April 26, 2021

9 Campgrounds Around the Lake

Hitting the road in an RV has turned into one of America's popular, yet practical way of traveling. The first documented cross country trip in an RV was in 1915 when the Conklin family departed New York to head to California, which ended up taking them two months to complete. Today, more than 46 million people, including first-time campers, plan on taking an RV trip within the next year. For those that plan on camping nearby, we've put together a list of campgrounds around Lake Norman.

On Lake Norman

Lake Norman State Park


Lake Norman State Park features a 32-site family campground available year-round which can be booked up to 11 months in advance. The park offers over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails.

Lake Norman Motorcoach Resort

Sherrills Ford

Located right on the water, this campground has 60 RV sites available to reserve along with their own pontoon boat rentals. Their sites offer full hookups and are on leveled concrete ground offering a very clean setting and a panoramic view of Lake Norman. Each site is spaced out 30 feet apart for social distancing. If you bring your own boat, they have boat ramp and slips to rent as well. 

Wildlife Woods









Wildlife Woods Campground

Sherrills Ford

Open year-round, Wildlife Woods is a large family campground that has large sites, bathhouses, and boat ramps for people to use. Reserve one of the sites offering lake views or enjoy the community swimming pool and canoes available to rent.


South of Lake Norman

Carowinds RV Campground Wilderness

Carowinds Camp Wilderness Resort


Carowinds' 55-acre RV park is nestled in a natural setting offering modern amenities for campers to enjoy including a swimming pool, cornhole, and pool table. Full hookups are available for RVs up to 45 feet long.

McDowell Nature Preserve & Campground


Although currently closed due to COVID-19, this campground comes with 56 campsites ranging from full RV hookups to regular camping sites. Additional amenities include a bathhouse, laundry facilities, and playground for the little ones.

East of Lake Norman

Cabarrus Arena & Events Center


Full hookups including electric, water, and sewer are available at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. Daily rates are $40 per site and are all-inclusive. Tent camping is not allowed at this location. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway


The Charlotte Motor Speedway not only offers camping during the big races and events, but it's open year-round for family gatherings and quiet getaways. Located just 20 minutes from Lake Norman, you'll be able to take in the lake and dive into the racing scene at the various race shops nearby including Joe Gibbs Racing

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Glenwood Acres RV Park


A family-owned RV park, Glenwoods is located right across from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reserve one of over 100 sites available including open and shaded spots with full hookups. There are picnic tables, walking trails, and an on-site gas station and convenience store to fuel up and gather some snacks. 

North of Lake Norman

Statesville KOA Campground


Located right off I-77 and quick access to Lake Norman, this campground offers sites for 60 foot campers, cable tv, WiFi, and a swimming pool open from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Guests also have access to the basketball court and playground as well as a dog park for your furry best friends. 

Statesville KOA

Whether you're driving through Lake Norman or happen to be staying at a nearby campground, we encourage you to visit the lakeside of Charlotte and enjoy the variety of watersport activities and premier waterfront restaurants. You might even decide to stay an extra day or two to experience all the fun the area has to offer. If you do, be sure to check out our list of itineraries to help plan your trip and tag us on social media @VisitLakeNorman!

Posted in Community, Fun Times
April 26, 2021

7 Dog Friendly Spots

7 Lake Norman Dog-Friendly Places To Take Your Pup

Everything becomes instantly better whenever a dog is involved, and that’s a fact. When I first moved to Lake Norman, the first thing I noticed was the fact that it is super dog-friendly. I love taking my dogs with me when I explore the Lake Norman area, and I’m sure they’re just happy to be out of the house. There are so many restaurants, parks, and trails for us to go to without worrying whether or not they’re allowed. If you’ve got a furry friend, I highly recommend taking them to any of the places below. You will not be disappointed, and I’m sure your pup will love you for taking them on fun, new adventures!

Restaurants and Bars

Photo via @coop_and_capo


Lucky Dog Bark & Brew

19607 Statesville Rd, Cornelius, NC 28031

Lucky Dog Bark & Brew is an indoor/outdoor dog park that’s perfect for any pup. While your dog is running around, you can sit at the 21+ sports bar and enjoy a drink. This bar is open to furry children only, and they also offer doggy daycare, overnight boarding, and baths!

Photo via @jasper_and_palmer


Yappy Hour Bakery

Check out their Facebook here.

This activity is more for the pups than it is for humans. The Yappy Hour Bakery is an all natural, gourmet, mobile dog bakery that offers a ton of different dog treats. They make some greats birthday cakes too! (For dogs, of course.)

