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

Have a BEERcation in Lake Norman with these upcoming events that are sure to not only fill the calendar, but those bellies full of local LKN beer.

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1. Langtree Live/ Every Thursday/ 5-10pm/ Langtree at LKN

A popular concert series where you can bring a chair and relax on the lawn with a D9 Brewing beer in your hand. Mark your calendar each week!

2. Sip N Shop/ Thursday, Aug. 18th/ 6-9pm/ Bayne Brewing Company

This could be dangerous. The taproom will be full of brands showing off their products while you sip on some local beer and wine…um, see you there!

3. 2nd Annual Old Town Cornelius Jazz Festival/ Saturday, Aug 20th/4-9pm/ Smithville Park

Chill out with a drink and some cool tunes at the Jazz Festival. Check out local food trucks, live painting and local artisans, kids zone and so much more. Proceeds support the Smithville Community Coalition. Beer provided by D9 Brewing Company.

4. LKN Summer Concert Series/ Saturday, Aug. 27th/ 5-10pm/ D9 Brewing Company

Music, food trucks, vendors, friends and beer. Need we say more?

5. Cork & Cask’s 3 Year Anniversary Party/ Friday, Sept. 2/ 6-12am/ The Cork & Cask

The Cork & Cask’s 3 year party is where you’ll need to be-eating, drinking and celebrating!

6. Lovefest/ Saturday, Sept. 3rd/ All day/ Primal Brewery

This event is showing the love for Huntersville first responders by partying in their honor with music, food and so much more. Proceeds from retail sales will go directly to the town departments!

7. Live music by Ryan Winters/ Every Sunday/ 4-9pm/ Ass Clown Brewing Company

The tunes will be going and the beer will be flowing every Sunday!

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To learn more about these events and more, visit the calendar here. 

Beercation in Lake Norman

  • Congrats to Hampton Inn Lake Norman in Cornelius for recently receiving a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award that recognizes hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on the TripAdvisor site over the past year. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least 4 out of 5, have a minimum number of reviews and been listed on the site for at least a 12 months.
  • Comfort Suites Huntersville/Lake Norman is proud to be the only hotel in the Lake Norman area to offer “A Room with a Brew“. This unique room package offers a discounted room rate in addition to special perks from local breweries including complimentary flights and souvenir pint glasses.
  • The kitchens are in! Residence Inn Lake Norman just recently replaced all their full kitchens.
  • Help us, help others! Lake Norman area hotels and Visit Lake Norman are doing a water drive to assist Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville summer bagged lunch program. So far, the program has delivered 8,701 lunches in 7 Lake Norman communities, in which families benefit from free and reduce priced lunches at school. Bottled water is in need for the summer stretch run and join the cause in donating a case of bottled water to Visit Lake Norman’s Visitor Center. Donate a case and receive a free Lake Norman coffee mug.
  • Need Discount Hotel Rooms?? Contact VLN’s sales office by clicking here.

Hotel News

Part 2 of Out & About is here! Check out more things going on around the banks of Lake Norman and keep an eye out for part 3.

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Within the Latta Nature Preserve is the Latta Equestrian Center. A small store stands near the arena area that has everything you’d need during a trip over, they even have descriptions and traits of each horse so you can get to know them better. Book a relaxing trail ride through the preserve, plan your own event or keep updated with camps and horse shows on their site.

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Did someone say BBQ? If you’re in town and craving NC BBQ, Lancaster’s is the place to be, located in Rural Huntersville in the original Puckett’s Gas Station & General Store. With nearly 100 local craft beers, complimentary hush puppies and a menu full of southern staples, we wish you luck when deciding what to have (because you can’t really go wrong).

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Get lost in the historical building filled with unique booths at Oak Street Mill in Cornelius. Tip-if you’re interested in furniture, be sure to block off some time to check out nearby stores, COCOCO Home and Pick-It Furniture Co.

