Things to do

Nearby Popular Attractions/Things to do


Enjoy a family day at Adventure Landing

Check out Adventure Landing with your family while in Gastonia. There’s plenty for everyone to love here! Stop in and check out the three 18-hole mini golf courses, each one with a fun theme. There is also fun to be had in the arcade or test your batting skills in the batting cages. You’re sure to work up an appetite while at Adventure Landing, so be sure to check out the on-site restaurant, featuring kid and adult-friendly menu options.


Plan a picnic at Rankin Lake Park

Nothing beats a day at the lake with your family, so while in Gastonia, you should definitely check out the Rankin Lake Park. Enjoy a picnic at one of numerous tables before taking a relaxing swim or trying your hand at a bit of fishing. The park also features an 18-hole golf course, a couple of horseshoe courts as well as an extensive system of hiking trails. If you’re interested in canoeing, kayaking or paddle boating, be sure to visit the park office where these boats can be rented for the day.


Do a bit of hiking and rock climbing at Crowders Mountain

With a total elevation of 1,625 feet (495 meters), Crowders Mountain makes for a great place to enjoy a bit of hiking or rock climbing while in Gastonia. The peak is located in the similarly named Crowders Mountain State Park and offers fantastic views from the summit. For other hiking opportunities, be sure to also check out The Pinnacle, also located in the park.


Enjoy a high-speed race at Carolina Speedway

If your travels bring you to Gastonia between March and October, you’ll want to spend your Friday night at the races! Carolina Speedway is one of the oldest dirt racetracks in the South and features a total of six dirt track divisions that will keep your adrenaline pumping all night. Come check out the Late Models, as Carolina Speedway is one of the few racetracks in the country that still race this type of car. Other races include open wheel modifieds and four cylinders.


Hit the greens at Catawba Creek Golf Course

Step up to the tee and try to stay under par at Gastonia’s Catawba Creek Golf Course. The full 18-hole course is a 70 par and features a driving range and a practice putting green. Golf carts are available for rental for guests.


Try a local brew at the Cavendish Brewery

Cavendish Brewery is Gastonia’s only brewery and makes for a great place to spend an evening while in town. The brewery specializes in uniquely crafted old-world beers made with modern techniques, making this a special place to visit. For visitors that aren’t partial to beers, Cavendish carries a highly rated selection of both red and white wines.


Start your morning right with a healthy breakfast at Sprouts Cafe

Sprouts Cafe is perfect for all visitors, from diners who love their traditional meat and potato meals to patrons that prefer vegetarian or vegan fare. The cafe serves both breakfast and lunch, making it a great place to fill yourself before heading out into Gastonia for the day. Enjoy the Breakfast Plate with two eggs, a meat of your choice (vegetarian options are available as well) and toast or indulge in the vegan pancakes, complete with vegan butter and organic maple syrup.


Check out the local acting talent at the Little Theater of Gastonia

Lovers of theater, this one is for you. The Little Theater of Gastonia is a non-profit theater and has been entertaining Gastonia since 1950. The theater puts on a wide variety of acts, including musicals. Performances run for short stints only, so be sure to check out the theater’s website for information during the time of your visit to Gastonia.


Enjoy bowling at George Pappas Liberty Lanes

Bowling is a great way to spend time with your loved ones. It just so happens that Gastonia has a great bowling alley in which to do just that. Check out George Pappas Liberty Lanes, where you can determine just who the best bowler in your party is. Discounts can be received on large groups (be sure to contact the lanes) and a snack bar is available for guests when you start to get a bit peckish. They even serve breakfast items!


Tackle the George Poston Park terrain on a mountain bike

Whether you mountain bike frequently or are more of a beginner, the biking trails within George Poston Park have a little bit of something for everyone. Novice bikers will want to ride through the green meadows that require less riding skill while seasoned riders are sure to love the ascent of Spencer Mountain and all the challenging tree roots and rock gardens that come with it. No matter which route you take, be sure to enjoy North Carolina’s beautiful landscape.


Kings Mountain National Military Park

Kings Mountain Park remembers the battle victory of the Revolutionary War-the first major American victory following the British invasion at Charleston.

Thomas Jefferson called the battle of Kings Mountain "the turn of the tide of success." Fought October 7, 1780, the Kings Mountain conflict was an important American victory during the Revolutionary War. Kings Mountain National Military Park commemorates this pivotal and significant victory which destroyed the left wing of Cornwallis' army and effectively ended Loyalist ascendance in the Carolinas. The victory halted the British advance into North Carolina, forced Lord Cornwallis to retreat from Charlotte into South Carolina, and gave General Nathanael Greene the opportunity to reorganize the American Army.


