12 Serene Things To Do In Lake Lure, NC

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase. Read Disclosure.

I feel like my soul comes alive whenever I visit Lake Lure, a small town in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Tucked below the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s surrounded by the forested green of the pine trees, mountain views, and of course the glistening man-made lake.

Lake Lure may be a small town, but it’s packed with things to do and places to see. Located just 45-minutes from Asheville, it’s the perfect place to spend a day or a week, depending on how much relaxation you’re looking for.

mother and child paddle boarding on lake lure, nc attraction
Total serenity on Lake Lure, NC

Being just five minutes’ drive to Chimney Rock State Park and 1 hour’s drive to the scenic Pisgah National Forest, being in Lake Lure is all about being in nature – it’s a place where you can disconnect, reconnect, and slip into a serene lifestyle.

About Lake Lure, NC

Lake Lure houses
Beautiful lakeside homes on Lake Lure

Lake Lure was artificially made back in 1927 by Lucius Morse, and is surrounded by lush mountain tops and sheer granite cliffs. In the distance are the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Hickory Nut Gorge with names like Buffalo Head and Sleeping lady.

He envisioned a lake resort that would be one of the largest in the country as he gazed down upon the Broad River Valley from the top of Chimney Rock, which he owned and opened to the public in 1916.

Lake house on Lake Lure, North Carolina
Lake House on Lake Lure

The town of Buffalo, a small Gold Rush and farming town, now sits at the bottom of the lake.

Legend of the church said to be 70 feet below in the center of the lake whose bell is said to be heard ringing on stormy evenings

The lake is now owned by the town of Lake Lure, with private homes surrounding most of it. Access is provided via a town marina, beach and park.

Lake Lure boat tours

What I love about this beautiful lakeside destination, is that it has NOT become one large lake resort.

It’s mostly a popular USA destination of privately owned homes that caters to families who vacation in North Carolina every summer.

That’s what I want!

Things To Do On Lake Lure

1. Relax, Learn and Dream on a Lake Lure Boat Tours

tour boat on lake lure
Lake Lure boat tour
woman and child on boat tour
Fun for the kids!

On a Lake Lure boat tour, you get to experience the best of this lake’s natural beauty, as well as some iconic locations – you can see the stairs from Dirty Dancing where Baby carried the watermelon, for example.

We took the boat tour in the afternoon. It was sunny and warm and the breeze was gentle. Surprisingly, the seats on the boat were padded and spacious.

We had plenty of room to watch the world go by and learn more about the lake’s history – and admire those gorgeous lake houses on its bank – from our captain and guide.

lake lure surrounded by mountains
How’s the serenity?
dirty dancing stairs at lake lure
Look left just beside and behind the house. That’s Baby’s steps

The tours last an hour and is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Be sure to reserve your spot in advance as they are popular.

2. Paddle Boarding or Kayak on Lake Lure

woman and child supping the lodge on lake lure
Love paddling with my daughters!
girl on paddle board on lake lure
What sup Lake Lure?

It’s not long after arriving in Lake Lure that I slip into lake time. It moves slow and rhythmically like the oars on my stand up paddle board moving across the lake.

Paddle boarding is one of our favorite things to do in Lake Lure and it’s the first thing we did when we arrived at our accommodation, the Lodge on Lake Lure.

young girl sitting on paddle board on lake lure
The best family activity in Lake Lure

Stand-up paddle boards and kayaks are complimentary for guests staying at the Lodge on Lake Lure and we made sure we took one out on each day of our two night stay there.

If you don’t stay at Lodge on Lake Lure, you can rent a SUP, canoe or kayak for $60 a day from Lake Lure Adventure Company (they also have boat rentals, wakeboarding, fishing trips, and waterski experiences you can book).

If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry, supping takes a little practice to get used to balancing – I fell off dramatically the first time I did it. Now, I rarely fall of unless it’s intentional.

It’s a bit like riding a bike, once you figure out the balance it kind of becomes automatic.

