Lake Norman is the ultimate North Carolina destination for fun in the sun. Its pristine shorelines and clear waters will take your breath away, while the lush greenery and gorgeous homes that dot the banks create a spectacular sight.
Located just 25 minutes from Charlotte, it’s the largest artificial lake in the state. Invite the whole gang and get ready for a memorable trip.
You can spend the afternoon strolling your favorite stretch of the 520-mile shoreline or sunbathing near the banks. Roll out a blanket for a picnic at any of the small parks that border the lake or have a cookout with friends and family.
The best way to experience the lake, however, is by heading out to the water. Go for a cool dip. Better yet, rent a boat or a jet ski to see more of the place. There are a number of docks and marinas with boat slips, boat launches, boat storage, gas stops, and repairs. It’s normal to see a number of canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats on the gleaming surface of the lake.
Adrenaline junkies will love the fact that there’s no horsepower limit at Lake Norman. You can go full throttle, have the wind whip your hair, and watch the scenery rush by in a blur. Just don’t forget to wear a lifejacket – it’s part of the lake’s rules and regulations. Moreover, anyone younger than 26 must have completed a NASBLA-approved boating course before operating a vessel with a motor of 10HP or more.
Anglers come here to catch bass, crappie, sunfish, white perch, and some of the biggest catfish to be found in NC. Excellent conditions for fishing have made the lake a popular stop on numerous fishing tournaments. But you must obtain an NC fishing license first – anyone who goes fishing in public waters and is 16 years and older should have one.
Public and private chartered cruises are also available. Shoot the breeze from a tour boat and admire views of the surrounding area. Watch the sunset from a luxury yacht and enjoy a sumptuous four-course meal right on the water.
Shopping, dining, and gallery hopping
Birkdale Village is the go-to spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment at Lake Norman. This vibrant open-air mall offers an eclectic selection of locally owned boutiques, major retailers, specialty stores, theaters, and restaurants. Shop at Victoria’s Secret, Sunglass Hut, and Bath & Body Works, or dine at any of the places that serve Japanese, Chinese, and Mexican dishes. Catch the latest blockbusters at the 16-screen theater with concessionaires and comfortable seating.
Seasonal events and festivities take place year round, along with live performances that make for a wonderful night out.
The galleries in the towns situated along Lake Norman have rotating exhibits that are sure to fascinate anyone with an interest in art. Davidson and Cornelius, in particular, are hotbeds of local arts and culture. Wooden Stone, Merrill-Jennings, and the Cornelius Arts Center are just some of the galleries and creative spaces that can be found here.
For more information, check out the Visit Lake Norman website