Rock Climbing, Water Sports And Nature Trails At Crouders Mountain Park

In 2013, Crowders Mountain was voted the #1 state park in North Carolina. This spectacular mountain, like other state parks in North Carolina, would not exist today if it were not for the efforts of concerned citizens dedicated to protecting our environment from continued development and rises 800 feet above the surrounding countryside. 

Crowders Mountain offers


Backpack camping
When you've finished exploring for the day, settle in for a long night's sleep. Located approximately 1 mile from the park office are secluded areas for camping — areas so private that there is often not another person in sight. Both campgrounds are reached by trail and all supplies must be packed to the campsites. Campers must register at the visitor center.


The park is a great place for a hike!

Paddling and Fishing
Watch a long, lazy afternoon slip away while enjoying the park’s beautifully wooded lake. Located near the park office and picnic areas, the seven-acre manmade lake has parking nearby.

Fish from choice fishing spots on the banks or try your luck on our fishing pier. Visitors and fishermen may launch personal canoes and kayak. Only human and electric powered watercraft allowed. Largemouth bass and sunfish are just waiting to be caught. Anglers age 16 or older must possess a valid North Carolina fishing license. Swimming is not permitted. Please be safe and wear a life vest while on the water!

Rock Climbing

Experienced climbers will enjoy the challenges of Crowders Mountain. Climbing is permitted in designated areas only. Pitons, bolts or similar devices that may damage cliff faces are not permitted. Further information may be obtained at the park office.

This form of rock climbing, done without anchors and ropes, is available at the Boulders a one mile hike from the Boulders Access Area. All climbing regulations, including the requirements of a permit, are in effect and some sections of Boulders may be closed to bouldering at certain times of the year. Check with park staff for more information.

The shade of large trees provides a spot for outdoor dining in a beautiful wooded area. Scattered throughout the picnic area are 10 tables with a grill at each table. There are five picnic tables at the Linwood Access Area and four at the Boulders Access Area. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby.



Gaston County Family YMCA

What to Expect from the new YMCA:

The Facility – The two-story facility will feature a wellness area overlooking the lake, indoor running track, gymnasium, multiple specialized group exercise studios, and an intergenerational community space.
The Aquatic Center – a two-pool Aquatic Center was designed with both lap swimmers and swimlessons in mind. The lap pool willbe set at 82 degrees while the recreational pool will be set at 86 degrees. This allows for multiple activities to take place at the same time.

Lake Access – The YMCA owns Robinwood Lake and will provide program space for the members to include boating, fishing, and special events.

The Lakeside Chapel – The chapel will be a multipurpose space with programming. With seating for 200 and room for additional in the grass, there will be ample space available for churches to hold Sunday service as well as families to attend a movie night.

Woods and Trails – The initial plans call for over 2 miles of trails throughout the woods, a day camp village with the ability to tent camp, and spaces for quiet meditation.

The Hearth and Café – The Y lobby will be defined by a beautiful hearth and healthy café. This pairing allows Y Members to build community, grab a bite with friends, and spend the entire day at the lake.


Some Local Attractions For Everyone

Sitting just north of the North Carolina and the South Carolina border, Gastonia is a mid-sized city with many noteworthy places to check out. There are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had in Gastonia including a visit to the Rankin Lake Park, Crowders Mountain State Park, and George Poston Park. Shopping and other indoor activities are aplenty, with antique and bargain hunting opportunities at every corner. Going to the theater and enjoying some amazing food and drinks is a great option as well. If your travel plans put you in Gastonia, be sure to check out some of these fun things to do when you visit Gastonia, North Carolina.


Some Local Attractions For Everyone

Whether you’re traveling as a family or enjoying a holiday with your significant other, there are plenty of things to see and do in Gastonia.


The Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium

The Schiele Museum goes way back... to 1961! It was then that Rudolph "Bud" Schiele was able to work with the community of Gastonia to establish a building for him to house his vast collection of animal specimens collected from his years spent exploring the natural world. Bud Schiele was 67 years old when he founded the Gaston County Museum of Natural History, today known as the Schiele Museum. The museum's opening was a culmination of a lifetime devoted to studying, cataloging and preserving nature. To understand The Schiele Museum's beginning is to understand this self-styled naturalist and botanist who refused to stop working in a profession that he loved so much. Rudolph Melchoir Schiele was born in Philadelphia on April 2, 1893. He developed a keen interest in nature at an early age and, as a young man, worked as an apprentice curator at the Philadelphia Commercial Museum. Though only 17, Schiele began to dream of having his own sanctuary to display his nature collection.

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    2749 Robinwood Rd, Gastonia, NC 28054, USA

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