Gastonia is the largest city in Gaston County, North Carolina, and the satellite city of the Charlotte area. Gastonia and the surrounding areas have a number of interesting attractions. The Schiele Museum of Natural History features a number of permanent exhibits, indoor and outdoor, including the Hall of North Carolina Natural History. The museum is home to the James H. Lynn Planetarium, the only planetarium in the Charlotte area. Gastonia has several wonderful parks. The first public green recreation area was Lineberger Park established in the 1920s, with Avon brook running through. Other popular parks are Rankin Lake Park and Martha Rivers Park. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.The Schiele Museum of Natural History
© The Schiele Museum of Natural History
Located in Gastonia, in the heart of Gaston County, North Carolina, the Schiele Museum of Natural History is on a mission to inspire appreciation for science and nature. The Museum combines programs, research and exhibits and provides an exceptional educational experience. It offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a hi-definition planetarium and science theater. The museum includes a curious special exhibition on the natural occurrences of horror fiction concepts such as alien invaders and zombies, as well as an exhibition called Dino Safari, a journey into the past to discover the Age of Dinosaurs.
1500 E Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054, Phone: 704-866-6908
2.Rankin Lake Park, Gastonia, North Carolina
Rankin Lake is a Gastonia, North Carolina 242-acre landmark, a beautiful park created around a reservoir built to provide the City with drinking water. Rankin Lake Park is a favorite spot for the Gastonia residents for family gatherings, fishing off the bank of the reservoir, picnics and simple relaxing. The park has a clubhouse with tables and chairs, a “warming” kitchen, restrooms, one large picnic shelter, two lakeside picnic shelters; eight small shelters, an 18-hole disc golf course, an outdoor classroom, two horseshoe courts, trailhead and a link to the Highland Rail Trail, two boardwalks over Kaylor Creek, an 80-acre lake with a scenic paved trail around it, two fishing piers, wooden boardwalk on the lake spillway, one viewing pier and a boat rental office.
1750 Rankin Lake Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052, Phone: 704-866-6839
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3.Martha Rivers Park, Gastonia, North Carolina
Martha Rivers Park is a 48-acre green area in Gastonia, North Carolina, established in 1955 by combining the original 20-acre Martha Rivers Park and the additional 34 acres purchased by the city. The park features a youth sports complex, a castle-themed playground for kids, hiking trails and picnic shelters. The playground includes a fort, a ship, a race car, swings, slides, a sand pit for digging “dinosaur” bones, places to hide, things to climb, places to explore and more. The park features four lighted soccer fields, three lighted youth baseball fields; one lighted youth softball field, two batting cages, a scorers’ tower with restrooms and a concessions stand , one small play area within the baseball complex field, a paved loop trail around the baseball fields and soccer fields. There are also two large picnic shelters, two horseshoe courts, a sand volleyball court and a restroom.
1515 Neal Hawkins Rd, Gastonia, NC 28056, Phone: 704-866-6839
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4.Lineberger Park, Gastonia, North Carolina
Lineberger Park has been a favorite community park in Gastonia, North Carolina since the late 1920’s, offering many recreation opportunities for all ages. Lineberger Park was Gastonia’s first park and the first public recreation space in the area. Located only a few blocks from downtown Gastonia, Lineberger Park was started with the land gift from the Lineberger family, then matched by an equal property purchased by the City. Today the park covers 18.5 acres of mature trees and open grassy space. The park is naturally cut by Avon Creek. There is a trailhead for the Avon/Catawba Creek Greenway. A paved extension circles Gaston County Vietnam War Memorial midway through the park, passes by restroom building with water fountains; one large and two small shelters, a gazebo and large kids’ playground. The western side of the park is home to a miniature train ride.
632 E Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054, Phone: 704-866-6839
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5.Webb Custom Kitchen, Gastonia, NC
© Webb Custom Kitchen
Located in downtown Gastonia, North Carolina, in a magnificent historic movie theater, Webb Custom Kitchen is the place where locals go to celebrate, impress and enjoy the opulent surroundings and spectacular food. When the 1927 historic silent movie theatre was opened in 2016, after meticulous renovation, it became an instant sensation. The entire space has been remade into a tribute to the old theatre: the kitchen is located in the place of the orchestra, in full view of the diners.; guests sitting at the gallery can watch silent movies on the large screen, or observe diners on the main floor. Enormous bar is a focal point of the place and is practically always surrounded by the fans of their great cocktails. This amazing background is matched by the first class food. There is a bit for everyone, with the menu that features American contemporary cuisine with an imaginative and original rendering. There is also a respectable wine list and sinful selection of desserts.
182 S South St, Gastonia, NC 28052, Phone: 704-864-8385
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6.Lotus Bar & Eatery, Gastonia, North Carolina
© Lotus Bar & Eatery
Lotus Bar and Eatery is an upscale spot in downtown Gastonia, North Carolina that offers innovative take on regionally sourced American dishes, a sushi bar, fully stocked bar and relaxed atmosphere. Depending on your mood or the occasion, you can sit in the main dining room, at the bar with a large flat screen TV, at the sushi bar, on an upstairs balcony or in the private lounge that has its own private bar, flat screen TV and professional audio/video capabilities. The menu includes locally sourced upscale American comfort food, with fresh catch brought in daily, prime steaks, all-natural free-range chicken, house-smoked BBQ, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Shrimp 'N Grits, and more. They offer more than 50 wines by the glass, 18 draft beers, more than 100 beers in bottle and superb craft cocktails.
1941 Hoffman Rd Suite #1, Gastonia, NC 28054, Phone: 704-853-1698
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7.Reginella Italian Pizza And Ristorante
© Reginella Italian Pizza And Ristorante
You can find the regular Italian dishes at Reginella Italian Pizza and Ristorante in Gastonia, North Carolina, but the reason to come to this homey small eatery is: their pizzas. Whatever kind of pizza you like, they have it, all baked in their large brick oven: Neapolitan traditional pizza, traditional New York style, Sicilian pizza, deep dish pizza, stuffed pizza and Stromboli. They all come in any number of stuffings, baked to perfection, oozing with delicious cheeses. You can eat it, take your pizza with you or you can order it and they will deliver.
1808 S York Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052, Phone: 704-215-6677
7 Best Things to Do in Gastonia, North Carolina
- The Schiele Museum of Natural History, Photo: The Schiele Museum of Natural History
- Rankin Lake Park, Gastonia, North Carolina, Photo: ballabeyla/stock.adobe.com
- Martha Rivers Park, Gastonia, North Carolina, Photo: WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com
- Lineberger Park, Gastonia, North Carolina, Photo: EvgeniiAnd/stock.adobe.com
- Webb Custom Kitchen, Gastonia, NC, Photo: Webb Custom Kitchen
- Lotus Bar & Eatery, Gastonia, North Carolina, Photo: Lotus Bar & Eatery
- Reginella Italian Pizza And Ristorante, Photo: Reginella Italian Pizza And Ristorante
- Cover Photo: City of Gastonia Government
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