20 Best Things to Do in Lake Lure, NC

Lake Lure, NC
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Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Lake Lure is one of the country's most picturesque man-made lakes.

Lake Lure is known for its rich mountain panoramas and the soothing sounds of Rocky Broad River that draw visitors year after year.

Whether you're an outdoor lover, or just want to relax and recharge, Lake Lure has a selection of activities that will keep you entertained for the day, the weekend, or the whole season.

Here are the 20 best things to do in Lake Lure, NC:

Go Fishing at Lake Lure

Beautiful View of Lake Lure
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Lake Lure is home to a diverse species of fish and if you’re in the area and want to spend a day fishing, make sure you have a North Carolina fishing license.

Some of the fishes you can find here are rainbow trout, largemouth, and crappie, smallmouth bass, white bass, bluegill, sun perch, and catfish.

Aerial View of Lake Lure
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Using basket trotlines or other unmarked devices, other than poles and other things used for sport fishing, is also prohibited in Lake Lure.

Remember to read some other fishing regulations to make sure you enjoy your time here without disrupting the ecosystem.

A dock at Lake Lure
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Due to the requirement of a local fishing license and boat permit, guided boat trips are frequently the best option for out-of-state tourists to catch a fish without breaking the rules.

Stop by Rutherford County Welcome Center

Before you jumpstart your Lake Lure adventure, we do advise you to stop by its visitors’ center.

Before entering the Rutherford County Welcome Center main building, a courtyard with natural plants and pergolas that provide shade welcome you.

Pose for pictures on a mock-up of the famous stairway from the film Dirty Dancing.

A cornerstone rock from the Dirty Dancing movie set from 1987 is also one of the main attractions within the Welcome Center.

All the pamphlets on the walls provide guests with information on everything from current events to outdoor activities to trail maps and local attractions.

A cinematic history exhibit includes information on Lake Lure-based films including Dirty Dancing as well as the Last of the Mohicans, which were shot in Chimney Rock.

Historic maps, local legends, and mythology, as well as artifacts from the area's past, may all be found in the "History Room."

Explore Boon Life Adventures on ATV

On 86 acres of tranquility with breathtaking views, families and groups can unwind with fun and rewarding adventures.

Boon Life's mission is to revitalize and connect individuals through a range of adventure, leisure, and team-building activities.

Boon Life is a tourism attraction that is Christ-centered and ecologically sustainable.

Individuals, families, churches, business groups, and organizations are all welcome.

Explore the area through a guided ATV tour, its main attraction.

Play Golf at Apple Valley Golf Course

The golf courses around Lake Lure are set against a stunning natural setting.

These golf courses are made even more remarkable by the presence of rolling terrain, running streams, gorgeous scenery, animal sightings, and ideal weather conditions throughout the year.

Spending the day in these lush surroundings will be a blast!

Apple Valley Golf Course, one of only two championship courses in the area, offers a unique experience for golfers of all skill levels.

The Dan Maples-designed, 72-par, 18-hole course, which debuted in 1986 and is located on the resort's grounds, has been named one of Golf Digest's Best Places to Play.

The championship tees have a distance of 6,756 yards, a slope rating of 140, and a USGA rating of 73.2.

Swim and Chill at Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

Lake Lure does have a beach. So it's not a seashore, but a lakeshore.

It's possible to float in an inner tube or kayak or paddleboard or swim while taking in the magnificent vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You can even ride a water slide or get soaked by water cannons or simply sit on the sand and enjoy the weather while taking in the scenery.

Go for a walk or ride your bike to explore the area or have a picnic with friends and family.

From the long weekend after Memorial Day through the long weekend after Labor Day, the beach and water park are open.

And yes, this place gets crowded, particularly on hot days and weekends!

There is no additional charge for the water park when you go to the beach.

Just take note that the water slide's minimum height requirement is 45 inches, and a parent or guardian is required to accompany children under the age of 16.

Stroll Across the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

View of Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
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What do you think of an ancient bridge that has been taken over by flowers and art?

The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge offers visitors the chance to see gardens full of native flora.

The old Rocky Broad River bridge, built in 1925 and decommissioned in 2011, is a restored blooming bridge.

It's a beautiful illustration of the spirit of caring and camaraderie that exists throughout a community.

View from Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
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As a result of the new, wider route being built into town, they had to determine what to do with the outdated highway bridge.

Instead of a private garden, why not transform it into a public garden?

It was built and is still maintained entirely by volunteers.

Potted plants at Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
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From Lake Lure Beach, the 0.75-mile Town Center Walkway extends beyond Morse Park with breathtaking views of the Hickory Nut Gorge and Chimney Rock.

This 300-foot pathway is part of that route.

Free to use, it's one of the most beautiful hikes in western North Carolina.

Aerial view of Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
DysonsSphere, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Zipline at Canopy Ridge Farm

When it comes to the fun factors and outstanding visitor experiences, Canopy Ridge Farm is one of the best parks in the country.

Explore the Blue Ridge Mountains' foothills from a unique vantage point.

