5. Huntersville

The Buzzard Rock Trail at Latta Plantation leads to an overlook at Mountain Island Lake.

5. Huntersville

HUNTERSVILLE IS a place to get outside. Hike 16 miles of trails at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve; watch bald eagles, hawks, and vultures take flight at Carolina Raptor Center; or step back a few years at Historic Rural Hill. Discovery Place Kids is a literal (indoor) playground where children are encouraged to crawl, climb, touch, and explore in the name of learning. When it’s time to go home, residents enjoy quiet neighborhoods, some of the top-rated schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg system, and great shopping and restaurants (there are more than 60 retailers and 10 restaurants at Birkdale Village alone)—all in a suburb where the median price of a home is $277,000.  —J.H.

Good to Know
76 percent of Huntersville residents are homeowners.

Good to Eat
When the sun is shining, the beer garden at Primal Brewery is the place to be. Order a Lemon Haze Pale Ale, Lucille Red Ale, or a Lawn Boy American Lager, then grab a bite from one of the food trucks. 16432 Old Statesville Rd., 704-947-2920

Good to Go
Carolina Raptor Center is home to 97 permanent resident birds and interactive “nose to beak” programs, such as painting with a raven and walking with a vulture. 6000 Sample Rd., 704-875-6521

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