To know: What’s now Historic South End was once home to gold mines, saw Charlotte’s first railroad, and contained cotton mills as neighborhoods Dilworth and Wilmore grew around it. South End is now a bustling and vibrant neighborhood with a large young professional population and booming apartment scene.
To eat: You can’t go wrong with local favorites like Mac’s Speed Shop and Lincoln’s Haberdashery for lunch or dinner. Or snag a quick bite at classics like Mr. K’s, Price’s Chicken Coop or Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop. Get a little more adventurous with Superica, SouthBound, Seoul Food Meat Co. or the slurp-worthy noodles at Futo Buto. Vegans and vegetarians, look no further than Living Kitchen.
To drink: The breweries reign supreme here, with The Unknown (with its new rooftop seating area), Sycamore, Lenny Boy, Wooden Robot, Triple C, Sugar Creek, Olde Mecklenburg, Three Spirits, Hyde Brewing, Red Clay Ciderworks and GoodRoad Ciderworks in the area. Not to mention the distilleries -- Great Wagon Road (and sister bar The Broken Spoke) and Doc Porter’s. All-American Pub is perfect for catching the big game and bottle shops Craft Growler Shop and Tasting Room, Bulldog Beer & Wine and Good Bottle Co. have you covered if you’re looking for something to take home. For a speakeasy vibe, slip away to Backstage Lounge, where you can sink back into decor that pays homage to music halls that have closed in town. Or, to fill your own cup, grab a wrist band at Hoppin’ and taste a variety of pours.
To do: On a nice day you can explore the neighborhood on the Charlotte Rail Trail, which follows the light rail line for 3.5 miles (take time to swing on Edna’s Porch or ride your bike across a Magic Carpet Mural). Art lovers will enjoy the South End Gallery Crawl held the first Friday of every month. In the mood to shop? Head to Atherton Mill and Market for a variety of shops and a farmers market on Saturday. If you want to keep a party going, stop by Queen Park Social for drinks and games from bowling, to skee ball, to life-size Connect Four.