Shopping Around Charlotte

Love to shop? You will find yourself at home in Charlotte. With everything from upscale to antique to bargain shopping, Charlotte is continuously expanding its retail space and drawing shoppers from across the region. Whether you’re looking for a Louis Vuitton handbag, unique Victorian jewelry or just a good deal on a new suit, Charlotte has what you’re looking for. The most exclusive mall in Charlotte is Southpark at the corner of Sharon and Fairview  roads. Anchored by Hecht’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Belk and the latest edition, Neiman Marcus. Southpark houses numerous specialty shops and several high-end retailers including Burberry, Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton. Other posh shopping centers in the area include Specialty Shops on the Park behind Southpark mall and Phillips Place on Fairview Road, characterized by cobblestone walkways, upscale restaurants, galleries, jewelers and a salon. Concord Mills, opened in 1999, draws mall enthusiasts from across the region to its 1.4 million square feet of shopping and entertainment. Packed with a number of outlet stores like Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Saks Fifth  Avenue and Ann Taylor, Concord Mills boasts more than 200 stores, a 24 –screen movie theater, restaurants and Dave and Buster’s with a dance club, hibachi grill, four bars, billiards and a bowling alley. Located about a mile from Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord Mills also draws visitors to its NASCAR SpeedPark, which features six race tracks, miniature golf, kiddie rides, laser tag, an arcade and a rock climbing wall. About 15.3 million people flock to Concord Mills each year, making it the top tourist attraction in the state. The University area is bursting with shopping centers, but none a aesthetic as the Shoppes at University Place off W.T. Harris Boulevard. Set around a small lake, the Shoppes at University Place also includes a two-mile walking trail. In addition to big-box retailers Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Shoppes at University Place are home to more than 80 stores and restaurants, many of which offer a spectacular view of the lake. The Mooresville area is exploding with shopping areas. Most are anchored by a big box store, such as, Super Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Super Target, Khols, Belk or Best Buy and surrounded by specialty shops that include World Market, Ross, Pier One, Old Navy & Pet Smart to name a few.  You will also enjoy the vast variety of restaurants & race shops. Birkdale Village, a mixed-use development of shops, apartments, restaurants and offices, occupies more than 700,000 square feet in Huntersville. With an old-time Main Street and park benches, Birkdale Village includes a Banana Republic, Gymboree, Gap, American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1, salons and a 16 screen movie theater. In fall of 2005, Northlake Mall opened to much fanfare at the intersection of I-77 and W.T. Harris, serving North Mecklenburg and the booming Lake Norman area. With more than 150 shops and restaurants, the new mall is anchored by Belk, Dillard’s, Hecht’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Borders and a 14-screen movie theater. In Pineville, Carolina Place Mall is extremely popular, drawing South Charlotteans to its more than 140 specialty shops that include American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap. Near the I-485/NC 51 interchange, Carolina Place is anchored by Dillard’s, Hecht’s, Belk, JCPenny and Sears. Across NC51, the Centrum offers big-box retailers Best Buy and Home Depot. Just up I-485 at NC 49, Ayrsley is a new mixed-use development of retail, office and residential space with specialty shops and restaurants. Nearby, Whitehall Commons is a new shopping center with 585,000 square feet that includes Super Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. Distinctive shops are popping up all over Charlotte’s historic mill villages, Southendand NoDa. Known for their galleries and renovated mills, both areas offer unique clothing stores and restaurants. Antique lovers will also enjoy the Metrolina Expo, a trade center that hosts a monthly Antique & Collectible Show, which attracts avid collectors from across the Southeast. A number of shopping centers outside of Charlotte also provide excellent shopping ventures. Westfield Eastridge Mall in Gastonia is anchored by Dillard’s, JCPenny, Sears and Belk and includes more than 75 specialty stores. About 45 minutes southwest of Charlotte via I-85, the Prime Outlets in Gaffney, features more than 80 outlet stores including Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bass, Pottery Barn, Nautica, Nine West and Jones New York. Because of its abundance of manufacturers, North Carolina is one of the best places in the country to buy furniture. About an hour from Charlotte, the Hickory Furniture Mart in Hickory offers domestic and imported furniture and home furnishings from more than 100 factory stores, outlets and galleries, and features more than 1,000 lines.

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