North Carolina

Lake Norman

Lake Norman, NC Aerial
Published on August 11, 2020

Whether you prefer your time relaxed and peaceful or fun and activity-filled, North Carolina’s Lake Norman has something you will love. The largest manmade lake in North Carolina, Lake Norman was created in the early 1960s and since then has become a hub for local recreation and events, and one of the top places to retire in North Carolina. Beautiful scenery, rich history, and countless ways to stay entertained are just a handful of the things to love about Lake Norman. Positioned near Charlotte and with a packed schedule of community events, Lake Norman is an ideal location for performances, sports, shopping, and much more.

Located 20 miles outside of uptown Charlotte, and neighboring the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville, Lake Norman is home to several great year round fishing spots, and regularly hosts national fishing tournaments. The lake’s 520 miles of shoreline provide some of North Carolina’s most beautiful scenery, in addition to opportunities for jet skiing, hiking, biking, and much more. The lake is also home to Lake Norman State Park, which boasts 30.5 miles of single-track biking trail and a 125-yard swim beach.

No matter where you are on Lake Norman, there is a nearby town that is sure to provide you with countless opportunities to eat delicious local food, experience new activities, and attend exciting events in the community. Whether you enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, boating, Lake Norman is a great year-round destination.


Wherever you are on Lake Norman, one of the nearby towns is home to opportunities for artistic enrichment. The Cornelius Arts Center hosts professional exhibitions in addition to classes for children and adults of varying skill levels. In Davidson, the Belk Visual Arts Center hosts both professional galleries and pieces from Davidson College art students. If your interests include the performing arts, you can enjoy a full season of performances by Davidson College’s performing arts programs, while The Cornelius’ Warehouse Performing Arts Center provides an intimate atmosphere at which seasoned professionals put on high-quality productions- theatrical, musical, and poetic.

Twice a year, be sure to stop by the Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival for the newest and best in local music, art, and performance, in addition to food trucks, vendors, and other attractions.


Although Lake Norman is most known for its sunny and warm summers with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, there is something to enjoy at any time of year. The spring and fall are pleasantly mild, and the winters are somewhat more hospitable than much of the surrounding mountainous area, with temperatures staying in the 40s and 50s for the most part. Winter precipitation is minimal, but does happen on occasion.


For those in the Lake Norman area hoping to gain new experiences, learn new things, and connect with others in the community, the PROBUS Club offers monthly gatherings at which guest speakers teach about specialized topics, followed by a social period. Lake Norman is also home to a community sailing organization, among other lessons and opportunities to learn at any age. Nearby Davidson College also offers lifelong learning opportunities.


Lake Norman’s surrounding area features several medical options for residents. Of note, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center has a staff of 300 physicians, offers 24-hour emergency medical care, and includes cardiology services, a center for surgical weight loss, a women’s center, and the Stork’s Landing Maternity Center. Piedmont Healthcare’s Lake Norman Family Medicine offers quality care for all ages as well, so residents of Lake Norman can be assured that whatever the circumstances, they will be able to find the right healthcare facility.


For those interested in sports and recreation on Lake Norman, the options are expansive. In addition to the lake itself being the perfect spot for almost any water sport of your choosing, the surrounding areas are home to several sporting organizations. Whether you are looking to exercise your competitive spirit or simply stay active in a fun way, there is something for you here.

Golfers can enjoy several public and private course options nearby, including the Arnold Palmer-designed Birkdale Club, and Trump National Golf Club.

Cannon Water Adventures rents out water sports equipment on the lake, and several boating outlets are ready to help with any related needs. The surrounding state park offers a beautiful system of biking trails that overlook the lake as well as guiding guests through the park in a fun and safe way.


There are many great places to shop in any of the towns adjoining Lake Norman, with options ranging from smaller local shops to larger outlets with locations in the area. Downtown Davidson is known for its rich history and character, in addition to its charming smaller galleries and shops. Huntersville’s Birkdale Village is home to several larger chain stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods, , Barnes & Noble, and much more. There are also several farmers’ markets in the area for finding fresh fruits and vegetables.

Downtown Davidson is also known locally as “restaurant row,” owing to its several options for high quality dining. The most famous among these is the nationally-acclaimed Kindred, which provides an exciting blend of traditional Southern dishes and worldwide influences. Other local favorites include Cornelius’ 131 Main, a high-quality seafood restaurant which informs its guests about the sources of the fresh ingredients used, and Barrel & Fork, which uses ingredients from local farmers’ markets to create a distinct local quality.


Waterfront homes on Lake Norman sell for an average of about 600k, but there are a wide range of options available on either side of this. Tax millage in the Lake Norman area varies depending on what area you are in. Cornelius’ property tax rate is about 1.0782 per $100, Davidson’s sits at 1.1732 per $100, and Huntersville’s is 1.1282 per $100.

Population: 10,000
Median State Property Tax: .70%
State Sales Tax: 4.75%
State Income Tax: 4.99%
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Arts & Culture
  • Belk Visual Arts Center - Davidson College
  • Cornelius Arts Center
  • Warehouse Performing Arts Center
  • Davidson Community Players
  • Brick Row
  • Cornelius Heritage Hall
  • Mint Museum Uptown Charlotte
  • Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
  • NarroWay Theatre
  • Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
  • Charlotte Ballet
Events & Festivals
  • April is for Arts!
  • Loch Norman Highland Games
  • North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival
  • Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Race
  • The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra on Lake Norman
  • Fourth of July Celebration
  • Carolina Renaissance Festival
  • 'Tawba Walk Arts and Music Festival
Hospitals & Healthcare
  • Lake Norman Regional Medical Center
Colleges & Universities
  • Davidson College
  • UNC-Charlotte
  • Queens University
Shopping & Retail
  • Downtown Davidson
  • Birkdale Village
  • Oak Street Mill
  • Wooden Stone Gallery
  • Davidson Farmers Market
  • Downtown Cornelius
  • Concord Mills Mall
  • SouthPark Mall
  • Birkdale Golf Club
  • Mooresville Golf Club
  • Trump National Golf Club
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding
  • Sailing
  • Cycling
  • Charlotte Hornets (NBA)
  • Carolina Panthers (NFL)
State & National Parks
  • Lake Norman State Park
Top Employers
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • McGuire Nuclear Station
  • Davidson College
  • Novant Health
  • Joe Gibbs Racing
  • Rubbermaid