Cornelius is known by many as the lakeside destination full of things to do with a rich history behind it. It’s visitors and residents have fallen in love with the area, here are the reasons we love Cornelius.

Downtown Cornelius

Downtown Cornelius


Lake Norman

Aerial view of Lake Norman

Cornelius was established in 1905 and originated as a mill and farm community. Originally incorporated as ‘Liverpool', the town's name was changed to Cornelius to honor Joseph Benjamin Cornelius who invested in the first big cotton mill in the town. In 1963, Duke Power created Lake Norman and gave Cornelius the 70 miles of shore line that established the town as a lakeside destination. The dam provided the area with recreational opportunities and a source of hydroelectric power.



The natural beauty of Lake Norman is the star of Cornelius. On any given day you can see people having some fun out on the water. When asked about ways to get out on the lake, Carolina Boat Rentals is a favorite spot. Renting a pontoon or jet ski is a great way to see the lake and enjoy a day with family and friends. Captained party boat rentals with Party Pontoon is how Cornelius likes to celebrate. Perfect for groups of up to 10 people to have a relaxing day out on the water. Parents love taking their kids to the Ramsey Creek Park beach to swim in the lake and run around on the playground. Everyone agrees that Jetton Park is a beautiful place to see the lake while walking around the 1.5-mile loop trail. The park features a beach and white gazebo which is known to be a picture perfect spot for wedding receptions and photographers.

Jetton Park Beach Area

Jetton Park


Hello, Sailor

Hello, Sailor

Foodie Favorites

Hungry? Cornelius has many local, foodie favorite restaurants. Hello Sailor and Port City Club offer delicious food with a waterfront view of the lake. Perfect for grabbing delicious grouper and salmon for lunch or an afternoon cocktail like a Down the Hatch or Bermuda Hundred, with friends. Fresh Chef Kitchen uses fresh, local ingredients to show off what Cornelius has to offer. A favorite spot for locals to grab quick and delicious meals like the Salmon Wrap with Kale Salad. For a special occasion, 131 Main is a great place to enjoy a meal with family and friends. The skillet cornbread drizzled with honey is a must have starter. It is known that this is the place for some elevated American style food. The Harp and Crown's cozy pub feel and traditional Irish and English cuisine with modern twists make it a local favorite as well.



Along with all of the wonderful restaurants, Cornelius is home to some great places to grab a drink and have some fun. The town is home to four local breweries Lost Worlds BrewingAss Clown Brewing Company, D9 Brewing Company, and Eleven Lakes Brewing. Each one specializes in a unique, craft beer experience and where you will find many locals hanging-out in the evenings. In the charming Old Town Cornelius lies the Old Town Public House. This bottle shop and tap room features live music 5 nights a week and a coffee shop during the day. Dog owners love to go to Lucky Dog Bark and Brew to spend some time with their human and four legged friends. This is a unique place that brings the community together, plus who doesn’t love dogs?

Lucky Dog

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew



Lake Norman Mini Golf

LKN Mini Golf

Family Fun

If you’re looking for some exciting plans, Lake Norman Miniature Golf’s 18-hole course, laser maze, rock climbing wall, axe throwing, and delicious snoballs make it the perfect outing for any occasion. Enjoy some friendly competition and delicious treats with your family and friends for an unforgettable day!

Looking for something for the whole family, but can't stand the sticky summer heat? Check out the Northern Regional Recreation Center! This brand new facility is open to the public and features a lap and leisure pool, state-of-the-art gym, multi-purpose indoor sports court, and lots of programs. Outdoors, you will find nature trails, a play meadow, and an expansive venue space for festivals, concerts and community gatherings. Monthly memberships start at $22 and vary by age and whether or not you live in the county. Daily options are also available starting at $8.


We hope you love exploring Cornelius as much we do and want to know the reasons you love Cornelius. Be sure to share it with us on Facebook and Instagram @VisitLakeNorman and comment below!