Edited by Laura Hoot
Lake Lure is a gem of North Carolina - it's been the setting for multiple big screen films,and is the location of HGTV's 2006 Dream Home contest - needless to say, this is one pretty lake. Although it's possible to spend half of your life's savings going on pontoon rides and tours, there's plenty of ways to save while enjoying the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains here. Here's your guide to Lake Lure vacation deals:
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Active Festivities and Events
- The Olympic Games have never taken place in North Carolina, but every year in late August, world-class athletes (as well as those with Olympic-sized hearts) duke it out by way of land and water. The Lake Lure Olympia Sports Festival is free to attend and watch, and includes a triathlon, a golf tournament and even a pickleball face-off, so no matter which sport you're into, there's sure to be an athlete you're rooting for by the end of this three-day event.
- Who says you can only see your favorite movie sets in Hollywood? Lake Lure and neighboring Chimney Rock have provided the locations for some of the world's biggest blockbusters. Scour the woods of Chimney Rock Park just like Daniel Day Lewis did in "Last of the Mohicans," or fall in love while you dance by the shimmering waters of Lake Lure a la Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing." Are your kids not convinced? "The Hunger Games" was filmed almost entirely in North Carolina, with many scenes located in nearby state parks. You'll have a few Katnisses and Peetas in no time. 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC
- Instead of going on a scheduled tour, buy a map of the area in town and make your own tour for free by renting a kayak at the Lake Lure Town Marina. Paddleboats are made for two to four people, and can be taken out for around $50 per day. With cruises alone costing around $20 per person, this is quite a bargain if you pack your lunch and head out for the day.
- Chimney Rock sits along Lake Lure and is about as close to an old frontier town as you can find. Head to the gem mine to start your own flume mining operation for as little as 8 bucks - we promise the whole family will want to get in on the process. If you'd rather leave the mining to the experts, head to the gift shop where you can oogle over emeralds, iolite, garnet and moonstone. 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC
- Chimney Rock State Park is home to the gorgeous Hickory Nut Falls, which thunder down more than 350 feet, or enjoy your own private enclosed view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Opera Box, a rock overhang that creates a perfect stone box from which to enjoy a beautiful mountain sunset or warm day. If you plan to spend at least two days in the park, buy season passes - it will give you access to the park for the rest of the year, so if you come back during a different season, you'll already be saving. 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC
- The Donald Ross Nature Trail Park offers up beautiful views for free! 271 North Carolina 9
Plenty of outdoor enthusiasts have encountered overpriced entrees after a long hike - the owners seem to know how far the next town is and that you're eventually give in and fork over the dough for the meal. However, you don't have to pack 10 lbs of granola and a week's supply of MREs to stay full and still retain some of your bank account in Lake Lure. Try some of these rather affordable eateries:
Lunch and Dinner
- It's hard for anyone to argue with a delicious pizza after a long day of kayaking or hiking. At Legends Pub and Pizzeria, the prices provide plenty of reason to get a second pie. A large cheese only costs 14.95, and Legend's infamous lobster roll - which is definitely made to share - costs a mere 13.95. 112 Mountains Boulevard
- With a name like Huckleberry's Restaurant & Bakery, it's hard not to start salivating before you get here. Menus here are seasonal, yet always offer some great kid-friendly items like Grandma's Grilled Cheese. Gluten intolerant visitors will have plenty of lip-smacking, yet still affordable, goods to try out. 962 Buffalo Creek Rd
- It's hard to pass up any item that's nationally renowned, and Medina's Village Bistro cinnamon rolls have one such hefty acclaim. Take one bite of this delectable roll - served warm with homemade cream cheese frosting - and you'll see why this is a favorite cheap treat for anyone who visits Lake Lure. 430 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC
Coffee, Tea & Dessert
- Junction Coffee House can save you some green in multiple ways. The coffee here is always hot, and pairs perfectly with a fresh donut or chewy bagel. While here, be sure to check your upcoming dinner reservations or plan future outings with Junction's free WiFi. 311 Buffalo Creek Rd
- If you're looking for an affordable way to feed your sweet tooth, head to Rocky River Fudge & Ice Cream, where you have your pick of all things fruity, fudgey and delicious. Be sure to keep your will power about you - the prices make it easy to overindulge on a number of goods.
- Coffee on the Rocks offers freshly-brewed coffee, espresso drinks and a range of delectable smoothies and teas to enjoy, as well as hot chocolate or chai lattes for those with a sweeter palate. With a range of substantial protein bars and other pre-hike snacks, Coffee on the Rocks offers the perfect affordable way to enjoy a quick bite before a long day out in the woods or on the lake. 435 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC
The unique beauty of Lake Lure should be complemented by a one-of-a-kind lodging experience. There's a number of affordable alternatives in Lake Lure to traditional motels and hotels, including lakeside accommodations that allow you to wake up to a fog-covered lake shrouded in comforting quiet. From cozy cabins that are perfect for two to giant timber homes that could house your entire extended family, Lake Lure has the right"home away from home" to fit your travel group. If you'd like to stay a little closer to the amenities and eateries of town, you can choose from an array of condos that provide exquisite views yet also a little more distance between you and the great outdoors.
What are the benefits of renting a home? In addition to giving everyone a bit more room to relax, homes often provide access to private hot tubs and full-size baths, as well as loaded kitchens that give you all of the space you need to saute, roast and bake a few healthy and cheap meals for your vacationing brood.
Need more tips on finding those Lake Lure vacation deals? Here are a few:
- Lake Lure is a great place to explore the great outdoors, and with the temperate North Carolina weather, days when you can't comfortably explore area lakes, meadows and forested valleys are few and far between. Fall and spring are mild, winters are cool and summers are hot, so you can pack for the season, leaving your extra luggage at home.
- Prices for rentals often plummet in the Lake Lure shoulder seasons, which are a few months prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day. You'll be able to save a lot simply by enjoying all of the area attractions during these times of year.