We are your resource for any information you need about visiting the Lake Norman area. Our Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville exude plenty of southern hospitality and charm, and offer loads of entertainment! When it comes to hotels, dining, attractions, events, and things to do, we can help! Let us know how we can be your guide, and visit our website at www.visitlakenorman.org
Want to explore the Middle Ages with knights, fairies, and other enchanted characters? Visit the Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival held every Saturday and Sunday during the month of October and into November. Here you will discover European civilization through music, costumes, food, games, and more!
Once you cross over to the medieval time, you will be greeted by the fine servants of Fairhaven. The stone structures and colorful banners will guide you through this journey. Thou wilt enjoy this day!
The Renaissance Festival welcomes you into the sixteenth century. Throughout the village of Fairhaven, you will hear beautiful pieces of music ranging from the guitar to the harp. The non-stop music is accompanied by a traditional Morris dance. This English folk dance is executed with swords, sticks, and bells. Thou dost play well!
Channel your inner Robin Hood and test your skills in archery! The Renaissance Festival offers many weaponry games, such as axe throwing, archery, and throwing stars. If weapons aren’t your strong suit, you can get your hair braided, make wax hand statues, or even ride a camel! If you enjoy crude humor, I recommend watching/playing Vegetable Justice. You get a chance to throw rotten tomatoes at a man while he insults you. Be warned, you should not participate if you are easily offended. Nonetheless, it is very amusing to watch. You would be surprised at how significant insulting was in the Middle Ages. This is the place to call a foolish man a fopdoodle.
Eat, Drynk & Be Merrie! Getting hungry? No worries. Feast like a King at the Cottage Bakery, Lancer’s Pub & Joust Kitchen, or Waffle & Crepes Inn. This village makes the best fish and chips, or should I say fyssche and chips. And did you even go to the Carolina Renaissance Festival if you didn’t get a turkey leg? If you’re just looking for a place to quench your thirst, try Tudor Rose Pub or The Cappuccino Inn! Their Frozen Princess Mocha will trigger your inner Elsa! Let it go, let it go!
Speaking of Elsa, who is one with the wind and sky, nature plays a huge role in medieval times. You might feel like you’re in the Middle Ages, but the Artisan Marketplace allows you to look like you truly belong in the Renaissance period. Flower crowns and bird whistles are sold off of wagons throughout the village. You will also find feathers, leaves, and flowers incorporated to all types of clothing. You will find all types of people walking through this village. The peasants typically wear baggy, unflattering sheets of clothing while royalty is seen with tight, silky laced dresses.
Joust for last! The main event features three different medieval knights performing combat activities horseback for supremacy. This intense battle will have you on the edge of your seats as you cheer on your knight in shining armor.
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a collision of fantasy and history. Prepare thy heart for a day of entertainment. Thee wilt not beest twid’ling mine thumbs at this festival! Inquire more details here! Don’t forget to tag us in your time traveling adventure to the Middle Ages @VisitLakeNorman.
Get lost in Huntersville’s giant seven-acre corn maze featuring over two miles of interconnecting paths. Rural Hill farm is one of the largest in the Southeast with 265 acres!
Think you can escape a seven-acre corn maze covering over two miles of interconnecting paths? The Rural Hill Amazing Maize Maze is one of the top activities you must try this fall. It starts every September running Fridays through Sunday until the first weekend in November. Rural Hill covers 265 acres of land offering a variety of entertainment for everyone. You can take a hayride around the historic farm, play corn-hole, or pick a pumpkin to take home!
The Amazing Maize Maze is a child-friendly event including many different mini-games throughout the farm. From the entrance, you will find two massive bounce houses and an interactive sport inflatable. They even offer mini mazes for those not ready to venture out into the great jungle of corn stalks.
Don’t fret! Though the seven-acre maze is challenging, there are many volunteers to assist you through the labyrinth. Once you are ready to begin your journey, grab your ticket and a map, and find an orientation counselor!
Orientation allows first time maze runners to learn basic tips and tricks to navigate their way through the puzzle. Rural Hill has one of the largest corn mazes in the Southeast, so it is mandatory that you carry a flag into the maze to communicate with volunteers in case of an emergency.
