Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
431 Main St., Chimney Rock. 828-625-9281. www.chimneyrockpark.com.
Hours: The park is open daily, with the Ticket Plaza open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Park remains open 1-1/2 hours after the Ticket Plaza closes. If admission is purchased after 4 p.m., visitors can hold onto their receipt and return the next day at no additional cost.
Activities: Visitors at Chimney Rock can climb the 315-foot monolith that looks over Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Once at the top, an elevation of 2,280 feet provides hikers with 75-mile views. While in Chimney Rock State Park, guests can also hike to other peaks, such as The Opera Box, Devil's Head and Exclamation Point. After a day of sight-seeing, visitors can enjoy burgers, salads, sandwiches, desserts, beer and wine at the Old Rock Café. Guests can also eat at the Sky Lounge Deli, or browse souvenirs in Cliff Dwellers Gifts.
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Cost: Adult tickets cost $14, ages 6-15 are $6, and under 6 are admitted free. For groups of 20 or more, adults cost $11.50, ages 6-15 are $5, and younger than 6 are admitted free.
Target Audience: All ages.
Directions from uptown: From South Church Street, turn right to merge onto I-277 S. Continue onto U.S.-74 W. Turn left onto I-485 Inner N ramp. Take exit 10B to merge onto I-85 S toward Gastonia/Spartanburg. Take exit 10B to merge onto U.S.-74 W/Andrew Jackson Hwy toward Kings Mountain/Shelby. Continue to follow US-74 W. Take exit 167 toward Mill Spring/New Prospect. Turn right at N.C. 9 N. Destination will be on the right.
Distance from Charlotte: About 1 hour and 45 minutes.