Photo via @carolinaandmain


Cafe 100

100 Huntersville-Concord Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

At Cafe 100, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with your pup on their outdoor patio.


Birkdale Village

16725 Birkdale Commons Pkwy, Huntersville, NC 28078

Birkdale Village is a beautiful outdoor shopping center here in Huntersville. On the weekends, you can find a bunch of people walking their dogs throughout the shopping center. Birkdale Village is so pet-friendly, you’ll even find several water dishes for your pup to drink from outside of some of the stores. There are also many restaurants that allow you to dine with your dog in their outdoor seating areas.


Photo via @awalkwithholly


Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

6211 Sample Rd. Huntersville, NC 28078

The Latta Plantation Nature Preserve has 16 miles of hiking trails that weave their way through different terrain. From the trails, it’s easy to find beautiful views of the lake, streams, and the forest. The Latta Plantation Nature Preserve welcomes pups as long as they’re on a 6-foot or shorter leash, and you can even bring your horse! It’s the only Mecklenburg County property that’s completely open to horseback riding.

Photo via @williecorleyy


Jetton Park

19000 Jetton Road/Cornelius, NC 28031

Jetton park is a 104-acre lakefront part that’s perfect for hiking on a beautiful day!


Swaney Pointe K-9 Park

18441 Nantz Road/Cornelius, NC 28031

Swanet Pointe K-9 Park is a four-acre, fenced-in, off-leash area for dogs. It’s located in Ramsey Creek Park, and has two areas that operate larger dogs from smaller dogs.

April 26, 2021

6 Big Pay Off Home Improvements

Renovating this year? Here are 6 home improvements that pay off big time when you sell


Thinking about renovating areas of your home soon? Don’t waste your time with projects that won’t yield ROI when it comes time to sell— here are the best and worst home improvement projects in terms of return on your investment.

The best home improvement projects

Each year, Remodeling Magazine puts out a cost versus value report, that helps homeowners understand the average cost per project and how much of their investment can be expected to be recouped when it comes time to sell.

#1 Garage Door Replacement

Coming in at the number 1, replacing an old garage door for a new one yields a 96% return on your investment when it’s time to sell— talk about a good choice! You can expect to spend about $3,600 on a carriage-style 16X7 garage door.

#2 Kitchen remodel

It’s no secret that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, so it comes as no surprise that a kitchen remodel yields a good return when you sell your home. Costing an average of $23,000 for a minor kitchen remodel, you can expect to recover about 78% of your investment.

On the other hand, if you’re planning for a full gut job, a major kitchen renovation can run upwards of $129,000 and you can expect to recoup around 53% of your investment.

Because of the huge cost difference between a major and minor kitchen remodel, experts say to stick with a smaller remodel if you plan to sell in the next few years. On the other hand, if you plan to stay in a home for 7-10 more years, a major remodel might make more sense. 

#3 Siding replacement

Returning an average of 77% of your investment, replacing old siding is a solid investment. Not only can you expect to recoup much of your costs associated with this project, but you’ll delight buyers from the moment they view your home— there’s nothing worse than bad curb appeal.

#4 Adding a deck

Impressive outdoor spaces sell homes almost as much as indoor spaces that wow. If your home desperately needs a deck, consider adding one to increase your overall market value. Wood decks cost an average of $14,000 and recoup around 72% of investment when it comes time to sell. Thinking about putting in a composite deck instead? Data shows wood decks recover slightly more of their investments, showing that composite decks can expect to return 68% of their investment. 

#5 Bathroom renovation

These days, everyone is searching for that updated, sparkling clean bathroom. The average homeowner will spend about $32,000 renovating the owners’ suite bathroom and can expect to recover about 61% of that investment when they sell. Because the investment of renovating a bathroom is on the more expensive end, make sure you choose a style that fits most tastes. Opt for a large, walk-in shower, wood cabinets, wood or stone floors and nice finishes.

Home improvement projects that don’t yield as much ROI 

Backyard patio

While a backyard patio is a wonderful addition to a wooded yard, turns out it doesn’t return as much as some other projects do when it comes time to sell. Expect to spend about $54,000 and recoup only 47.6% of your investment. Consider a backyard patio project if you’re planning to stay in your home between 5-7 years or longer. 

Owner’s suite addition

While more space is always welcome, an owner’s suite can run homeowners a staggering $136,000 and only recovers around 58% when it’s time to sell. If you need more space, consider adding an owner’s suite addition if you plan to stay put for a decent period of time.

