8 Enchanting Reasons to Visit Lake Lure, North Carolina
This week, I'm excited to share a favorite destination with you, and one that makes a beautiful relaxing vacation spot. If you like mountain views, peaceful rivers, quaint shops, and cabins on the lake, you won't want to miss this.
Lake Lure, North Carolina, has been a traditional holiday trip in my family for years now. I honestly don't remember the last time we didn't make the winding drive up into the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit at least once in a year. My family loves it so much we often visit twice, getting a taste of this quaint little town in both the spring and winter atmospheres.
We only stay for a day at a time since we frequently visit, but Lake Lure is really the perfect vacation destination for those wanting to get away for several days at a time. Guests can choose from hundreds of cabins, bungalows, inns, and even resorts, all tucked snugly around the borders of Lake Lure and the surrounding woods.
Prime activities here include hiking, bouldering, swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, golfing, good old-fashioned exploring, and more. It's one of the ultimate outdoor-vacation spots in the United States with its 720+ acres of lake and the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains all around.
That's Lake Lure in a nutshell, but I want to go into detail on a few specific things you can look forward to when you visit.
Lake Lure has a rather fascinating history for such an unassuming vacation spot.
If you didn't already know, Lake Lure is a giant man-made endeavor created back in the early 1900s. The whole resort area was the dream-child of Dr. Lucius Morse, who wanted to create a European-inspired resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lake's creation required a large dam to contain the waters from the Broad River and two other creeks into a maintainable water level, and also included a hydroelectric plant to turn that water into energy.
Both of these feats are even more impressive considering that the original dam and hydroelectric plant are still in use almost 100 years later! Both of these are hard at work to ensure that you get the best possible lake experience and to help support the town of Lake Lure. You can read more details about it in the link above.
2. Scenic Views
Few things are more peaceful than waking up to a mountain-lined lake view outside your window. As I mentioned before, the plethora of housing options available often includes stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Many of the houses are built right on the water with docks extending out into the lake, while others reach right up the sides of the mountains with 3-4 stories clinging directly to the steep incline. So whether you stay on the water or up in the foothills, your view will be spectacular.
But the views don't end there! With a multitude of hiking, biking, and bouldering trails in the area, you can see the charming valleys and mountains around Lake Lure from all angles! Check out the Rumbling Bald Trail, the Morse Park and Greenway, Buffalo Creek Park, or Chimney Rock State Park!
3. Chimney Rock Village
At the foot of Chimney Rock State Park, you'll find an "extension" of the town of Lake Lure, known as Chimney Rock Village. This little town has a wonderfully rustic feel to it with old-fashioned buildings that actually date back to the early 20th century as well when the Lake Lure area starting booming.
Chimney Rock Village is filled with locally-owned, unique shops loaded with a wide variety of goods and goodies. It's also the home of the Broad River Inn, a beautiful two-story building on the edge of the Broad River's banks.
One of my favorite shops in town is Bubba O'Leary's General Store, a large, two-part building filled with outdoor gear, fresh licorice, and unique household decor. I can never get through without a bag of sweet licorice and an old-fashioned soda appearing in my hands.
At least two stores exclusively sell gemstones in the forms of stunning jewelry, gem trees, and polished decorative stones, while the Chimney Rock Gemstone mine lets you actually pan for your own treasures in a working flume mine.
Other shops sell everything from fresh fudge and ice cream to woven blankets, cast-iron cook wear, cowboy boots, unique toys, creative home decor, Russian nesting dolls, T-shirts, gag gifts, saltwater taffy, and mosaic lamps from Turkey. Some items embrace the rusting feel of Chimney Rock Village while others lean toward more exotic styles. But no store fits into the mold of your "average" tourist shop.
4. Rocky Broad Riverwalk
Lining the backside of Chimney Rock Village is the Broad River, a beautiful rocky waterway that tumbles down toward Lake Lure. A pleasant pathway follows the river's edge, allowing guests to enjoy all the lovely nooks and crannies along the way. In many places, giant boulders extend out into the river, offering the perfect spot for a picnic over the water or a better look at the mini rapids below.
In the summer, the calmer parts of the river, sheltered by large rocks, offer peaceful little pools that are perfect for swimming around.
As a lake resort area, Lake Lure has almost every conceivable watersport available for your enjoyment. So if you like getting active on the water, this is a prime location to enjoy all your favorite activities at once. Available watersports include the following: pontoon boats, water skiing, fishing (bass, trout, catfish, yellow perch, sunfish, and crappie), wakeboarding, kayaking, tubing, sailing, canoeing, and kneeboarding.
You can rent different watercraft throughout the week or bring your own so it's always ready to go (with a proper permit of course). However, do note that due to the lake's size, particular watercraft, such as jet skis, are not permitted on the water. You can check all the regulations on the town's guidelines page.
From the streets of Chimney Rock Village, you can look up and see the rugged outcropping of the famous Chimney Rock. This flag-topped stone towers over 3 miles high, offering a stunning view of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and the Hickory Nut Gorge. On a clear day, you can supposedly see as far as 75 miles! Besides the gorgeous view, Chimney Rock is also known as a filming location for movies like Dirty Dancing, The Last of the Mohicans, and A Breed Apart.
But there's more to Chimney Rock State Park than just Chimney Rock. You can also enjoy several beautiful walking trails with remarkable mountain views; visit one of North Carolina's highest waterfalls, Hickory Nut Falls measuring at 404 feet tall; picnic with a view; go birdwatching; or try your hand at bouldering!
Enjoy another piece of local history at the Flowering Bridge, a 1925 highway bridge converted into a gorgeous garden. When a new bridge opened up in 2011, the community joined together to turn the old bridge into something new. The Flowering Bridge features a wide array of flowers and sculptures, all taken care of by local volunteers, and often visited by butterflies. It's quite the magical walkthrough, and it's entirely free to enjoy!
*Photo via Romantic Asheville.com. Read more on the flowering bridge by clicking the picture or at https://www.romanticasheville.com/lake_lure_flowering_bridge.htm.
The final sweet spot at Lake Lure has to be the beach. The three-acre beach is regularly maintained to ensure a clean and enjoyable experience for guests. But you'll find more than just sand and sun here. Lake Lure Beach includes a small water park with water slides, water balloons for water wars, splash pads and more! Beach amenities also include clean bathrooms, changing areas, a snack bar, and picnic areas.
Guests do have to pay an admission fee for the beach since it's privately owned, but for a day at the beach with a water park, $9 per adult and $7 for children over the age of 4 isn't bad.
*Photo via the Lake Lure Beach website. Visit their page at https://www.lakeluretours.com/beach-2.html or click the picture to find out more.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the town of Lake Lure and the beauty surrounding it. You can easily spend a week here and never do the same thing twice. There are gorgeous views around almost every corner and a plethora of opportunities to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
As for me, I know I'll be back come Memorial Day for some mountain views and fresh licorice.
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Until next time, happy travels!