Things to Do in Matthews

Tucked 11 miles southeast of Charlotte, the town of Matthews, North Carolina has a quaint downtown that might make you forget you're in a busy metropolitan area


With kitschy artwork, back-in-time stores and a flair for the festive, you'll find plenty to entertain your family during your time in this North Carolina town.

Go for the Green

Begin your exploration of Matthews at the town green. Explore the town's history by browsing through the visitors’ center, set in the historic train depot. Climb aboard a red caboose that will delight the children and train lovers in your family. On Saturday mornings, head to the farmers market, where you'll find produce and products originating within 30 miles around the city. Explore unique downtown shops, such as Renfrow's Hardware & General Merchandise, which looks much the same as it did 100 years ago. It sells much more than the usual nuts and bolts, including glass-bottled sodas, baby chickens, produce, fresh flowers, and a mind-boggling array of seeds and plants.

Feel Festive

Even though Matthews is more than 150 miles from the nearest ocean, you can still wiggle your toes in the sand and groove to beach music right in town. BeachFest kicks off the summer in May with two days of live music, arts and crafts booths and a children's carnival. If you're in town over Labor Day weekend, don't miss one of the largest parades in the Southeast on Saturday morning. Afterward, browse more than 150 artisan booths, tap your toe to live music in the park and take the kids to the carnival to enjoy rides and quirky foods. The festival concludes with a classic car show on Labor Day.

Get Artsy

Just about anywhere you look in Matthews, you'll be able to view art. From a mural depicting the city's history in the library to outdoor sculptures in the parks, most public artwork in town is the work of talented locals. Take a walk at Four-Mile Creek Greenway, where formerly rusted sewer pipes live new lives as fanciful woodland creatures. For a more traditional experience, head to McDowell Arts Center to view displays from the town's artists. For theatrics, watch a play at the Matthews Playhouse—designed to encourage young actors. Several of the playhouse's performers have gone on to careers on Broadway or television.

Tantalize Your Tastebuds

Savor fried trout, barbecue pork or Southern fried chicken at South 21 Matthews. Crown your dinner with a cherry milkshake or a big slice of homemade pecan or apple pie. Don’t forget the ice cream! The local favorite opened in the mid-1950s and is still operated by the original family. Meet friends for a cold one at Carolina Beer Temple where you'll find a mind-blowing array of local, domestic and Belgian ales, as well as mead and cider. While the establishment serves only cold sandwiches and snacks, you'll be able to view menus from an array of local restaurants that will deliver your hot food of choice to your table in the Temple.




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