Grand entrance

While replacing an existing entry door with a grand entrance door with dual sidelights can improve the overall look of your home, it doesn’t recover too much of your investment. If you complete this project you can expect to recoup about 53% of your investment.

Bathroom addition

Who doesn’t want more bathrooms? While no one can argue that too many bathrooms are a bad thing, adding a bathroom doesn’t bode well for your checkbook, come selling time. Bathroom additions cost an average of $49,000 and recover only 54% when you sell your home. 

March 31, 2021

New Construction Trends

Thinking about buying new construction soon or just curious about the latest trends in home design and layout? Here’s what you can expect to see when you tour new construction this year. 

Light wood floors

While wood floors will certainly never go out of style, a new breed of wood floors is slowly taking shape and winning over interior designers in the process.

Enter, light hardwoods boasting a more natural look and feel. In favor of dark, hand-scraped wood floors, buyers are seeking light gray, white-washed or even white-colored hardwoods. Say bye bye to shiny finishes and sheens, too– today’s buyers want hardwoods with more of a matte finish.

In addition to wood, new home buyers are also finding that porcelain tile made to look like a natural, unfinished wood floor is a wonderful option, too. 

Formal rooms reimagined

When homes were built in the 80s or 90s they almost always contained a formal living and dining space. Fast forward to the last decade, and not every buyer desires a formal dining and living space. Rather than just getting rid of the rooms altogether, today’s buyers are simply reimagining how formal spaces are used.

Increasingly, new homes are being constructed with different uses for the traditional formal rooms. Instead of a formal living room, buyers are seeking a multifunctional space– perhaps a reading nook and bar/entertaining area or an office with enough room to double as a place to entertain guests. 

In the kitchen

A decade ago everyone was in search of granite in the kitchen. Today, new homes are being built with an engineered stone like quartz.

While stainless steel is still king, new construction is testing out some different finishes to meet buyers differing preferences. Everything from black stainless to ultra modern white–designed to blend in with cabinetry–is on the table now.

All white cabinetry is still being heavily requested, but surprisingly, home buyers are now seeking more natural elements be added in the layout. Wood beams, walnut islands, rustic wood cabinetry, and wood used in open shelving continue to be popular elements in new kitchen design.

Keeping clutter off of the countertops is also a huge trend and buyers are increasingly interested in drawers and pantries with built in organization solutions.

The great outdoors

In an effort to utilize absolutely every square inch of living space, new home construction is providing for ample living space outdoors. A place to relax after a long day, watch the football game or even entertain party guests, many buyers seeking out new construction see the outdoors as an extension of their living room, often spending big bucks to outfit it as such. 

An outdoor kitchen is a must in luxury new construction and builders are even seeing this request in non-luxury builds, signaling the overwhelming desire to have the ability to entertain outdoors important to all buyers and budgets. 

Folding glass doors leading directly to outdoor entertaining spaces is also a big request, allowing homeowners to create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors.

In the bathroom

Gone are the days of the oversized soaking tub taking up half of the bathroom’s footprint. Buyers want slim, freestanding tubs and some buyers are even opting to forgo the tub entirely, and exchanging the saved space for a larger walk-in shower. Storage is big in new home design, with buyers looking to utilize every available square inch–especially in the bathroom.

March 31, 2021

Water Activites

Can’t-Miss Water Activities in the Queen City

In today’s current state, water activities may be a bit different this year, but there’s still a variety of ways to cool down in the Queen City.

From paddleboard yoga to dinner cruises on Lake Norman, this local guide will help inspire your next summer outing.

Photography courtesy of U.S. National Whitewater Center

All About the Action

U.S. National Whitewater Center

The U.S. National Whitewater Center has tons of water sports that cover all ages and skill levels. The relaxed environment is intended for younger participants and first-timers. Action-seekers should try Adventure Rafting—a fast paced class III-IV rapids on the whitewater channels and the most popular whitewater activity. Located on the Catawba River, the outdoor facility offers scenic, flat-water activities, such as kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) on the river’s calm, flowing waters.

Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals and Boat Club

For an action-packed afternoon on Lake Norman, rent a Jet Ski or ski boat from Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals and Boat Club. Jet Skis are available to rent for only an hour or for a full week or weekend. You can also rent yachts, kayaks and paddleboards and all of the necessary accessories for fun on the water: ski vests, towlines, tubes, wakeboards, water skis and knee boards. If you’re interested in a long-term commitment, check out Aquaventure’s boat club membership.