Canopy Ridge Farm's zipline trips, conducted by competent and courteous operators, are great for families as well as thrill-seekers.

The trip will take you over 60 acres of beautiful hardwood forest where you will soar through the treetops, through rivers, and over hills and water.

This Farm in western North Carolina's Hickory Nut Gorge also provides guided kayak excursions during certain seasons.

It caters to guests ages 4 and up, so it's perfect for thrill-seekers and first-timers alike.

Ride Horses at Cedar Creek Riding Stables

If you like the smell of rhododendron and mountain laurel in the spring, the warmth of summer under tree canopies, the changing colors of the leaves in the fall, or the crisp air and enhanced visibility of winter, Cedar Creek Stables is the place for you!

It is a family-owned horseback riding stable near Lake Lure, North Carolina.

We've been around the lake since 1993 and provide a wide range of activities for people of all ages and abilities.

It does more than just offer guided trail rides at this location.

It also caters to special gatherings such as weddings, family reunions, company team-building activities, and more.

You may also fish at the creek.

Guided trail rides last an hour or an hour and a half through Cedar Creek as well as on broad mountain paths.

Instead of having someone lead your horse to a deck where you are standing, the guide will give you some time to connect with your horse.

Join Lake Lure Boat Tours

Lake Lure Tours offers covered tour boats to take guests on a picturesque tour of Lake Lure from March to November.

During the tour, you will be able to spot the famous Lake Lure Inn and Spa, as well as the locations where 'Dirty Dancing' was filmed.

On a Lake Lure boat trip, you can view the steps from Dirty Dancing when Baby carried the watermelon.

Take a boat excursion around Lake Lure to see its natural beauty and charm. Become familiar with Lake Lure's folklore and the cultural and natural heritage of the nearby Hickory Nut Gorge.

It's important to keep in mind that tickets go on sale the day of the tour at 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Starting at 11 am daily, our boat trips leave once a minimum of six people are aboard.

Unfortunately, pets are not permitted on tour boats.

In addition to ensuring your safety, its tour guides will also make you wish to return time and time again.

Bring Your Youngsters to the Right Track Toy Train Museum

The Right Track Toy Train Museum exhibits vintage and modern toy trains, all in support of funding for pancreatic cancer research.

There are operating trains, a children's area, and a gift store available.

Peggy Keyes was the inspiration for the establishment of this museum.

Larry, Peggy's spouse of 47 years, died of pancreatic cancer in 2007.

Larry has been a lifelong collector and admirer of model railroading toys.

With the help of many volunteers and to commemorate her husband's memory while raising money on pancreatic cancer studies, the owner established this memorial museum in Lake Lure.

It features a collection of trains spanning the years 1900 to the present day.

Trains run on many tracks, and guests may operate the trains themselves.

Push trains, engineer costumes, and coloring papers are all available in a special railway area just for your youngest engineers!

You may also purchase Christmas ornaments, railway sets, baby clothing, train whistles, and more in its little gift shop.

This museum has enough to offer everyone in the family, young and old alike.

There is a $5 contribution per person required for entry.

Free admission for children under the age of 2.

All the museum’s proceeds go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network without any administrative fees.

Go Hiking at Rumbling Bald State Park

There is a circular route known as the Rumbling Bald Trail that runs along the southern edge of the Rumbling Bald Mountain, taking hikers through boulder fields and the cliff's edge.

It's easy to access the trailhead parking from Chimney Rock or Lake Lure via Boys Camp Road.

Once at the trailhead, follow the orange blazes back to the parking lot via the bouldering sections, past the cliffs floor, and beyond.

Rumbling Bald is famous bouldering, mountain climbing, and hiking destination in Chimney Rock State Park.

It's a popular spot for rock climbing as well.

There are some steep portions on the trek through the woods, but they are not too difficult for most hikers.

The area is accessible to the public, although it may get busy, especially in the winter months when more people visit.

Picnic at Morse Park

Gazebo of Morse Park
Chansak Joe / shutterstock.com

Morse Park is an ideal venue for a picnic, sunbathing, reading, or observing birds from the comfort of a lawn chair while you take in the stunning views of the Hickory Nut Gorge mountains.

It also features a pavilion where you may hold special events.

Trees at Morse Park
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A large and flat grassy area with well-kept landscaping faces the lake at the Lake Lure Pavilion in Morse Park.

The Chimney Rock Mountains, public beach, and Washburn Marina may all be seen from the Pavilion area.

Waters of Morse Park
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Grilling with charcoal or gas is not allowed in and around the Pavilion and along the peninsula heading to the Pavilion.

Meanwhile, picnic shelters behind the Welcome Center, however, provide charcoal grills for public use.

Bring Home Souvenirs From the Hickory Nut

The Hickory Nut is a quirky roadside shop that sells a variety of items.

It has been running for more than two decades in Lake Lure.

The exterior of the store, with its beautiful plants and decorations that changes based on the season, has a very inviting vibe.

All blooming plants, herbs, and garden decorations are available for purchase.

