Quality of Life

In Gaston County, the great outdoors couldn’t get any closer. With numerous county parks that feature tennis courts, jogging trails and nature paths adjacent to mountains, lakes and rivers, there’s always a way to get back to nature. With this abundance of recreational opportunities, residents enjoy a world-class quality of life with small-town charm.


 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden – Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, a Garden for all seasons, provides guests a chance to reconnect with nature. The breathtaking Visitor Pavilion welcomes visitors to 110 acres of spectacular gardens including a children’s garden, a conservatory dedicated to the display of tropical plants and orchids, a Dry Piedmont Prairie, annual and perennial displays, sparkling fountains, walking trails and more.




Crowders Mountain State Park- Companion peaks at Crowders Mountain State Park—The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain—offer challenging hikes, towering cliffs and 25-mile views of the surrounding piedmont. Eleven trails range from pastoral to strenuous, including the Ridgeline Trail, which links to Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina. A nine-acre lake offers choice spots for fishing or an opportunity to try canoeing with rentals available. Backcountry camping is featured with individual sites approximately a mile from parking areas. The rugged terrain of Crowders Mountain lends itself to rock climbing and bouldering with permit in designated areas. A visitor center with museum-quality exhibits complements regular interpretive programs.



Schiele Museum of Natrual History and Planetarium – features galleries with vivid natural history exhibits, outdoor recreations of a Catawba Indian Village and an 18th Century Farm, planetarium and the largest collection of mounted land mammals in the Southeast 

Christmas Town USA – Each December since 1956, hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights turn this small mill town into a spectacular holiday display




The U.S. National Whitewater Center – The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is dedicated to the promotion of the active lifestyle. Since 2006, the USNWC has been promoting access to the outdoors for all levels of participants through its 30+ land and water-based activities, outdoor instruction and certification programs, festivals, races, films, and various outdoor events throughout the year. Whether you visit the Center’s 1,300 acres on the Catawba River or engage in the brand’s mission through one of our off-site initiatives, the USNWC empowers guests to play, relax, and learn outside.



Gaston County Museum of Art & History constructed in 1852 – features authentically furnished period rooms, changing exhibits and North Carolina’s largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles

C. Grier Beam Truck Museum –Experience the early days of trucking as they come alive through the exhibit at the C. Grier Beam Truck Museum. This must see attraction was founded in 1982 by the Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration. Housed in the original gas station where Carolina Freight had its humble beginnings, you can explore over 7500 square feet of vintage trucking memorabilia covering over seven decades. Catch the spirit that sparked the growth of one of America's largest and most respected companies in the world!


Golf is a popular recreational activity in Gaston County and the County has several private and public golf courses including Catawba Creek Golf Course, Gaston Country Club and Crowders Mountain Golf Club.

Gaston County parks feature tennis courts, jogging trails and walking/nature trails