The average time to complete the maze is about an hour and a half. The staff has conveniently placed water stations and bathrooms throughout the maze to ensure a carefree experience. Along with trying to escape the Amazing Maize Maze, there are two optional mini games included in this activity. The games consist of ‘The Kernel of Knowledge Crossword Puzzle’ and ‘The Amazing Maize Maze Gameboard.’
Want my personal advice to get through the maze? Wear comfortable walking shoes. Stay hydrated. Don’t eat the corn.
Are you up for the challenge? Find more information here! Don’t forget to tag us in your Amazing Maize Maze adventure on Facebook or Instagram @VisitLakeNorman.
Homewood Suites in Davidson is featuring a Local Food Truck paired with Karaoke Night on Thursday, November 9, 2017. The food truck being featured from 7 pm – 9 pm is the Carolina Craft Butchery’s “WTF Little Red Wagon”. Menu items will include Tacos, Burritos and Nachos all made with fresh local meat. Karaoke is from 8pm – 11 pm at the Nautical Nook Bar!
Go check out the new renovations at the Microtel Inn & Suites in Cornelius. * All the guest rooms, public space, lobby, breakfast area, parking lot and landscaping have been renovated!
Be sure to visit our website for more upcoming events & so much more!
HELLO, October! Celebrate everything to love about fall in Lake Norman by indulging in all of the staples. Annual events, family outings to the pumpkin patch, foliage photos, pumpkin everything and BEER.
Check out this list of a few can’t miss brews that’ll have ‘falling’ in love with LKN beer each year.
1. PUMPALICIOUS– Primal Brewery, Huntersville NC
Pumpkin everything is essential for autumn, including this malty Pumpkin Ale rich with nutmeg and clove. (Yep, we’re off to a good start!)
2. HEAD OF THE HORSEMEN– D9 Brewing Co., Cornelius NC
Keeping with the theme is this tasty Imperial Pumpkin Ale! With subtle spice and everything nice, you’ll be ready for this fall staple each year.
3. ORANGE CITRUS IPA– Ass Clown Brewing Company, Cornelius NC
Orange you glad we mentioned this one? An Ale brewed with orange peels and a smooth taste is sure to please the palate.
4. STACK O’ PANCAKES– Bayne Brewing, Cornelius NC
A true fall match made in heaven. This malty wheat beer with hints of chocolate and a slight maple finish will have you craving a boozy brunch, for sure!
5. ORANGE CREAMSICLE BLEND– Eleven Lakes/D9 Brewing Co., Cornelius NC
From LKN’s newest brewery, this is the definition of POWER COUPLE. Eleven Lakes infuses their zesty Orange Pale Ale with D9’s Brown Sugar Brown Cow for a melt in your mouth experience.
Tap into the Lake Norman beer scene with a glance at where to go and what to sip, here. Be sure to download the Visit Lake Norman Beer & Wine Trail Map, also located on the breweries page.
With picturesque Lake Norman, it’s no surprise that there are many nature related attractions in the area. Visit Lake Norman and explore everything from a nature preserve, to kayaking, to farm-to-table dining.
Experience the beauty of Lake Norman by exploring historic attractions and enjoying a day at the beach, followed by an outdoor shopping and dining excursion.
Visit a nature preserve and conservation center, then take stand up paddleboard lessons and shop for local goods at a farm store before dinner.
We suggest beginning your day with breakfast at Café 100, one of the local favorites. With an extensive breakfast menu, you’ll be sure to find something delicious that will leave you energized for the day ahead.
Spend your morning exploring the grounds of Rural Hill. Now a county park, the land was once owned and farmed by several generations of the Davidson family, dating back to the mid-1700s. Its 265 acres include beautiful nature trails, Scottish cows, and an endless lineup of events year-round.
