Story by Leah Hughes
One of the qualities Charlotteans enjoy most about the city they call home is the ring of neighboring communities that they can explore. Several lakes, bountiful farmers markets, sprawling vineyards and charming downtowns make for ideal morning and afternoon drives. Less than an hour south of Uptown Charlotte, straight down Providence Road, is the town of Waxhaw. Chartered in 1889, Waxhaw takes its name from a local American Indian tribe. The town now has a population of about 11,300.
What To Do
Each month, the town holds a celebration on the First Friday. Businesses extend their hours, and many offer discounts and promotions. The evening activities are often themed, such as a springtime Easter egg hunt or pumpkin carving in the fall. The Musuem of the Waxhaws commemorates local history. The Waxhaw Indian Village displays replicas of the bark hut dwellings built by the tribe. While the museum takes no stance in the debate over Andrew Jackson’s birthplace — some say in a cabin in North Carolina while others claim it to be plantation in South Carolina — it serves as a memorial to the seventh president of the
United States. One of the best ways to explore Waxhaw is by foot. Set out on the Walking Tour of Historic Waxhaw. The brochure on the city’s website lists 30 points of interest in the Historic District.
Where To Eat
Maxwell’s Tavern is all about burgers and beer. The burger lineup includes the standards, such as the Carolina burger with mustard, chili, onions and slaw, as well as surprises for the “burger of the month” special. The rotating draft list has a selection of local and regional craft beers. Just a few doors down Main Street is Heritage Food & Drink. Chef and owner Paul Verica turns out creative dishes using local ingredients. The seasonal menu highlights what’s fresh at the market. For a sweet snack, stop by Waxhaw Creamery for a waffle cone. The shop specializes in seasonal ice cream flavors; think Thin Mint for Girl Scout Cookie season, peach for the summertime and eggnog around the holidays.
Where To Shop
Stock up on local produce, bread, meat and dairy products at Provisions by Sandy Creek. With a loaf of rosemary focaccia from Carolina Artisan Bread and pasture-raised meat from Belle Terra Farms, supporting local purveyors is a delicious endeavor. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Bike Depot of Waxhaw in downtown offers a variety of services from fitting customers for brand new bikes to tune-ups for well-used cycles. The shop also sponsors rides and events throughout the year.
This article ran in the May 2015 issue of Charlotte Happenings.
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