A Guide to an #LKN Father’s Day

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, but if you’re stumped on what to do with dad, don’t worry! Lake Norman is full of activities perfect for his special day. Check out some ideas below that guarantee a fun filled day with dad.

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For the fishermen

A day on the lake is a day well spent. Treat dad to a guided fishing tour of LKN with a local expert like Captain Gus Gustafson of Fishing with Gus. If you want to tackle the fish on your own, visit Ramsey Creek Park’s fishing pier. Grab some snacks from the concession stand and you’ll be set to fish all day.

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Photo credit – Capt. Gus: Dan and Tyler Cohn of Cornelius holding striped and hybrid bass taken on a recent Lake Norman fishing trip.

For the NASCAR lovers

It’s no secret that the Lake Norman area is a NASCAR fan’s heaven. If dad loves the sport, you can’t pass up a visit to Joe Gibbs Racing. Home of the team’s legendary cars, JGR headquarters offers a race shop viewing area and an extensive souvenir shop.

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For the foodies

You can’t go wrong with barbecue on Father’s Day. Save dad the hassle of cooking his own and visit a local joint. Enjoy some eastern NC style barbecue brisket at Lancaster’s BBQ or some hickory smoked pulled pork at award-winning, Mac’s Speed Shop.

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For the beer guys

Lake Norman has quickly become a craft beer destination. Just recently the community welcomed its newest brewery, Eleven Lakes Brewing, which features unique drafts like Teri’s Berry Wheat. Stop by the visitor center to pick up a Lake Norman Beer and Wine Trail map to get your day started. With 11 breweries and bottle shops in the area, dad is sure find his new favorite brew.

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For even more fun things to do with dad, visit the VLN website here.

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VLN wants to thank everyone in the hospitality and tourism industry that contributes to Lake Norman being the destination it is today! We celebrated National Tourism Week  early May and below are a few photos to recap.

Weekly social media posts highlighting hoteliers and visitor center staff

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NTW Visit Lake Norman tourism information card

Hotel Events:

Karaoke Night at Homewood Suites in Davidson will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Nautical Nook Bar!
Join Homewood Suites as they celebrate the hotel’s 9 year anniversary on Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Tour newly furnished rooms, enjoy live music, light fare, a photo booth and more!

June Hotel News!

National Tourism Week Recap

Since 1983 a celebration of National Tourism Week has occurred each May. Destinations highlight hospitality industry partners, leaders and businesses that make an direct impact on tourism every day. Below we’ll highlight how Visit Lake Norman (VLN) celebrated #NTTW17 and this year’s theme of “Faces of Travel”!

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  1. We celebrated with daily “Faces of Travel” social spotlights for you to be more knowledgeable about these front line employees.

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2. Visitor Center festivities! Each year we encourage you to stop by the VC for light refreshments and time with our knowledgeable ambassadors, who know the in’s and out’s of Lake Norman. Call or stop by the visitor center M-F 9am-5pm for additional assistance before, during or after your trip to LKN.

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We want to thank ALL of our Lake Norman hospitality partners including hotels, restaurants, venues, local businesses and attractions that positively impact our visitors each year. Until next year!

Learn more about National Tourism Week and how to get involved here. Also check out more on the VLN website to see the trip planning tools and stay up to date on the calendar of events!

April has arrived and that can only mean one thing, NC BEER MONTH. In North Carolina craft beer is celebrated all month-long and we are buzzing to tell you how to join in on the fun in Lake Norman. Check out the top 5 ways to tap into the craft below!

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  1. The most obvious, visit a brewery.

In North Mecklenburg, the craft beer scene has been gaining momentum and it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight, YES. We suggest grabbing a pint and a seat at the bar or on the patios of 4 (almost 5) breweries: Ass Clown Brewing Company, Bayne Brewing Company,  D9 Brewing Company and Primal Brewery. (Eleven Lakes Brewing is on the way!) Each brewery has their own vibe and during #NCBeerMonth you will find Visit Lake Norman (VLN) goodies like coasters, magnets and beer maps inside, that tell you how to enter the social media promotion! (more info below…)

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   2. Try a local tap house or bottle shop.

