By Emily Farrington Smith
Welcome to Shelby, NC
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains is the friendly city of Shelby, North Carolina. Located less than an hour from Uptown Charlotte, Shelby charms visitors with its tranquil surroundings and easy access to the Queen City. Incorporated in 1843 as the county seat for the newly formed Cleveland County, it has grown steadily through the influence of farming, rail and civic clubs, like the Cleveland County Family YMCA and the Masonic Temple Building. Shelby’s historic offerings and Southern spirit make it the perfect weekend getaway
Where to Eat
In true Southern form, Shelby is home to a bevy of delicious dining options. For a true taste of the town, try the El Michuacan (with a tamale, taquitos and nachos) at Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant, the benne seed-crusted Scottish salmon at the incredibly chic Ni Fen Bistro or the North Carolina-style barbecue pizza at the only brick oven pizzeria in town, Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille. Newt’s Pub Burgers serves up unbeatable burgers, like the jalapeño and pimento cheeseburger, and Chen’s offers the freshest authentic Chinese in town. Get your eastern North Carolina barbecue fix when you pair a sandwich with the famous red slaw at Alston Bridges Barbecue. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to The Fuzzy Peach Frozen Yogurt Bar or warm up with a coffee from Lily Bean’s Micro-Roasted Coffee or Hannah’s Coffee House.
What to See
Shelby’s cultural heritage runs deep, and its charming offerings have created the friendly character for which its known. Favorite sites include: the Earl Scruggs Center, named for the world-famous banjo player who hails from Shelby; the old post office building that houses the Cleveland County Arts Council, home of the annual Real to Reel International Film Festival in the summer; and the impressive LeGrand Center, which boasts bold and captivating architecture. Be sure to check out the inaugural Spring Home and Garden Show benefiting Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity April 2-3. For the real Shelby experience, your docket should also include time spent at The Don Gibson Theatre, the seasonal Foothills Farmer’s Market, the old-time carousel and train at Shelby City Park, and Owl’s Eye Vineyard & Winery.
Where to Shop
Its convenient location to Charlotte’s retail scene doesn’t diminish Shelby’s well-appointed selection of specialty shops. Check out the Antique Market of Shelby for must-have, unique pieces, Victoria Stephen Specialty Gifts for boutique shower gifts (both bridal and baby), or Dragonfly Wine Market for wines, craft beers and local, handmade pottery. The Swamp Fox Trading Company and Hip-O-Kat Retro & Vintage Kewl Stuff located in Shelby’s Uptown district are great stops for one-of-a-kind clothing as is the adorable Floosie Girls Boutique, where stylish clothes with a Southern edge abound.
This article ran in the March 2016 issue of Charlotte Happenings.
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