Paddle Charlotte Aloha on Lake Norman

Started in 2010, Paddle Charlotte Aloha on Lake Norman is the “source for paddle sports in Charlotte, North Carolina.” The company rents kayaks and paddleboards and specializes in paddleboard instruction. The instructors teach private and group lessons. Instruction includes water safety tips and techniques for paddling and turning. Specialty classes include Sunset Paddle Tours and Paddleboard Yoga. They have new safety procedures in place to minimize contact, in addition to a COVID-19 questionnaire patrons must fill out.

Photo courtesy of Queen's Landing Sightseeing & Dinner Cruises

Life of Leisure

Queen's Landing


Relax on Lake Norman with an afternoon sightseeing or evening dinner cruise on Lake Norman with Queens Landing. Its fleet includes a Mississippi riverboat called “Catawba Queen” and a luxury yacht called “Lady of the Lake.” Choose a buffet-style meal or a four-course, plated dinner. Queens Landing is operating on a more limited capacity in order to follow the CDC guidelines. Look out for special events throughout the year, such as live music and themed cruises for the holidays

Photo courtesy Great Wolf Lodge

For the Youngsters (or Young at Heart)

Great Wolf Lodge

While Great Wolf Lodge is temporarily closed through July 8, starting Thursday, July 9, they will start taking reservations for overnight guests to enjoy their indoor water park and amenities. Four-story and six-story waterslides provide adventure for the older kids while mini slides and splash pools keep the younger ones busy. Everything is wilderness themed, from the interactive treehouse to the cabin-like rooms, making for a real adventure. The fitness center will remain closed and day passes will not be available for the foreseeable future, so book your overnight stay to enjoy the lodge that will be operating at a limited capacity for the safety of their guests.

Charlotte's Splashpads

If you only have a few hours to spare, have some fun in the sun at one of the city’s splashpads or “spraygrounds.” Charlotte’s Spraygrounds throughout Mecklenburg County feature unique sprays, nozzles and spouts to keep you cool during hot days. Visit Cordelia Park in NoDa, Latta Park on Park Avenue, Veterans Park on Central Avenue, Nevin Park in North Charlotte, the West Charlotte Recreation Center or the Fish Fountains on The Green in Uptown for a day of refreshing fun. Most of the “spraygrounds” are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. They are free and easily accessible.

Posted in Community, Fun Times
March 31, 2021

From stale to sold with these 7 upgrades

Sometimes homeowners can look at their cherished home through an oversized pair of rose-colored glasses, and over time, the noticeable imperfections become no big deal.

Then, when it’s time to take advantage of a hot seller’s market, there’s a thunderous silence as the beloved home is overlooked. 

When the offers don’t flood in, it’s often a shocking experience for sellers. But remember, buyers have high expectations when it comes to buying a home. They’re looking for a home that is updated and ready, so that when they move in they don’t have to worry about fixing this or that. 

Making sure your home is not only clean, but also has an inviting feel to it can make a world of a difference when it comes to selling your home in today’s market. If your home is sitting on the market unnoticed day after day, maybe it’s time to make some changes. Here are some tips to help move your home from stale to sold. 

Refresh your curb appeal

The outside of the home is just as important as the inside.  Getting the exterior right can help you nail that first impression.  Make sure your landscaping is top notch by adding some fresh mulch and seasonal flowers. You could even add dash of color to your front door or shutters with a fresh coat of paint.

Beautiful curb appeal at 1948 Dugan Drive

Update your kitchen

Potential homebuyers are looking for updated kitchens. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so you want yours to leave a great impression.  Essential upgrades will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Add stainless steel appliances, upgrade to granite or quartz countertops, and consider giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh look with some new hardware or some paint. 

This light and airy kitchen at 4109 Huckleberry Drive is a buyer’s dream 

Keep it light and bright

Everyone wants a home that looks and feels clean. So keep your home looking light and bright by painting your walls with a light neutral to really brighten up your space. Not sure which neutrals will work well in your home? Here’s our ultimate guide to the best neutral paint colors.

Show off your flooring

Show off those beautiful floors! If you have beautiful hardwoods, don’t hide them under rugs. Having nice floors is going to get a buyer’s attention.  So take a look at the carpet and replace it, if need be. Give your tiled floors a once over and call a grout repair company if necessary, or consider using a grout pin to restore dingy grout lines.

Create the perfect outdoor living space 

Not having a beautiful outdoor space can be a deal breaker for those that love to spend their summers grilling and sitting outside enjoying the season. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your patio or deck its own incredible space. 

Outdoor living done right at 7640 Swinford Place

Related reading: 10 tips to make your outdoor space an entertainer’s dream

Don’t forget about staging 

For the most part, houses that are staged sell much faster than homes that are not. As a seller, you want to display every area in the home as valuable use of space. Don’t forget to stage overlooked areas like storage areas or bonus rooms, and remember to clear your home of clutter!