The supply of beer in LKN isn’t lacking so along with visiting the breweries, we suggest  trying out a local tap house for additional NC craft favorites. In Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville you can find many of these including: Crafty Beer Guys, Davidson Beverage Company, Cornelius Drafthouse, Bottled & Tapped, Old Town Public House and more. Hint: you can find all of these on the VLN Beer & Wine Trail Map at a brewery or the Visitor Center in Cornelius.

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   3. Find an event.

Get out the pen and calendar (or phone) and start planning for a number of annual and monthly events that go on surrounding beer. The Scottish Festival & Loch Norman Highland Games highlight the fun things about Scottish culture that everyone can appreciate (‘hello’ good food and drinks!) We think a kilt, a pint, a scotch egg and bagpipes is the recipe for a perfect weekend- THIS weekend to be exact. Another upcoming event is the ‘Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival, April 29th at Oak Street Mill. Local beer, local art, food trucks and music…need we say more? The breweries are also busy with events throughout spring and summer, keep up with them here.

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4. Hop on the BREW BUS.

Want an affordable ($10) and safe way to check out some of the bottle shops and taprooms in LKN? Grab a ticket for the Brew Bus that has unlimited rides on a loop to all stops from 7pm-12am, the next one is scheduled for Saturday 3/18. The stops include Bayne Brewing Company, Bottled & Tapped, Cornelius Drafthouse and Old Town Public House. Bring the whole group on the bus for a no-hassle way to experience Lake Norman breweries each month.

Now that you know where you’re going, check out VLN’s promotion details below for NC Beer Month and how to enter in just a few simple steps!
  1. Find a brewery or tap house & post your favorite beer related pics on Instagram or Facebook.
  2. Be sure to tag @visitlakenorman and use #LKNbeer to enter your pic.
  3. Wait to win each Wednesday during April, for awesome prizes like restaurant gift cards, brewery giveaways, pint glasses, VLN prizes, tickets to the NC Brewers & Music Festival and more.

[Reminder, don’t forget to grab a VLN coaster and magnet]

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View more details on VLN’s promotion and beer website listings here.

CHEERS and happy posting!

4 Ways to Celebrate NC Beer Month in Lake Norman

Congrats to Hampton Inn & Suites in Huntersville for their 11th Consecutive Out-Standing Quality Insurance Inspection and 5th straight Lighthouse Award win!

 

Hotel events!

Homewood Suites in Davidson

ART GALLERY CRAWL- Join them for an Art Gallery Crawl on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 6 pm – 9 pm in the Hotel Lodge at the Nautical Nook Bar at Homewood Suites by Hilton – Davidson. Enjoy Live Music, Art, Light Refreshments and Cocktails at the Nautical Nook Bar.

KARAOKE NIGHT- Join in for a fun Karaoke Night on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 8 pm – 11 pm at the Nautical Nook Bar.

Another congratulations to all 2016 Making Waves Hospitality Awards winners, and for joining us at the Peninsula Yacht Club! See you again next year for 2017 winners.

See you around LKN!

April Hotel News!

February Hotel News & Updates

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Lead to Succeed Management category winner 2015- Dominique Wright

 

Homewood Suites, Davidson: Beacon IMG is excited to announce a new member of our core management team in Charlotte, NC.  Many Lake Norman residents will recognize the name of Dominique Wright, who has been a long time General Manager of the Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel in Davidson, NC.  In December, Dominique accepted a promotion from to become Beacon IMG’s Regional Director of Operations responsible for the Hyatt Place hotel in Uptown Charlotte, The Hyatt Place Hotel in Chapel Hill, NC and the Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel in Davidson.  Dominique has worked previously in several other positions at Beacon IMG managed hotels, including front desk agent, front office manager and AGM.  Dominique brings with her a wealth of experience, a great deal of energy and a proven focus on achieving tremendous guest service feedback and she will be a terrific addition to the Beacon IMG core management team. Congratulations, Dominique!

