We are excited to announce that the producer of "North Carolina Weekend," David Hardy, has selected our region of Lake Norman for their significant feature, A Weekend in Lake Norman episode! NC Weekend is a local public television program presented by PBS NC where the host, Deborah Holt Noel, shares the best things to see and do across the state each weekend. We hosted the NC Weekend crew this summer in capturing b-roll footage, interviews, and drone footage at popular spots across the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville that will be mentioned throughout the blog. To watch it now, the episode is available to watch on YouTube.
Cain Center for the Arts
The Cain Center is a cultural and educational organization that promotes and presents the literacy, visual & performing arts to enrich our community by providing a venue for artists to exhibit and perform. This facility opened in January 2023 with a 400-seat indoor auditorium, outdoor amphitheater, gallery space, and event space within the center. The NC Weekend crew interviewed Executive Director Justin Dionne as he spoke about the community art hub.
Oak Street Mill Antiques
Known as the popular antique shop in downtown Cornelius, Oak Street Mill Antiques was a cotton-purchasing business named the Gem Yarn Mill in the late 1800s. The Gem Yarn Mill employed 45 people when it opened in 1905 and up to 150 people during its peak years (1941-1946). Today this antique shop is stocked with a great variety of antiques and collectibles and has over 85 vendors and 10,000+ square feet of unique finds.
Ramsey Creek Park
This popular 46-acre waterfront park features a swimming beach, boat launch and docks, a playground, picnic shelters, nature trails, a fisher pier, an enclosed dog park, and a volleyball court. Shelters are available to rent and provide an instant picnic shelter along the shores of Lake Norman. The NC Weekend TV crew took some drone footage showing the popular swimming beach at Ramsey Creek Park.
Thigs Cocktail Bar
This premier European cocktail bar has an upscale ambiance and an expansive cocktail menu full of unique beverage options. Co-owner Kas Matos was inspired to create this social district after a 2016 visit to Amsterdam. Maola's Pizzeria has recently partnered with Thigs Cocktail Bar to bring their food to the cocktail bar with free delivery!
Owners of Kindred, Joe and Katy Kindred, opened Hello, Sailor in 2017 and tapped big-name Charleston chef Craig Deihl to lead the kitchen. Hello, Sailor is a modern take on fish camp serving fish dishes and fried favorites. Arrive by boat or car to this bright, casual waterfront restaurant for the perfect place to share a meal with friends and family.
Carolina Cruising Charters
Carolina Cruising Charters is one of the various businesses offering watersports rentals in Lake Norman with add-on options, including paddleboard, tubing, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. Their luxury boat and yacht rentals are all captained by US Coast Guard Master Captains, so you can enjoy the boat ride with peace of mind. Each boat cruise or yacht is tailored to your party, and every booking differs depending on your wants.
The NC Weekend crew interviewed the President of Davidson College, Doug Hicks, who provided details about the 186-year-old liberal arts college. The campus is a beautiful spot to stroll around with art galleries, 20 on-campus sculptures, and rotating art exhibits within the Belk Visual Arts Center. NBA basketball player Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors recently graduated from Davidson College in 2022.
Davidson Wine Company
Lindsey Williams, an African-American lawyer and winemaker, talks about owning the newest urban winery in Davidson in her interview for NC Weekend. While the winery has only been open for four years, the building space has a rich history as it used to be an organ-making shop. Davidson Wine Company started bringing affordable, locally-made wine options to the town.
Kindred is a chef-driven American restaurant by multi-time James Beard semi-finalist Chef Joe Kindred and his business partner/designer/wife, Katy. Deborah Holt interviewed Joe Kindred as he talked about his restaurant showcasing unique takes on American classics. The restaurant rotates menus, bringing in unique flavors each week through its commitment to sourcing ingredients from local farmers and foragers.
Davidson Village Inn
The Davidson Village Inn is an 18-room European-style boutique hotel within a short walk from many restaurants and shops in Downtown Davidson. Owner Mariano Doble was interviewed for NC Weekend and talked about the Inn and some amenities included, such as how guests are offered free tickets to sporting events on campus, movies at the local theatre, or a tour of the town on the Inn's pedicab. The inn recently celebrated 30 years and Vine Society for wine tastings in the lobby and other events.
Latta Nature Preserve
During the visit to Latta Nature Preserve, the NC Weekend crew interviewed instructor Christine Lawson as she talked about the many amenities offered at Latta. There are 16 miles of trails for hikers and other programs, including renting kayaks and paddleboards (Friday-Sunday) from Mountain Island Lake Paddle Co. Latta also has the Quest Center that features interactive indoor exhibits, and the Carolina Raptor Center, which is the home to the Southeast's largest eagle aviary.
Birkdale Village is a popular, open-air shopping, dining, and residential area. Many boutiques, casual restaurants, and dessert spots range from fudge at Kilwins to gourmet handcrafted pops at Morelia's. The site is perfect for walking around and includes a movie theatre and weekly and seasonal events for the family!
Hugh Torance House & Store
The Hugh Torance House & Store is North Carolina's oldest surviving store and one of Mecklenburg County's few serving 18th-century structures. Hugh and Isabella Torrance built this home in 1779, and their son James ran a store there from 1805 until 1825. Board member Abagail Jennings talked about how the property is now dedicated to sharing the site's history in her interview with NC Weekend.
Board Member Bob MacIntosh talked to NC Weekend about Lake Norman's exciting working farm, nature preserve, event space, and cultural event site at Historic Rural Hill. The historic farm showcases over 250 years of local Scottish heritage. There are many exciting annual events, including the Amazing Maize Maze, which runs from mid-September through early November, and the Loch Norman Highland Games in mid-April.
Carolina Raptor Center
Deborah Holt interviewed education manager Kate Shaner about the education and rehabilitation facility for conserving birds and prey. Located within Latta Nature Preserve, eagles, falcons, ospreys, owls, hawks, and vultures are among the birds of prey at the Carolina Raptor Center. A self-guided walk on the Nature Trail takes you to the outdoor aviaries, which host over 30 different species of live birds of prey.
Carolina Renaissance Festival
The 30th annual Carolina Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, 16-stage theater, 25-acre circus, arts and crafts fair, jousting tournament, and royal feast - all rolled into one non-stop, day long adventure. The season runs Saturdays and Sundays from September 30th through November 19th for visitors to experience their best day out in history as they enjoy the unique mix of arts and crafts, food and drinks, music and comedy, jousting knights, and hundreds of costumed characters.
Be sure to tune in on Thursday, October 5th, at 9 p.m. on PBS NC to watch our feature on NC Weekend to kick off the 21st season. This episode will be double in length than the traditional NC Weekend episode, usually spanning 4 minutes. Our episode will be a total of 26 minutes. The episode will also include a Year of the Trail segment featuring the Town of Cornelius’ Emerald Necklace greenway trail network (watch on YouTube). If you haven't yet, take the time to plan and visit some of Lake Norman's popular spots featured in the episode and make sure to share with us on social media @visitlakenorman!