Things to Do in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, NC

The Esmeralda is situated within one of the most stunning canyons in the Eastern United States, where the opportunity for exploration and adventure is limited only by your imagination. Here is our list of recommended things to do in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, NC.

Chimney RockThere are endless things to do in Chimney Rock, NC and the surrounding cities, making your stay at The Esmeralda Inn one to remember. Discover nonstop fun in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure with countless activities, attractions and points of interest available. Within a short distance of The Esmeralda, you will find golfing, fishing, boating, hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding, and more. There is something for everyone to enjoy with all the things to do in Chimney Rock, NC.

Lake Lure and Chimney Rock are beautiful places to visit year-round that offer endless things to do, attractions, and activities. The winters are temperate, the summers are warm, and the spring and fall seasons are breathtaking! October through November is “Leaf Season,” a glorious explosion of colors – driving the Blue Ridge Parkway may be one of the best ways to enjoy the height of the colors.

Lake Lure is a short thirty-minute ride to Asheville, within the Blue Ridge Foothills of Western North Carolina. During the summer, the cool waters of the lake, with dramatic peaks rising out of the water, draw visitors from all over the country. The lake makes up most of the list of things to do in Lake Lure, NC with an abundance of fun water activities to enjoy like fishing, boating and more.

Overlooking the lake is Chimney Rock State Park, with its breathtaking views and miles of hiking trails. Chimney Rock State Park hiking trails are one of the most exciting things to do in Chimney Rock, NC as they offer nonstop scenery to enjoy. There are a number of other active things to do in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure for all those outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

The area also offers a number of cultural and less active things to do, from museums to shopping and dining. No matter what kind of vacation you are looking to have, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the long list of things to do in Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, North Carolina!

For a complete list of all the best things to do in Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, as well as the surrounding cities, be sure to download our Vacation Guide!

The Best Mountain Lake Getaway

Watch the video below to see why Lake Lure and Rutherford County were selected as the Best Mountain Lake Getaway in the Carolinas. Come discover for yourself when you book a stay in one of our beautiful accommodations today!

The Top Things to Do in Lake Lure & Chimney Rock, NC:

Lake Lure Fishing and Boating

Fishing and boating are very popular activities in this area. In the Hickory Nut Gorge, you will find Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Crappie, White Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, and Sun-perch. Lake Lure is stocked with trout, bass, bluegill, and catfish every year.

State licenses and boat permits are required to fish in the lake and river. The Boat permits are available at the town hall (828) 625-9983. Don’t forget to buy Trout stamps, which are also required for creek and river fishing. Below you’ll find several Pro fishermen offering guided outings.

Chimney Rock & Lake Lure Golf

There are numerous locations to play golf near Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. Enjoy course for both beginners and advanced golfers, all complete with beautiful terrain and scenic views while you play. The cities around Chimney Rock and Lake Lure offer a variety of course for every type of golfer to enjoy. Very nearby are some of the best golf courses in Asheville, NC or take a short trip out to Hendersonville for even more golfing fun. Read about our favorite Lake Cure golf courses.

Outdoor Activities:  Chimney Rock State Park

The Esmeralda Inn is located near some of the best natural landscapes and landmarks, including The Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock State Park, Bearwallow Mountain, and more. There are endless outdoor adventures to be had during your stay with us. Take to the many Chimney Rock hiking trails, or enjoy Lake Lure horseback riding along the river. No matter what kind of outdoor fun you are looking to have, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


There are a number of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, NC hiking trails available for both beginners and advanced hikers. Chimney Rock State Park offers endless outdoor fun and the perfect way to reconnect with nature while spending time with friends and family. The most notable trail is the Four Seasons trail which climbs more than 400’.

Along with the many Chimney Rock State Park hiking trails available, Bearwallow Mountain is also near the inn in Lake Lure, NC. Bearwallow Mountain in Henderson County is one of the more prominent
4,000-foot peaks near Hickory Nut Gorge. It makes for a nice warm-up hike if
you’re in that area, and the top of the mountain affords grand views of the
Western North Carolina high country, and of the area leading down toward Lake Lure.

Both Chimney Rock State Park and Bearwallow Mountain are the perfect places near the Inn for some active hiking fun! Read our blog on the greatest hiking trails in NC.

Horseback Riding

For those looking for horseback riding in Lake Lure, NC, look no further than Cedar Creek Stables. The stables offers the opportunity for a once in a lifetime Lake Lure horseback riding experience through the beautiful landscapes of North Carolina.

Whitewater Rafting

Some of the best whitewater rafting anywhere is right here in North Carolina. Whitewater rafting in North Carolina has the added benefit of a long, warm rafting season, beautiful scenery, and amazing history. Another advantage to whitewater rafting in North Carolina is the proximity to several large population centers. Only twenty minutes from Asheville, NC, whitewater rafting on North Carolina’s French Broad River still has the flavor of wilderness and adventure.

Rock Climbing/Ziplining

The Western North Carolina mountains are gaining a national reputation for being one of the top mountain climbing areas in the country. If you are thinking about a mountain climbing adventure, give the WNC mountains a try, you will not be disappointed.

With our exclusive rock climbing partners, Fox Mountain Guides, you can schedule a climb in Chimney Rock that is suited to your abilities and see the Park from a whole new perspective. Whether you go solo, with your family and friends or with an entire group, you’re sure to enjoy rock climbing on our mountain! Why not sign up for a 2-hour climbing clinic or a half or full-day training session with a certified instructor and take on the cliffs overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge. We’ve partnered with the Southeast’s only AMGA accredited guide service, Fox Mountain Guides, to offer you a climbing experience you won’t soon forget.

Dirty Dancing Festival

The Fall season brings not only a gorgeous backdrop to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, but also one of the most fun Lake Lure events all year! The Dirty Dancing Festival is an annual event held every August in the heart of Lake Lure, NC. This exciting event is filled with live music, dancing, food and so much more!


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