27 BEST Things to Do in Lake Lure, NC

Lake Lure is the ultimate destination for your next vacation. It’s one of the most frequently visited mountain towns in NC, and for good reason. It’s home to a rich history and culture, with numerous activities like swimming, hiking, picnicking, and more waiting for you and your whole family.

Lake Lure is a stunning spot in North Carolina that promises to offer a one-of-a-kind lake vacation in the state. You can spend a weekend here, or an entire summer; there’s no shortage of things to do in Lake Lure. If relaxing without getting the heart rate up is more your style you can sit and soak in the breathtaking view of the majestic Blue Ridge mountains that form the perfect backdrop for this picturesque mountain lake.

Or have a more active vacation and hike around Chimney Rock! After a day hiking, enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake, all while taking in the beauty of the place that inspired Dirty Dancing.

Here are some of the exciting things to do in Lake Lure that is guaranteed to keep you busy.

Where is Lake Lure?

Lake Lure is a small North Carolina town in Rutherford County in the west of the state. Lake Lure is just a stone’s throw away from Asheville and 30 minutes from Hendersonville. It’s one of the best places to visit in North Carolina, especially in the summer and fall.

You can explore the charming mountain town and indulge in the vibrant craft beer scene in the area. Or spend your days swimming in one of the best lakes in all of North Carolina. Stay in a cozy cabin, hotel, or campground that’s scattered all along the lakeshore, and enjoy the beauty of North Carolina here.

Best Things to Do in Lake Lure

Stop by the Rutherford County Welcome Center

Rutherford County Welcome Center
Image by VisitNC / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 2932 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Before starting your Lake Lure Adventure, know what awaits you by stopping by the Rutherford County Welcome Center. There’s a courtyard with a mock-up of the stairway from the movie, Dirty Dancing, where you can take photos as well as a cornerstone from the 1987 movie set.

Remember to grab the pamphlets on the walls because they’ll come in handy as you explore Lake Lure. Check out the exhibit featuring the location of the film Dirty Dancing and that of the Last of the Mohicans.

Have Fun Fishing

Lake Lure

There’s nothing quite like finding a quiet spot along the banks of a river and casting a line into the waters waiting for the fish to bite and there are many places along the banks of Lake Lure to do this!  

Some of the species that you might reel in include largemouth, crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, sun perch, trout and smallmouth. Just remember that the lake’s fragile ecosystem calls for regulations to be followed at all times so make sure to learn the rules and acquire a North Carolina fishing license before you cast your line.

Golf at Apple Valley Golf Course

Apple Valley Golf Course
Image by Apple Valley Golf Course / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 309 Winesap Rd, Lake Lure (GPS)

Are you fond of playing golf? If yes, you should swing at the Apple Valley Golf Course. It’s one of Lake Lure’s two championship golf courses where newbies and pros can come and play together.

Apple Valley Golf Course is a great course for beginners and old pros. Not only is this 18-hole, 72-par course set to the backdrop of some spectacular scenery, but the course also features rolling greens, streams, and championship tees. 

Designed by Dan Maples, the course is a 72-par, 18-hole course that opened in 1986. It’s been dubbed one of the Best Places to Play by Golf Digest. Meanwhile, the championship tees span 6,756 yards and have a slope rating of 40. Overall, it has a USGA rating of 73.2.

It’s not unusual to spot wild animals roaming the grounds and the ideal weather conditions during golf season mean you’ll rarely get rained out and layers are all you’ll need to stay comfortable on the course.

Hop on A Boat Tour

Lake Lure Boat Tours
Image by Lake Lure Tours / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 2930 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday -Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Per adventure ticket prices, check here.

There are many ways to explore the Lake Lure area but the best way to explore the lake itself is from the water and Lake Lure Tours offers daily boat tours between March and November. Enjoy incredible views of the lakeside and surrounding area. 

Spot landmarks made famous by scenes from the classic movie “Dirty Dancing” such as the Lake Lure Inn and Spa and learn about some of the history of the area from knowledgeable guides. Tours are on a first-come-first-serve basis and ticket sales start at 10 AM each morning. 

