North Carolina May 05, 2017
The Tiny North Carolina Mountain Town You Must Add To Your Summer Bucket List
While many people head east to the beaches during the heat of summer, there’s something amazing about heading west. Cool temperatures, mountain views with abundant greenery, waterfall swimming holes, and charming mountain towns. While many are popular summer pitstops, others fly a but under the radar. With a population of just over 100 residents, the unique mountain ‘village’ of Chimney Rock is a unique pitstop and day trip between other adventures.
This 'little western mountain town,' is like a trip back in time. During the 20s and 30s, Chimney Rock became a popular haven for tourists in part to the opening of the mountain attraction that still attracts hundreds of visitors. Many original buildings in the village date back to the 1920s-30s adding to the whimsical experience of wandering through the village.
Located in the center of Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock Village is positioned right below the famous vistas and views with Hickory Nut Falls looming in the distance. There's also three miles of Rocky Broad River and nearby the beautiful Lake Lure.
One great aspect to Chimney Rock Village is that every business, restaurant, general store - they're all locally-owned and have been a bastion of the village for decades.
From ice cream, trinkets and gifts, postcards, and even a souvenir shirt; Main Street is bustling with unique shops (and great views while you shop). One you must pop in is Gale's Shop. Since 1947 Gale's has been a centerpiece to the town, now-owner Steve Gale grew up in his parent's store and knows all the ins-and-outs. The unique selection of one-of-a-kind items also adds to the draw.
When it comes to dining, several restaurants feature outside dining right beside the river. Like Old Rock Cafe, Genny's (pictured above), and RiverWatch. Although Medina's Village Bistro doesn't offer quite the views, the food is beyond delicious and perfect for grabbing lunch.
With the entrance to Chimney Rock right on Main Street, there's no excuse for visiting this natural wonder before or after some time spent exploring the village.
Wondering what all to do in Chimney Rock State Park?
Read our comprehensive guide here. Nearby you’ll find the beautiful Lake Lure as well as the charming town of Rutherfordton.