You probably already know Ramsey Creek Park Beach in Cornelius is a summer hotspot. But there’s even more to explore around Lake Norman that you might not know about:
(1) Loch Norman Highland Games
The Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games occur every April in Huntersville’s Historic Rural Hill. This weekend-long event includes everything from battle-axe throwing competitions to lectures on Scottish culture. Visitors come from all over the country to take part in the family-friendly activities, live music, dancing, and food that this festival has to offer. www.ruralhillscottishfestivals.net
(2) New restaurants
The food scene around Lake Norman has always been a major bonus to the breathtaking views and fun recreational activities. Now, with new restaurants open and in business, it’s easier than ever to find delicious lakeside cuisine. With their new location in Mooresville, Fresh Chef continues to impress with their salads, wraps, sandwiches, and pasta. The couple behind Kindred in Davidson is also opening a new location called Hello, Sailor. Set to open in August, this seafood eatery will have the same focus on seasonal, local, and high-quality ingredients as its stylish sister. Check out other new places like Ramen Soul and Great Harvest Bakery.
(3) Vintage malls
The Lake Norman area is rich in vintage malls and antique shopping opportunities. At 500 South Main St., Merino’s is the perfect place for home furnishings at great prices. Offering everything from mattresses and rugs to entertainment centers and bookcases, Merino’s is the place to go. Another option is the Lake Norman Antique Mall. With over 200 vendors, this antique mall is a treasure trove of diverse finds. Stop by 467 East Plaza Drive in Mooresville to find your next vintage item.
(4) Endless water rentals
Even if you don’t own a boat, a paddleboard, or jet ski, rental places all over Lake Norman have you covered. Visitors and lake natives alike can take advantage of the water rentals that Lake Norman has to offer. From Lake Norman Paddleboard Co. to Lake Effects Boat Rentals, there’s no limit to what you can rent. Enjoy the sunrise on an early morning paddleboarding excursion, spend a day on the water in a rented boat, or tear up the waves in jet skis. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
(5) GoPro and GoKart racing
The GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville is an outdoor karting facility open seven days a week, year-round. Anyone over the age of 16 can rent one of their state-of-the-art go-karts, each reaching speeds of up to 55 mph. For a day of adrenaline, fun, and excitement, visit GoPro Motorplex at 130 Motorplex Drive. The facility also hosts some of America’s largest professional touring karting series races. www.gopromotorplex.com
(6) The Cabin
With lakeside views, The Cabin is one of the best places to get delicious craft beer. Located right next to Lake Norman Cottage, The Cabin hosts great bands, parties, and other special events. Sip on a beer as you watch the sunset, listen to great live music with your friends, and enjoy beautiful Carolina summer nights from the patio. Arrive by car or by boat, and check out this bar at 400 N. Harbor Place Drive in Davidson.
(7) Carrigan Farms
Located just outside of Mooresville, Carrigan Farms is the perfect destination for families, friends, and large groups alike. From fruit picking in the spring and summer to hayrides in the fall, the farm allows visitors to step into the past and remind them of the beauty of nature. Carrigan Farms also hosts educational tours, field trips, weddings, and parties. Visit the farm market and pumpkin patch at 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Highway or the quarry for a swim at 1231 Oak Ridge Farm Highway. www.carriganfarms.com
(8) Brewery scene
The craft beer craze has certainly made its way to Lake Norman with several popular breweries in the area, and a few have had recent expansions. D9 Brewing Company in Cornelius recently won gold in the 2016 Great American Beer Festival for their Scuppernong & Lily Wild Sour Ale. Visitors can enjoy their newly expanded outdoor patio and renovated 2,000-square-foot taproom. Primal Brewery expanded its outdoor space and the events calendar has grown accordingly. Ass Clown Brewing Company expanded its capacity and is canning more beer. The scene in Concord has grown with additions in the last year. And just last month, Eleven Lakes Brewing opened its doors. Cheers to that.
The full version of this story ran in Lake Norman Magazine.
Photos: Lake Norman Magazine files.