The quaint village of Chimney Rock, named for the large granite rock anchoring the eponymous state park, is quintessential Western North Carolina: Think historic inns, delicious farm-fresh food, eclectic shops, and views for miles. The village, located in Rutherford County, offers a range of activities to keep both visitors and residents entertained: Spend the morning kayaking the Rocky Broad River, then enjoy the afternoon soaking in the old-time feel of Chimney Rock’s Main Street.
Chimney Rock (pop. 140), which is located about 25 miles southeast of Asheville, is famed for Chimney Rock State Park and its centerpiece 500-million-year-old, towering rock outcrop, to which tourists have flocked for decades. The park boasts dramatic vistas, hiking trails, and one of the state’s highest waterfalls, Hickory Nut Falls.
A Main Street with charm: Chimney Rock, NC
Beyond the state park, Chimney Rock Village boasts a charming ambiance: Most of its Main Street is lined with buildings dating back to the 1920s and ’30s, giving the village a rustic feel. Locally owned shops, restaurants and hotels, many of which have been around for decades, populate Main Street. Behind the Main Street shops sits the popular Riverwalk, which runs adjacent to the Rocky Broad River. Several restaurants along the river offer outdoor dining, and there are plenty of rocks and bridges from which to enjoy the view.
Nearby hikes mean you don’t have to go far to soak in stunning natural wonders. Inside Chimney Rock Park, you can hike six fee-based trails, including one to the base of the 404-foot-tall Hickory Nut Falls. Four free trails are located at the Rumbling Bald access, the Eagle Rock Reserved Parking Area, and Chimney Rock Village.
Enjoy nearby Lake Lure
A popular day trip from Chimney Rock Village is Lake Lure, a quick 7 miles away. The town of Lake Lure offers many spots for soaking in the area’s beauty and natural features. Most prominent is, of course, the lake itself. Lake Lure beach, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is the perfect place for cooling off, and has lifeguards, a water slide, and other fun water sports. You can also kayak, rent a boat, or take a tour boat.
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