Dine at Lured Market & Grill

Lured Market & Grill
Image by Lured Market & Grill
  • Address: 2655 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 11:00 am -7:00 pm,
    Sunday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday -Tuesday: Closed

The Lured Market & Grill will never disappoint your hungry tummy. It’s the go-to place to eat, drink, and shop. Enjoy the savory selection of local loaves of bread, cheeses, meats, and cooked meals that will fill you up after a tiring day of exploring. You can have anything from spicy sauces and fries to fresh vegetable salads. You’ll love the wine here, too.

Meanwhile, you can buy local handicrafts for souvenirs and other essentials like picnic items, toiletries, detergents, and more.

Drop by the Right Track Toy Train Museum

The Right Track Toy Train Museum
Image by Right Track Toy Train Museum / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 2414 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)

You don’t have to be a child to appreciate the vintage and modern toy trains displayed at the Right Track Toy Train Museum. It’s a great place to visit, especially with children. The museum has operating trains, an area for kids to play in, and a gift shop.

Whether you’re traveling with kids or you’re just a big kid at heart, The Right Track Toy Train Museum is a popular place to visit for all ages. Inside the museum, the main attraction is the exhibits housing vintage toy trains. 

There are modern ones too but there’s something about the vintage ones that grab the attention of train enthusiasts and some of the trains date as far back as the early 1900s. You can even operate some of the trains on display. Also on-site are a kid’s area with engineer costumes and a gift shop.

Regular admission is $5, with children aged two and below admitted for free. The proceeds are then donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Rent a Boat at the Washburn Marina

Boat Rentals in Lake Lure Washburn Marina
Boat Rentals in Lake Lure Washburn Marina / Image by Lake Lure Tours
  • Address: 2930 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Though boat tours are available in Lake Lure, many prefer renting their boat at the Washburn Marina. You can rent a non-powered or motorized boat here. However, if you’re under 25, you must pass the Boater Safety Training Course before you’re allowed to operate a watercraft in NC.

Motorized rentals like pontoon boats have ladders and can accommodate a maximum of 13 passengers. If you prefer non-motorized rentals, you can choose among canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and hydro cycles.

Meanwhile, you can get your supplies, fuel, and oil from the Marina. Rented equipment must be returned 30 minutes before closing.

Picnic at Morse Park

Morse Park
Image by Town of Lake Lure / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 2948 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

While there are many restaurants around Lake Lure, there’s just something special about having a meal outdoors and Morse Park is the perfect place to have a picnic on a nice day. 

Picnic shelters and charcoal grills are on-site but you can always brown bag some sandwiches if you’re not up to cooking. This park is also a popular place for sunbathing, birdwatching and just relaxing.  

However you spend your time here, you’ll always have those fabulous views of The Chimney Rock Mountains and the Hickory Nut Gorge Mountains to admire in the background.

Enjoy a Meal at the Lake House Restaurant Bar & Grill

Lake House Restaurant Bar & Grill
you must try their waffle fries!

At the Lake House Restaurant Bar & Grill, you’ll enjoy an amazing dining experience featuring friendly service, delicious food and views of Lake Lure. Whether you choose to dine in the more formal upstairs dining room or the laid-back bar, you’re sure to have an unforgettable meal!  

On the menu, you’ll find a wide variety of options including wings, tacos, seafood, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, ribs, steak and so much more. Complement your meal with a beverage from the extensive wine, beer and cocktail menu and enjoy the lakeside views.

 Taste Some of the Local Wine

Situated in the little village of Chimney Rock, Burntshirt Vineyards is the place to go near Lake Lure if you’re interested in sampling some delicious, high-quality local wines. The on-site bistro serves wine by the glass along with snacks. 

If you’re visiting on the weekend, you can head to the tasting room to sample the wines that are on offer including Chardonnay, Merlot, Meritage and Veltliner. There’s a gift shop on-site and no matter what you choose to do during your visit, you’ll enjoy lovely views of the Hickory Nut Falls.

If you want to visit the winery and tasting room, you’ll have to head to nearby Hendersonville!

16 BEST North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards

Relive Moments from the Movie Dirty Dancing

things to do in lake lure, north carolina

Lake Lure is known for many things but its main claim to fame is the NC fact that some of the scenes from the well-known 1987 movie Dirty Dancing were filmed in and around the town. Remember the scene where Baby is carrying the watermelon? How about the one where she is practicing her dance skills on the stairs?  

