If you’ve never seen Lake Norman, NC, you owe it to yourself to visit. Lake Norman is lakeside living done right, and the proof is in seeing the Lake Norman homes and waterfront properties which grace its shoreline. Besides a good variety of Lake Norman homes, we have all the amenities you’d expect from a friendly, waterfront community, along with some of the warmest people you could ever want to meet. Our area can feel at once vibrant and exciting, and yet relaxed and comfortable. It’s the perfect combination of small town living and life on the water. A word of warning, though. If you ever visit the quaint, family-friendly Lake Norman area towns scattered all around the lake’s edges, there’s a very good chance you’ll never want to leave!
Aerial photograph of The Peninsula at Lake Norman in Cornelius, NC. Copyright 2019 Chris Sheridan Visuals.
A Short History of Lake Norman
With around 520 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman is North Carolina’s largest man-made freshwater lake. LKN (the local acronym) was created in 1963 when Duke Power damned the Catawba River and finished construction on the Cowans Ford dam and hydroelectric power station.
Originally the lake found itself dotted with mobile homes, fishing shacks and other temporary structures. It wasn’t long before permanent residents began to build homes in the small towns around the lake’s perimeter. Now, residents enjoy the legacy of these early settlers. Today, Lake Norman has become a wonderful mix of rustic charm with modern conveniences and the fun of life on a lake!
Life on the Water
Lakeside living at Lake Norman can be whatever you want it to be. If your idea of perfection is spending a lazy day fishing off of a pier, as the clouds, boats and hours slowly slip past you, Lake Norman is relaxation. It will accommodate you. But, if you’re an active outdoor enthusiast that loves getting out on the water for some boating, wake boarding, and paddle-boarding, Lake Norman is excitement, and it welcomes you. Maybe you’re looking for a wonderful neighborhood to start or raise a family, amid the splendor of nature – Lake Norman is community, and it is ready for your arrival.
Lake Norman really does have something for everyone. Residents around the lake love their water and you’ll see them out enjoying it year round. There are frequent social gatherings and events out on the lake and around the shore. In the summer it’s not uncommon to see large groups of boats moored together, with residents and vacationers alike talking, swimming, eating and having a blast. If you’ve ever wanted to live waterside, you really should to take a look at LKN area and Lake Norman Homes.
Aerial view of Morningstar Marinas at King’s Point on Lake Norman in Cornelius, NC. Aerial Photography by Chris Sheridan Visuals.
Lake Norman Has So Much More To Offer
The lake may be the central feature in this region, but there’s so much more to see and do. Hit the links for a relaxing or challenging game on an assortment of Lake Norman area golf courses. Plan a hike or get your bike out on one of our many local Lake Norman trails. Take the family out for a picnic. Enjoy nature, and let your kids run wild while you sunbathe in the sand at any of our Lake Norman regional parks. Motorcycle enthusiasts will appreciate our flat roads. You can ride for miles and miles, all around the lake, criss-crossing the surrounding towns. The Lake Norman area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
We also have Lake Norman area breweries and wineries to tour and patronize, wonderful restaurants and eateries, farmer’s markets, shopping, spas and wellness centers, and plenty of arts, culture and nightlife. Lake Norman makes for an outstanding vacation, but an even better place to put down roots and live year round.
Let’s take a close up look at a few of the towns scattered around the lake. Each has its own distinct personality but they’re all united by the lake.
Founded in 1905 as a farming and mill town, Cornelius has evolved into a hip, vibrant, eclectic community that fosters in its residents a love for the arts, music, and lakeside culture.
Each year in April Cornelius hosts the Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival, an art crawl that features dozens of local artists and vendors, food trucks, live music and activities for kids and families. It’s a lovely way to spend the day, enjoying good food, great music, and the company of good friends and neighbors.
Throughout the year the community throws a number of other events, including the Cornelius Jazz Festival, where local jazz ensembles play out under the stars, Earth Jam, a picnic-inspired day out with delectable food and local bands, and Laketoberfest, which is exactly what it sounds like, a day out with a wide selection of beers to try from a number of local North Carolina breweries.
Cornelius’s diversity extends to its neighborhood’s, too. There is a nice mix of affordable communities alongside exclusive waterfront properties such as The Peninsula, which features gorgeous, spacious homes set into a lovely natural environment. The Peninsula Club is a member-owned country club nearby which features year-round golf, pools, dining, and family activities, all set into acres of beautiful, manicured grounds.
