5 spots to sit outside, recharge and refocus

5 spots to sit outside, recharge and refocus
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Do you have that undying urge to get out of the city and away from its hustle and bustle and find somewhere quiet to put yourself back together or just breathe?

While not outside of the city or even away from the hustle and bustle, these spots will make you feel like you’re miles away.



Charlotte Airport Overlook


There’s a picnic area, along with park benches, to watch flights take off from Charlotte Douglas International all day (8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily), accessible from both I-485 and Billy Graham Parkway. Note that there’s little shade, but watching from your car is a viable option, too. To make sure you’re not there during a dead zone – quiet times with little activity – check departure times.

4355 Airport Overlook Drive
8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily

Freedom Park


The hill overlooking the stage and pond is prime real estate when it comes to offering a quiet place to quietly piece yourself back together. If you’ve got an Eno, even better – post up in the shade and just watch the world pass by.

1900 East Boulevard

The Mint Museum’s lawn

@kimhummel via Instagram

The Mint’s Randolph Road location offers actual grounds to explore, and they don’t disappoint. Parking and admission to the lawn is free.

If you’re not looking to stay strictly outside, peruse the gallery and take it all in in silence first. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday (hours here), $12 for members and $24 for non, but is free on Wednesday nights.

2730 Randolph Road

McGill Rose Garden

McGill Rose Garden

The garden may be tucked just a few seconds away from I-277 and Uptown, but with its 1.3 acres of 1,000+ roses of 230 varieties, it’s a compact shot of total relaxation. It’s been open to the public since 1962, and while mid-May is peak visiting time, blooming season continues into November.

[Related: McGill Rose Garden is a whimsical fantasy escape in a world full of adult responsibilities]

940 North Davidson Street
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

UNCC Botanical Gardens

Walk through grounds that are home to waterfalls, an Asian Garden and ten acres of plants native to the Carolinas. If that’s not enough, there are six collections, eight greenhouses, a courtyard and terraces for visitors to take in. See the entire collection here, or just head out and let yourself be swept up in it. It’s open seven days a week and admission is always free.

9090 Craver Road
Garden open during daylight hours, McMillan Greenhouse open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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