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Chimney Rock: Top Things to See and Do in the NC Mountains

If you’re looking for a mountain getaway for your next vacation, Chimney Rock, North Carolina has plenty to offer. From wineries to zip lines to hiking, there’s a little something for everyone.

Your obvious choice is to visit Chimney Rock State Park. After all, it’s the town’s namesake. Climb to the top of the 535-million-year-old landmark, which is one of North Carolina’s most iconic sites, and take in the panoramic views. The park also offers plenty of other trails, and the Animal Discovery Den, too.

But after you’ve conquered Chimney Rock, the area has plenty of other interesting things to do. Here are some of the must-see attractions to check out while you’re visiting!

Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you can’t miss the Lake Lure Beach. This manmade beach sits on Lake Lure, surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Not only do they have 100 yards of sandy beach and a swimming area, but they also have a water park with slides and water games, too.

Hickory Nut Falls

The popular hiking trail here takes you to the bottom of one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, at a whopping 404 feet. A must-see natural wonder, it was even featured in the movie The Last of the Mohicans. The hike is about 1.4 miles round trip, and be sure to also keep an eye out for birds in the forest canopy and local wildflowers.

Point Lookout Vineyards

Come for the wine tasting, stay for the amazing view! Just a short drive away in Hendersonville, visit Point Lookout for 30-mile panoramic views from the southeast slope of Point Lookout Mountain. The winery produces six reds and four whites to choose from, and they regularly have live music, special events, and food trucks.

Lake Lure Golf Club

Originally opened in 1927, the Lake Lure Golf Club features a historic clubhouse and driving range. But more importantly, it has a nine-hole course amidst the breathtaking scenery of Hickory Nut Gorge. The course is 2,738 yards and underwent a major renovation in 2010.

Aside from traditional golf, they also offer Footgolf, which is played just like a game of golf, except with a soccer ball instead!

Chimney Rock Village and Riverwalk

Located just outside of the entrance to Chimney Rock Park is the quaint and quirky Village. There is an eclectic assortment of shops and restaurants, plus motels, campgrounds, and the historic Esmeralda Inn. While you’re there, don’t miss walking down the Rocky Broad Riverwalk, which is a winding path following the Rocky Broad River.

Some of the restaurants also have patios that overlook the river.

Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery

While you’re hanging around Chimney Rock Village, stop through Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery’s taproom to taste their unique local craft brews and pulled pork BBQ nachos. They have 4 decks that go all the way down to the Rocky Broad River’s edge, providing peaceful sounds and gorgeous views of Chimney Rock.

Canopy Ridge Farm Zip Line Park

Get a new perspective as you soar through the lush forests of the Blue Ridge Foothills with this exciting and unique experience. The zip line park is 60 acres and features 6 zip lines. They’ve also got “Zip Zilla,” which is 1,000 feet long and built for speed!

Cedar Creek Stables

Nestled around the lake, this family-owned and operated business offers horseback riding through the forest, across creeks, along scenic fields, and even atop a mountain ridge to enjoy a stunning “overlook” view. The trail rides vary in length from 1 to 2 hours, and they welcome all riding skill levels, including beginners. For smaller kids, they also do pony rides

This article was originally published on and is republished with permission.

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