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Looking for a quick day trip from Charlotte? Put Waxhaw on your radar.
A 45-minute drive from Uptown, the town of Waxhaw is filled with charming shops and restaurants — nearly all within walking distance on the city’s main street.
Waxhaw quick facts:
- The population in 2022 was 22,533, according to census data.
- The town is named after The Waxhaws, a Native American tribe that first inhabited the area.
- MLS data show the median sales price for homes in Waxhaw was $780,000 over the last 12 months.
Here’s a list of 17 must-do activities.
Relax in a rocking chair at Crossroads Coffee House
Crossroads Coffee House is a cool coffee shop with small-town charm. Our advice: Grab a specialty latte and sip it on the front porch in a rocking chair.
Details: Crossroads is located at 112 N Broome St. (you’ll find a few designated parking spots outside).
- It’s open Monday-Saturday 7am-7pm and Sunday 8am-7pm.
Get a NY-Style Bagel at Blue Door Deli
After your morning coffee, walk over to The Blue Door Deli for bagels, baked goods and breakfast that’s served all day in a no-frills setting.
Details: Blue Door Deli is located at 202 W North Main St.
- It’s open every day 8am-4pm.
Shop artisan goods at The Indigo Pearl
Look for the big blue door that leads into this locally owned boutique that sells everything from handmade jewelry to home furnishings and a large selection of leather goods.
Yes and: Waxhaw’s downtown is filled with locally owned stores. A few others walkable to each other include Funki Monkey and MONA’s (both sell home decor/furniture) and Welte’s Antiques (which shares the space with a vintage clothing store called 88A).
Details: The Indigo Pearl is located at 101 E North Main St.
- It’s open Monday-Thursday 11am-5pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 1-5pm.
Walk across the bridge with an ice cream cone from Waxhaw Creamery
The bridge is a huge part of the area’s historic charm, and it shows off the best view of downtown.
Details: You’ll find the bridge mere steps from The Creamery, which is located at 109 E North Main St.
- It’s open Tuesday-Thursday 1-9pm, Friday-Saturday noon-1opm and Sunday noon-9pm.
Connect with your retro side at The Waxhaw Antique Mart
Get ready to experience a maze of rooms filled floor to ceiling with trendy and retro items.
Details: It’s located on the other side of the bridge at 101 W South Main St.
- The mart is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm
Shop and eat local at Provisions
After working up an appetite from your antique hunting, stop by Provisions Waxhaw for a lunch made from local ingredients. There’s a community room to enjoy your meal and no shortage of products from local vendors to shop from.
Details: Find Provisions at 107 W South Main St (steps away from the Antique Mart).
- It’s open every day 7am-6pm.
Take a candle-making class at Waxhaw Candle Company
It’s an instructor-led class that makes for a super fun group (or solo) activity! You’ll get to choose your own vessel and scents — and you can sip wine along the way.
- Class or no class, you can shop a massive selection of soy candles and additional retail like body care and essential oils.
Details: Waxhaw Candle Company is located at 113 W South Main St.
- It’s open Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.
Load up on pastries at Virtuoso Breadworks
Don’t leave downtown without getting your sweet tooth fix at Virtuoso. The artisan bakery is known for its breads, including a signature sourdough, plus its pastries and baked goods like croissants, cinnamon rolls and cookies.
Pro tip: Pair your treat with coffee. Virtuoso serves Enderly.
Details: Virtuoso is located at 205 Salem St. (close to Emmet’s).
- It’s open Tuesday-Saturday 6:30am-5:30pm.
Delight your inner history nerd at the Museum of the Waxhaws
For $5 per adult and $2 per child, you can learn more about Waxhaw’s history, dating back to the 1600s, tour a historic home, and check out the grounds.
Details: The museum is located at 8215 Waxhaw Hwy., about a mile from downtown.
- The museum has limited opening hour. For the most updated info, call 704-843-1832 or visit their website.
Watch a game at Maxwell’s Tavern
This local watering hole is exactly where you want to be when your team is playing. Expect a menu of American bar food, like fried pickles, nachos, burgers, chicken tenders and other handhelds.
Details: Find Maxwell’s at 112 E South Main St.
- It’s open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday noon-10pm.
Hang out on the Cross-State Suspension Bridge
It’s part of the Carolina Thread Trail and a must-do outdoorsy activity if you don’t mind feeling a little wobbly! The suspension bridge joins the North and South Carolina portions of the Thread Trail.
Details: The trailhead to the bridge is located at the back of Harvey Clay Nesbit Park. To get there, follow these steps:
- Once at the park, head down the gravel road to the trail entrance.
- The trail leads into a street into the Millbridge Community — you’ll be walking in the neighborhood for a bit.
- Then, you’ll see the trail continuing into a wooded area.
- Hike for about half a mile and you’ll arrive to the bridge.
Visit the Waxhaw Farmers’ Market
The Waxhaw Farmers Market is packed with local vendors selling everything from produce to artisan breads. It’s open on Saturdays from 9am-noon April through the end of December. Check the website for exact dates.
Details: It’s located at 27283 Waxhaw Pkwy.
Yes, and: If you can’t make it out for the farmers’ market, you can still buy fresh produce at the Rolling Hill Farms Fresh Market. It’s right next to Virtuoso at 120 Somer Street. It’s open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.
Swim and play at Cane Creek Park
Home to a 350-acre lake and over 1,000 acres of land, Cane Creek Park is where you’ll want to bring your family on a hot summer afternoon. But many outdoor activities are available year-round, including hiking trails, fishing areas, picnic spots, boat rentals and several playgrounds.
Details: Located at 5213 Harkey Road. It’s a little bit of a drive from downtown Waxhaw (about 15 minutes), but it’s worth it.
- The park is open every day from 7:30am-6:30pm.
Have happy hour at Cork & Ale
With a covered side patio and a large wine selection, Cork & Ale is where you catch up with an old friend over a glass (or two). There’s also a food menu of light bites, like tacos and flatbreads. On Wednesdays, there’s a wine tasting from 5-8pm with live music starting at 7pm.
Details: Cork & Ale is located at 113 E North Main St.
- It’s open Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11:30am-11pm and Sunday 9am-3pm.
Play music bingo (or just drink) at Dream Chaser’s Brewery
In the mood for beer over wine? Check out Dream Chaser’s right beside Cork & Ale. Recurring events include music bingo on Tuesdays 7-9pm, trivia on Wednesdays 7-9pm and an open mic night every other Thursday.
Details: Dream Chaser’s is located at 115 E North Main St.
- It’s open every day from 3-10pm.
Eat at American tapas-style restaurant Emmet’s
Formerly a cotton mill in the 19th century, the space has been turned into a trendy social spot with a tapas-style menu.
- Some of the most popular menu items include poke stuffed avocado ($15), deviled eggs ($8) and California flatbread ($13).
Details: Find Emmet’s at 401 E South Main St.
- It’s open Sunday-Thursday 11:30am-9pm and Friday-Saturday 11:30am-10pm.
Grab night cap at Mary O’ Neill’s Irish Pub
If you’re looking for a late night spot, Mary O Neill’s is the obvious choice because it’s open until 2am every night. The lively Irish pub is located on the main strip, so if you go to dinner downtown, it’s a walkable option for drinks afterward.
Details: Find Mary O’ Neill’s at 116 W North Main St.
- It’s open Monday-Friday 11am-2am and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2am.