The historic village of Chimney rock is nestled between the Broad River and Lake Lure below the granite monolith that shares its name with the quaint hamlet. The drive from Charlotte was a little less than three hours and we were welcomed with an early check-in at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa.

Room keys for Lake Lure Inn

Room keys for Lake Lure Inn

Our comfy room was situated next to the Patrick Swayze Suite. The Inn is rumored to be haunted, I’m not sure by whom. I do know the phone kept ringing in the unoccupied Swayze Suite and Patrick never bothered to answer it.

Jeff enjoying the view from Room 214 at the Lake Lure Inn.

Jeff enjoying the view from Room 214 at the Lake Lure Inn.

We hiked among the giant boulders lining the Broad River behind the rustic structures downtown, ate lunch at the Riverwatch Bar & Grill, and sampled a taster’s flight of so-so brews at the Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery before heading up the mountain to check out the park. Chimney Rock is a vendor operated State Park and we decided to buy a season pass. It’s a beautiful place, well worth more exploration, and the entry savings will kick in on second visit.

The broad river behind the stores and eateries of Chimney Rock

The broad river behind the stores and eateries of Chimney Rock

The parking lot is situated well up the mountain making the 3-mile round trip hike to Hickory Nut Falls fairly level. We were rewarded with a splendid view of the 404-foot cascade on a warm and clear day.

Hickory Nut Falls in Chimney Rock State Park.

Hickory Nut Falls in Chimney Rock State Park.

Invigorated by our falls stroll we decided to tackle the steps to to the top of Chimney Rock. There’s an elevator that’s been on the fritz for some time, which leaves a half-mile hike of stairs and boardwalks to negotiate. Karen counted 515 steps that were well worth the effort. Once you’ve taken in the view from atop Chimney Rock you might as well haul yourself up another batch of steps to look down on it from the Opera Box. Magnificent! 

OperaSeat

We bid farewell to The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa Sunday morning.

Karen takes a last look from our room with a view. Wait, is that Swayze's ghost in the window next door?

Karen takes a last look from our room with a view. Wait, is that Swayze’s ghost in the window next door?

The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge spans 155-feet of the Rocky Broad River and is filled with whimsey and native plants. Its a beautiful respite on Sunday morning before leaving town. 

Karen on the Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure, NC

Karen on the Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure, NC.

The bees were plentiful and industrious throughout Lake Lure, especially when eating sweets outside.

A bee works diligently on the Flowering bridge in Lake Lure

A bee works diligently on the Flowering bridge in Lake Lure.

We took a slight detour through Hendersonville on our way back to Charlotte. The town was mostly closed up tight for Easter Sunday. They must have had a huge promotion involving large plastic bears as the arty bruins were all over the historic district.

Karen shares ice cream with a bear in Hendersonville, NC.

Karen shares ice cream with a bear in Hendersonville, NC.

Our last stop was Jump Off Rock lookout in Hendersonville. It was a nice finish to a weekend of mountain viewing.

Jump Off Rock is a popular lookout point on the edge of Hendersonville.

Jump Off Rock is a popular lookout point on the edge of Hendersonville.

 

 

 

 

 

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