Though it’s been over 30 years since the movie came out, people still remember “Dirty Dancing” and the resort in it.
But was that resort even real? And where is it?
If you want to have the time of your life, we’ve got the details.
Let’s get dancing!
About the Movie “Dirty Dancing”
“Dirty Dancing” is a hit 1987 romance movie about a young woman who falls in love with her dance instructor during vacation. The film stars Jennifer Grey as “Baby,” Jerry Orbach as her father, and Patrick Swayze as her love interest, “Johnny.” The film also features then-unknown Wayne Knight (Newman from “Seinfeld”) and Kelly Bishop (Emily from “Gilmore Girls.”)
The movie mostly centers around themes of young love and parental disapproval. A subplot follows “Penny,” who gets a botched abortion, requiring help from Baby’s father.
Though nominated for many awards, the only Oscar “Dirty Dancing” won was for best original song, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” The movie has had a substantial cultural influence, though, and modern shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “New Girl” still reference it. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” is still a popular movie quote as well.
Pro Tip: Are you also a Seinfeld fan? We uncovered Can You Visit Monk’s from Seinfeld?
Is the Dirty Dancing Resort Real?
Producers filmed “Dirty Dancing” at several resorts, though the movie is set in the Catskills at “Kellerman’s Resort.” That resort never existed, and they didn’t make the movie in the Catskills. Instead, they filmed in Lake Lure, North Carolina, and Pembroke, Virginia.
Where Is the Dirty Dancing Resort?
The primary resort in the movie is Mountain Lake, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Pembroke, Virginia. Mountain Lake is still an active resort and activity center.
Pro Tip: While exploring Virginia make sure to check out these 7 Best Lakes in Virginia (And Nearby Campsites).
Can I Experience Dirty Dancing at the Resort?
Yes! There’s a Dirty Dancing-themed weekend every summer at Mountain Lake. In addition to your stay and their acclaimed food, the lodge has activities fit for Baby and Johnny planned for the whole weekend. It includes group dance lessons and a dance. No, you’re not required to perform the famous last routine.
Things To Do Near the Dirty Dancing Resort
Mountain Lake Lodge’s Adventure Center
The Adventure Center steers guests toward activities of their choice. From craft projects to movie nights or just swimming, they’ll help you find the right things to do. They also offer guided hikes or maps to the 22 miles of trails on their property, along with other area hikes.
Cascades Falls Trail
The Cascades Falls Trail is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Both love the waterfall and natural beauty. The Upper Trail is a bit more strenuous. There are opportunities to switch between trails during the hike. You’ll see the lower falls, the upper falls, and amazing views from Barney’s Wall (near the upper falls.)
Parking is $3.
Mountain Lake is about 20 minutes from Blacksburg, home to the Virginia Tech campus. In addition to popular Hokie sporting events, the campus has the Moss Center, where you can take in various performances.
You can also visit the Hahn Horticulture Gardens, take a walk around the Duck Pond, or check out the art and live events in Squires Student Center. Tours of Smithfield Plantation are also popular.
You’ll enjoy Blacksburg’s downtown, too, where local restaurants and the farmer’s market will give you a taste of the local vibes. There’s also an independent local theatre offering a range of new and classic films.
Best Places to Stay Near the Dirty Dancing Resort
Mountain Lake Lodge
Why not stay right there at the movie site? You can book a room or suite in either of the lodges, single or multi-unit cabins, or secluded forest cabins. All rooms come with WiFi, but not all rooms have televisions or air conditioning.
There’s a restaurant, a cafe, and a bar on-site. Rates start at around $115 but vary depending on which building you choose.
They have special meals and decor for holidays. In winter, they also offer “Freeze Your Glass Off” Fridays, where you can enjoy drink specials and live music.
Address: 115 Hotel Cir, Pembroke, VA 24136.
New River Junction Campground
This is a small, family-oriented campground right on the New River, where tubing is popular. They’re open from May to September and have full hookups, hot showers, and free WiFi.
They require reservations and have minimum stay policies but don’t accept online reservations, so call ahead.
It’s $54.50 a night to camp in an RV. Tent camping is $25.50.
Address: 2591 Big Falls Rd, Blacksburg, VA, 24060.
Is a Road Trip to the Dirty Dancing Resort Worth It?
Definitely! Whether you’re nostalgic for an 80s classic or just discovering it now, it’s tons of fun to strike your best Baby or Johnny pose. But really, Dirty Dancing is just the icing on the cake of a beautiful, historic part of the Blue Ridge. You’ll be close to a few towns, but you won’t even need to leave the property to have a great time.
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