With around 1,500 permanent residents, Lake Lure’s population surges in summer and fall with waves of tourists and water sports enthusiasts. The lake itself has much to offer above and below the surface, and all along its 21 miles of shoreline. From outdoor and leisure activities to fine dining and annual events, life at Lake Lure is hospitable above all else.
Whether you’re vacationing or stay-cationing, Lake Lure offers residents and visitors alike many opportunities to Live Abundantly in WNC. Here’s a quick itinerary for a fun-filled weekend in Lake Lure, NC.
Friday Evening in Lake Lure, NC
Prepare to be Charmed at Grafton Lodge
Settle in at this classically elegant inn where privacy comes standard! Grafton Lodge is located in a picture perfect setting along the banks of the Broad River within walking distance of shops and restaurants in Chimney Rock. This bed and breakfast lodge features one cottage (with a private full kitchen) and six bedroom suites, each with private access and a private terrace or deck. Add a romantic add-on to your stay, including the Winestay Room Upgrade. It includes a complimentary bottle of wine and a wine tasting for two at a local vineyard. Husband and wife team Rich and Kim are both trained to make your visit perfect—they studied culinary sciences and hotel/restaurant management, respectively.
Go from Lake Life to Island Living in One Meal
Don’t stay too long at the lodge, though, because wining and dining is the perfect way to kick off your weekend in Lake Lure! Local eateries in Lake Lure run from the mid-range to the upper crust. A favorite among locals and visitors alike is the Geneva Riverside Tiki Bar & Grille. Visit on a clear evening to take in what the establishment calls its “Key West, open air feel,” right next to the lake. Enjoy your favorite casual dining dishes en plein air, like hot buttered Cajun shrimp. There’s plenty of seating along the 90 feet of deck space overlooking the Rocky Broad River. During colder months, the Tiki is closed in and heaters keep you warm.
Grab a Drink at Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery
Nestled along the banks of the Rocky Broad River, Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery takes pride in bringing out unique flavors for you to enjoy with friends and family. This family-owned brewery specializes in English cask-style ales. Cask-conditioned beers are naturally carbonated, giving the beer more body and a much smoother taste. Their Broad River Blonde is a very sessionable choice that still has a lot of flavor. But if you ask us, their signature brew is Mountain Pride English Ale. It’s an OB (Ordinary Bitter) that’s light in color but high in both flavor and aroma. And with four decks that go all the way down to the water’s edge, there’s no better place to enjoy a local craft brew!
Saturday in Lake Lure, NC
Start Your Day with an Appalachian Breakfast
If you’re staying at Grafton Lodge, a full American breakfast for two, prepared by Chef Rich, is included in your stay. But if for some reason you feel like venturing out, we recommend a delicious breakfast at Victory Kitchen. They offer the quintessential mountain meal: homestyle and cost effective. Enjoy all the staples—pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, and breakfast burritos—as well as specials like the Victory omelet, which comes with ham, bacon, sausage, peppers, onion, and cheese. Or for a true taste of Appalachia, grab a livermush, egg, and cheese biscuit.
Get out on the Lake!
What’s a weekend visit to one of WNC’s favorite lakes without some time on the water? Permitted residents can launch from the nicely outfitted Lake Lure Marina to enjoy water skiing, leisure cruising, speed boating, paddling, and swimming. And Lake Lure’s clear mountain water is home to sizable stocks of bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass, making it a haven for anglers. No permit? No problem. Lake Lure Beach and Water Park is a great destination for a family outing or special gathering. Enjoy floating on an inner tube, picnicking in the shade, or just catching some rays on the sandy beach.
A lesser known, smaller body of water is Bald Mountain Lake, which adjoins Lake Lure and is nestled in Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure. The luxury community’s residents and guests have access to a marina and a recreation center. Throughout the year, they host outdoor amusements and sports, food and drinks, and a number of swimming areas.
Eat Your Fill at Relish Food Truck
After a morning on the water, you’re going to want a lunch you can really relish. Travel to the east side of the lake for some seriously delicious eats on the streets. Relish is based on the Broad River across from Canopy Ridge Farm. Led by a classically trained chef, Relish serves a small but versatile menu of handcrafted breakfast and lunch options. Schorr’s Burger, named after the co-owner, is a double beef patty with havarti and all the toppings on a toasted French roll. But we’re partial to the simple and affordable Elote Tacos, filled with smoked chicken, shaved Mexican street corn, and cotija cheese.