 

REMINDER!

Karaoke Night at the Nautical Nook Bar at the Homewood Suites Davidson from 8pm – 11 pm on Thursday, February 23, 2017

If you’re feeling like it’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays, book a stay at the quaint Davidson Village Inn for a relaxing getaway! Check out their blog on ideas on what to do during this festive season with the whole family in downtown Davidson.

Annual North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade

Comfort Suites Lake Norman in Huntersville is proud to be partnering with the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE as a Toys for Tots location to help gather toys for children in the Lake Norman area. Their location has a drop off box in the hotel lobby and are asking local neighbors along with businesses to help by dropping off new toys to help local children put smiles on their faces during the holidays. Your contribution would be greatly appreciated! Drop off toys by Dec 15, 2016.

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Mark the calendars for the next Karaoke Night at the Nautical Nook Bar at Homewood Suites in Davidson! It will be held on Thursday, December 15, 2016 from 8-11 pm and you won’t want to miss out on this good time.

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Tis’ the season for experiencing Lake Norman holiday fun!  Visit here for more area hotel and visitor information.

Holiday Hotel News

Hotel News

  • Hampton Inn Lake Norman and Hampton Inn & Suites Huntersville are offering an online Renaissance Festival rate and package that includes two Renaissance Festival tickets. Hampton Inn Lake Norman also has an online D9 Brew rate and package that includes a growler and growler fill at D9 Brewing Co. Hampton Inn Lake Norman is also getting a new look and is doing a floor by floor total renovation.
  • Homewood Suites Davidson will be hosting Karaoke Night at the Nautical Nook Bar from 8-11pm on Thurs, Nov 10.
  • There will be a community and guest safety meeting for hospitality businesses Thurs, Nov 3 at 6:30pm at the Comfort Suites in Huntersville.
  • Kudos to Comfort Suites Huntersville, the Huntersville Police Department, North Mecklenburg Rescue Squad and Angels & Sparrows, which recently organized a Trunk or Treat at the Deer Hill apartment complex in Huntersville. Angels & Sparrows donated 20 lbs gift bags to each family that contained food and personal items.
  • Comfort Suites Lake Norman is offering a special promotion/package for the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up. They have partnered up with some local businesses to help make this year special for families in the area and those traveling through. The dates for the package are Wed, Nov 23 through Fri, Nov 25. The package will offer the following:

    * A standard suite at the hotel, either a 2 queen bed room or a single king room. $99.00 a night plus tax.

    * Guest will get a discount at Breakout Lake Norman. They have partnered with them and they will be offering buy one ticket, get one ticket 1/2 off when presenting their hotel room key.

    * They are working with SpareTime as well and they will be offering discounts and coupons for the package.

    *Lastly, the hotel will be giving a $10.00 gift card to Bojangles to each guest when at check in when they book this package.

Fill the calendar with local history, culture and art in Lake Norman. Fall is the perfect time to explore around the lake and we have some ideas of what to place on your itinerary.

 
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Performing Arts

  1. Davidson Community Players- Live theater

Davidson Community Players is a non-profit organization established to produce theater that entertains, enriches, and encourages community participation in the dramatic arts. The Connie Company is DCP’s theater for youth division. Both organizations have a long standing record of providing creative, authentic and affordable opportunities for both children and adults. See shows at Armour Street Theatre and on Davidson Campus!

2. The Warehouse Performing Arts Center

The Warehouse, a 55-seat black-box performing arts venue serving the Lake Norman area. Whether it is a theatrical production, musical concert, or literary event, Warehouse artists pride ourselves on creating high quality performances of works that are served by the intimacy of the space.

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3. Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 11-stage theater, a 22-acre village marketplace, an interactive circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast — all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure!