And everyone will enjoy Jetton Park. This sprawling 100+ acre public park features a formal garden, hiking and biking trails, tennis courts, a playground, picnic areas, and a sunning beach.
And speaking of beaches, the beach at Ramsey Creek Park is the perfect spot for residents and visitors alike. It’s the perfect summertime spot for sunning and swimming, volleyball, fishing, and boating. There’s even a dog park for Cornelius’s furrier residents.
If you’re looking to do a little shopping, Downtown Cornelius features a selection of antique shops, consignment stores, local gift vendors and a smattering of other unique offerings. Particularly during the spring and summer, you’ll see residents out strolling, walking their dogs, and chatting with each other among the quaint, brick buildings loaded with old world charm.
And of course, as one would expect in such an inspired community, there are a number of excellent restaurants, bars, and local hangouts to make a night out accessible and enjoyable. If a diverse, lakeside experience steeped in the arts sounds like home to you, Cornelius is ready to welcome you.
The quaint town of Huntersville was voted among Nerd Wallet’s top 20 Best Places for Young Families in North Carolina, and it lives up to that reputation. Huntersville is an ideal blend of small-town charm and family fun that’s alive with history.
Huntersville was the first Lake Norman town north of Charlotte, incorporated in 1873, and life in Huntersville is steeped in this history. There are a number of historically-rich attractions to tour and enjoy, including the Historic Latta Plantation, a 52-acre plantation which offers a peek into the life of early Huntersville residents, the Hugh Torance House and Store, a classic antebellum property featuring the oldest standing store, and the location of the Battle of Cowan’s Ford, the final battle in the American Revolution.
Of special interest is Rural Hill Farm, which honors its Scottish roots with a number of family-friendly events throughout the year, including The Amazing Maize Maze and the Loch Norman Highland Games, an exciting mix of bagpipes, live Scottish and Celtic music, old-world food favorites and, of course, the games. There’s stone throwing, weight pitching, the caber toss, and kilts as far as the eye can see.
Huntersville rounds out its family offerings with Discovery Place Kids, the Carolina Raptor Center, and the Energy Explorium, plus an assortment of parks, lake activities and some of the best public, charter and private schools in the area.
And of course, Huntersville has an assortment of shopping and dining areas. Birkdale Village is a lovely, mixed-use development, featuring a wide assortment of stores, restaurants, and residential and commercial spaces, with ample room for strolling around this main street-modeled retail community. Whether you’re shopping, looking for dinner and a movie, or want a convenient place to live, Birkdale Village can accommodate you.
If you’re a young family considering a move to Lake Norman, then Huntersville, with its mix of history, family-centered activities, and modern conveniences is the perfect town to start your home search.
The picturesque town of Denverhas grown from its cotton-farming roots into a charming residential enclave that thousands of people call home, many of whom live in Denver for its amenities while commuting to nearby Charlotte for work.
Denver started its life as “Dry Pond” named for a local pond that dried up and vanished each summer. When Lake Norman was created, the town’s trajectory shifted, with farms giving way to vacation homes and then a bustling town.
Sitting on the west side of the lake, life in Denver is quieter and more serene. You don’t have the festivals, sporting events and other cultural offerings found in some of Denver’s neighbors. Instead, Denver distinguishes itself with relaxed, lakeside living for those that favor the quiet life. You can enjoy farmer’s markets, community gatherings, parks, golf courses, and of course, the lake.
Denver, NC has been experiencing increasing growth in recent years with new developments attracting younger families as well as retirees. Denver hosts a large retirement community called Trilogy Lake Norman, a popular 55 and over community. Active seniors will find plenty to do on this sprawling property, which features a rich community center at its heart. There’s a fitness center, shopping, restaurants, bocce ball courts, a boat club, pools, and a variety of trails around the property. Residents will have everything they need, plus quick access to Charlotte with Highway 16 just a half mile away.
People living in Denver take full advantage of everything Lake Norman has to offer. You’ll frequently see them out, tooling around the water, lazily splashing in the shallows, and enjoying quality time with family and friends. Life in Denver isn’t exciting or hip, and that’s exactly how the locals prefer it.
When Denver residents want culture or a night out, Charlotte is only a half hour away, as are all of the other towns around Lake Norman, and they avail themselves of these areas frequently. But at the end of the day, they know their sleepy little slice of heaven is waiting for them, tucked quietly into the trees.
