiking, and blueways for paddling, creating a great opportunity to get outside.

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Nature Lovers

Hop on this trail and enjoy the beauty of nature through these attractions located throughout the county.


Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

This is Carolinas’ Garden for all seasons. DSBG provides guests a chance to reconnect with nature and to create lifelong memories. Located on 380 acres along the banks of Lake Wylie, this garden features spectacular gardens, sparkling fountains, a conservatory of tropical plants, and more.


The Schiele Museum of Natural History

Come learn about science and natural history in this museum offering exceptional educational programs, exhibits, and more. The Schiele Museum of Natural History is only one of 70 museums in the U.S. designated as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.


Enjoy Our Parks

We also have over 80 parks within the County here for the enjoyment of visitors making it easy to encounter nature and explore anywhere your adventure might lead.

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Thrill Seekers

The Whitewater Center is the world's premier outdoor facility featuring the best adventures for thrill seekers including, whitewater rafting, zip lines, and climbing creating a great weekend getaway!

Whitewater rafting

A must at Whitewater Center — it’s in the name after all. Rapids range from classes II to IV, and experiences vary from beginner to advanced. All options include a professional guide. Experienced paddlers may take on the whitewater course by kayak.


Zipline courses

Stretch across the center’s campus. Varying from 200 feet to more than 1,000 feet long, ziplines carry passengers above the tree canopy and across the whitewater course.


Deep Water Solo

A form of rock climbing that utilizes falling into a deep pool of water instead of traditional climbing protection. The Whitewater Center’s Deep Water Solo Complex has five walls ranging from 20 to 45 feet in height.

Tree Canopy Ropes

An activity that is built into the trees or made of utility poles that incorporates traversing obstacles of varying difficulty. Participants wear harnesses and are attached to safety lines throughout the activity.

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Get On The Water

Every day is a good day to be on the water as the scenic views, public access areas, and boat rental options abound.



Paddling the calm waters is a super easy and a fun way to pass the time. Grab a boat and head to either the Catawba or South Fork River using a sit-on-top kayak with single or tandem options, or maybe even a canoe. Check out the 11 Mills Blueway Trail for detailed information on where to launch, dock and make stops along the way.



Maybe paddling just isn't your idea of a good time. That's ok! The Catawba River, which leads to Lake Wylie, allows our visitors a chance to enjoy open water. Grab some friends and rent a jet ski or a pontoon boat at one of our marinas and make your own private party on the water.

Thursday Evening Paddle Series Boathouse
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Home Team

In Gaston County we pack the house as spectators roar with cheers for their team and favorite athletes.


Gastonia Honey Hunters

If you're an athlete at heart you absolutely must head to the ball field in Gastonia to witness the fun of the ball game.The Gastonia Honey Hunters, is a professional baseball team in the Atlantic League.


Carolina Speedway

Roaring to life with spectacular dirt track races the Carolina Speedway is known as “The Action Track”. This 4/10th of a mile oval track hosts different divisions each week. Check the calendar for 700 horsepower engines thundering around the track and cheer the drivers to the finish line.


Belmont Abbey Crusaders

The Abbey Crusaders at Belmont Abbey College play in NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas and currently compete in nearly three dozen men's and women's varsity sports. With so many sports, there are home games on campus nearly every night of the week.


Gaston Rhinos

The Gaston College Rhinos in Dallas, NC competes in five sports, baseball, softball, e-sports, beach volleyball and men's basketball in the NJCAA.

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Craft Beverage Trail

The Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail features breweries, distilleries and wineries in and around Gaston County. Currently there are 12 locations located on the trail. Each has its own unique feel and culture and experienced altogether on the trail makes it a great weekend getaway.

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Christmas County

An extravaganza of festivals and events designed to celebrate this special time of year exclusively in Gaston County.


Christmas Town USA

When the sun goes down visitors explore the brightly illuminated town of McAdenville while carillon bells play carols. The tour includes a lake with a 75 foot multi-colored fountain, historic bell tower, and vintage displays. Christmas Town USA® was ranked 4th by USA Today as the “Best Public Holiday Lights Display” in the US.

Holiday Lights at the Garden

Celebrate the holidays at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden with a mile of a million lights. Over half a million lights twinkle from November through the end of December.

Ice Trail Skating

The US National Whitewater Center creates a 17,000 sq. ft. ice trail for skating with an on-ice Airstream serving hot and cold beverages. Available November through February.


Snowless Sledding

Spend a night of fun with your friends and family on these snowless tubing lanes, the Chutes.

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Casino Excitement

Let the fun begin

Now open in its pre-launch temporary facility, Catawba Two Kings Casino brings great gaming action with the newest slot machines and electronic table games in a smoke-free environment. As this facility continues to expand on the types of gaming and number of machines, it will quickly become North Carolina’s premier gaming facility.

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Barbecue Trail

The Gaston County Cue' Trail is your guide to the best barbecue. Whether you’re a barbecue aficionado or looking to try something new, the Gaston Co. Cue Trail is a great guide to our best BBQ.

Carolina 'Cue Exhibit at Schiele Museum

Start the Gaston Co. Cue Trail off right by visiting the Carolina 'Cue Exhibit at The Schiele Museum in Gastonia. Opening on June 18, 2022 this exhibit sponsored by First Horizon Bank, explores the history of this beloved food, discusses the science behind rubs and sauces, and hosts memorabilia from local restaurants!

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Art Trail


Emily Andres Art at Tuckaseege Park
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