Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dirty Dancing in Lake Lure, North Carolina

Lake Lure is the name of a town and a lake located 28 miles southwest of Asheville, North Carolina. Most of the film Dirty Dancing(1987 starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey) was filmed in southern Virginia but a few scenes were shot in Lake Lure. To celebrate their movie stardom, Lake Lure holds a Dirty Dancing Festival every August (this year it is August 19-20) with plenty of dancing, music and food. 

I've never attended the festival but I have been fortunate enough to visit the lake several times and let me tell you, National Geographic was right on the money when they named Lake Lure one of the "10 most beautiful lakes in the World" with it's famous million dollar view. The town is small with a few restaurants, house rentals and it's gem , The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa located across the street from the beach on the lake.

The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa and the beach and waterpark

My niece was married here in a beautiful springtime ceremony under a gazebo on the lake and my daughter attended camp here right on the lake for several summers (crazy lucky, right?) And Lake Lure Tours offers hour long pontoon boat tours of the lake so you can get out on the water without renting a house for the week - which is how I got these photos. But no matter how many times I've visited, it still takes my breath away - such a beautiful mountain-ringed lake!

In 1902, Dr. Lucius Morse and his brothers purchased 64 acres of land around Chimney Rock for $5000. They built a dam which produced the lake and began selling electricity in 1928 which it still does to this day though tourism is the number one source of income now. The lake is known for it's very expensive real estate, it's boathouses and National Geographic crowning it as having "the million dollar view."

Can you see the inventive way these residents made to get to and from the lake?

And of course, it's most well-known for the movie Dirty Dancing and the scene where Patrick Swayze's character Johnny teaches Baby the dance lifts in the water. The movie takes place in the summer at a resort but the filming at Lake Lure was done in November so the crew allegedly spray painted leaves green and glued them to the trees - and the actors filmed in the very cold water and air -supposedly if you look closely you can see their breath.(They also filmed the scene where Baby carries a watermelon down the stairs.)

Johnny and Baby's cove from Dirty Dancing

Baby's watermelon staircase

So if you're a big Dirty Dancing fan, or you just like gorgeous lakes in the mountains, give Lake Lure a visit. I'm sure Dr. Morse had no idea what his $5000 would create back in 1902. Wouldn't he be surprised now?

I'm linking up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute  and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!


  1. It certainly is a georgous lake. If I ever get to watch Dirty Dancing again I will keep my eye open for it. I would love to visit just for the beautiful scenery.

    1. It's a bit out off the beaten path but definitely worth the visit. Thanks for stopping by Jan!

  2. Lots of interesting facts! I feel like a place comes alive when stories like this are told. You then to remember the place more.

  3. Thanks Ruth! And thanks for visiting!