Guide: Everything you need to know about the CityLYNX Gold Line

Guide: Everything you need to know about the CityLYNX Gold Line
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This content was produced in partnership with CATS.


The new CityLYNX Gold Line is open, connecting East and West Charlotte with a modern streetcar line.

The background: The Charlotte Area Transit System, or CATS, has been working on extending the current CityLYNX Gold Line since 2017. On August 30, the streetcar began passenger service from Sunnyside Avenue in Plaza Midwood to French Street in Biddleville.

Why it’s important: The CityLYNX Gold Line connects East and West Charlotte in a whole new way. City officials hope it will improve public transit options and spur economic development.


Here’s how to ride the Gold Line:

The Gold Line streetcar operates every 20 minutes from 5 a.m. until 2 a.m. and it’s free until January (then, the $2.20 standard local fare will kick in).

The stop on Sunnyside Ave.

Connecting lines: You can also use the Gold Line to connect to the Blue Line at the CTC/Arena stop in Uptown. The Blue Line runs from I-485 in South Charlotte, through South End and all the way up to UNC Charlotte.

All aboard: The stations have covered waiting areas with seating and many feature artwork from local artists. When the streetcar arrives, the doors will open automatically – step aboard.

  • Pro tip: Use the CATS Art in Transit App to learn more about the artwork as you’re riding. Available for iOS and Android.

The streetcar fleet is made up of five hybrid vehicles and have route maps inside them. Riding them, you can tell everything is brand-spanking-new. It’s a smooth ride and there are plenty of windows to see the sights (and some skyline views).


Here are 25+ things to do along the Gold Line, organized by stop.

First things first: here’s a quick list of all of the stops along the Gold Line (from West to East):

  • French Street
  • Johnson C. Smith
  • Bruns Ave.
  • Wesley Heights
  • Irwin Ave.
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Charlotte Gateway Station
  • Mint St.
  • Tryon St.
  • CTC/Arena
  • Davidson St.
  • McDowell St.
  • CPCC
  • Elizabeth & Hawthorne
  • Hawthorne & 5th st.
  • 8th st.
  • Sunnyside Ave.

Yup, there are 17 total stops along the Gold Line. It’s more than a way to get from place to place – the Gold Line is an opportunity to explore the city more fully and discover all of the great businesses along the route.

Note: this is not an exhaustive list of every business accessible via the Gold Line. For a deeper dive, check out our Uptown, Elizabeth and West End guides.

A map of the current and planned Gold Line route. Image: City of Charlotte


French Street

Mama Gee’s Takeout
509 Beatties Ford Rd
Details: Family-owned, authentic Ghanian food

Johnson C. Smith

Johnson C. Smith University
100 Beatties Ford Rd.
Details: College campus with stadium boasting great skyline views

Paige Hopkins/Axios

Bruns Ave.

Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard
1806 Rozelles Ferry Rd.
Details: Chain with Italian ices, frozen custard and other treats

via Facebook

Wesley Heights

Irwin Creek & Stewart Creek Grenways
Heathcliff St. 
Details: Greenway with skyline views, benches and Blue Blaze Brewing at one end

Irwin Ave.

Frazier Park
1201 W 4th Street Ext.
Details: 16-acre park with tennis courts, community gardens a greenway and a dog park

Frazier Park

Johnson & Wales University

Bisonte Pizza Co.
710 W Trade St
Details: New York-style pizza and wings

Bisonte Pizza Co.

Boba Koala
901 W Trade St
Details: Hot or iced boba tea

Charlotte Gateway Station

Little Village Grill
710 W Trade St
Details: Cute cafe with Greek comfort food

gyro at little village grill

Taproom Social
430 W 4th St
Details: Self-serve bar with skyline views

taps at taproom social uptown charlotte

Mint St.

Que Onda Tacos + Tequila Uptown
333 W Trade St #101
Details:
Fun spot with Mexican street food and cocktails 

Tryon St.

Coco and the Director
100 W Trade Street
Details: Cafe with coffee, snacks and local art

coffee shop coco and the director charlotte

Stoke Charlotte
100 W Trade St
Details:
Swanky restaurant with seasonal food, craft beers and specialty cocktails

watermelon-at-stoke-restaurant-uptown-charlotte

CTC/Arena

Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo
220 E Trade St. Suite 2200
Details:
Swanky rooftop with cocktails, bites and city views

Spectrum Center
330 E Trade St. 
Details:
Home of the Hornets 🏀

Davidson St.

Fahrenheit Charlotte
222 S Caldwell St. 21st floor
Details:
Popular rooftop bar with firepits and craft cocktails.

Fahrenheit Rooftop

McDowell St.

Marshall Park
800 E 3rd St. 
Details:
Park with a small lake, amphitheater, and one of the best skyline photo ops in the city

CPCC

Central Piedmont Community College
1141 Elizabeth Ave. 
Details:
Charming college with classic brick buildings

Metropolitan Shopping Center
1111 Metropolitan Ave. 
Details:
One-stop-shop for groceries, retail and restaurants along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Metropolitan, Midtown

Elizabeth & Hawthorne

Customshop Handcrafted Food
1601 Elizabeth Ave.
Details:
Intimate restaurant serving new American/European dishes

tuna-at-customshop

The Spoke Easy
1530 Elizabeth Ave., Ste. 100.
Details:
Full-service bike shop and bar

The Spoke Easy

Hawthorne & 5th st.

Independence Park
1222 Central Ave
Details: Park with sports fields, walking paths and a rose garden

Independence Park

8th st.

Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar
1701 E 7th St
Details: New York-style pizza, large beer list and an outdoor patio

hawthornes elizabeth

Sabor Latin Grill
1701 E 7th St
Details: Counter service spot for Mexican food and margaritas  

Sabor

The Fig Tree
1601 E 7th St 
Details:
Romantic, upscale restaurant. Their signature dish is the Elk Chop

meat at fig tree restaurants in charlotte

Mural House
1812 E 8th Street
Details: Take a stroll down 8th street to look at the cute houses, particularly this brightly painted Victorian house

Sunnyside Ave.

Warmack
1226 Central Ave STE A
Details:
Asian comfort food and specialty cocktails

warmack plaza midwood restaurant dessert

ShareTea
1204 Central Ave, Unit 102
Details: Bubble Tea shop where you can customize the ice and sweetness levels.

I Love Juice Bar
1204 Central Ave, Unit 100
Details: Healthy food, including juice, soups and bowls

Thirsty Beaver
1225 Central Ave
Details: Legendary dive bar

Thirsty Beaver in Plaza Midwood

Charlotte Collective
1222 Central Ave
Details: Collection of local home decor, clothing and beauty brands


CATS  is a leader in moving Charlotte forward with transit. Learn more about the 2030 campaign.

This content was produced in partnership with CATS.

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