- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 30, 2003

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — A trip to Mecklenburg County and its star attraction, 32,000-acre Lake Norman, delivers the goods for the entire family.

My stay began with a hotel that definitely wasn’t a run-of-the-mill place to rest a weary body. At the Country Suites by Carlson, only a hop from the lake, mornings for the guests began with sausage, bacon, eggs, toast, bagels, waffles, juice and coffee breakfasts — all free. I can’t recall ever having gotten more than a gratis bun and cup of coffee anywhere else.

At the end of a fishing day in the Lake Norman area (which includes the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville), it quickly became necessary to forget preconceived notions about a slow, backwoods Southern locale. Indeed, just like the new breed of wealthy NASCAR race car drivers it is home to, this area is busy and upscale, dotted with fine shops, nearby interstate highway access and excellent restaurants and accommodations.

Want to charter a yacht to cruise Lake Norman or hold a floating wedding party? You can do it. What about renting a boat, personal watercraft, canoe or kayak? Lake Norman is ready to supply whatever you want.

Want to hire a fishing guide, play golf on four championship courses, watch a movie, or be surrounded by historic homes? The area is awash with nearly everything.

There are parks for picnicking and plenty of lake shorelines where the children can drop a line while dad fires up the charcoal and puts on the burgers. If it’s auto racing you like, Lowe’s Motor Speedway is nearby, and the North Carolina Racing Hall of Fame is only minutes from Lake Norman. Now add attractions like a raptor center, a ranch for exotic animals and many other things to keep you busy.

If you’re interested in visiting, Sally Ashworth of the Lake Norman Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/305-2508, lakenormancvb.org) will be happy to help.

Gene Mueller


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