Use professional photos 

Listings with an array of professional photos will get your home to sell much faster. If you don’t have many photos, or if they are low quality, buyers will avoid looking at your home. Make sure to include photos of all the rooms in your house (including outside entertaining areas).

Consider having an unbiased friend evaluate your photos and offer feedback for improvement. Remember, your photos are what entices buyers to tour your home in the first place, so don’t miss opportunities because your photos are poor quality.

Related selling articles

The ultimate guide to selling your home in the spring




March 31, 2021

Getting to Know No Da

Charlotte’s historic arts and entertainment district used to be a mill village, but one visit is all it takes to realize that NoDa is anything but run-of-the-mill.

What does NoDa stand for?

Named for North Davidson, the street running through the heart of the community, NoDa is a tight-knit haven for artists, foodies, and small business owners. 

What to do in NoDa

From the impermanence of a perfect cup of coffee to the permanence of a tattoo from a renowned artist, you can pretty much find it all in a short stroll around the intersection of North Davidson Street and East 36th Street. 

Smelly Cat Coffee House & Roastery

Fuel up at Smelly Cat Coffee House & Roastery, where you won’t see Phoebe Buffay but you will support an eco-conscious small business that roasts its own ethically-sourced beans and has been a beloved part of the neighborhood for decades. 

Mac Tabby Cat Cafe

If you were hoping to see a real cat while sipping your coffee, head over to Mac Tabby Cat Cafe, where free-range adoptable kitties cuddle with patrons.

Shopping in NoDa

The shopping options in NoDa include one-of-a-kind gems like The Rat’s Nest, where vintage treasures abound, and Pura Vida Worldly Art, carrying items from more than 40 countries across five continents.

Johnny Fly Co. creates sustainably-made, high-fashion wooden sunglasses, while Curio, Craft & Conjure is a supplier of personal magickal supplies. (Not to be confused with stage magic, “magick” is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.)

Custom Jewelry Lab offers in-house designs and heirloom redesign, with an emphasis on man-made diamonds and gemstones for their ethical and aesthetic advantages. In a neighborhood as pet-friendly as NoDa, Four Dogs Pet Supplies is essential—and since we’re in NoDa, this pet supply store has a gallery displaying animal-related art.

Art galleries in NoDa

Speaking of art, you’ll want to peruse the gallery scene. While galleries have been dwindling as NoDa has become more popular and accessible, there are still plenty of treasures to inspire you—you might even be sitting on one.

From mosaic benches to grand murals, much of NoDa’s most notable art is outside. In fact, the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association has provided an interactive map on Noda.org of the neighborhood’s outdoor art, including links to the artists’ social media and websites so you can follow and support them. 

For additional inspiration, stop by TAC Gallery, a 60+ artist collective and popup gallery, and the Charlotte Art League, a non-profit visual arts organization that offers a unique mix of open working studios, classes, and community outreach programs along with a public gallery.

Of course, one of NoDa’s best-known art forms is ink-based. Whether it’s Fu’s Custom Tattoo (NoDa’s first studio, opened in 2001), 510 Expert Tattoo (opened in 2010), or Canvas Tattoo & Art Gallery (boasting multiple accolades including Best Tattoo shop by Queen City Nerve), NoDa is a haven for talented tattoo artists. 

Where to eat in NoDa

Whatever you do, don’t leave your appetite at home when you’re going to NoDa. Some of Charlotte’s most beloved establishments call NoDa home, including Haberdish for southern fare, Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen for Cajun, Creole, and more.

Benny Pennello’s pizza sells 28-inch pizzas (one slice needs two plates), and JackBeagle’s is the place to grab a burger and watch a game, or indulge in a Beagle Biscuit for breakfast. The Crepe Cellar is more than NoDa’s own creperie—it’s also a European gastropub with lauded burgers and cocktails. 

Save room for the treats offered at the beloved Amelie’s French BakeryReigning Doughnuts (open morning and evening), and the abundance of fresh-baked breads and gourmet sandwiches at Local Loaf. 

Breweries in NoDa

Charlotte is a craft beer city, and NoDa is certainly no exception. Heist Brewery has transformed what was once a cotton mill into a sprawling place to not only drink from a wide-ranging beer and cocktail menu, but also enjoy an impressive selection of food. 

The Jalapeño Pale Ale at Birdsong Brewing Co. is a must-try, and Divine Barrel Brewing embodies the tight-knit feeling of the neighborhood with its weekly running club and Mindless Minutia Trivia. 

