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Living in Cornelius A gateway to Lake Norman

While it might not get as much attention as some of its neighbors, Cornelius is a town on the rise.

The quaint downtown is an excellent place to spend an afternoon, with plenty of antique shops, clothing stores, restaurants and sweet treats to keep people of all ages content. Don’t forget to get your photo with the life-size sculpture of Mark Twain in front of the town library.

And while Cornelius is known primarily as a nice place to live, don’t sleep on the nightlife. Cornelius is already home to three breweries with fresh beer on tap, and Charlotte’s famous Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is planning a massive new taproom in the town.

Cornelius is an excellent gateway to the broader Lake Norman region. The town has more than 50 miles of shoreline on the state’s largest man-made lake, with scores of lakeside homes for sale and Mecklenburg County’s only public beach. This turns Cornelius into a summer destination for boating, fishing, water-skiing and sunbathing.

For people who want to live the lake life while still being close to the city, Cornelius is an excellent choice.


Population: 28,052

Commute distance to Uptown: 30 minutes

Median age: 40.5

Median household income: 85,908

Median home sales price: $279,000

Average rent: $1,182

Things to do in Cornelius

Hello, Sailor. This lakeside offering is from Joe and Katy Kindred, the restaurateurs behind Davidson’s famous downtown spot Kindred. Go for the Carolina Shrimp Calabash Plate, their most popular item — and don’t forget the hushpuppies and soft-serve ice cream afterward. Details.

Carolina Cones. This kid-friendly establishment has been around more than 35 years. Try the ice cream boats. Details.

Ramsey Creek Park. Mecklenburg County’s only public beach, right on Lake Norman. Grab a spot in the sun or hike their 1.5-mile walking trail. Details.

Old Town Public House. They also have live music most nights of the week. Details.

Cornelius real estate

Cornelius is a quintessential suburban small town. Single-family homes dominate, clustered in neighborhoods like Jetton Cove and Heritage Green.

The town has a number of starter homes for sale, starting around $235,000 for 1,500 square feet. You also might be able to find some townhomes below $200,000 if you’re lucky. But the average home list price will be around $400,000.

You’ll also find a wealth of lakeside estates with 4,000+ square feet with prices of $1 million or more. The Peninsula is the go-to neighborhood for the golf and yacht club life.

Cover image by the town of Cornelius via Facebook.