Beat the heat at Ramsey Creek Beach. Located at the point of Ramsey Creek Park, the beach is open to swimmers from May-September. With picnic shelters, a concession stand, and half an acre of clean, sandy beach, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
To end your day, visit Birkdale Village and enjoy a great combination of shopping and dining. With bubbling fountains and colorful gardens, you are sure to enjoy strolling through the village to the various stores lining the main street. Then dine at one of its many mouthwatering restaurants such as eeZ Fusion & Sushi, Red Rocks Café, or Dressler’s Restaurant.
After you grab a slowberry cobbler deluxe waffle at Cast Iron Waffles, start the day off with a hike around the Historic Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Take in scenic views of the forest, streams, and Mountain Island Lake on 16 miles of beautiful trails. The preserve also includes the Carolina Raptor Center, a living museum dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey. Discover eagles, falcons, owls, hawks, and other raptors. You can walk on the nature trail, watch Bald Eagles nesting, and learn about raptor rehabilitation, research, and conservation.
Next, stop by Bagel Bin & Deli to pick up a fresh sandwich or salad perfect for a waterfront lunch at Blythe Landing or Jetton Park. With playgrounds, walking and biking trails, volleyball courts, tennis courts, floating piers, and beautiful views, both are great places to stop and enjoy a pleasant picnic by the water.
You can’t leave Lake Norman without checking out My Aloha Paddle and Surf, one of Lake Norman’s most loved paddleboard companies. Book an introductory stand up paddleboard lesson with one of their experienced staff members, or rent a kayak and admire plant and animal life as you paddle around the water’s edge.
Make a stop at The Bradford Store to browse tons of organic products and local produce. A significant part of William Bradford’s early 1900s farmstead, the store has provided members of the community with locally made goods since 1912. From bees wax candles to fresh flowers and homemade jam, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Take some time to browse the beautiful gardens and catch a glimpse of the red clover fields!
Finally, have an upscale dinner at FORK! This farm-to-table restaurant specializes in cuisine featuring fresh, local ingredients. The daily menu changes with the seasons and the year-round favorites won’t disappoint.
For more information:
Visit Lake Norman
Did you think Lake Norman was just a water sports destination? Think again! Our three towns are full of culture, history, and works of art.
Home to several works of internationally known artist Jon Hair, it’s no surprise that the Lake Norman area has great art attractions. You can stroll through the Town of Davidson’s art district and Old Town Cornelius to visit many different galleries and art centers. You can also visit a DIY studio and create your own masterpiece. Come explore all the art Lake Norman has to offer!
Spend the day strolling through the Town of Davidson’s art district and see a movie at a unique theater that’ll make you feel right at home.
Experience all different types of art by visiting sculpture, photography, wood-working, folk art, and music attractions in the area. Then do some shopping and see a community play.
We suggest starting your day with breakfast at Famous Toastery, one of Davidson’s most popular breakfast spots. You’ll have a relaxing morning with its comfortable atmosphere and delicious food. Located in Downtown Davidson, the restaurant is only a short walk from the day’s attractions.
Next, stop by the Wooden Stone Gallery located in the heart of South Main Davidson. Splurge a little, as this gallery showcases furniture, pottery, kitchenware, home décor, gifts and jewelry. Since opening, the gallery has grown to represent over 600 artists and craftspeople from the United States and Canada.
Head around the corner and you’ll find yourself at AR Workshop. This DIY workshop and boutique offers mixed media classes where you can learn to craft canvas pillows, tote bags, centerpieces and more. Visit their website to book your seat in a workshop or head into the store and shop their custom creations.
After a short walk down the street, you’ll be at the Whistling Swan Gallery, which features a Fraktur Art exhibit by well-known American Folk Artist, Susan Soloway Daul. The gallery is filled with antiques, reproductions, folk art and more from several featured artists.
You can stop for lunch at any of the several restaurants on Main Street, including award-winning Kindred. There’s also Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse, Restaurant X, The Soda Shop, Campania Café & Italian Market, and Fuel Pizza. Don’t forget to stop for a quick dessert at Ben & Jerry’s or Whit’s Frozen Custard.
Then explore several art attractions on the Davidson College campus. First, see the magnificent sculptures in the Davidson College Sculpture Garden, then stop in the Belk Visual Arts Center to see the galleries of William H. Van Every Jr. and Edward M. Smith.
