Story by Diana Palka
Roughly 30 miles west of Uptown Charlotte is the city of Gastonia, an old textile town incorporated in 1877. What started as a town with a land area of less than one square mile and a population of just 200 people is now a bustling mini-metropolis with over 73,000 residents.
What To Do
Baseball fans can spend summer evenings watching the Gastonia Grizzlies, a collegiate baseball team that plays home games at Sims Legion Park every May through August. Adventure Landing is Gastonia’s very own theme park offering family fun year round. Patrons can swing away at the facility’s batting cages, putt-putt on three 18-hole miniature golf courses or escape the heat in the expansive video game arcade. Those looking to take leisurely strolls with views of sweeping sunsets can head to Rankin LakePark and walk around the lake or enjoy a picnic in one of the parks many shelters. Families can discover natural wonders at The Schiele Museum through remarkable exhibits and diverse programming. The spirit of education and conservation found here will bring you a lot closer to nature and a little closer to yourself.
Where To Eat
Tony’s Ice Cream is a local favorite famous for their milkshakes and homemade ice cream – available in 28 different flavors. Family owned and operated, Tony’s has been a Gastonia staple since 1915. With a “From the Grill” menu, Tony’s is the perfect place for a meal – from start to finish. The Round Bistro is a locally managed restaurant that celebrates the glory that is regional American cuisine. Think mouthwatering burgers, warm and gooey peach cobbler and baskets overflowing with hushpuppies. Check this place out when you’re looking for a table full of comfort food. If you find yourself seeking an alternative with a twist, you can check out Rodi for American Mediterranean fare served in a setting so trendy you thought it only existed on Instagram.
Where To Shop
Eastridge Mall is a one-stop shop for all with over 50 different shops and stores to meet almost every need. Julie’s Boutique offers high-end and trendy women’s fashion at affordable prices and is exclusive to the Charlotte area. B&B Artisan & Antique Mall is the perfect spot for yard-sale fanatics and antiquers. Over 70 dealers sell unique artwork, antiques and varying types of gallery-worthy collectibles. For those looking to stock up for their next thrill-seeking adventure, Gander Mountain is the place for area outdoor enthusiasts and nature-lovers alike.
This article ran in the August issue of Charlotte Happenings.
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