NoDa Brewing Company boasts Hop Drop ‘N Roll, one of the best-selling beers in the state, and is a recent medalist at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. 

Salud Beer Shop began as a bottle shop for local and regional craft beers, and now offers 16 beers on tap plus bottles and cans from around the world. They even have an in-house brewery, Salud Cerveceria. NoDa Company Store is the place to enjoy a Sangria, grab a snack, and relax at one of Charlotte’s best hangout spots. 

Living in NoDa

living in noda, apartments in NoDa

Just a few minutes north of the center of Charlotte by LYNX light rail or car, NoDa is perfect for individuals or families looking for a vibrant, tight-knit community.

Real estate options include single-family bungalows and, more and more these days, condominiums. Some of the properties have been completely renovated since their days as mill workers’ homes in the early 1900s. Some could use a renovation. The variety makes this neighborhood accessible for people looking for every type of living situation, from a fixer-upper to a move-in ready gem. 

While home prices range widely because of the variety of options and various levels of renovation, the median listing price for a property in NoDa is $390,000, and the average days on the market is currently 43. 

Are you ready to explore the eclectic, unique offerings in NoDa?

Shop for homes in NoDa. 

History of NoDa

This part of north Charlotte was farmland until the turn of the 20th century when Highland Park Manufacturing #3, a textile mill, was built, and a community emerged around it. Highland Mill Village, a collection of 80 homes and the businesses and churches that came with them, is the oldest village of North Charlotte’s nationally registered historic district.

When textile mills around Charlotte started closing in the 1960s and 1970s, those who once worked at the mills moved their families in search of other opportunities, leaving the historic mill homes and warehouses empty. 

We have a group of pioneering creatives to thank for the renaissance of the former Highland Mill Village, which today we call NoDa. As these “pioneers” dedicated their TLC to the buildings in the area, mill homes became galleries, warehouses became breweries, and NoDa became a thriving hub of arts and entertainment. 



March 1, 2021

Weather in Lake Norman

Weather in Lake Norman

Lake Norman is a great visit year-round. Throughout the year there are four distinct seasons to expect when visiting Lake Norman. With plenty of water activities, shopping, golfing, and seasonal events in the area, this is the place to be. Whether you are planning a vacation or a permanent residency, here’s what to expect during your time at the lake.

Spring (March-May):

With the weather beginning to warm back up and the flowers starting to bloom, spring is a great time to visit museums and sight-see around Lake Norman. If you’re feeling artsy, there are plenty of experiences to enjoy. You can’t go wrong with a self-guided audio tour of the Davidson College Sculpture Garden. Temperatures range between the mid-’50s and upper-70’s. Make sure to pack light rain jackets, cardigans, shorts, and sandals.

Spring Amy Cosner

Sarah MannsSarah Manns

Summer (June-September):

Primetime to get out on the water and enjoy the lake to the fullest. With various waterfront restaurants, beautiful scenery, and temperatures reaching the mid-90’s, on the water is where you want to be. There will be your occasional rain shower, but during the summer they tend to be quick, giving you time to rest before retaking the lake. Packing is easy – bathing suits, tank tops, flip flops, sunscreen, and sunglasses are the essentials for a day of relaxation.

Fall (October-November):

The most elegant time to be in Lake Norman. Temperatures are cooling off, falling to the mid-50's and 60's, and it’s almost holiday season. With football season ramping up and the spookiness of Halloween on the way, get out and about during your stay. Check the Fall Foliage Prediction Map to better prepare for your trip and try to catch the peak color each year. Pack light jackets, hoodies, leggings, and the occasional pair of shorts, because you never know what season you may get daily in North Carolina.

Dena TompkinsDena Tompkins


Fabiola CampiFabiola Campi

Winter (December-February):

The cold isn’t too harsh living in the central area of North Carolina, with temperatures ranging between the mid-30's and 50’s. You can’t count on snow, but you can count on school being canceled if light snow is in the forecast. Winter is the holiday season, and there’s no better place to shop for your loved ones than Lake Norman. There are local venues, a plethora of boutiques, and farmers markets, along with your brand name major merchandisers with multiple malls to choose from. Pack heavy with winter coats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, hats, and long pants.

The best time to be on the lake is in the summertime, but the window of time on the water typically ranges from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There's a variety of ways to take in the lake such as kayaking, paddleboarding, or renting a boat. Bring yourself, the family, and your furry friends to enjoy an unforgettable atmosphere in Lake Norman! Be sure to tag us in your adventures on social media @VisitLakeNorman.

