30 of the best things to see and do with kids of all ages in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, North Carolina.
It’s been nearly two months since our last trip to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, and now that the kids are back in school and I can reflect on our summer, I thought it would be helpful to make it a huge blog post for anyone else gearing up for a family vacation in the North Carolina mountains.
(If you missed it before, you can get our road trip essentials and travel checklist printable here.)
Robert and I both grew up visiting Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, NC periodically throughout our childhoods long before we ever met. It’s a place that always makes us feel like kids again and the perfect spot where our family can unplug for “old school” bonding time.
Why We Love Lake Lure for Family Vacations
- There is SO much to do while still remaining relatively inexpensive.
- It’s beautiful in every single season. Water sports are a blast in summer. The colors are gorgeous in the fall and spring. And it’s so cozy for a winter stay.
- While there is internet access, it encourages unplugged, device-free family time.
The Best Things to See and Do in Lake Lure NC
Where to Stay
We’ve mostly done just two types of stays in Lake Lure because we’ve been very happy with our experiences: Airbnb homes in Rumbling Bald Resort and The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa.
If you love history and charm with a bit more of a social scene in walking distance of local attractions, The 1927 Lake Lure Inn is the place. The hotel is best known for its feature in the film Dirty Dancing. You can also stay in the F. Scott Fitzgerald suite where the writer frequented in the mid-1930s.
We prefer stay on the Rumbling Bald Resort, especially with our kids, since we can rent an entire house or townhome on Airbnb or VRBO for just a couple hundred per night. We end up saving a good bit that way too by picking up groceries at the nearby Ingles and making meals in the Airbnb kitchen.
The Best Lake Lure Airbnb Homes:
What To Do in Lake Lure at Rumbling Bald Resort
We love Rumbling Bald Resort because there are so many amenities and activities to do right on site.
Scenic Lake Lure Boat Tours
This is by far one of our favorite activities to do on a pretty day at Rumbling Bald, especially if our family is tired and we just want to cruise while looking at pretty scenery. If you love history, the tour guide shares so many fun and interesting tidbits about the lake and now it came into existence.
Look at this view from the boat!
Golf at Bald Mountain and Apple Valley
If you ever play the 16th green on the Bald Mountain Golf Course, you might recognize it from a famous scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby talks to her dad.
Robert and Olivia didn’t act that out though… for obvious reasons if you’ve ever seen the movie. Haha!
Rumbling Bald Resort has a mini golf course overlooking the lake that’s perfect for a quick pre-dinner game on a cool night.
Trout Stream Pool & Lazy River
The Rumbling Bald Resort pool is spread out just enough for everyone with mushroom spray fountains for the little kids, a lazy river for anyone who wants to take it easy, and a lap pool with adult swim only times so grown-ups can squeeze in an aquatic workout.
In the summer, the resort staff hosts pool parties regularly with games and activities that make family time even more memorable.
More Things To Do in Lake Lure at Rumbling Bald
- Private beach for resort residents
- Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
- Indoor pool
- Boat rentals
- Fitness classes
- Kids Adventure Camp
- On-site restaurant
- And tons of outdoor games
What To Do in Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock State Park and the surrounding village are right beside Lake Lure so we love venturing to that side of town when we want a day out to explore.
Our kids are addicted to the Chimney Rock Gemstone Mine because they find all kinds of cool gems every single time. We’ve done several gem mines before, and this one is the best.
Olivia found this massive amethyst on our last visit!
Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
If you visit Lake Lure in the spring or summer, the flowering bridge is a must! Clubs, organizations, and families in the community put together so many creative displays celebrating nature. Our kids have a blast exploring all of the interactive exhibit.
My favorite is Mr. McGregor’s garden filled with all things Peter Rabbit.
Canopy Ridge Farm Zip-Line Tour
It’s definitely not a farm, but Canopy Ridge is a total blast! The guides are hilarious (sometimes you need a good laugh in order to get over your fears of jumping off of a perfect good platform to sail through the trees dangling by a rope).
My parents in their 60s rocked the zip-line and my 8 year-old is a total pro at it now.
Cedar Creek Stables
We adore Cedar Creek Stables to love on the horses and take our girls on a quick pony ride.
The guides are so patient and nurturing.
They have longer trail rides too, if you want something more advanced.
Chimney Rock Village River Park
There’s nothing like playing in the river on a hot summer day. That mountain water is COLD but feels amazing. Splashing around in that river is one of my favorite memories as a teenager.
Chimney Rock State Park
Nothing beats the view from the top of Chimney Rock! You can hike the trail to the top or you can take the elevator built inside of the mountain.
We ventured to the top at New Year’s to bid farewell to 2020 (because really we all were ready to bid farewell to 2020, right?)
More Great Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Activities
- Lake Lure Beach and Water Park – water slides, splash pad, and beach volleyball
- The Right Track Toy Train Museum – if you have a train enthusiast in the family, this is a must-do
- Morse Park – beautiful walking trails, gardens, and wetlands
- Lake Lure Adventure Company – for boat rentals, waterskiing, wake boarding, tubing, and fishing trips
- Boon Life Adventures – guided ATV tours, with laser tag, outdoor maze, and escape rooms coming soon
- Hickory Nut Falls – a moderate hike with one of the tallest waterfalls in the region notably featured in the movie The Last of the Mohicans.
Have you ever been to Lake Lure or Chimney Rock? Any others you’d add to the list?
- Our Favorite Things to Do in Charlotte (from a Local)
- Our Road Trip Essentials & Travel Checklist Printable