To end the day, check out Our Town Cinemas, which provides a comfortable, inviting, and more intimate setting than traditional movie theaters. The concession stand offers all standard theater treats, but also delicious staple items from Brickhouse Tavern, Nathan’s hot dogs, Healthy Home Market wraps, and Davidson Chocolate Company truffles. Don’t forget the funnel cake fries, wine by the glass or bottle, beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Next, visit the Cornelius Arts Center to take classes or workshops in a variety of media. Enjoy the displayed art in the gallery and see the current exhibits.
Then make your way to Cornelius Heritage Hall. Based on the book “A Town by Any other Name,” by Leslie Rindoks, the hall features antiques, photographs, and maps that provide a tangible overview of the town’s history.
Next, head to Brick Row Gallery. Located in the heart of Old Town Cornelius, Brick Row Gallery can be thought of as, “a creative space with walls that talk.” This artisan market features pottery, jewelry, wood-working and more from local artists.
With many great restaurants around, it’s hard to pick where to go for lunch. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in this area. We suggest trying famous BBQ at Mac’s Speed Shop or a waterfront experience at Port City Club.
After lunch do some antique shopping in Old Town Cornelius. Stop in Oak Street Mill, a 10,000 square foot historic cotton mill, and browse through furniture, home décor, and vintage knick-knacks. Continue your stroll around town and check out the various boutiques that line the streets.
Lake Norman’s community theatre scene is one you can’t pass up. For your next stop, check out Warehouse Performing Arts Center or Davidson Community Players. Both offer riveting performances that feature local actors. Grab your tickets and head to a show!
End your night at Cornelius’ Old Town Public House. With industrial décor and specializing in craft beer, this neighborhood pub will be the perfect end to your art-filled trip.
For more ideas head to VisitLakeNorman.org!
Hey foodies and beer lovers, we’ve compiled a list of the tastiest burgers and most refreshing beers in Lake Norman. With so many restaurants and breweries in the area, picking our favorites was no easy task. A combination of upscale dining, burger joints, breweries and bottle shops, this list will have your stomach rumbling.
Wild Blue Burger – Brickhouse Tavern
Hamburger Steak Sandwich – Char-Grill
Bacon Jam Burg’r – Crafty Burg’r and Tap
White Trash Burger – Pinky’s Westside Grill
Lamb Burger – Port City Club
Swell Rider IPA – D9 Brewing Company
Imperial IPA – Ass Clown Brewing Company
Lawn Boy American Lager – Primal Brewery
LKN IPA – Eleven Lakes Brewing
Brain Transplant Sour Ale – Bottled and Tapped (TRVE Brewing Company)
Summertime in Lake Norman means it’s farmer’s market season! From May-August LKN farmer’s markets are your one stop shop for local produce, handmade goods, bakery favorites and fresh flowers. With two thriving markets in the area, there’s no question you’ll be able to find something exciting. Read on to learn about our two markets and a few vendors you don’t want to miss.
Since 1999 the Huntersville Grower’s Market has provided the Lake Norman area with fresh produce, meats and more. The market is temporarily located at Huntersville Elementary for the summer 2017 season while its main location, Veterans Park, is being renovated. Open every Saturday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Located in the heart of Downtown Davidson, the Davidson Farmer’s Market wakes up the town every Saturday Morning. From 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. You can browse around, sample local treats and enjoy live music. Open every Saturday during its peak season and select Saturdays November-April.
Coddle Creek Farms (Huntersville Grower’s Market)
Specializing in honey for over 40 years, this family-owned farm brings you some of the freshest jams, jellies, nut butters, and of course, locally-sourced honey in the area. Their array of options makes it hard to pick just one product, but the Farm Fresh Pure Local Wildflower Honey is a MUST.
Mood Indigo Soaps! (Davidson Farmer’s Market)
Owner and soap-maker Réa Wright has a passion for helping people live joyful, vibrant, healthy lifestyles, and that definitely shines through in her products. A psychotherapist local to Davidson, NC, Réa puts an incredible amount of energy into her soaps. Her funky bars, bath bombs, lip balms and more are created using essential oils and lots of love. Be sure to pick up a Coco-Loco soap bar next time you’re at the market!