Posted in Community
March 1, 2021

Historical Drive Around Lake Norman

A Historical Drive Around Lake Norman

Lake Norman has an abundance of historical sites and landmarks one can visit and learn about. Whether you're a long-time resident or planning a trip, we've put together our first historical drive checklist that will guide you to the popular historical sites the area has to offer. So buckle up, and hand the phone over to your copilot and lets hit the road!

(Estimated length of trip: 2 hours)

1. Start at the Lake Norman Visitor Center

The best start and end point is our visitor center located at 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius. We're open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm so we encourage you to stop in and say hello before you start your mini trip. We'll supply with you brochures of other popular attractions and even menus for local restaurants. 

2. Go East on West Catawba Avenue to head to Smithville Park

Smithville Park is located in Cornelius' oldest historically black community. You'll see the Rosenwald School and Union Bethel AME Zion Church. 

3. Continue East on Catawba Avenue and turn left on Oak Street to Oak Street Mill

Oak Street Mill was originally named the Gen Yarn Mill which opened in 1905 employing 45 people. It was opened by Joseph Benjamin Cornelius who the town later thanked and renamed the town after. In its peak years, it would end up employing more than 150 people, but ultimately ended up closing down in 1962. Today, it serves as the home for Oak Street Mill Antiques and several venues including Brick Row. 

Oak Street MillOak Street Mill

4. Go West on Catawba Avenue, turn right on Church Street, then left on Pine Street

Pine Street has a variety of older homes that were built between the 1900 and 1950s. 

5. Head to the Ada Jenkins center

When the Davidson Colored School burned to the ground, a teacher named Ada Jenkins rallied the community to raise funds for a new brick schoolhouse, which opened in 1937. After Mrs. Jenkins’ death, it was renamed the Ada Jenkins School and served as the educational center for black students in Davidson until integration in 1966. Today, Ada Jenkins is a not-for-profit organization helping those in poverty break the cycle and gain economic independence.

Ada Jenkins CenterAda Jenkins Center

6. Go northeast on Gamble St., turn right on Sloan St., and right on Depot St. towards the Rumor Mill Market and Davidson Village Inn

Rumor Mill Market used to be the Linden Cotton Factory in the early 1890s. According to the Charlotte News, it was a "first class" manufacturing plant. Today it's home to the locally-owned antique and unique furniture shop. The Davidson Village Inn sits on on what used to be the Maxwell Chambers Hotel, where travelers by train would stay overnight in the 1920s. You'll be able to see the Depot building across the street where passenger trains would stop.

Davidson Village InnDavidson Village Inn

7. Head east on Depot St., turn left on Jackson St., and left on Delburg St., to get to Delburg Cotton MIll.

This big red brick building was a cotton mill that opened in 1903 and named after the last syllables of "Mecklenburg" and "Iredell". It now houses the Brickhouse Tavern, so if you're feeling hungry, this is a great place to refuel!

Brickhouse TavernBrickhouse Tavern

8. Go east on Depot St. and turn right on NC-115 to arrive at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church

The original church was founded at the time by Davidson College and town in 1837. Davidson College bought the property where they built the new church which hosts a variety of major college events and concerts.

9. Go south on NC-115 towards downtown Davidson

Downtown Davidson is filled with locally-owned restaurants and shops that stand in the same buildings that served a different purpose in the 20th century. Kindred Restaurant sits in what used to be the local pharmacy and the Village Store used to show silent films. 

10. Continue south on NC-115 and turn right on Concord Rd. towards Beaver Dam House

Beaver Dam was built in 1829 by William Lee Davidson II, son of General Davidson. It has deep ties with other historical sites like the Latta Plantation and Rural Hill, which you can learn about here.

Beaver Dam

11. Head southeast on Davidson-Concord Rd., and stay on NC-73 towards the Bradford Store

The Bradford Store opened in 1912 offering locally sourced food until it closed in 1958. It later reopened in 2006 where people today can purchase organic food and wellness items. 

12. Drive west on NC-73, turn left on Ramah Church Rd., left on NC-115, and left on Huntersville-Concord Rd to arrive at the Old Huntersville Jail

You'll see one of the area's oldest standing jails in Huntersville located near Veterans Park. Veterans Park hosts several town events throughout the year. 

Old town Jail huntersvilleOld Huntersville Jail

13. Head west on Huntersville-Concord Rd. towards Gilead Rd to arrive at the Hugh Torrance House. 

The Hugh Torrance House & Store is the oldest building in Mecklenburg County, which during it's peak years would sit on over 3,000 acres of land. Hugh Torrance 's son James would marry Marry Latta, daughter of James Latta.

