This weekend: Dry and clear, no bull. (Actually … )

After two weekends of rain, this weekend is forecast to be clear, warm and ideal for getting out and exploring North Carolina.

Yabba dabba ribs!


Sometimes you need an unrelated catalyst to spur you to action. Like the 2nd Annual Port City Rib Fest, a three-day celebration of things BBQ to get you down to Wilmington to take advantage of all the great local activities: kayaking, surfing, standup paddleboarding, exploring Carolina Beach State Park or Fort Fisher. Go do some exploring, then swing by Rib Fest for BBQ, live music, arts & crafts, kids programs and more.

Logistics: Rib Fest runs Friday through Sunday; for details, go here. For inspiration on hiking and paddling in the Wilmington area, go here.

Friday-Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny with highs in the 80s.


We love pedaling. We love it even more when its practical pedaling. Like Sunday’s Bike to the Ballpark event. Here’s the deal: ride your bike to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park for their 5:05 p.m. game against the Charlotte Knights, park in the secure bike valet parking area on Blackwell Street and get a voucher for a $10 ticket, which includes a $5 credit for any concession item. Plus, the first 200 cyclists get a Bulls Swag Bag containing freebies from the likes of Great Outdoor Provision Co.

Logistics: Sunday, Aug. 17, 5:05 p.m. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 92, sunny.

Florence Nature Preserve (photo courtesy Carolina Mountain Land Trust)


The Florence Nature Preserve is a hidden gem at the western end of the 10-mile-long Hickory Nut Gorge. The 600-acre preserve, owned by the Carolina Mountain Land Trust, is representative of the highly diverse gorge, with mature hardwood forests, rhododendron thickets, mountain streams and more.

The preserve also happens to be this month’s Biodiversity Hike destination for the Reedy Creek Nature Center in Charlotte. This guided trip will cover six to eight miles of trail.

Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 16, 8 a.m. $12. For more info and to register, visit here and enter #58965.

Saturday forecast: High of 87, mostly sunny.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).


Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.

Todd’s Calendar



Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Calendar includes three weekly events for each of its seven markets: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Search by market.

Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

U.S. National Wildlife Refuges
Rundown, by month, of regular activities at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges in North Carolina.

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