It’s true; both of those scenes were filmed at Lake Lure. Nearby in Chimney Rock, the cabins, dining hall and gym that were once there were also used in the filming of the movie. If you’re a fan of this epic movie, checking out these sites is a must!

Hike at Rumbling Bald State Park

Rumbling Bald State Park
Image by North Carolina State Parks and Recreation / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 827 Boys Camp Rd, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Ready for a hike? Then Rumbling Bald State Park awaits you. This circular route will take hikers through fields with huge boulders and the cliff’s edge. You can quickly get there through the trailhead parking if you’re coming from Chimney Rock or Lake Lure. It’s a very popular spot for climbing and bouldering too!

Try Italian Cuisine and More at La Strada

  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Italian restaurant
  • Address: 2693 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

La Strada is a family-owned restaurant known for their Italian cuisine and brick-oven pizza. The resto has extensive and varied menus to satisfy every visitor’s palate. There’s the traditional pasta and pizza with all kinds of toppings and sauces imaginable. They also serve fresh seafood, delicious chicken dishes, and the juiciest baby back ribs. You can also order burgers, salads, and steaks.

Remember to try their palatable appetizers and the sweetest desserts. Afterward, relax with a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or other refreshments on their menu.

Swim at Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

Lake Lure Beach and Water Park
Image by Lake Lure Tours / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 2724 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Cost of Admission: For ticket information, click here.

It may not be the ocean but the swimming at Lake Lure is just as great! The beach does tend to get busy on nice, summer days but there’s plenty of room to find a spot to lay out your towel and relax in the sun.  

Besides the beach, there’s a park with water slides and water cannons. You can also rent inner tubes, kayaks and paddleboards. As you swim and play lakeside, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning beauty of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. The fee to access the beach is $10 per adult and this includes access to the park facilities.

Join the Dirty Dancing Festival

Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure
Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure / Image by Dirty Dancing Festival
  • Address: 2932 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)

One of the most well-known Lake Lure events is the Dirty Dancing Festival. Many fans come here every August to join in the arts and music festival. The 1987 film starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey and popularized the hit song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life).”

You can attend dancing classes, and dance performances, eat, and shop during the festival. Some of the highlights include the lake lift competition and the watermelon race. There are after-parties as well where you can dance and drink outdoors!

Connect with Other People at Boon Life

Boon Life Adventures
Image by Boon Life Adventures / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 5531 US 64-74 A Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday, Thursday – Sunday: 9:30 am -5:30 pm,
    Closed: Tuesday, Wednesday

Boon Life is an 86-acre tourist attraction in Lake Lure with a guided ATV tour as its main attraction. The place aims to connect people, including friends, families, and groups, through different adventure-filled activities while taking in the natural beauty of their surroundings. Many organizations conduct their team-building activities here.

Avail the Services of Lake Lure Adventure Company

Lake Lure Adventure Company
Image by Lake Lure Adventure Company / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 470 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Per adventure ticket prices, check here.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Lake Lure and the best way to embark on a safe adventure is with the trained, professional staff at Lake Lure Adventure Company. Whether you want to catch some thrills on water skis or a wakeboard or you just want to take a relaxing cruise in a tube or pontoon boat, you’ll find your kind of adventure!  

You can even choose to combine a variety of activities. Lessons are provided and most services are available for participants as young as five years old.

Horseback Riding at Cedar Creek Stables

Cedar Creek Stables Lake Lure
Image by Cedar Creek Stables / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 542 Cedar Creek Rd, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 am -5:00 pm, Closed: Sunday
  • Cost of Admission: Per adventure ticket prices, check here.

One of the best things to do in Lake Lure is go for a horseback ride. Since 1993, a local family has owned and operated Cedar Creek Riding Stables which is a horse stable near Lake Lure. Visitors to the area can visit the stables to meet the horses and learn more about horses in general and horse-riding techniques.  

Guided trail rides are offered to any guest who would like to hit the trails, regardless of their horseback riding abilities. Rides last about an hour to an hour and a half.

Treat Yourself at Lake Lure Massage

  • Address: 2975 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 am -5:00 pm, Closed: Saturday & Sunday

Exploring and touring can get exhausting and one way to rejuvenate and get ready for the next leg of your journey is to spend a day at the spa. At Lake Lure Massage, you can choose from a variety of relaxing massage treatments including deep tissue massages, Swedish massages and hot stone massages. Licensed and professional therapists are there to put you at ease and ensure that you leave feeling revived.