Mooresville boosts one of the largest populations in the area, and yet it feels more like a classic small town than many of the other areas around Lake Norman. Residents pride themselves on their tight-knit community lifestyle.
The city hosts frequent community events, and there’s a good bet that you’ll run into many people you know. Everyone is extremely friendly, and perfect strangers will frequently strike up conversations simply because it’s a beautiful day and they’re looking for someone to share it with. Overall the mood in Mooresville is routinely cheerful and chipper, and it doesn’t take a long visit to the area to realize the mood is contagious.
Unlike Denver, where residents mostly commute to Charlotte for work, Mooresville has a number of thriving industries within its borders. Lowe’s Companies has its corporate headquarters in Mooresville, but NASCAR is what it’s known for, and this is how it earned its nickname “Race City USA”. The town is home to 60 NASCAR teams and businesses related to racing, as well as Universal Technical Institute’s NASCAR Technical Institute.
Mooresville has embraced its racing heritage and offers residents and visitors interesting glimpses into the history of the sport. Visitors can explore a number of local racing museums, including the Memory Lane Motorsports and Historical Automotive Museum, as well as the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Housing in Mooresville is generally very affordable, but it does have its share of luxury homes. The Point is a waterfront community featuring stunning homes with exquisite architectural details and private access to the lake, wooded hiking trails, and a calendar of community events.
Overall, however, the area has one of the best median salary to median home value ratios. And the schools in the area are excellent. If you’re looking for a warm, inviting community to raise your kids in and call home, Mooresville should be on your short list of towns around Lake Norman to visit.
Davidson is a southern college town to its core. Its sunny, tree-lined downtown is brimming with coffee shops, book stores, restaurants, and art galleries. The central town green is regularly frequented by residents looking to enjoy the outdoors, and frequently hosts community events like Art on the Green, Town Day, Fourth of July festivities and Concerts on the Green.
The arts are an important part of life in Davidson. The annual Art on the Green event is a juried exhibition featuring loads of local artists and artisans, live music, and a wide variety of food choices from local restaurants and vendors. Residents also enjoy the Gallery Crawl, which gives everyone the opportunity to tour through the area’s local galleries and other art exhibition spaces. Visitors can walk or ride the trolley to each destination.Davidson is also known for its extensive green space. It’s an imminently walkable and bikeable town that features over 12 miles of greenways, including paved paths in Roosevelt Wilson Park and four miles of mountain biking trails around Fisher Farm. There are also a number of parks, a tot lot, and two dog parks for the town’s four-legged residents.
Overall Davidson is a great town to put down roots, both for individuals and families. The town is comprised of a number of friendly, tightly-knit neighborhoods that cater to their residents, with a top-tier educational institution, Davidson College nestled at its center.
Like Denver, Sherrills Ford is on the west side of the lake, and so it shares in the “westside” preference for serenity and pastoral ease. However, it’s further north, further from Charlotte and the more developed Lake Norman towns.
As a result, it’s even more rural than its cousin to its south. You don’t visit Sherrills Ford for its attractions, and you don’t live there to be close to a thriving metropolis. You move to Sherrills Ford because you prefer the slow pace of rural southern living but also love life on the water.
Even though its footprint is comparable to some of the other towns around Lake Norman it’s one of the smallest in terms of population. There were just over 1,000 people counted in the 2007 census, and that number hasn’t climbed much in the last decade. This means there is still a lot of undeveloped land in Sherrills Ford ready for future use.
And development is underway. The Village at Sherrills Ford is currently under construction. Once complete, this 120-acre mixed-use development will feature retail space, apartments, a medical facility, and other commercial tenants.
But for Sherrills Ford residents, undeveloped space is part of the area’s appeal. Wide open, pristine fields and wooded areas, along with full access to everything Lake Norman has to offer make life in Sherrills Ford is a nature lovers dream.
Lake Norman Has Something For Everyone
Whether you want the bustle of a hip, college town, a life full or arts and culture, a city steeped in history, or a lazy small town full of pristine, natural splendor, the towns around Lake Norman cater to everyone. And they all feature the waters of the lake and all that it has to offer. Lake Norman is truly a wonderful place to live.
Aerial photography of The Point on Lake Norman in Mooresville, NC. Drone Photography Copyright 2019 by Chris Sheridan Visuals.