Your Travel Guide to Lake Norman

Summer is not complete without a journey through the heart of North Carolina on Interstate 77. As you travel out of Charlotte to the more rural stretch of interstate, Lake Norman dominates your view, and it feels as though your whole life has hit cruise control. As the largest man-made freshwater reservoir in North Carolina, Lake Norman is a recreation hotspot and a sought-after backdrop in North Carolina real estate.

A popular North Carolina lake, Lake Norman commands the recreational spotlight with 520 miles of shoreline and 1,790 square miles of fishing paradise for anglers young and old. In 1959, Duke Energy built Cowans Ford Dam, creating this reservoir off the Catawba River to generate energy and manage water run-off.

With a maximum depth of one hundred and twelve feet, Lake Norman has become the perfect escape for the city-dwellers of Charlotte, offering boating, swimming, fishing, and many other watersports within a comfortable distance for a quick day trip.


Where to Stay at Lake Norman

Lake Norman enjoys a reputation as a family-friendly, laid-back vacation destination and offers lodging to satisfy a variety of tastes. From campsites to luxury lodging, this North Carolina lake is ready to host your family and send you home with unforgettable memories of your time at Lake Norman. Just decide if you prefer water views or a quiet cottage in the woods, and Lake Norman will roll out the red carpet.

Luxury is always in season at Stay Lake Norman Luxury Vacation Homes. You will find stunning waterfront homes decked out with nautical décor and fully stocked with equipment to enjoy every possible water sport available. Enjoy the sunset from your dock or enjoy your boat rental until the last glimmer of sunlight touches the water. Fill your days with laughter, making memories, and splashing your way through your best vacation ever.

Lake Norman State Park offers one-stop shopping for every rustic North Carolina lake experience. Reserve your campsite and pitch your tent right beside the water so you can roll out of your sleeping bag and cast your first line before daylight. A bathhouse and 125-yard-long swim beach will do their part to keep you connected to civilization, as there is much to do and see in the area around Lake Norman, as well.


What to Do in Lake Norman

The state park system in North Carolina is prolific, offering enough activities to keep you engaged from sun-up to sundown. At Lake Norman State Park, there are over thirty miles of trails that are optimal for hiking, biking, and running. You can rent equipment for water activities such as:


Entertaining Water Activities Near Lake Norman

  • kayaking
  • paddle boarding
  • pedal boats
  • canoes

Privately owned boats can utilize public boat docks, and any equipment can be rented at the park Visitor Center. The North Carolina lake offers a warm southern welcome to everyone, encouraging the use of the waters and park amenities to all who visit.

Fishing is also a popular pastime on Lake Norman. Because it is a man-made reservoir, all fish species were introduced to the lake and are maintained at sporting levels. Some of the fish available in this North Carolina lake include:


Fishing In Lake Norman

  • Blue Catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass

Lake Norman is not without its own legend of a mysterious water monster. Like the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie, or the Great Lakes serpent-like South Bay Bessie, Lake Norman has its own myth and legend, Normie. Beneath the waters of the North Carolina lake are remnants of an old town and the wreckage of a plane. It is said that within the sunken city and plane lives Normie, an enormous creature that could be an alligator, a sturgeon, or an over-grown catfish. Care to dive to the depths of Lake Norman and find out?


Where to Visit in Lake Norman

No visit to Lake Norman is complete without a stroll down the streets of the quaint college town, Davidson, NC. So, take an afternoon off the lake to enjoy the stunning college campus, grab some elevated grub at The Pickled Peach, browse Main Street Books, and be delighted by local artisans whose work is featured in The Moxy Mercantile. Also, enjoy the lake art featured in the Van Every-Smith Galleries located on the campus of Davidson College.


Other Local Eateries to Enjoy Near Lake Norman

When you are ready to take a break and enjoy some local flavor, the North Carolina lake has three local eateries that encourage you to drive up, walk up, or arrive by boat. Hello, Sailor serves seafood and popular comfort food favorites in a casual dining atmosphere.

Take a break from your swimsuit and shorts, dress up a bit, and enjoy fine dining at North Harbor Club. Or keep it casual yet classy at Port City Club, where the fabulous lake views are second only to the locally sourced food on the table.


Commemorate Your Travels to Lake Norman with Lake Art

In addition to the heartfelt memories made while on vacation, travels are best commemorated with lake art that can serve as home décor while reminding us of our days in the sun on Lake Norman.

A high-quality Lake Norman wood map would be an elegant addition to any home, inspiring fish tales from days on the lake, recounting the day spent exploring the streets of Davidson, picnicking in the square, and listening to live music played by local artists.

Another precious piece of lake art to bring home is a family photo with the North Carolina lake in the background. You know those rare moments when your kids are getting along so well that you simply must capture the experience in time with a photo? Display this piece of lake art for all to see the proof that vacation created a closeness rarely witnessed. Art is often in the eye of the beholder, but who can argue with a family photo taken at the North Carolina lake that will forever hold those fond memories.

Bringing home a wood map of Lake Norman inspires our family to cherish time spent together. It shows that we value the connection we share, whether we rented a luxury waterfront home or crowded together in a tent; it is the time spent together that is desired above all. Our wood maps tell the story of time spent together long after returning home and keep inspiring us to start planning the next trip to Lake Norman.

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