Unlike many of the areas profiled in our retirement spotlights, Lake Norman is not a town or a city.
Instead, it is an area comprised of a few different towns surrounding a massive lake in North Carolina. It’s also a way of life that is perfect for anyone who appreciates a perfect combination of relaxing scenery, exciting amenities, and all four seasons of the year.
Located just about 20 miles north of the booming Charlotte area, Lake Norman is a much calmer version of North Carolina that ends up being an excellent fit for many Boomers considering the Carolinas.
Let’s dive in and take a closer look at what this fun region has to offer.
Lake Norman History
Lake Norman was created over a five year period from 1959 to 1964 during the construction of the Cowans Ford Dam. With 520 miles of shoreline and more than 50 square miles of surface area, it is the largest man-made body of fresh water in North Carolina.
Because of its close proximity to Charlotte and the simultaneous construction of I-77, the Lake Norman area was instantly popular among North Carolina residents who were looking for a peaceful place to live that still offered access to the big city and the major highway.
Lake Norman Lifestyle
As you might have guessed, the lifestyle in Lake Norman almost completely revolves around enjoying the lake. For many residents, this means keeping some type of boat at one of the many local marinas.
You will find residents participating in a wide range of water activities including wakeboarding, tubing, sailing, fishing, rowing, and even cruising in small paddleboats.
Of course, like any lake, Lake Norman is a haven for fishermen. Not a day goes by that you won’t find anglers baiting their hooks, and there are always plenty of kayaks and canoes exploring the large shoreline as well.
And, with so much of the area surrounded by woods, camping and hiking have become natural extensions of the lake that are extremely popular with residents.
Lake Norman Shopping
Each of the small towns surrounding the lake offers a slightly different twist on unique local shopping that features all different kinds of boutique clothing stores, antique dealers, and a wide range of other shopping excitement.
In addition to exploring each of the small towns, there is also plenty of retail therapy to be had at Birkdale Villages, which is a popular open-air shopping destination in Huntersville. Here you will find a fun combination of locally owned stores and popular name brand choices.
Lake Norman Dining
Each community in the Lake Norman area has its own local favorites when it comes to dining, but pretty much everyone can agree that one of the best local spots for grabbing a casual meal on the water is the Midway Boathouse Grill. They’re probably best known for their breakfast options, but don’t sleep on that Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich!
One thing you probably wouldn’t expect to find this far out of Charlotte is a great ramen noodle restaurant, but Ramen Soul in Mooresville offers Lake Norman restaurants exactly that. We recommend the Ginger and Garlic Miso with Spicy Chicken and a Ghost Chili Butter Bomb. Yum!
And lake life wouldn’t be complete without a rustic cabin-style steakhouse, so plan on heading to Lineberger’s Steakhouse to satisfy your steak fix on a regular basis. On top of having great steaks, they also have one of the most amazing salad bars you will find anywhere.
Lake Norman Communities
Trilogy® Lake Norman is so close to so much, yet feels like a secluded getaway destination.
With so many ways to relax, be pampered or get active, owners here will be able to enjoy a Club offering world-class resort amenities and service. Inspiring architecture define the Club, which offer a fitness center, terrific dining, special interest clubs such as an art and culinary studio, enriching classes, exciting travel opportunities. This exclusive community also features an extensive trail system weaving throughout the whole community, tennis courts, pickle ball, bocce ball, and sport and game rooms.
Trilogy® Lake Norman combines thoughtfully designed floor plans with quality construction, energy-saving innovations, and architectural inspiration in all of our homes. New Homes start from the high $200’s.
If a calm and quiet life along the lake just outside of Charlotte is something that sounds appealing to you, there simply isn’t a better place to live that lifestyle than Lake Norman. Of course, it also helps that the area is filled with many of the amenities you don’t want to sacrifice either!