It’s Fall and the North Carolina Mountains are preening, ready to show off their red, yellow and gold colors, so now is the time to visit Lake Lure. Located in Rutherford County in western North Carolina, Lake Lure covers over 700 acres, has 21 miles of shoreline, and is nestled deep in Hickory Nut Gorge.
The 1987 movie “Dirty Dancing” starring the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey was filmed in Lake Lure; Grey will don her dancing shoes once again as she competes on the 11th season of ‘Dancing With the Stars’, which premiers September 20th on ABC.
Lake Lure Beach
Film locations aside, folks have visited the charming and picturesque Lake Lure for years, and whether you want to boat, swim or gaze at the fall foliage, you’ll find plenty to do at Lake Lure.
In fact, you can do all three at the same time, especially if you spend some time on the beach at Lake Lure, which is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The beach is not open year round, so you’ll want to check the schedule, but as of 2010, admission for adults was $8, seniors, $7, ages 4-12, $6, and free for children under four. Admission also allows access to Water Works, which includes a water slide, water cannon, and lots of fun ways to cool off on a hot day.
Lake Lure Tour Boat
If you want to see more of the lake, hop aboard a covered boat and relax as the skipper points out landmarks and locations used in “Dirty Dancing.” You’ll also get a look at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa, which was recently restored, not to mention the breathtaking beauty of Hickory Nut Gorge.
Lake Lure Adventure Company
If you’re the active type, Lake Lure offers plenty of activities to satisfy the most adventuresome spirit. Choose from waterskiing, wakeboarding and wakesurfing, to name a few. There are also guided fishing trips, with all equipment provided, and pontoon boat rentals.
Horseback Riding at Cedar Creek Stables
If you prefer to stay on land, hie yourself down to Cedar Creek Stables and take a horseback ride through the mountains and creeks. Choose between the Laurel Mountain Trail, a one hour ride through the woods on a trail lined with wild laurel thickets, the Nettles Trail, a one-and-a-half hour ride through forest, fields and creeks, or the Overlook Trail, a two-hour trip that takes you to the top of a Mountain ridge. Cost per person is $35, $50 and $65, respectively.
When you get hungry, and you know you will, choose from a wide array of restaurants, including the Italian La Strada at Lake Lure. Try a sub or pizza for lunch, or go all out with the Spicy Parmesan Encrusted Shrimp oven baked wrap served with fries. Italian not your style? Try a good old burger, ribs steaks and seafood from the many cafes and restaurants in Lake Lure.
If you live nearby, Lake Lure makes for a nice day trip, but if you stay overnight you can choose between, cottages, cabins inns or hotel and motels. If you’re a fan of the movie, stay in Lake Lure Inn and Spa’s “Dirty Dancing” themed cabins, including Baby’s Bungalow, Johnny’s Cabin or Overlook Cabin. Prices range from $199 to $275 per night, depending on the time of year.