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A little advice, you do not want to pass by the Lake Norman breweries. With 4 breweries in the area, you’re sure to find a new favorite beer here. Stop by D9 Brewing Company in Cornelius to socialize, drink, play games and even grab a bite from a food truck that may be parked outside. Get to know the beer culture in the area by  searching #LKNbeer.

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Home of Davidson College, the quaint main streets are lined with plenty to see and do. We suggest heading to South Main St. and spending time in Wooden Stone, a large art gallery filled with local, regional and national artist works. Next, hop over to Carburritos for fresh Mexican. We promise you won’t be able to resist the smells walking down restaurant row.

For a list of events check out the Visit Lake Norman calendar. Want to get more familiar with the area? Check out the VLN FAM video here. 

OUT & ABOUT Lake Norman pt. 2

In this blog series, we’ll take you around to see what a visit to the lakeside of Charlotte is really like.

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You may already be familiar with Historic Rural Hill’s events, but not realize what’s happening behind the scenes of this busy non profit. Rural Hill’s working farm is home to  4 Scottish Highland cows that showcase the rich Scottish history in Huntersville. Davidson, Daisy, Bubba and Fiona are very well taken care of by Freddie the farmer day in and day out. Next time head over to catch a glimpse of the gentle giants getting cool by the pond.

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Main St. in Davidson is known as restaurant row, but could also be referred to as retail row. The street is lined with boutiques filled with unique gift items for that special someone (yourself included!) There you’ll find Lake  Norman and NC gifts along with jewelry, home ware and apparel. Check out Seasons at the Lake, Monkees of Lake Norman, Main Street Books, The Village Store and more. Stay tuned to see more ways to shop in Lake Norman.

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The Cornelius Arts Center is currently exhibiting “Talons”, a collaboration with the Carolina Raptor Center by the local artist  Ingrid Erickson. She studied the birds extensively and used her artistic experience in various Asian cultures to influence the paper cut art. Step inside through July 30th and take a peek at the intricate artwork that was once 300 feet of paper.

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When you walk into Joe Gibbs Racing you may get a warm welcome by none other than the man himself, ready to sign his book for you race (or football) fans. Start your race trip off right by watching from above as the crews work on the cars, explore the gift shop and possibly a chat with Mr. Gibbs.

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We suggest the picture perfect  Pimm’s Cup at Kindred if you’re want something refreshing on these hot summer days. Its not only delicious, but interesting to look at with a swirl of fresh cucumber inside the glass and topped with mint. CHEERS!

 

Want to get more familiar with the area? Check out the VLN FAM video here.  Stay tuned for part 2 of OUT & ABOUT. Also check out the calendar of events to keep up with the latest events.

OUT & ABOUT Lake Norman pt. 1

Not sure where to take Mom for her special day? Here are a few suggestions sure to please around Lake Norman.

Adventures with Mom begins with an early morning yoga session. There’s nothing more refreshing than a trip to the yoga studio to start the day and Lake Norman has plenty to choose from! Next take her out for a nice brunch..possibly waterfront? Check out North Harbor Club and other surrounding restaurants here for Mother’s day menus. After brunch, visit Latta Plantation Equestrian Center for a fun trail ride on the gorgeous nature preserve. Onto the next adventure with a trip to My Aloha Paddle & Surf for an instructional stand up paddle lesson. An action packed day with mom is the best day.

If you’d like to show mom a relaxing time, book a slot at a local spa for a well deserved pamper session. After you’re fully relaxed and ready to take on the day we suggest heading down to the adorable lakeside town of Davidson for unique boutique shopping and lunch! No trip to Davidson is complete without stopping into Brickhouse Tavern , Kindred and any others on ‘restaurant row’ for that matter! Next head to the Cornelius Arts Center to check out the latest exhibits or sign up for a pottery or watercolor class.Top off your relaxing day with mom by treating her to a show   We think mom will enjoy a day with just the right mix of fun and relaxation.

There are PLENTY of options for mom on the banks of Lake Norman and these are just a few that may help you when planning. For more ideas visit us here.

