Guys' Weekend. It doesn't get enough credit. While it's true that women tend to do more planning of activities for their weekend outings, men do actually enjoy more things than wolfing down burgers and nachos while yelling at sports players on a big screen tv - they generally just don't like to plan them! Simply put, men need a break from everyday life too. So whether you're a rugged, rough and tumble, bringing home the bacon warrior, or a weekday corporate guru with the secret outdoor prowess of Daniel Boone; there's no better place to get away to than Rutherford county.
Where to Stay
Rutherford County's location in the North Carolina foothills makes it an ideal spot to home base for almost any weekend outing. If you're looking to rent a cabin, a quick search of their website visitncsmalltowns.com renders multiple options in every price range. From forested private retreats, to hanging by the lake, to even locations just off the fairways of a golf course; they've got you covered.
If you're more into the amenities of a hotel or resort atmosphere, Rumbling Bald Resort offers multiple packages that include golf, fitness, and they even have a sports bar onsite. The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa offers historic hotel and cabin accommodations, is walking distance from all the water activities that Lake Lure has to offer, and within easy access of Chimney Rock State Park. The Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock also boasts both hotel and private cottage lodging, and offers adventure packages that include discounted access to Chimney Rock State Park, horseback riding, and lake activities.
Want to get a little closer to nature with your accommodations? The River Creek Campground in Rutherfordton offers tent, pop-up, RV, and cabin sites; as well as access to the Broad River for fishing, swimming, or tubing. The Foothills Family Campground in Forest City has full hook-ups as well as pull through, tent, and cabin options, access to hiking trails and their fishing pond, and offers firewood delivery straight to your campsite. No campground list would be complete without 4 Paws Kingdom Campground. In addition to amenity-full campsite options from cabin to RV, they also offer dog parks, swimming ponds, an agility park, and grooming stations all for man's best friend. There's no better place if guys' weekend includes your faithful companion by your side.
Things to Do:
For those that love what Mark Twain called "a good walk spoiled by a small white ball", the courses in this area are challenging, beautiful, and surprisingly affordable. Apple Valley Golf Course in Lake Lure is a 72 par Dan Maples course that was listed as one of Golf Digest's most beautiful places to play. PGA fanatics and aficionados will love Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club in Rutherfordton. It's a 71 par course that's incredibly pristine throughout its 18 challenging holes, and was designed by the famed George Cobb, who also designed Augusta National's Par 3 course and Quail Hollow in Charlotte. The Bald Mountain Golf Course at the Rumbling Bald Resort in Lake Lure is a William B. Lewis designed course that boasts tight fairways among its incredible rock-faced cliffs and mountain views. Make sure to stop and revel in the movie magic of the par 3 16th hole. It was the golf scene location in the original Dirty Dancing movie! Meadowbrook Golf Club in Rutherfordton was built on the old Deck family farm and renovated in 2010 by renowned golf architect Rick Robbins. Its tree-lined fairways and abundance of water hazards provided by the course's creeks and ponds make it an exceptional challenge for golfers of any ability level.
For those that prefer a 9 hole course instead of 18, there are wonderful options as well. Check out Dogwood Valley Golf Course in Forest City. Designed by Donald Ross, this par 36 course is open year round and has a 68.2 rating with a 113 slope. The Lake Lure Golf Club in Lake Lure was also designed by Donald Ross and boasts beautiful mountain views along with the original log cabin style clubhouse that was built as a WPA project in the 1930s.
Hunting & Fishing
Who says the idea of living off the land is a thing of the past! If your ideal weekend getaway includes hunting and fishing, Rutherford county has multiple options. Hone your aim and skills at the Cleghorn Gun Club in Rutherfordton. Their sporting clay courses offer target trajectories strategically positioned for every shooter level, and shooting instruction sessions are available by appointment. South Mountain Gameland - Golden Valley Access in Bostic is 20,000 acres of land operated by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission and is open to the public for hunting, fishing, and hiking expeditions. Fly fishers will enjoy The Granddaddy Fly-Fishing Experience which provides full service fly-fishing excursions for bass, bluegill, and trout in Lake Lure and throughout Western North Carolina. Lewis No Clark Expeditions in Rutherfordton offers full and half day outings on Lake Lure fishing for trout, white, small, and large mouth bass, crappie, and catfish depending upon the season. For those that prefer a bit of competition when it comes to their skills, Fly n Hook Fishing Club in Rutherfordton is open daily rain or shine for catfish fishing, and hosts a biggest catch tournament every Saturday.
Biking, Hiking & Rock Climbing
There is literally no shortage of trail options for every ability (and agility!) level in Rutherford county, and many trails offer both hiking and mountain biking options. Check out Buffalo Creek Park in Lake Lure. It's 1,527 acres of multiple trails for hikers and cyclists, is dog friendly, and its Weed Patch Mountain Trail links to Chimney Rock State Park at the incredible Eagle Rock. Speaking of Chimney Rock, its myriad of trails and climbing options offer adventure seekers of every level the chance to explore nature at its most breathtaking. Climbers should make sure to check out the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access, which is considered to be some of the best bouldering and technical rock climbing in the Southeast. The region also boasts shorter trails such as the Bearwallow Mountain Trail, the Purple Martin Greenway Trail, and even the Broad River Paddle Trail for those who would rather take a water route through the beauty of the wilderness.
Regardless of your choice of activities, there's nothing better than kicking back with your buddies and a cold one at day's end. In Forest City, check out The Shak. With a weekly live music lineup and laid back setting that includes great food and drink specials, it’s the perfect location to chill out with the boys. The Moose & Goose Lounge in Lake Lure is a relaxed atmosphere with incredible views that offers daily complimentary hors d'oeuvres from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Barley’s Taproom & Pizzaria in Spindale offers a combination of pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, and subs, and was rated one of the ‘Best Taprooms in the South’ by Southern Draught Magazine. Amendment 21 Grill in Rutherfordton is a great spot for exceptional food and drinks, and hosts live music, trivia, and karaoke nights throughout the week. If you're looking for a spot to grab a bite with views and fantastic brews, look no further than Hickory Nut Gorge Craft Brewery. Located in the Village of Chimney Rock along the banks of the Rocky Broad River, this local brewery and taproom is a must stop for anyone looking to unwind after a long day of adventure in the great outdoors.
Summing It Up
There really is no shortage of things to do in the Rutherford county foothills, and as far as guys' weekends go it's the perfect setting for just about anything you want to get into. From chilling with friends to nature adventures of almost every form, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better location. So grab your buddies and get out there! We've already done the planning for you.