 

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History

1. Historic Latta Plantation

The circa 1800 cotton plantation built by James Latta, was an early federal style house and living farm that has been preserved, offers guided tours, annual reenactments, special events, educational opportunities and festivals. Take a self guided grounds tour and sign up for a guided house tour to learn all about what life was like at the Latta’s and later the Sample family. Daily dose of history at Latta Plantation is great for any visit.

2. Historic Rural Hill

Historic Rural Hill was the home of Major John Davidson, American patriot and signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Today the 265 acre historic plantation stands as a memorial to early American agriculture and has become a cultural center for Scottish heritage. It is the oldest public historic site in Mecklenburg County dating circa 1760.On the farm stands representation of the type of log home the Davidson’s would have first lived in establishing rural retreat, the ruins of their finest home, and the final home of the family, which houses the museum and gift shop. Outbuildings are open to explore and a variety of animals roam throughout the site including the rare Highland Cows, which originate from Scotland. Various annual events take place on the grounds and keep the calendars filled all year.

 

3. Davidson Cotton Mill

Davidson Cotton Mill is a turn of the century brick building built in 1890’s and is now home to Brickhouse Tavern and offices. Brickhouse Tavern is a locally owned restaurant offering fantastic food and atmosphere.

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4. Davidson College

Davidson College was founded in 1837 by ministers of the Concord Presbytery. Its 1,700 students come from almost every state in the nation and many foreign countries. With a highly selective admissions process and NCAA Division I athletics, Davidson College is a diverse, historical and prestigious campus. Davidson College is over 170 years old, so there are many buildings and features of the campus that date back to its early days and provide a great history of the school. One of the oldest buildings in the town Carolina Inn, has been a part of the campus since 1946. The “Old Quad” is perhaps the most historic part of the campus maintaining four of the oldest buildings. The historic Oak Row and Elm Row, built in 1836-37, were the original dormitories of Davidson. Eumenean (“Eu”) and Philanthropic (“Phi”) Halls were built in 1850 and named for secret societies that met there. The new Chambers building was built in 1929 in the same spot as the old Chambers building, which burnt down in 1921. With continuing renovations and numerous historical buildings, the Davidson campus is a great mix of a charming past and a promising future.

 

For more ideas on what to do in Lake Norman visit the VLN website for calendar of events.

Arts & History in Lake Norman

Ever wondered which charitable cause to support? Visit Lake Norman and its Lake Norman hotel partners have created a ‘Voluntourism’ initiative to give back to the Lake Norman community and make an impact. So what does ‘Voluntourism’ mean exactly? Well, the idea originated from VLN’s most recent Hotel Power Hour meeting where John Lynch, GM for the Hampton Inn & Suites Huntersville told the story of Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen’s need for bottled water for their bagged lunch program.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the initiative was born and area hotels were leading the charge to collect cases of bottled water for the lunch program.

So what has been the result of the initiative? To date, 70+ cases of bottled water have been donated collectively by area Lake Norman hotels to Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen. Donations were made by the Comfort Suites Huntersville, Country Suites Huntersville, Courtyard Huntersville, Hampton Inn Cornelius, Hampton Inn & Suites Huntersville, Homewood Suites Davidson and VLN.  Even though hotels propelled the initiative, you can can also help! VLN offers anyone a free Lake Norman coffee mug for every case of water dropped off at the Visitor Center in Cornelius. By the end of July, the program had delivered 8,701 lunches to seven Lake Norman communities, where families benefit from free and reduce priced lunches at school.

The Voluntourism initiative has also spun off another charitable one.  The Comfort Suites Huntersville is collecting school supplies for a local elementary school! Feel free to contact Candice Karriker, Front Desk Manager for pick-ups, drop-offs or any questions at 704-875-6220 or candice007@yahoo.com

So who’s ready to give back? Start spreading the word on these rewarding initiatives for Lake Norman communities that help spread light and love in our area.

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Voluntourism in Lake Norman