Spencer and I traveled with six of our friends to stay at Bear Lake Reserve in North Carolina a few weeks ago. A friend of ours had put a bid in for this vacation at a local college and had invited us up to join the fun (Big shout out to Cassie and Brandon). The package included a four night stay in our own villa, a sunset cruise, hike to a waterfall, a reservation for dinner and unlimited golfing. Now most of the things included in this package usually take place during specific times of the week so we were lucky enough to get access to them during our stay.
Bear Lake is the perfect destinations for weddings, family vacations, and anything in-between. The staff are all amazing and funnily enough two of the owners are from London, ON which is 40 minutes away from Woodstock how crazy is that?!
With the name like “Bear Lake” you automatically assume you’re going to see bears.
This is the actual conversation that had happened the moment we entered the reserve grounds:
Ben – “Man I really want to see a bear.”
Me – “Awe, look a dog! Oh, no two dogs!”
Ben, Spencer and Andrew – “Ummmmm… those aren’t dogs Alyssa.”
Can you imagine our luck!? We got to see two little bear cubs playing with each-other before we even checked in. Naturally it gave us high hopes we would be able to see more throughout our stay. Sadly we did not, which sucked for the other car of friends that arrived before us (sorry guys).
During our stay I look all of my pictures with my Lumix camera, which I thought would be a good idea at the time. But, when I got home to edit them on my Lightroom App on my phone with my presets from Aspyn Ovard (because my blog and insta need to have a cohesive theme don’t judge) they turned out really grainy. Now, I’m not sure if I could be doing something different or if I actually need the edit digital camera pictures with presets made for computer use. None the less it took me forever to get them to my phone, edit them, put them back on the computer, and then upload them here.
Other than that, I hope you all enjoy this post! Let me know in the comments if you have been to Bear Lake or now have put it on your bucket list!
The villa we stayed in appeared to be brand new, very modern and clean. We were one of the only people in our little section which was nice and peaceful. Our view was great, the villa was very spacious and fit the eight of us comfortably. Whoever decorated the place clearly has an eye for decor, all the pieces fit together so well.
Although we did have a few snags while staying here. A few things seemed to break off too easily; the fridge door handle, the toilet seat, and the towel holder in our bathroom. Random things but none the less still off-putting considering how much people spend to stay up here. Could just have been a fluke or it was never really fixed properly from past visitors.
THE LAKE HOUSE
The lake house is surrounded by breathtaking views of the lake, views of the mountains while lounging in the pool. The lake house includes two restaurants, a bar, games to play, two pools, two hot tubs, a souvenir shop, and a pool bar. The staff were amazing, seriously no word of a lie the best people work here. I honestly think hanging out by the pool was the best part of the trip personally because of the views you get while sitting poolside, drink in hand, and smooth music in the background just gives you all the vacation vibes.
I was really excited about this part of the trip. I was a little disappointed though. I had it built up in my head, jamming to music, drinks, watching the sunset… But there was no music, no drinks, and no sunset. We left on a little boat before the sun even set, and got back before it did too. I’m just not sure when you would call it a “sunset” cruise when you don’t even get to experience it? Other than that it was a lovely ride with good friends to experience it with.
THE WATERFALL HIKE
I think I can speak for us ladies when I say this hike was not at the top of our to do lists at first. We spent most of the day before the hike shopping so we were already tuckered out, and this hike was described as a very strenuous walk.
After a short boat ride, a twenty minute hike though a narrow trail, we got to see the most gorgeous waterfall. After all the pictures were taken with couples and the whole group the guys went for a dip in the chilly waters. I think its safe to say that all of us were blissed out after our hour-long journey.
The water was a little chilly but once you got in, it felt amazing. The beach was by no means huge but just the perfect size to sit some chairs and towels. The eight of us occupied the beach along with a mother and daughter with their cute little dog that was learning how to swim. Again… The views guys! No words can accurately describe how at peace you feel when you’re looking at these mountains.
We were told by the owners and staff that we had to check out the lookout point. Boy oh boy they were right. The boys had already seen most of the beauty the lookout held as it was along the golf course and since there was unlimited golf, you can guess where they spent most of the trip.
One of our friends decided to walk to the lookout, up and down the very steep mountain we were on. He actually managed to get there and back in under an hour! What a true mountain man.
Meanwhile four of us made the 10-minute drive up the mountain to the lookout. Spencer’s break pads might feel differently but this view tops all the ones we saw on this trip. I also am in complete love with the pictures Spencer and me got while gazing at the view, my favourite of us by far.
Everything that I had at the Lake Club was delicious. Our first night we weren’t coordinated enough to get groceries before hand so we all met and ate in the casual part of the club before things got busy. No one had any complaints about their food and left full. Our last night we had reservations for the fancier side of the club, all of us ordered an appetizer and meal. Everything was top notch.