Charlotte, North Carolina retains its small-town vibe while having all the amenities of a big city: world-class museums, ample parks and nature trails, and plenty of quality restaurants. The Queen City is also a regional shopping destination, with options including high-end retail districts, neighborhood boutiques, outlet malls, antique stores, and furniture malls.
So whether you're looking for one-of-a-kind antiques, luxury fashions, reliable department stores, North Carolina-made furniture, or a locally made gift as a souvenir, the Queen City has it all.
Support female makers at this South End collection run by two Charlotte natives. Carrie Barker and Sarah Baucom have curated a dreamy collection of branded Girl Tribe apparel as well as clothing, accessories, home decor, beauty products, hair accessories, and more from other female designers. This is the spot to grab a present or souvenir for your sister or best friend—and maybe a few treats like a Homesick North Carolina candle for yourself.
Atherton Mill and Market
You'll find this shopping district and mixed-use development with over 115,000 square feet of retail nestled among the local breweries, colorful murals, and art galleries of the city's former industrial South End. Anchored by national retailers like Anthropologie, Madewell, Free People, Warby Parker, Sephora, and West Elm, Atherton Mill and Market is easily accessible via the city's Rail Trail, a 4.5-mile multi-use path. It's also home to the flagship store for Society Social, known for its colorful and stylish North Carolina-made furniture, upholstery, and home goods like brass bar carts and wicker lamps. Stop by Not Just Coffee, which serves local Homeland Creamery coffee, for a caffeine pick-me-up between stores. Note that parking can be a challenge, especially on weekends and during the summer.
The NoDa (North Davidson) neighborhood is home to some of the Queen City's most interesting and eclectic local shops. Try Summerbird for high-end and on-trend women's fashions and accessories at affordable prices; Curio for candles, crystals, and other spiritual items; and Ruby's Gift for items like pottery, home goods, and jewelry, all handmade by local artisans. As the city's arts district, NoDa is a good place to stroll through local galleries like Charlotte Art League, the Light Factory, and Providence Gallery to purchase a unique piece of art for yourself or a loved one back home. Check gallery calendars for neighborhood art crawls, which feature live music, food and drinks, and mingling with collectors and browsers alike.
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
If you're looking to score one-of-a-kind vintage or antique wares, head to the Charlotte outpost of Sleepy Poet Antique mall. Allow plenty of time to peruse the 60,000 square foot complex, where you'll find everything from midcentury furniture to 1940s era frocks to your favorite childhood toys and classic albums on vinyl. There's also a large collection of 19th century photography and medical books, as well as unique paintings and prints from local artists.
Pro tip: the mall can get quite crowded on weekends, so plan to go first thing in the morning or on a weekday, when you'll have more space and less competition for shopping.
Hickory Furniture Mart
It's worth the hour-long drive to Hickory to visit this one-stop-shop furniture mart, where you'll find almost 100 private galleries, showrooms, and factory outlets under one roof. With endless options for accessories, lighting fixtures, original artwork, furniture, and more, this is best spot to find an investment piece for your home—all at North Carolina's renowned discount prices. Check the mart's website for upcoming events, like the annual clearance sale.
One of the Southeast's largest shopping malls, SouthPark is where you'll find all the traditional retailers with options to meet every budget and taste. Think big-name department stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Macy's; luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry; and mall staples like Old Navy, J. Crew, American Girl, Dick's Sporting Goods, Crate & Barrel, Sephora, and Pottery Barn. Don't miss Reid's Fine Foods & Wine Bar for a quick bite to eat or drink, and don't forget to take home a gift basket stuffed with regional Southern specialties like toffee, cheese biscuits, and pickles.
This quirky, artsy neighborhood is filled with historic homes, local breweries, and eclectic shops. From used books at Book Buyers to the latest in street fashion sneakers at Social Status, Plaza Midwood is full of eclectic finds. Shop for his and her clothing and accessories at Boris and Natasha and stop by Moxie Mercantile or Green with ENVY for local gifts like candles, beauty products, and jewelry. For midcentury furniture and decor, try Slate, and head to Charlotte Collective for clothing, jewelry, and home goods from local makers.
Charlotte Premium Outlets
Get steep discounts on name brand apparel, shoes, accessories, and home goods at this outlet mall on the southeast side of town near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Retailers include Saks Off Fifth, Kate Spade, Coach, J. Crew, American Eagle, and Carter's as well Adidas, Columbia, and Under Amour. Le Creuset, Samsonite, and Vera Bradley have outposts here as well. Parking is plentiful, and there is a food court and a Starbucks if you need a quick bite to eat or drink while bargain hunting.
If high-end shopping is on the agenda, this open-air shopping district near SouthPark Mall has you covered. Luxury brands like Brooks Brothers, Eileen Fisher, Allen Edmonds, and Taylor Richards & Conger have outposts here, as does the local chain boutique Luna, which specializes in fine women's clothing and accessories. Finish your trip with a meal at the Palm Restaurant or a film at the Regal Cinema. Philipps Place has ample parking as well as valet.