5 best places for waterside cocktails within 30 miles of Uptown

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Since Charlotte was already serving up summer temperatures in April, it’s time to start plotting as many excuses as possible to trade our sizzling pavement for the sparkling waters of nearby lakes and rivers.

Here are five places for drinks on the water that are within about a 30-minute (sober!) drive of Uptown. As always, find a designated driver. Don’t be stupid.

The Pump House

Address: 575 Herrons Ferry Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Distance from Uptown: 27 miles
Water: Catawba River
What to drink: Old York Sour — Coopers Craft Kentucky Bourbon, fresh-squeezed lemon sour, cabernet float garnished with an amerena cherry twist

Pump House offers an impressive change of pace when you want to shake up your typical special occasion dinner or date night routine. This visually stunning restaurant is located in a renovated old pump house along the banks of the Catawba River and features a swanky rooftop bar overlooking the water. Stop by for half price bottles of wine on Mondays and half price cocktails on Thursdays from 4 – 7 p.m.

Port City Club

Address: 18665 Harborside Drive, Cornelius, NC 28031
Distance from Uptown: 20 miles
Water: Lake Norman
What to drink: Berry Mojito — with muddled berries and fresh mint

This popular Lake Norman restaurant has a cool sandy area with lounge furniture, fire pits and palm trees that almost make it feel like you’re on the coast. Almost.

Lake Norman Cottage

Address: 200 N. Harbor Place, Davidson, NC 28036
Distance from Uptown: 20 miles
Water: Lake Norman
What to drink: Wine — obviously.

This cozy cottage and wine shop feels like walking into a friend’s house. For a perfect evening, grab a bottle of wine, some gourmet snacks and an adirondack chair.

The Prickly Pear

Address: 637 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC 28117
Distance from Uptown: 25 miles
Water: Lake Norman
What to drink: Margaritas — in a glass as big as your head or by the pitcher with your whole crew

Modern Mexican cuisine with a view. Hit it up for lunch if you can (until 3 p.m. daily). The food menu prices practically double for dinner.

North Harbor Club

Address: 100 N. Harbor Place, Davidson, NC 28036
Distance from Uptown: 20
Water: Lake Norman
What to drink: Bloody Mary — yes, with bacon

Although they have beautiful sunsets from the deck, brunch is a tough meal to beat. They have complimentary slips if you’re fancy and arriving by boat.

Eddie’s on Lake Norman

Address: 643 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC 28117
Distance from Uptown: 25 miles
Water: Lake Norman
What to drink: Fish Bowls — 64-ounce cocktails served in a souvenir fish bowl and designed for 2+ people. Buckle up for that hangover.

Eddie’s is a casual waterside spot with some rowdy drink specials. Get weird.

COMING SOON: Hello, Sailor

Address: 20210 Henderson Road, Cornelius, NC 28031
Distance from Uptown: 20 miles
Water: Lake Norman
What to drink: Tiki cocktails — They haven’t released a menu but have been teasing recipe tests on Instagram.

No waterside roundup would be complete without Hello, Sailor — a new restaurant from Joe and Katy Kindred opening later this summer. It has landed on at least two nationwide “most anticipated restaurants” lists and hasn’t even released a menu yet. If you know Lake Norman well, this will be in the former Rusty Rudder location. Can’t wait.

Header photo of Port City Club via Facebook

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director