 

 

Spend Mother’s Day on Lake Norman

If you’re like us, we like to check out the latest YELP reviews to keep up with things going around Lake Norman. If you need some inspiration and want to hear first hand from the visitors, check out the list below. You may want to add some of these stops to your weekend itinerary!

Davidson-Farmers-Market

Davidson Farmer’s  Market (Davidson)- 5 star rating “Can’t beat a farmer’s market you can walk to.  That gets 5 stars off bat.  Fall in love with the small town feel of Davidson and then the vendors this market brings.  You can get fresh flowers, veggies, meat, donuts, honey, bread & cheese.  Seriously, just about anything you would need for the week.  We love getting breakfast at the Bleu Barn Bistro food truck (grit bowl with bacon is my fave) or juice from Clean Juice truck.  Summit Coffee has their pop-up stand with pour-overs and espresso drinks outside.  There is often live music and sometimes a chef food demonstration.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!” – Kim

Clean Juice

Clean Juice Birkdale (Huntersville)- 5 star rating  “What a great little juice store.  It’s perfect if you are juicing and need a quick meal or if you’re just trying to keep it healthy. They have a little something for everyone.”-Evan

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Bayne Brewing Company (Cornelius)- 5 star rating “Finally made another field trip out to Cornelius. The bad news is, that the more breweries I visit and the more beers I taste, the more critical I get. There is a lot of average beer out there with few good ones in between. It’s a joy when you find a good one and a chore when you have to slog through the others.

My flight of four consisted of the Breakfast Porter, the Irish Red, Pale Ale and Double IPA. I was pretty surprised that there was no Standard IPA on tap. Surprisingly I enjoyed the Porter (as I’m in the tail end of an IPA phase) – it was smooth and smoky – pleasant to the palate. I was also pleasantly surprised by the double IPA – not a total hop bomb and no high alcohol taste from the higher ABV. The Red and Pale just didn’t do it for me – chalk it up to personal tastes. So two outta four ain’t bad. If you are a Porter fan definitely make a pit stop here for that one.

Small family friendly tap room – odd outdoor seating cordoned off in the parking lot – but if you’re drinking , who cares?!”- Michael

Crafty Burg’r (Cornelius)- 5 star rating “Great place that needs to be recognized. Absolutely wonderful services, reasonable prices and tasty quality food.”- Shelby

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Waterbean Coffee (Huntersville)- 5 star rating “I am not a big fancy coffee drinker but I will be back when I have more time. They have a thing you can buy to let you sample, I would love to try that. I went with a mango smoothie and a muffin thinking I was taking the safe route. WOW! Was I mistaken, they were both absolutely incredible and it didn’t break my wallet either. They are in a great spot if you need a break  in your workday. I would love to go when they have events going on.”- Jillian

Rural Hill (Huntersville)- 5 star rating “I made it out to Rural Hill to partake in the Loch Norman Highland Games.  I had never been out to this park before and getting to see it filled with spectators was great.  It is my understanding that Rural Hill came under the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Park System just a few years back.  And, though it is way out there from the rest of the parks, It has become a favorite for events and activities like the Highland Games.

The ground are impeccably kept, and the views are stunning.  In addition to the games I enjoyed getting a chance to see some Carolina heritage activities at some of the buildings on-site.  Moreover, I think that the staff at the facility was perfect.  I think this would be a great venue for a wedding or large party.  Concerts here would be great as well because of the massive amount of parking.  Kudos to the staff.  I look forward to heading out that way again.”- Brad

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The Harp & Crown (Cornelius) – 5 star rating “Fantastic place! So far we’ve had fish and chips, curry chicken and the Guinness stew pot pie. Always accompanied by a Guinness with black current syrup. Truly a great find and makes one miss Ireland. Great for large or small parties, patio seating and great service!”-Matt

Look out for more upcoming blogs that include recently the reviewed around Lake Norman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent YELP reviews around town