North Carolina Mountain Lake Resorts

by Meg Jernigan
Shining Rock is the largest wilderness area in North Carolina.

Shining Rock is the largest wilderness area in North Carolina.

Shining Rock Wilderness, North Carolina image by Pablo M from

North Carolina’s mountains, in the western part of the state contain parts of the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky mountain chains. Lake resorts, including one that doubled as a Catskill Mountain resort in the movie Dirty Dancing, cater to vacationers in search of both summer and winter outdoor activities.

Resort at Fairfield Mountains

Wyndham’s 2400-acre Resort at Fairfield Mountains overlooks Lake Lure in the shadow of Chimney Rock. One- to four-bedroom villas, condos and vacation homes have fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes and outdoor living space on a patio or balcony. The resort offers three swimming pools and two 18-hole golf courses. WiFi hotspots provide connectivity. Kids enjoy planned daily activities, a tubing river and the miniature golf course. Azaleas restaurant serves Southern cooking in a family atmosphere and the Lakeview Restaurant’s Hearthside Lounge hosts live entertainment.

Fontana Village Resort

Fontana Village Resort, the largest resort in the Smoky Mountains, offers accommodations including rooms in the lodge, cabins, suites and an RV park. The resort’s marina rents jet skis, pontoon boats, canoes and kayaks. Pontoon shuttles operate for hikers heading to nearby Great Smoky Mountain National Park and experienced guides lead horseback tours. The Spa & Fitness Center offers hot stone massage. Fontana Village Resort hosts festivals throughout the year and presents live music in the Wildwood Grill.

Bear Lake Reserve

Bear Lake Reserve, a planned community with vacation homes, cottages and condos has a private nine-hole golf course by Nicklaus Design. The reserve’s communal lodge -- outfitted with swimming pools, a waterslide and outdoor hot tubs -- has lake and mountain views. Almost 15 miles of marked hiking trails wind through the resort. The rustic Bear Creek Park campground has raised tent platforms along a mountain stream. The Lake Club restaurant serves upscale food in a casual atmosphere.

Lakeview at Fontana

Lakeview at Fontana, featured in the May 2010 issue of Southern Living, is a boutique resort and spa set on 45 acres on Fontana Lake. Mediterranean décor, including a brick courtyard, carries throughout the property. The resort offers standard rooms and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, none of them with televisions. Rates include continental breakfast and use of the seasonal swimming pool. Guests must be at least 18 years old. Lakeview’s signature spa treatment, Aromatic Hot Towel massage, combines steaming towels and deep-tissue massage.

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Photo Credits

  • Shining Rock Wilderness, North Carolina image by Pablo M from