The turquoise mountains rising out of Lake Lure's waters may have made it onto films such as Dirty Dancing because of their scenic beauty, but they also serve a practical function. “The mountains block out the wind, so you can always find good water,” Lake Lure Adventure Company president Genevieve Helms told Waterski Magazine. With the help of the water-sports rental company, visitors can take advantage of the lake's amiable conditions that are perfect for activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding. Passengers who choose to take guided fishing trips use baited lines to capture mountain trout and bluegill, whose populations are replenished yearly. Instructors certified by USA Water Ski lead waterskiing and wakeboarding expeditions aboard MasterCraft ski boats, and pontoon rentals let visitors take the wheel and pilot one of Lake Lure Adventure Company's roomy boats for a day of leisure.
More than 500 feet in the air, a climber pauses atop Looking Glass Rock, taking in the scenic views of North Carolina that stretch for miles in every direction. The AMGA-certified guides at Appalachian Mountain Institute aim to help climbers reach these elevated vantage points. Their guided trips range from beginner lessons to more advanced multipitch climbing, which exercises techniques that can be used to scale the peaks of Table Rock. As winter brings colder weather and more embarrassing pajamas, ice climbing beckons groups to tackle vertical flows of ice.
AMI also sponsors the Adventure for Kids Program, an outreach initiative designed to take local kids climbing. Additionally, they lead camps for teenagers and retreats that fuse climbing with yoga.:m]]
Falderal Winery welcomes guests into the oak-study tasting room twice a month to expound upon the scientific miracle of fermentation. Instructor and vintner Paul Kovacich, a native of the terroir of western North Carolina, wields his experience at Thistle Meadow Winery to aid the public during fermented endeavors. Paul's class covers the winemaking process, from the addition of yeast to bottling to making labels out of cartoons from the New Yorker. Reservations are recommended, as the winery caps classes at eight students.
Outdoor Family Fun Center nurtures the various swing-based abilities of its patrons with multiple driving, putting, and batting facilities. Customers can exchange batting-cage tokens ($1.75/each) for 15 pitches from an arm-style machine. The batting cages launch line-drive ammo at various speeds that range from slow-pitch softballs to 80-mph baseballs. Throughout the year golfers can calibrate their crosshairs with buckets of balls ($6+) on the driving range's covered and heated hitting stations or the artificial mats and grass tees. The 3-acre Bermuda grass short-game area ($8 for all-day play) includes target greens and uphill lies while enabling golfers to practice picking the locks on sand traps. The 18-hole, par 42 miniature golf course ($5 for kids younger than 12, $6 for adults) challenges putters with slopes, turns, and professionally landscaped ponds and waterfalls.
When Tom Jackson designed the golf course at High Vista Country Club in 1976, he made sure that the 540-acre parcel would complement the soon-to-be clubhouse, a stone-hunting lodge constructed on the site in 1928 that overlooked the dramatic surroundings. From its lofty perch, visitors can survey the valley below and the Chestnut Mountain Ridge in the distance. The founding "fore" fathers appropriated the magnificent old structure as the first clubhouse, a suitable starting place for the 18-hole championship golf course.
Referred to as the “Old Club House” today, the building still watches over the 6,831-yard championship course, which features frequent elevation changes and mountain-fed ponds that come into play on at least six holes. Towering oak and pine trees frame the course's fairways, and bright azaleas punctuate the grounds to lend the greenery a dose of vibrant color, especially if the surrounding leaves go on strike and stay green during autumn.
Aside from the championship golf course, High Vista Country Club also features a private dining hall, an outdoor pool, tennis courts, and social clubs. The club offers holiday party packages for up to 125 that include a cash bar, buffet or plated dinner, cleanup and setup, linens, tables, chairs, silverware, centerpieces, and use of the dance floor.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,831 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 73.7 from the back tees
Course slope of 739 from the back tees
Five sets of tees per hole
Tarheel Lanes Bowling Center celebrates the fine art of pin demolition with sleek, modern alleys set within a smoke-free facility. Arriving visitors are paired with a pair of bowling shoes designed to leave lanes un-scuffed and toes un-stubbed, before claiming a lane for two games’ worth of strikes, spares, and stern lectures to balls residing in the gutter. An automatic scoring system keeps cheating at bay and math skills dormant, and an on-site snack bar and game room encourages players to linger in the family-friendly facility long after the 10th frame. Tarheel Lanes is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.