North Carolina’s scenic Lake Gaston is a wonderful place for you and your family to plan your annual getaway or weekend adventure. There are many vacation rentals in Lake Gaston to choose from, giving you and your family the perfect place to cut loose and relax. The lake has charming towns that dot the shoreline and is an ideal place to explore nature and attend local festivals and events. Here are the top ten family activities at Lake Gaston that we recommend for your trip.

1. Boating

Lake Gaston has several marinas and boat ramps, so whether you bring your own boat, choose to rent one, or need some last-minute supplies, you’ll have plenty of places to go. Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’ll always be within an easy drive of lake access. Take your boat or rent one, and explore the open waters with the family — it’s a perfect place to reconnect.

2. Fishing

As long as you have that boat, take your kids fishing. The lake is stocked with bass, walleye, catfish, bluegill, and pickerel. If you don’t have a boat, or would rather have someone else do the work so you can relax, Lake Gaston has many fishing charter services that you can use. Fishing is a great opportunity to teach the kids the joys of slowing down and appreciating nature — unless you’d rather go out at sunrise for some much-needed quiet time.

3. Kayaking

If you want to explore the myriad of waterways and coves on Lake Gaston, take some kayaks out on the water. This activity is great for older children, and they’ll expend all their energy so they don’t get too crazy in the evening! Morningstar Marina is a popular place for kayakers and swimmers, so make sure to head there on the first few days of your trip.

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4. Swimming

Swimming at Gaston Lake is always a popular activity. The Crossing and Day Use Area are safe, family-friendly places to swim. If you’re only spending a day at the lake, the Day Use Area has lake access, picnic areas, and bathrooms — everything you need for hours on the water. End the day with a family barbecue back at your vacation rental.

5. Hiking

There is a lot of beautiful wilderness and many hiking trails for you to explore near the lake. Many trails thread around the lake, such as Liberty Hill Trail. This easy 1.25-mile trail meanders through the woods, making it a great option for families with young children. This is a great activity to do before or after swimming for some variety.

6. Camping

If you really want to enjoy the outdoors, opt for staying in one of the many campsites available along the lake. Choices include Sherwood Forest, Camp Willow Run, Americamps, and Stonehouse Timber Lodge. Located on the banks of the lake, these sites have easy water access and let you reconnect with nature.

7. Exploring Goat Island

You have to visit Goat Island! There is a group of goats that “mysteriously” appears every year. Take your kids over to the island to enjoy the greenery and meet these cute farm animals. This destination has become very popular in recent years, so this area is undergoing improvements for visitors.

8. Visiting Rosemont Winery

Take an excursion to the Rosemont Winery — and don’t worry, kids are welcome too, because this place isn’t all about the wine. During the summer, Rosemont Winery offers free concerts, providing a fun event for the whole family. Older children might enjoy checking out the pieces in the Rosemont Art Gallery.

9. Eating

Eating at new places is always a fun activity, and there are plenty of eateries from which to choose. Shady Shack is the ultimate in casual, fun dining, offering burgers and fries that everyone can enjoy. The Pointe has a number of eateries so every person in the family can enjoy his favorite food.

10. Festivals

There are a number of festivals that occur every year that you can plan your trip around. The Seafood Festival not only serves delicious seafood, but has lots of great live music and activities that appeal to all ages. The Battle of the BBQ lasts a single day and features a mouthwatering array of meats. The Big Air Watersports Fair is all about fun on the water, so watersports fans should plan their trips around it.

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