Abby’s Better Nut Butter (Davidson Farmer’s Market)
Craving something sweet while she was stuck at home one day, 15-year-old Abby Kircher played around with some nuts and a food processor and Abby’s Better Nut Butter was born. Made with all-natural ingredients and no additives, her five nut butter flavors won’t disappoint. Grab a jar of Coconut Cashew and experience nut butter bliss.
Click here to learn more about market vendors and events.
Looking to have a weekend getaway with the girls? This revitalizing girls-only trip around Lake Norman is sure to be a great time. It has everything from a relaxing trip to the spa, wine tasting, a day out on the lake, and fun nightlife. Not only will you never want to leave the peaceful and beautiful Lake Norman area, but you’ll also be begging to come back.
Day 1- Spend the day being pampered at the spa. Then enjoy a place to shop, taste exquisite wine, and indulge in a waterfront meal.
Day 2- Do some shopping and visit the area’s best stores and boutiques.
Day 3- Enjoy a day out on the water paddle boarding, jet skiing, or boating around the lake to take in its beautiful surroundings.
Begin your vacation with a day of relaxation. Start with breakfast at one of the coziest restaurants in Davidson, Famous Toastery. This popular breakfast spot is only a short drive from your first destination.
Then, head to Dancing Leaf Spa Escape and spend the day indulging in the ultimate spa experience for your mind, body, and soul. You can get your hair done, get a manicure and pedicure, or receive one of their spa treatments including facial and body treatments, massages, and cosmetic enhancements. After a day at this relaxing escape, you’ll be sure to leave feeling rejuvenated.
Next, visit Davidson Landing where you can experience food and wine with lake views and a little retail all in one place. First, you can visit Lake Norman Cottage and taste new wines while indulging in their famous homemade cookies. You can also do some shopping and browse through the apparel, accessories, and unique gifts throughout the store. Take a stroll along the lakefront and stop in The Cabin for happy hour cocktails before dinner. Complete the evening with a relaxing waterfront culinary experience at North Harbor Club.
On your second day, visit local stores and shops every woman is sure to love! Start with Old Town Cornelius and visit the small boutiques and antique shops such as Avalilly’s, Home Heart & Soul, and The Tuscan House. These stores offer apparel, furniture, accessories, home décor, jewelry and more.
Then visit Birkdale Village and enjoy an outdoor shopping experience. This beautiful location has stores lining the streets, as well as bubbling fountains and colorful gardens in the center of the village. At this shopping center you can find apparel, accessories and jewelry, home furnishings, and cosmetics. With a great combination of shopping and dining, there’s no shortage of restaurants perfect for lunch or dinner. We recommend The Corkscrew Wine Shoppe & Bar, eeZ Fusion & Sushi, Red Rocks Café, or Dressler’s Restaurant for a larger ladies group.
For your last day, spend your time out on the lake enjoying the water and scenery! Stop for breakfast at Madalyn’s Coffee & Tea before your stand up paddleboarding lesson from My Aloha Paddle and Surf. This unique and peaceful experience provides beautiful views of the water and a great workout.
Afterward, grab a quick salad or sandwich from Fresh Chef Kitchen and head to Kings Point Morningstar Marina where you can rent a boat or jet ski to cruise around Lake Norman. All rentals are equipped with life jackets and safety equipment to ensure your time on the water is smooth sailing.
For nightlife, we suggest Cork and Cask, Lake Norman’s premier spot for a girl’s night out. Relax on the patio and work your way through their extensive list of boutique wines, craft beers, and artisan cheeses.
For more information and planning resources > Everything you need to know!
VLN would like to congratulate Comfort Suites Lake Norman – Huntersville on being named one of the Top 100 Best Hotels for Group Travel by HotelPlanner and Meetings.com. With only three hotels in North Carolina on the list, we’re proud to acknowledge one of Lake Norman’s own!
Karaoke Night! – Homewood Suites in Davidson will have karaoke at the Nautical Nook Bar on Thursday, July 27th from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.