VIBRANT, YOUTHFUL, TRENDY
Deeply entrenched in its mill town past, this playful district now inspires creative industries—craft beer, culinary, galleries and more.
A short walk, bike or light rail ride down South Boulevard will bring you to Charlotte’s booming South End, home to some of the city’s best restaurants, boutiques and nightlife. Young professionals (and their dogs) spill out of luxury apartments toward the area’s craft breweries and coffee shops. Art lovers go gallery hopping and explore dozens of brightly colored murals painted throughout the neighborhood by local artists, while foodies fawn over mouthwatering menu items at newly-opened eateries.
Explore the Award-Winning Trail
Start your day off with a morning sweat session at a local gym or fitness studio like Arrichion Hot Yoga or Inner Peaks Climbing. Don’t worry about showering or changing your clothes before grabbing breakfast and coffee — about half of the folks hanging out at Lincoln’s Haberdashery will also be dressed in active wear while enjoying their lattes.
Things to do
Wander along the Rail Trail and get your camera ready for the Color Forest installation (on E. Bland Street), the multicolored Magic Carpet Murals (across the light rail tracks from 19th-century-cotton-mill-turned-market, Atherton Mill) and the Confetti Hearts Wall (1930 Camden Road).
At this point, you’ll already be in the up-and-coming Design District of South End. Grab lunch at Hawkers Asian Street Fare followed by a delicious frozen dessert at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Pop into Paddywax Candle Bar to craft your own signature scented candle. Walk off the calories by stopping into local boutiques like 704 Shop and Girl Tribe Co.
Begin your evening at Hoppin’, the Queen City’s first self-serve taproom. You can choose from local and regional craft beer, cider, wine and kombucha to sip while enjoying games and music on an outdoor patio.
Continue down the Rail Trail until you arrive at Sycamore Brewing, where you can order award-winning craft beer (or hard cider made in-house) to drink in the cozy taproom or outside in the massive beer garden, where you’ll usually find a food truck and live music—along with plenty of dogs. Walk further south along the Rail Trail toward The Suffolk Punch, a brewery, culinary café, taphouse and coffee bar all rolled into one.