Visit the world’s largest man-made whitewater river – the Whitewater Center!
What kind of adventurer are you? Me? I’m a ziplining, swing loving, anything up in the air kind of lover. I’m going to be on my hot air balloon ride later this month and I can’t wait! But me and water sports don’t mix. So, I was a little apprehensive about visiting the White Water center earlier this spring in Charlotte.
What is the Whitewater Center? The USNWC’s 1,300 acres has a variety of outdoor activities for all ages and skill levels. Of course, there’s whitewater rafting, but beyond that there’s also kayaking, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, rock climbing, zip lines, ropes courses, a canopy tour, and mountain biking on our 30+ mile trail system.
1. The Whitewater Center’s primary feature is the world’s largest and most complex recirculating manmade river. The Whitewater Center cost $38 million to build, and costs $6.8 million per year to operate. The river was designed by Olympian athlete Scott Shipley. The Center’s river is filled with 12 million gallons of well water.
2. The best time to visit is in the spring or fall as the weather won’t be too hot and the lines not as long. The down side to visiting at these times? Not everything is open. Several of the zip courses were closed and we had to do the combo zip lining and ropes course if we wanted to get in any zip lining.
3. There’s a lot of heart pounding activities, but there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained. Depending on how adventurous they are, they can still enjoy things like rock climbing, kayaking, ropes courses and more.
4. During the warmer months (May to September), they have concerts known as Riverjam at Charlotte’s Whitewater Center. These musical performances are free of charge. You just have to pay for parking – $6.
5. Jump, Jump, Jump! Ranging from 30 to 100 feet in the air, you can free fall to the ground at the Whitewater Center if you are so inclined. I wasn’t. The Ridge and Canyon offer jumps that reach heights of 30 and 45 feet respectively, while the Hawk Tower features 60 and 100 foot platforms from which to leap.
6. Season passes are available for $199 for adults and a day pass is $59. The Whitewater center website does an excellent job of explaining the level of difficulty for each sport and it will help guide you if you have kids to know what they do.
7. Eating – This goes without saying but I’d recommend you eat after your activities. That being said if you do plan on dining on site, make sure to go before or after peak lunch times. Because you want to sit outside for the views, trust me. While it’s great that they have indoor seating, it is not nearly as nice as dining al fresco.