Stroll the Flowering Bridge

Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
Image by Lake Lure Flowering Bridge / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 3070 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (GPS)
  • Hours: 24 Hours

Constructed in 1925, the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge was once used as a thoroughfare but is now decommissioned. Although it’s not used the way it was originally intended, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve any purpose!  

In fact, it’s currently one of Lake Lure’s top attractions. This old bridge is now full of flower gardens and beautiful artwork. It’s a labor of love that came together with the help of community members and continues to enthrall visitors with the help of dedicated volunteers who maintain it. 

Zipline at Canopy Ridge Farm

Canopy Ridge Farm
Image by Canopy Ridge Farm / Things to Do in Lake Lure
  • Address: 7115 US-64, Lake Lure (GPS)

It seems ziplining is a popular activity everywhere you go these days and Lake Lure is no exception. At Canopy Ridge Farm, you’ll be able to enjoy those stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from another angle; from the sky as you soar through the air on a thrilling zipline!  

Pass over treetops, rivers and hills for more than 60 acres. You don’t need to be a pro or to have ever ziplined before. The professional staff will set you up and explain everything to you so you have a safe and fun day. 

Buy Souvenirs at the Hickory Nut

Hickory Nut
  • Address: 215 Main St, Chimney Rock (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

For more than 20 years, the Hickory Nut has been the go-to place for visitors to find unique souvenirs from their trip to the Lake Lure area. This eccentric roadside shop is easily noticed with its cluttered exterior of colorful plants and décor. Inside, you’ll find a variety of items including quilts, crafts, Native American items, antiques and housewares. 

Discover the Rocky Broad Riverwalk

While the lake is the most popular attraction in Lake Lure, the river that empties into that lake is an equally fascinating feature to check out and you can do that with a stroll along the Rocky Broad Riverwalk which traverses along the Broad River.

This boardwalk encompasses a section of the riverside between the village and the lake and passes by shops and cafes. Along the way, you’ll find some benches where you can relax and enjoy the pretty views.

Explore a Beautiful Nature Area at Wildcat Rock

Yes, it’s a little bit more off-the-beaten-path than some of the other top attractions in the Lake Lure area, but Wildcat Rock is definitely worth checking out. The hike is a bit difficult and is about four miles long so you’ll need to put at least an entire morning or afternoon aside to complete it. 

The main trail starts near the parking area at the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead. If you’re only interested in a short hike, you can go as far as Little Bearwallow Falls and turn back. The scenic waterfall makes the short trek worthwhile. If you want to go further, you can go all the way to Bearwallow Mountain. Along this well-maintained trail, you’ll see spectacular views, wildflowers and a meadow. 

 Enjoy a Beer by The River  

Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery

If wine isn’t your drink of choice, you can always head on over to Chimney Rock Brewing Co. and enjoy a local craft brew with some nice views.

Kick back and enjoy the lively atmosphere and good company as you sip on a Chocolate Stout, Red Ale, IPA, or Porter among other choices.

Spend Some Time in Chimney Rock Village

The next village closest to Lake Lure is Chimney Rock Village and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. When you get tired of being on the water or hiking the trails, this is where you can take a stroll down Main Street and duck into the little shops, grab an ice cream on a hot day, kick back in a cozy café with a caffeinated beverage and some sweet treats or just enjoy the quaint ambiance.

There’s even a carousel and a real gem mine where you can mine your own gems!

Explore the Great Outdoors at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park

If you’re looking for one of the most scenic views in North Carolina, Chimney Rock State Park certainly delivers! Once privately owned land, the area was turned into a state park in 2007 and it features many hiking trails, educational experiences, spectacular viewpoints and incredible natural wonders including Hickory Nut Falls which is over 400 feet tall. 

This is the perfect place for families and nature lovers to spend a day only a short drive from Lake Lure. Hiking trails range from very easy to difficult and vary in length and as you explore the park, you’ll spot many different species of birds, making it one of the best places in the region for bird watching. 

At the Animal Discovery Center, you’ll meet live animals who live there because they’re not able to be released into the wild. This is a great way to learn about the unique wildlife of the park.

Best Things to Do in Lake Lure Map

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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