3. Play or Relax at Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

Lake Lure Beach and Water Park
Have fun with kids at the water park

Yes, there is a beach at Lake Lure. Well, it’s not an ocean beach with waves like say, Wrightsville Beach on the Carolina coast, but our two girls enjoyed it and it’s one of the most popular attractions in Lake Lure!

Here you can float in an inner tube, kayak, paddle board, ride on a pontoon boat, swim, ride the water slide or get soaked by the water works cannons, or simply relax on the sand and soak up the sun with majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The beach and water park is typically open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. And it does get busy here, especially on warm days and on weekends!

Admission Rates

  • Adults: $10.00
  • Seniors: $9.00
  • Kids ages 4-12 and 45″ & taller: $8.00​
  • Under 4: Free (when accompanied by adult)

​​Admission to the water park is included in beach admission price!

4. Stroll Across Flowering Bridge

woman and child walking on boardwalk holding hands
Boardwalk is easy to do with kids

How does an old bridge overtaken by blooms and artwork sound to you?

One of my absolute favorite things to do in Lake Lure is to stroll across the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. It’s a wonderful example of community care and spirit.

They came together to decide what to do with the old highway bridge once the bigger and wider new road was built coming into town.

Why not turn it in to a public garden space? It was created by volunteers and is maintained by volunteers, and contains more than 2,000 species of plants. It’s still cared for by local volunteers to this day.

The 300 foot pathway is part of the 3/4-mile Town Center Walkway that continues past Morse Park to the Lake Lure Beach with great views of the Hickory Nut Gorge and Chimney Rock.

It’s one of most scenic walks in western North Carolina, is opened year round and is completely free!

5. Grab An Ice Cream at Scoop Lake Lure

cup of ice cream
Best ice cream in Lake Lure

Across the road from Town Beach sits a popular local ice cream store called Scoop. It has a wide variety of tantalizing flavors such as s’mores, cherry blossom, banana pudding, orange sherbert, peach and coffee.

We ordered the girls ice cream first so we could see exactly what a single scoop looked like. It was huge! Craig was about to ask for a double, and quickly changed his mind as the single servings were ginormous!

It’s nice to grab your ice cream after a day of playing at Town Beach, or you can walk there along the lakefront boardwalk after your walk across the Flowering Bridge, or your Lake Lure boat tour.

6. Stay at The Lodge on Lake Lure – It’s Exquisite

deck with lake views at the lodge on lake lure
View from the deck at The Lodge on Lake Lure
aerial view of Lodge on the Lake at Lake Lure, NC
Aerial view of The Lodge on Lake Lure

One of the things I loved doing in Lake Lure was to sit on the deck outside our room at the Lodge on Lake Lure among the trees and look down on the lake below, watching it slowly go to sleep and then slowly wake up the next day.

Lake Lure Lodge is one of the most beautiful places to stay in Lake Lure, and I simply fell in love with it. I fell in love with the view when I visited there last year with my Dirty Dancing friends, and I was so excited to stay there when we returned to visit Lake Lure this time!

The Lodge on Lake Lure, North Carolina
The best accommodation in Lake Lure

The Lodge on Lake Lure was built in the 30’s as a retreat for North Carolina highway patrolmen.

It opened to the public in 1990. It’s the only lakefront lodging in Lake Lure and offers a unique experience.

the lodge on lake lure dining room with view
Tree Tops Dining Room

The Tree Tops Dining Room has stunning views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge mountains.

It’s the best way to start your day with a buffet breakfast and dinner is served Wednesday through Saturday evenings. See prices and availability here.

7. Attend the Lake Lure Dance Festival

Dirty Dancing Festival Lake Lure (9)
The Dirty Dancing festival is fun for all ages

Sadly the annual The Dirty Dancing Festival, one of the most popular annual events to take place at Lake Lure is no longer happening.

On a previous trip to Lake Lure, we attended the 8th annual Dirty Dancing Festival, which coincided with the films 30th anniversary, and yes it was a hoot, and yes I carried a watermelon, and yes you can go in a lake lift competition!

