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10 Spots for Animal Lovers In and Around Lake Norman

10 Spots for Animal Lovers In and Around Lake Norman

Image source Rescue Ranch

Animal lovers unite! Here are 10 spots in the greater Lake Norman area where you can observe and interact with a variety of adorable creatures. 

Lazy 5 Ranch

Animal lovers visit Lazy 5 Ranch to see and interact with exotic animals.

Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville gives visitors the opportunity to see an abundance of animal species – from antelope to giraffes to ostriches and many more. The ranch is home to over 750 animals from 6 continents! Currently, only the drive-through viewing experience and the wagon ride feeding experience are available due to new regulations.

Carolina Raptor Center

Carolina Raptor Center

The Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville offers a unique experience where visitors can walk along the “raptor trail,” observing birds of prey in their natural habitat enclosures. Daily programs also allow visitors to learn more about the animals and the center’s rehabilitation hospital from staff experts.

Sweetwater Farms

two large brown horses at Sweetwater Farms

Sweetwater Farms in Huntersville is a lovely place for kids and their families to spend a day, enjoying the natural play areas and meeting adorable farm animals. There is plenty of space to play, and a small cafe for sweet treats and drinks. Pizza is available on weekends only, June through October.

Rescue Ranch

Animal lovers will love Rescue Ranch for many reasons.

Rescue Ranch in Statesville is a humane education center that provides sanctuary and permanent residency to more than 80 rescued animals, offering tours and educational programs that promote respect for all animals. They also have a welcoming and exciting playground for kids of all abilities.

Rowdy Acres Farmstead

Animal lovers, come see the highland cows at Rowdy Acres Farmstead

Rowdy Acres Farmstead in Huntersville is a family farm that hosts farm camps for kids in different seasons. They also offer a “party barn” for rentals. With Highland cows, miniature donkeys, horses and chickens, it’s the perfect place for an animal lover to spend some quality time!

Patterson Farm

Large red barn at Patterson Farms

Patterson Farm in Mt. Ulla welcomes families to play in their extensive playground, and to visit cows, chickens, goats, pigs, and other farm animals in the barnyard. In spring, they offer pick your own strawberries or visitors can buy them already picked. For a sweet treat, try the homemade ice cream!

Howard Family Farm

Field of tulips at Howard Family Farm

At Howard Family Farm in Harmony, you can come for the pick your own flowers and strawberries (when available) and stay to spend a little time with their farm animals. This is also a great place to pick up a variety of locally-grown produce.

Good Karma Ranch

Alpacas with their protective Great Pyrenees pal

Good Karma Ranch is a unique spot in Iron Station focused on raising alpacas and harvesting their fiber in a sustainable manner. You can visit the farm for tours, yoga, and other events to learn about and interact with alpacas. Don’t leave without an alpaca-themed souvenir from their shop!

Sea Life

Mesmerizing views of sharks and other sea life in the underwater tunnel.

Sea Life in Concord is the area’s only aquarium, featuring a variety of mesmerizing sea creatures. Explore NC’s only ocean tunnel and view the animals from an immersive, underwater perspective. Meet sea stars, lobsters and others at the interactive touchpool, and learn about saving the sea turtles through the aquarium’s sea turtle rescue program.

Mac Tabby Cat Cafe

Cat lovers, this one is for you!

Lastly, if you’re a cat lover, you must check out Mac Tabby Cat Cafe in Concord. The coffee shop is separate and open to all. Children over 7 and adults can spend time in the cat lounge, petting and playing with 12 friendly cats. Reservations are not required but highly encouraged.

Where to Stay

Luxury waterfront rental by StayLakeNorman in Lake Norman, NC.

No matter where your exploration takes you, your StayLakeNorman vacation rentals will be a welcome place to return to and relax at the end of a busy day. Call our reservations team to get your trip on the calendar!

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