Once inside, you'll discover an abundance of wonderful mountain/country home decorations, antiquities, Native American artifacts, handicrafts, and quilts, among other things.

The atmosphere of the store, along with the classic American music in the background, makes you feel like traveling down memory lane.

The selection and its affordable pricing practically guarantee that you will leave with something to remind you of Lake Lure.

Invigorate at Lake Lure Massage

After a day of fun adventure, it’s time to top off your Lake Lure getaway with a relaxing massage at Lake Lure Massage.

Just a block away from the Flowering Bridge, the facility offers a variety of services such as deep tissue massage, Swedish, and hot stone to release muscle tension.

Its services are given by licensed massage and bodywork therapists in North Carolina.

Its principal masseur, Ishvara, will make you feel completely at ease and comfortable, allowing you to just enjoy the experience.

Attend Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival

One of the most well-known Lake Lure events is the Dirty Dancing Festival.

Attending this arts and music festival, which takes place every August, is a must for any fan.

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 romantic comedy-drama film that starred Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.

The plot revolves around their characters, the young but courageous Frances "Baby" Houseman and the cynical dancing instructor Johnny Castle.

The two met while Baby’s family was on vacation and eventually fell in love while practicing a dance routine.

Dirty Dancing is one of the timeless, well-loved movies of all time and popularized the award-winning hit “(I've Had) The Time of My Life."

The Dirty Dancing Festival features movie showing and a whole roster of events that pay tribute to the film.

Here, you may join dancing classes, dance numbers, shopping, eating, and, of course, the lake lift competition.

Another highlight of the annual event is the watermelon races that commemorate the scene where Baby carries a watermelon.

Do not forget the after-parties, which usually feature more dancing, drinking, and having a great time in the open!

Bond with Your Family over an Exciting Water Excursion at Lake Lure Adventure Company

The Lake Lure Adventure Company features a ton of thrilling family-friendly excursions.

There is something for everyone since they cater to the particular needs of customers from beginner to advanced, in addition to providing instruction and programs for ages five and above.

The coolest feature of Lake Lure Trip Company is the chance to create your adventure using whatever combination of the various activities.

Several people like making a 2- or 3-hour trip out of water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing to experience them all.

You could spend the day taking on those adrenaline-pumping challenges before switching to a pontoon boat for an afternoon of leisurely lake cruising.

Have a Delightful Meal at La Strada at Lake Lure

Exterior of La Strada at Lake Lure
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La Strada debuted its first of several Charlotte sites in 1974.

After providing excellent dishes for more than 30 years in Charlotte, La Strada and the founding family have relocated to Lake Lure, where they are now presenting one of the region's most extensive and innovative menus.

Word of the fantastic food at La Strada rapidly spread after it began as a small family operation focusing on traditional Italian cuisine and NY-style brick oven pizza.

Pasta, pizza, baby back ribs, fresh seafood, chicken, burgers, salads, and steak are just a few of the specialties available.

Be sure to try some of the mouthwatering appetizers and distinctive sweets on the menu, including a section for kids.

The fully-equipped bar offers a variety of refreshments, including wine, beer, and mixed drinks.

Shop and Stock Up at Lured Market & Grill

Lured Market & Grill offers a constantly shifting, artfully selected assortment of products.

They are dedicated to offering you the finest cuisine, superb wine, artisan brews, and handcrafted retail products.

At Lured Market & Grill, you may get anything from spicy sauce to home items to locally produced cheeses, bread, meats, and cooked dishes.

It's the ideal location for a delectable lunch and casual meeting with your beloved friends or family.

Visit them for some Groovy Fries or a side of delicious roasted Brussels sprouts, and indulge in one of their daily specials.

Did you forget something on the drive to the lake cottage?

Come pick up some grilling and picnic items, ice, toiletries, candles, laundry detergent, and other things!

Rent a Boat at Lake Lure Washburn Marina

Rentals are available for both motorized and non-powered equipment at Lake Lure Washburn Marina.

All rentals should be delivered back 30 minutes before the store closes.

All boaters under 25 must pass the Boater Safety Training Course before operating a watercraft in North Carolina.

The pontoon boats for motorized rentals all feature ladders and can accommodate up to 13 people.

You may hire stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and hydro cycles for non-motorized rentals.

The Marina also supplies items and beverages and sells fuel and oil for boats.

Feel the Ambiance at Willowbrook Inn

Willowbrook Inn is conveniently located close to Chimney Rock State Park and The Beach at Lake Lure for your mountainous vacation.

They supply their customers with large, private rooms in a relaxed park-like ambiance.

Each room has a kitchenette and a spacious bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and individual shower.

Savor Lake Lure's charm and magic and go on a vacation for a single day or two.

Several sights in Western North Carolina are reachable within 45 minutes if you decide to leave Lake Lure.

Final Thoughts

Escape the mundane and discover the grandeur of Lake Lure on your next trip to North Carolina.

Get uplifted every time you come and see the wooded emerald pine trees around the gorgeous lake scene.

You may not be a star in a romantic movie, but the landscape will make you fall in love over and over again.

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