Our family moved from northern Virginia to River Hills Plantation in July 2014 after searching numerous neighborhoods in south Charlotte. Tired of the cookie-cutter neighborhoods, our realtor suggested visiting the River Hills mentioning it is a gated community with security – so we did.
The security at the front gate was accommodating when we arrived and provided us with a day pass, map and listing of homes for sale. Having been victims of a home burglary in Virginia, armed-security was a welcoming sight/benefit. We were amazed with the initial drive meandering through a park-like setting with beautiful, manicured yards, mature trees and no two homes looking alike.
We were overwhelmed with where we should start – continue driving the streets, the River Hills Country Club, the Marina, the “beach”…we made it to the marina parking lot and then mapped out our driving route.
So fast forward four years, we have not looked back on our decision to relocate to River Hills Plantation. The comfort and beauty of the neighborhood is realized on a daily basis. It truly is a park-like setting we take advantage of with long walks with our dog. Our kids benefit from the safety of a gated community and have freedom within the community to walk, bike, skateboard to the park and play basketball or head down to South Point beach. You can definitely take advantage of the beach on warm evenings where there are numerous bbq pits and a fire-pit and an endless supply of s’mores for roasting.
The Marina is surprisingly large with the number of docks but also houses a store to pick-up boating provisions/necessities including food and drink – it also offers the convenience of marine fuel as well as boat, jet ski, paddle-board, and kayak rentals. The Marina also offers newly remodeled meeting/banquet facilities for rental inclusive of indoor/outdoor space for a variety of events.
Meanwhile the Country Club offers a social opportunity for fine/light dining, golf, tennis, fitness, swimming, “baby-sitting,” and our turnshack which offers quick-access food and drink for members and their guests. Each activity has a plethora of sub-social groups within to accommodate activities for youth, families, working-stiffs, and the retired. We have members from both inside and outside the neighborhood with some trekking to us from Ft. Mill/Rock Hill/Gastonia/Belmont/Charlotte – talk about expanding friendships in the area!
The Country Club is where our family spends the majority of our social activities -- whether it is golf, tennis, swimming, pumping iron in the fitness center, yoga, lounging, dining, or just having a cigar and bourbon on the deck with the fellas. We feel quite blessed to have a wonderful chef and crew that offer the most fantastic dining experience in Lake Wylie. There is always the go-to bar bites and standard grill-fare, chicken and pasta options but they kick it up a notch with the a la carte steak and seafood offerings, seasonal menus, outstanding wine dinners, and the monthly prime-rib and throw-back nights (think liver and onions, meatloaf, etc.)
On golf, there is obvious individual play but there are so many groups for men and women throughout the week. There are the Ladies 9- and 18-holers that play on different weekdays. The men have more options and that is simply by virtue of the numbers. There are groups that go out weekdays along with senior interclub play and then there is the late afternoon and weekend play where I spend the majority of my time with those 20+ younger and 30+ older than me. Not to mention the formal competitive interclub team and organized couples outings. Our golf pros provide individual training that can include full video recap training and analysis for those opting a more modern and high-tech review of their game.
Tennis offers so many options for organized open play each day as well as formal competitive play with other clubs. There are social mixers on a monthly basis for great recreation play in a relaxed environment. Our tennis pros provide lessons for all ages and have a great established youth program. Both tennis and golf do combine to offer great summer camps for the kids.
It is tough sometime to get off the golf course and tennis courts to take advantage of the swimming pools and fitness center. Both of those amenities have been greatly upgraded over the past couple years. It is really tough to justify any excuse for not attempting to get in shape given all the exercise options available at the club – especially given the monthly calendar mailings and weekly e-news alert reminders!
What’s more is that the River Hills Community Association actively promotes social activities/events most every month coordinated with holidays (Christmas, Independence Day) or special events (Kentucky Derby, Oktoberfest, Splash & Dash runs) The attendance at these events is great and you can meet Pioneers (those living in the neighborhood since its establishment in the 1970s), young families, and all types in between. It really comes down to how much you want to take advantage of what is offered. I look forward returning home from work and crossing the Buster Boyd Bridge and coming home to my oasis. There is something for everyone at River Hills (the neighborhood, Marina and Club) for all interests.
Photographs courtesy of Linda Williams, Jake Taylor, Ruth Pellisaro, and River Hills Country Club