Instead this year, they will have their first Lake Lure Dance Festival, which will still honor the legacy of Patrick Swayze with a variety of themed events, including a movie screening and party in Lake Lure, live music, dancing, and engaging activities throughout the weekend.

The Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival is held every year in August or September.

The festival takes place at Morse Park, just a five minute drive out of the town. If you plan to visit for the festival, be sure to book your accommodation early as there aren’t too many options at Lake Lure!

Some highly rated resorts that are popular to stay in during this festival are Esmeralda Inn, Lake Lure Inn, and Rumbling Bald Resort.

8. Get Active at Chimney Rock State Park

american flag on top of chimney rock with views of lake lure
The views from Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock State Park is an easy 5 minute drive from Lake Lure Beach and is one of the most popular places to go in North Carolina – movie buffs might know that scenes from Last of the Mohicans was filmed here.

At the top of Chimney Rock you get stunning views of Hickory Hut Gorge and Lake Lure. The hike up to the top of Chimney Rock from the parking lot is 500 steps – easy! But there is also an elevator that takes you up some of the way if you’re not into hiking.

If you are into hiking, there’s a lovely 1.4 mile return trail through the hardwood forest to Hickory Nut Falls.

the lodge on lake lure north carolina (2)
Pure serenity

9. Play A Round of Golf at Bald Mountain Golf Course

Located on the property of Rumbling Bald Resort, is one of the best golf courses in North Carolina, Bald Mountain Golf Course.

The 18-hole, 72 par course spans over 6,300 yards, and is one of the only courses in NC that has five par 3s and five par 5s.

For the golfing enthusiast, that’s certainly a challenge worth checking out!

10. Go Fishing for Trout or Bass

smallmouth bass on lake lure

Although being a man-made lake, Lake Lure is a great place to go fishing.

It contains both warm and cold-water species of fish, such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, trout, bream, crappie, carp, and perch – not to mention several types of catfish.

If you’re big on fishing, then you’re probably aware that North Carolina is one of the best states to catch a trophy fish.

Why not try your luck and see what you can pull out of Lake Lure?

11. Zip Line at Canopy Ridge Farm

So far I’ve only listed some relaxing things to do in Lake Lure and that’s mostly because that’s what I like – but if you do like to take the adventure level up a notch, then be sure to head over to Canopy Ridge Farm.

Located just a 10-minute drive from Lake Lure, this farm is known for its thrilling zip-line experience, which takes you gliding through the canopies 100 feet in the area, over a 60 acre hardwood forest.

There are 6 zip-lines in total, which take you on an average speed of 35 miles per hour!

12. Walk Along Rocky Broad River Walk

Rocky broad riverwalk chimney rock nc (1)

There are many hiking trails near Lake Lure, but one of our favorites is the Rocky Broad River walk, because it’s family friendly and not too challenging – well, it might be if you were to walk the entire 33 mile length, but most people only do a small section of it.

The walk starts at Chimney Rock Village and takes you along the river banks of the Rocky Broad River.

There are plenty of places to stop and rest, with picnic tables and places to play.

If you are traveling as a family, note that the terrain is natural surface so you may struggle with a stroller.

Final Thoughts

family hugging with views of lake lure and the mountains
Showing off our Lake Lure backyard to my parents

Lake Lure NC is my happy place, and it’s one of my top two favorite places to visit in North Carolina along with Wrightsville Beach.

I want to buy a lake house as a summer home here. I just want to spend my summers on this lake, in my lakeside home, with my paddle board.

This was my mantra for our very short two day Lake Lure vacation.

I just had to bring my parents here on our big road trip from Dallas to Boston. It was slightly out of the way, but totally worth it.

For more Western North Carolina tips, check out our post on 19 places to go in the Western North Carolina mountains.

Watch Our Lake Lure Video

More Cool Places To Visit Near Lake Lure

+ insider tips and updates
Featured Image
4 Powerful Ways to Travel More & Create Better Memories
Want to know how we've made a lifetime of travel for 25 years? In
This is what gives us incredible memories to share around the campfire. Join our community for insider tips and updates!
Scroll to Top