We’ve lived near Lake Norman, North Carolina for over 7 years and it’s absolutely a major part of our lives. We spend every bit of extra time on the water and couldn’t love it more! I get asked often about vacationing here and truly love to encourage people to come visit this slice of heaven. The proximity to Charlotte, the expansive lake and the moderate weather makes it an amazing place to vacation. As many of us are working from home and kids are virtually learning, it’s a great time for a staycation or socially distant vacation!
Lake Norman Vacation Guide
Where to Stay
The Lake Norman area is very residential, with many people calling it home. There are not waterfront hotels, so renting a house is the way to go to be on the water. I always prefer a home rental when we travel, because it’s much easier with kids! You can cook a lot of your own food, have plenty of space to spread out and be able to vacation with friends and family much more simply.
We recently stayed in the most gorgeous lakeside rental owned by Bounds Properties. John Bounds is a custom builder and you can see his attention to detail in his lakefront rental properties. He’s offering readers $50 off/night if you book through him and use my name! Both of his rental houses are less than 2 miles from a Publix and a couple restaurants and within 20 minutes of Target, Costco, Sam’s club and plenty of shopping. The location can’t be beat! Here is a glimpse at the beautiful 4 bedroom, 4 bath house we stayed in.
Massive backyard for the kids to run around, multiple decks for relaxing and enjoying the view, outdoor dining table, hot tub, grill and kayaks!
Very well equipped kitchen, adjacent to a living area, sitting area and breakfast nook, that also provides big Lake Norman views.
Master bedroom with private deck, luxurious master bath and adjacent sitting room with pull out couch that works perfectly as a nursery.
Basement level with kitchenette, living area, ping pong table, bedroom, bathroom and dining area that doubles perfectly as a virtual classroom!
Big lake views and amazing sunsets.
What to Do
- Enjoy the lake!
If this is the only thing you do as entertainment on your trip, you have succeeded. You can rent a boat for the whole day from Lake Effects Boat Rentals. (they also have a location further south located at Stutts Marina.) They have amazing customer service and offer pontoon, ski boat, surf boat and jet ski rentals. We have been a part of their boat club for 6.5 years and have been very happy with their crew and service. It’s so amazing to have a boat at your rental house for sunset cruises and pj clad, coffee drinking rides in the early morning.
- Take a hike
Lake Norman State park has plenty of trails for hiking and biking. There are trails that run along the lake and make for a really pretty view.
- Visit Charlotte
Charlotte is such a beautiful city with plenty of breweries, restaurants, shopping, shows and nightlife. It’s really amazing to be able to vacation on a gorgeous and peaceful lake, but be close enough to go to Charlotte for the day. Depending on the season, you can catch a sports game from the Charlotte Knights, Carolina Panthers or Charlotte Hornets!
Where to Eat
Epic Chophouse is one of our absolute favorites! It is our go to for date night and special events. The atmosphere is second only to their amazing food and cocktails. You have to try the lobster bisque!
Pisces is on the northern side of the lake and is delicious! They have outdoor seating and great lunch specials.
La Unica has always been our go to, but we got take-out from Los Mezquites when we stayed at the lake house (about 3 minutes away) and it did not disappoint!
Blue Parrot Grill for all outdoor seating with a tiki style atmosphere, bar food and fun cocktails. They often have live music on the weekends! North Harbor Club for steaks and finer food with a lake view and indoor and outdoor seating. It’s great for a date night, but also for families.
Lake Norman really is a beautiful place to visit year round. We stayed during the month of November and it was amazing. Great weather for slow boat cruises, playing outside, bonfires and hot tubbing! I think that a visit over the holidays would be magical! And if your kids are doing virtual school, now is a great time to have a peaceful getaway. I can assure you we felt safe and comfortable in the well cleaned house and that the internet was sufficient for all of us to be on at once! Here is a peek at the other Bounds property available. It has 5 bedrooms (including one bunk room that sleeps 6+!) 3 baths, sits on a private, gated lot, has a hot tub and a game room with a pool table!
If you want to book one of these Bounds Properties rental homes, contact him directly for the discount I mentioned! I can assure you that you will make magical memories and be ready to come back time after time for a Lake Norman vacation.