14. Head southeast on Gilead Rd, right on McCoy Rd., right on Hambright Rd., left on Beatties Ford Rd., and right on Sample Rd. to see the Latta Plantation

Built in 1800 by James Latta, the Historic Latta Plantation sits on 742 acres of land. You can stop here to do guided house tours or walk around the property to look at the farm animals. 

Historic Latta Plantation

Historic Latta Plantation

15. Go east on Sample Rd., turn left on Beatties Ford Rd., and stay left on Neck Rd., until you get to Rural Hill

This historic homestead was founded by Major John Davidson and his wife Violet in 1765. He signed the infamous Mecklenburg County Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775. Rural Hill is now home to various popular annual events including the Loch Norman Highland Games.

Rural HillRural Hill

After you've had a chance to walk around the Rural Hill property, you might want to take a moment to sit back and learn more about the history of Lake Norman. We've put together an entire series of blogs to help you gain insights into the history of the area and fun facts that even locals might not know. 

Posted in Community, Fun Times
March 1, 2021

Plants, Wine & Basements Oh My


Using plants as décor is a great way to add a little color and a natural, bright feel to any room. There are endless types of plants to choose from and various ways to display each one, but here are a few of our favorite combinations.

  1. Geometric pots. Find geometric pots or planters of various sizes and plant small succulents of different styles and colors in each one. Then group a few pots together on a window sill or shelf or use them individually to adorn a side table or center of the dining room table.

  2. Long, hanging plants. Purchase a larger, draping plant like eucalyptus, fern, or ivy and hang it from the ceiling using a macramé plant hanger or place it on a high shelf or ladder. These plants are perfect for the corner of your living room or room with a large, plain wall that is in need of a little pop of color.

  3. Plant corner. Have a large corner in the dining or living room and need ideas on how to fill it? Consider turning it into a small plant sanctuary. Select plants of all different sizes, heights, colors, and style and purchase either matching pots or a mix of designs. Consider the use of a stool or small table to create additional levels and strategically place each one in the corner.

  4. Air plants. Air plants are universal and can be included in DIY wall art, hung from the ceiling or on the wall inside geometric metal prisms, or placed inside beautiful glass terrariums alongside other plants and colorful rocks or sand.




If you are a big wine connoisseur or just saving a few bottles to crack open on special occasions, it’s important to understand how best to store them safely until you’re ready to partake. Follow the guidelines below!


To ensure each wine bottle maintains the proper flavor and aroma, storing it at the correct temperature is essential. Regardless if it is red, white, or sparkling, storing your bottles at 53°F to 57°F is most ideal. Keeping your bottles in a room where the temperature is much warmer than that may cause the flavor to become flat. Keep your wine in the dark and away from direct UV rays as much as you can to protect the wine’s flavor.


Controlling the humidity in the room is important if you plan to store bottles more than a couple years. The ideal humidity for storage is between 50 to 75 percent and anything below that could cause the corks to dry out, letting air seep into the bottle.


Generally, it is advised to store wine bottles on their sides. This allows wine to stay up against the cork which should aid in keeping it from drying out. However, if you don’t plan to store the wine for long or if the bottle has a screw top or plastic cork, this is not required for safe storage.


Not all wine is designed to have a long shelf life or be aged. Make sure you know what the winemaker’s intention was for that particular bottle. It is always better to open it a little early and enjoy!




Although currently dimly lit and a little rough on the eyes, your unfinished basement still has a lot of potential. With just a little love and the help of the following ideas, you can spice it up in no time and get some great use out of the space.

  1. Add a pop of color. Give your basement a whole different look without a big renovation by adding some color to the space. Consider painting and sealing the floors, opening up the room by painting the rafters white or a light color, or creating a bold accent wall.

  2. Divide the space. Want to make your basement a multi-use room? Partition out the area by installing an inexpensive curtain system. This can be done either with a curtain track or a simple wire, some hooks, and curtains will suffice.

  3. Add foam mats. Whether you’d like to use the basement as a home gym to get a quick workout in or a place for the kids to play and rough house, adding some foam mats into the mix is a great and easy solution. They come in various colors and can quickly be picked up and tucked away if need be.

  4. Use a large rug. As an alternative to adding mats, find a large, eye-catching rug to be used as a focal point and furnish the area around it.

  5. Add lighting. Basements often offer very little built-in lighting and few outlets around the room. Consider stringing café lighting across the space from the rafters to give a nice ambience and glow without any difficult electrical work.