The Real Deal on Lake Norman
It’s obvious, we do LOVE Lake Norman, but when you’re looking to visit or live somewhere, you need more than just a bunch of fluff and sugar coating. Let our “factpinions,” (a combination of facts infused with our opinions) help guide you.
What We Like MOST About Lake Norman
Proximity. It’s close to a major metropolitan city with an international airport. We live in a fairly rural area on the northwest corner of Lake Norman, but we’re still only 45 minutes to Uptown Charlotte and the airport. Plus, when we want a change of scenery, we’re within just two hours of the mountains or four hours from the ocean.
Climate. Lake Norman has all four seasons of the year with lots of color. The spring and summer seasons are fantastic, fun, and beautiful…but fall season is our favorite with the comfortable temps and exploding colors of red, orange and yellow! Winter brings somewhat cooler weather and maybe a day or two with a few flakes (no, we’re not talking about Chris)!
Watersports. The lake is big enough to accommodate all watersports: swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, water skiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and jet skiing. (Yes, Chris thinks he looks super cool. Meh...?) Plus, keep your eyes out for a few seaplanes that use LKN as a runway--that’s always awesome to watch!
Waterfront Dining/Bars. Lakefront dining was a “must-have” criterion for relocating here. Luckily, we hit the jackpot! There are currently 12 on-water restaurants/bars spread out around the lake: The Blue Parrot Grill, Toucan’s, Apps & Taps, Eddie’s on the Lake, Havana 33, North Harbor Club, The Cabin, The Wine Cottage, Hello Sailor, Port City Club, The Landing, and Waterside Bar & Grill. We’d love to see more - especially around the Queen’s Landing area and in Sherrills Ford!
Festivals and Events. When it comes to answering the question, “what is there to do?”, Lake Norman does not disappoint! There are an abundance of festivals, concerts, workshops, art shows, sporting events and more offered year round that cater to all ages and interests. A few of our favorites include the Loch Norman Highland Games (think battle axe contests, kilts & bagpipes), the Carolina Renaissance festival, varying St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Downtown Mooresville Veterans Day celebration and parade, Laketoberfest, LangTree Live, ‘Tawba Walk in Cornelius, and the North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival.
Entrepreneurial Spirit or Economic Development. This community truly supports small businesses and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive by offering business and community expositions, job fairs, and networking opportunities (e.g., we found the Lake Norman Small Business Network and Leadership Lake Norman to be very helpful in getting acclimated to our “new home”). There are also major corporate headquarters around the lake that include Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ingersoll Rand and many NASCAR-related headquarters (hence the reason for Mooresville being referred to as “Race City USA”).
Vacation Spot for Family/Friends. We also wanted a place close in proximity to family so as to entice more visits from family and friends (which, most are in the Midwest - Go Hawkeyes, Buckeyes, and Bearcats!)
Bonus: The friendly people! Military life has moved us around to several locations over the last 20 years and Lake Norman is easily one of the most patriotic communities we’ve ever experienced. Most everyone around here is friendly and hard-working, but in a laid-back manner. Not many locals complain about much, other than the traffic!
So, in our opinion, here’s the not-so-awesome stuff…
What We Like LEAST About Lake Norman
Traffic. With the good comes the bad, and Lake Norman is no exception. The traffic around here is getting downright absurd. We understand this is all relative to what
you’re used to, but the infrastructure in each of the four corners has not kept pace with population growth. Even though we’re told help is on the way, that won’t be for years to come. The major roads taking you east to west along the north side (Hwy 150) and south side (Hwy 73) of Lake Norman are jammed with vehicles pretty much seven days a week. Hopefully, the state will start major road widening projects sooner rather than later. But again, it’s all relative to what you’re used to. We understand an extra 10-15 minutes in traffic is nothing for people from larger cities.
Sidewalks/Bike Paths. We need more bike paths and/or sidewalks around here! Cornelius and Davidson have some very walkable areas, but most other locations around the lake are lacking in this amenity. Sure, you could walk most anywhere around the lake, but many of these smaller, winding roads can be pretty tight and dangerous.
Pollen. We hate pollen. It’s mostly in the early spring, from late March to late April, and a little in the fall…but we still hate it.
High-Speed Internet. Some parts of the lake have trouble getting high-speed internet, but those areas are typically in the most rural parts of Lake Norman. AT&T and Spectrum internet are available in most locations, satellite internet fills in those ultra-rural areas. Mostly reliable, but occasionally dropped calls and no service when driving in “hillier” more remote areas.
And finally: Seltzer. For some reason the younger generations around here love seltzer beer…which we personally find disgusting! I guess we can toss sour beer and IPAs into this category, as well. There are more breweries in the LKN/Charlotte region than we can count, why do they all have to brew so many sour beers and/or IPAs?! We’re really just nit-picking now since there isn’t much else on the list. The positives FAR outweigh any negatives… unless you hate beauty, fun, sun, water, and beer.