‘Dirty Dancing’: Where Kellerman’s Came to Life

The Restaurant

Even without its lake, Mountain Lake Lodge makes a lovely destination. You don’t have to ask where the movie scenes were shot; at check-in you’ll get a map. Michael Richardson, the bartender, is a walking encyclopedia of the movie. When he shows you the shooting locations, he doesn’t just describe the scene shot there, he recites all the dialogue.

The lodge has Dirty Dancing Weekends every summer, special packages that provide guests with a tour, group dance lessons (with optional private lessons), a “Dirty Dancing” scavenger hunt and more. Three are scheduled this year — one each in June, July and August — but fans of the movie come all the time. A small cabin in front of the main lodge has an exhibition devoted to the movie and a guest book full of ardent inscriptions.

“I cannot believe I am here, in this place,” someone from Chile wrote recently.

Mr. Richardson keeps a list of the different countries fans have come from, and it grows every summer.

“Last year I managed to scratch off Singapore, India and Taiwan in one weekend,” he said.

For some fans, passion for the film leads to petty crime. Mr. Richardson said the lodge used to have signs on the property marking the filming spots, but they kept disappearing. And Room 232, where Mr. Swayze is said to have stayed?

“The shower curtain has been stolen out of that room I don’t know how many times,” he said.

But one thing every fan can do guilt-free is eat in Harvest, the lodge’s restaurant, where a number of scenes were filmed. It’s an excellent one with a farm-to-table sensibility. The night I arrived I had a terrific locally sourced steak with a nice I.P.A. from the Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Lexington, Va. If you’re lucky, the executive chef, Michael Porterfield, who was there during the filming, will stop by your table and tell you about the time he took Mr. Swayze to Blacksburg on his motorcycle, down that…

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