Challenge your girls to a zipline adventure! Canopy Ridge Farm in Lake Lure zips you through the beautiful forest of beautiful Hickory Nut Gorge. The adventure tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours and is designed to get your blood pumping! (Note: check out weight limits before making plans.)
Pack your chairs, bathing suit and sunblock for catching rays on Lake Lure Beach. You’ll want to pinch yourself when you see the view from the lake shore. The beach is open from 10am-6pm seven days a week during the summer. There are a couple of water slides that splash into the cool lake, restrooms, changing rooms, a snack bar, and picnic tables. 2015 admission is $8/adults, $7/seniors, $6/children 4-12. No pets allowed. The beach is along US Highway 64 / 74A. Street address is 2930 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure, NC 28746.
There are 491 stairs to the top of Chimney Rock. Everyone on your trip might not be cut out for this kind of hike, but don’t let that mark this trip off your list! Let the hikers hike and the others can spend time exploring easier meandering walks, and incredible views. (If the elevator is working, it’s just a short ride to the top!) Did you know The Last of the Mohicans was filmed here? Stop in at the gift shop, and don’t leave without meeting Grady the Groundhog and his friends in Grady’s Animal Discover Den at the park.
Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a beautiful stop for an afternoon or early morning stroll and some picture taking fun. Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge maintain the gardens on the old Rocky Broad River Bridge. Completed in 1925, the bridge served as a part of the US 64/US 74-A/NC 9 highway until 2011. When a new bridge was opened, The Historic Bridge #7 was turned over to the Town of Lake Lure to allow for the creation of this unique community garden bridge.
Take a little drive:
The Cherry Bounce Trail was once used by travelers coming from across the Southeast to buy Amos Owens’ “Cherry Bounce,” a spirit made from cherries grown in the Golden Valley are of Rutherford County. The trail starts with “small town friendly” Main Street shops and loops through Golden Valley’s unspoiled foothills, returning to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OMVNT) in Rutherfordton. The OMVNT traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal King’s Mountain campaign of 1780.
Aside from the long scavenger list of historical stops along the trail, be sure to make time for a bologna sandwich, RC and Moonpie from Washburn’s General Store (the oldest single family owned store in North Carolina) and a tour of Defiant Whisky. Spindale is a definite stop for coffee at Spinning Bean Coffee, some shopping at Spindale Boutique and Gifts, a strum of a guitar at B Sharp. If the owner is around, chat him up for a while. WNCW 88.7 is based out of Spindale and quite a few bands come through the area on tour. He has some stories to tell! If you need a pizza pick-me-up, grab a pie at Barley’s. This really is a beautiful trail so block out a chunk of time, pack your hats, roll down the windows, blare some music and enjoy the ride!
Where to eat:
The Lakeview Restaurant at Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure is one of many hidden gems in the Lake Lure area. Chef Michael Jones started his career at Grove Park Inn in Asheville in the Blue Ridge Dining Room. He later became Chef at La Bastide (now Restaurant 17) in Travelers Rest, SC and Executive Chef at the Cliffs at Glassy in Landrum, SC before coming to Rumbling Bald Resort. He’s sourcing locally, and creating beautiful elevated fare. The view from the patio outside will almost steal the show… but not quite. The food really is spectacular.
Larkin’s on the Lake also has fantastic lake-side views. During lunch, enjoy patio service at Bayfront Bar and Grill and pick from indoor dining with a view or lake-side dining for dinner service. Featured menu items include their popular Spinach Artichoke Dip, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Crab Nachos (delicious!) or Pulled Pork Nachos, Burgers and Sandwiches, Steaks, Ribs and their popular Blue Ridge Mountain Trout. With tasty bites and a full lake-side bar menu, this place is my pic for happy hour!
La Strada at Lake Lure overlooks the Beach at Lake Lure and there’s a panoramic view of the mountains. If you can score a seat in the shade on the patio, the view is spectacular. Though the focus is on Italian, there seems to be a little bit of everything on the menu, so this stop is a good bit for picky eaters.
Don’t leave town without one last stop at the Veranda Restaurant at Lake Lure Inn for Sunday Brunch. The line can be long on busy weekends, but ask my friend Patrick to play you a tune on the music boxes. You’ll be happy you waited when you see the fresh omelets made to order, chocolate fountain and fruit display, hand carved meats, homemade soups and salads, extensive buffet line offering breakfast and lunch, cakes, pies and fresh baked pastries! There’s also a Bloody Mary Bar that starts at noon.
I loved our trip to Lake Lure so much, I have planned a return trip for the Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival in August 14-15! I’ve wanted to hit this festival for years and finally get my chance. The weekend event starts with a lakeside screening of Dirty Dancing on Friday night from 7-10 pm at Morse Park Meadows, then on Saturday return to the park for dance lessons, arts and crafts vendors, watermelon games, dance competitions, live bands and a lift competition! For more information on the Dirty Dancing Festival, visit dirtydancingfestival.weebly.com and for more information on places to stay and things to do in and around Lake Lure, visit www.rutherfordtourism.com.