Relax and Unwind at the Irongate Spa
Life at Lake Lure is hospitable above all else, for the resident or the visitor. A mainstay of the community is the Lake Lure Inn & Spa. The venue was founded along with the town in 1927 and continues to keep pace with the community’s ever-growing options for recreation and relaxation. The inn is rife with reminders of Lake Lure’s engaging past and updated with signs of the town’s exciting future. The Irongate Spa within the inn offers numerous opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. From hair, nail, and facial treatments to custom couples add-ons, each service was designed with luxury in mind.
Come Hungry for a Legendary Dinner
Come by land or by water—just make sure you come hungry! Legends on the Lake is one of several restaurants located within Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure. Legends features a menu of fresh entrées served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy signature pizzas and house-ground burgers. Or opt for something a little fancier, like the herb-grilled salmon. After dinner, treat the entire family to arcade games and billiards. Or catch a game on one of the many flat screen televisions. The welcoming staff, family-friendly atmosphere, and great views of the water guarantee a legendary dining experience.
Go on an Adventure!
At Lake Lure, outdoor activities are available every weekend of the year. Nearby Chimney Rock State Park features several hikes and unparalleled views. The mountain roads that weave around Lake Lure attract motorcyclists for cruises and rallies. And Cedar Creek Stables offers trail-ride experiences if you’d rather let a horse trek you around the mountain coves.
For our money, we enjoy an adventurous game of miniature golf. Chimney Rock Adventure Golf offers a naturally landscaped course situated along 300 feet of the Rocky Broad River in Chimney Rock Village. If you’re lucky enough to get a hole in one, celebrate at The Scoop ice cream bar, which offers great treats every day of the week while they’re in season. Enjoy classics like Coke floats and family favorites like huge brownie sundaes.
Sunday in Lake Lure, NC
Indulge in a Decadent Brunch Buffet
You’ll want to circle back to the Lake Lure Inn & Spa for their regular prime rib brunch buffet! Each week, they transform their Grand Lobby into an astonishing array of brunch options. Delight in a display of cooking stations, including hand-carved meats, made-to-order omelets, homemade soup and salads, and of course, all your favorite breakfast items. Save room if you can for a wide assortment of cakes, pies, cobblers, and other desserts to finish your meal. Full bar service is also available, which features mimosas, bellinis, and the house specialty Bloody Mary.
Hit the Links at Your Choice of Courses
Whether you’re a traditional golf fan or you prefer your golf mini-sized, Lake Lure is one of our favorite places to get out on the links. There are two full length, semi-private courses—Bald Mountain Golf Course and Apple Valley Golf Course—in the community. Each offers a unique take on mountain golfing, with a view as captivating as it is challenging and enjoyable and design aspects to attract the novice golfer and veteran player.
Enter a Fairy Tale at the Flowering Bridge
Before you leave Lake Lure for the weekend, don’t miss the opportunity to walk the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. From 1925 to 2011, the bridge carried traffic to and from Lake Lure. In 2011, the North Carolina Department of Transportation completed a new bridge a few yards upstream and closed the older structure to traffic. A local nonprofit transformed the 155-foot-long, 20-foot-wide structure into a color-filled dreamscape. The three-arch pedestrian bridge and its surroundings are now lined with native flowering plants that attract humans, wildlife, and pollinators alike. From the bridge, Chimney Rock is visible upstream and Lake Lure itself is visible downstream where the Rocky Broad flows into the lake.
Plan Your Next Weekend Trip to Lake Lure
If parts of Lake Lure look familiar to first-time visitors, it’s no surprise. The lake and much of the local waterfront mountain property was the prime shooting ground for the 1987 romance “Dirty Dancing.” The film was set in the early 1960s, but even today, parts of Lake Lure feel like the lakeside stomping grounds of the two main characters. It’s a connection the town continues to celebrate with their annual Dirty Dancing Festival, launched in 2010 and held each September.
Also popular are Lake Lure’s long-standing annual events, including fireworks displays on the Fourth of July. Held twice annually, the Lake Lure Arts & Crafts Festival has been a local tradition since the 1980s. Enjoy shopping for wonderful art and handmade crafts from the festival’s 90+ artisan vendors during this celebration of Appalachian arts and crafts in a gorgeous mountain setting.
In August, the Lake Lure Olympiad beckons athletes from around the nation for foot races, a triathlon, and sport tournaments. Over 13 years, the Olympiad has given back more than $315,000 to area charities and service organizations.
Spend More than One Weekend in Lake Lure
Waterfront mountain real estate is something that is rare indeed. Along the shoreline of Lake Lure, there is a unique variety of homes ranging from the historic to the modern, from the somewhat rustic to the state of the art. No center of leisure would be complete without good options for wining and dining. Lake Lure satisfies in this respect, as well. Lake Lure and its environs offer no shortage of other amusements and something for just about everybody.
Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Find your dream home in Lake Lure now!