Mountain Lake Lodge: How to Have the Time of Your Life in Virginia

Mountain Lake Lodge is located in Southwestern Virginia, at the top of a hill where highway 613 and 700 meet. You would never know this amazing resort existed if somebody didn’t tell you. It’s secluded in a gorgeous valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While you may feel miles away from anything, it’s located only 4.5 hours from Washington D.C and Northern Virginia. 

Mountain Lake Lodge 

When you see a photo of the gorgeous stone lodge you may think it looks a bit familiar, and that’s because a rather popular ’80s movie was filmed here. But that isn’t the only reason to come to this beautiful mountain retreat. At Mountain Lake, you will find beautiful hiking trails, outdoor activities, exquisite dining, and beautiful accommodations. 

Book your stay at Mountain Lake Lodge

Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke Virginia

Accommodations 

Guests started visiting Mountain Lake in the mid-1800s and many of the original cabins still stand today. There are various accommodations available, from the Main Stone Lodge to rustic cabins and fully equipped 2-3 or 4 bedroom homes. You can easily find something to suit your needs for a getaway. 

We were in the Chestnut Lodge during our stay, and it has recently been updated. The double queen room is perfect for families- as it is pretty spacious and even offers a sofa bed so the kids don’t have to fight over sleeping together. You also have a full kitchenette with a microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker. The sweeping floor-to-ceiling fireplace is perfect for cool fall and winter nights.

Grab a book and enjoy your private porch with rocking chairs for the ultimate relaxation. 

The Chestnut Lodge doesn’t have air conditioning but they do offer box fans for guests, and the room has a ceiling fan. The valley cools down in the evenings, and it was quite pleasant to sleep with the windows open in August! 

Read more reviews on Tripadvisor.com or book your stay now!

Dining at Mountain Lake Lodge

The dining experience here is five-star in every way. I did not have a single thing that disappointed me. Chef Michael Porterfield has been at the Lodge for 34 years and is passionate about locally sourced farm-to-table dining. 

We began each morning with a breakfast buffet at Harvest and enjoyed everything from bbq pork belly to chicken and waffles and cheddar grits-all of the southern staples. There is a large variety of items to choose from and you will not be disappointed. It’s a great start to the day. 

For lunch, we dined at the newly opened Salt Pond Pub, this al fresco restaurant has a small but fantastic menu of fresh-made pizzas as well as some light fare. The crust on the pizza is absolutely delicious and you can tell it’s homemade.  There is also a Virginia Ale Trail on tap from local breweries. 

We enjoyed two wonderful dinners at Harvest. Offering a beautiful cheese board featuring local cheeses, this could simply be a meal itself with a nice glass of wine.  We dined on spinach ravioli, cast iron chicken, steak, and more – both dinners were equally wonderful. 

If you are looking for more casual pub fare, the Stoney Creek Tavern is open for dinner as well each evening offering burgers and sandwiches. 

Fun Fact- During the 1987 filming of Dirty Dancing, Chef Michael gave Patrick Swayze a ride to the store on the back of his motorcycle!

Recreation

You will not grow bored at Mountain Lake, as there are many things to do. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are 22 miles of hiking and biking trails along the 2600-acre property. Pick up a trail map at the front desk, and map out your days exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

Included in your resort fee:

  • Outdoor pool (open seasonally)
  • Corn hole 
  • Volleyball
  • Croquet 
  • Badminton
  • Borrow movies and board games front the front desk
  • Playground 

There is also an Adventure Center that offers Treetop Ropes Course & Ziplines, 3D Archery, Bubble Ball, Archery Tag, Escape Room, and Guided Gator Tours. 

My kids had a great time doing the treetops course – swinging from tree to tree. It’s not too high off the ground, so a great starter course for those who have never done a zipline before. They even managed their way out of the Escape Room with 7 minutes to spare. 

We also took the guided gator tour, and it was fantastic. We covered so much of the property. The first half of the tour took us to Prospect Rock where we saw black bears and views of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. We then headed back down the mountain to go a thrilling 4360ft above Bald Knob and take in the most breathtaking views. All the while being given a history of the property and how Mountain Lake came to be. If you only want to do one extra thing while visiting, this is it! 

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention any activities that include a lake, and that is because the lake dried up in 2008. It’s a bit of a geological mystery to everyone in the area, so much so that VA Tech students come to study it. “The last time the lake filled up was in 2020 and that was only ⅓ of the way, and it quickly receded again”, said President and CEO, Heidi Stone. 

The good news is, the cinder blocks that Patrick Swayze stood on during “The Lift” in Dirty Dancing are still in the same place they stood in 1987, and it’s a fun photo opp without getting in the water!  

Find the best rates and availability HERE.

Welcome to Kellerman’s 

Mountain Lake Lodge is where the 1987 hit movie, Dirty Dancing was filmed. When you drive in and see the beautiful stone lodge, you are instantly taken to Kellerman’s Mountain House where Baby and Johnny danced the summer away. 

I spoke with Heidi Stone, President, and CEO of Mountain Lake Lodge and she stated that ⅓ of their guests are avid fans of the film, and come exclusively for that reason. They host six exclusive Dirty Dancing-themed weekends each year, and sell out fast! Heidi said; “If you are looking for the ultimate movie experience come to Dirty Dancing weekends. Guests come as their favorite characters, we play the movie on the front lawn and  have a great time.”  

I was staying on the Kellerman’s Film Package which includes two nights at Mountain Lake Lodge with a welcome cocktail, a souvenir glass, a gift bag with an exclusive Kellerman’s beach towel, a special screening of the movie, and a $200 dining credit, and a scavenger hunt.

As someone who grew up on this movie, this was so much fun!

The scavenger hunt takes you around the property to 11 original filming locations from the movie, and it’s so much fun. We recreated scenes from the film and laughed as we quoted our favorite lines. At the end of the night, we watched Dirty Dancing, and I have to say it was surreal being in the exact place it was filmed. 

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop and grab some Dirty Dancing merchandise before you leave. The all new Kellerman’s Gift Shop is now open. According to Jeremiah McKendree, vice president retail and recreation, “The hottest sellerin Kellerman’s Gift Shop is the ringer tee, just like Johnny’s cousin Billy wore in the movie.
The merchandise is exciting and shoppers are intrigued with the store’s design which is fashioned after the well-known studio where Baby learned to dance.”

The retail center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The collection of Dirty Dancing merchandise
and memorabilia is also available online at https://mtnlakelodge.shop.

Mountain Lake Lodge is truly a relaxing and enjoyable place, the spirit of Kellerman’s Mountain House surely is here. I can’t explain it, but it takes you back to a time when you slowed down and played on the main lawn, or enjoyed a game of cards among friends. Whether you are a Dirty Dancing fan or just looking for an escape from the busyness of life, this is the place. 

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