You don’t need to travel back in time to experience the iconic love story that is Dirty Dancing. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the South.
The actual resort where Frances “Baby” Houseman and Johnny Grey fell in love is located at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia. And, for a limited time, you can experience a Swayze-themed summer retreat of your own.
Mountain Lake Lodge does its daily business as an outdoor resort with outdoor activities. But, for three weekends a year, it turns into a time machine. A time machine that takes their guests back to 1987.
“You really gotta see it to believe it,” said Heidi Stone, Mountain Lake Lodge’s general manager. “Our resort turns into an 80s weekend on steroids. 80s makeup, 80s hair, glitter, dances, it’s a phenomenon on its own.”
The Dirty Dancing package is all-inclusive, and the three-day weekend offers enough 80s-inspired activities to keep Baby out of her corner for good.
The weekend’s schedule changes yearly. This summer it kicks off with, quite appropriately, dancing. After dinner on your first night, you’ll be taught a few iconic dances from popular 80s movies like Footloose and Saturday Night Fever.
On Saturday, you’ll retrace the romance on a walking tour around the Lodge. Ever heard of the “lake lift”? It involves standing in the water and executing an overhead lift in one smooth, graceful motion. The lake lift has inspired thousands of visitors to take a dip in this idyllic Blue Ridge Mountain setting, about 30 miles from Asheville.
After lunch, watch Dirty Dancing in the ballroom, followed by a round of trivia (we’re betting this gets pretty competitive). Learn to dance like Swayze during group and private dance lessons in the afternoon, and then show off your new moves in a dance party in the barn later that night. Before you check out on Sunday, you’ll compete in a scavenger hunt; by the end of your weekend, you will have truly been to the 80s and back.
The lodge has been holding the Dirty Dancing-themed weekends since the movie hit box offices in 1987. “One group comes every August with four generations of girls,” said Stone. “They pack in a van, drive 15 hours, and wear Dirty Dancing themed t-shirts and jewelry.” Plan now for the July 29-31 and August 26-28 dates, which are nearly sold out. And due to sudden overwhelming interest, the lodge added another option for the weekend of September 9-11.
Plan Your Trip: Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia, is open seven days a week through the end of the year. Read more about Dirty Dancing Weekend 2016, or look into the Lodge’s other Holiday Packages.