Your Guide to Park Road Shopping Center
Talk to any Charlottean about the premier shopping destinations in the Queen City and you’ll eventually be led to the Park Road Shopping Center.
by Charlie Leonard
The open-air shopping center at the intersection of Park Road and Woodlawn Road was Charlotte’s first and the largest of its type between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta when it opened in 1956. It was a huge deal when it opened, providing the up-and-coming city of Charlotte with that big-city feel that other metropolises had to offer. Even in a completely different decade and millennium, the Park Road Shopping Center continues to impress natives and newcomers in Charlotte. Once you find the Art-Deco signage that towers over the southeast entrance, you’ll enter an exciting destination for shopping that simultaneously pays homage to the past while looking to the future.
Ready for a history lesson disguised as a shopping trip? Here’s how you can make the most of the Park Road Shopping Center:
1. Go see a movie at AMC Park Terrace 6. This luxury theater has leather reclining seats and a bar in the lobby area for the ultimate film viewing experience. If you’re craving something other than popcorn, grab a bite to eat at Shake Shack or Velvet Taco across the street.
2. Get dressed up for dinner and drinks. Order a seafood dinner from the raw bar at ROCKSALT where you’ll find several different oyster dishes. Once you’re done with dinner, walk over to Dot Dot Dot for dessert and a craft cocktail in their upscale cocktail lounge.
4. Find your new favorite dessert. You’re absolutely spoiled for choices here, including ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, pastries like the infamous salted caramel brownie at Amelié’s French Bakery & Café, donuts at Your Mom’s Donuts, and delicious cakes, cookies and custom treats at Suárez Bakery.
5. Dine on your favorite American-style eats. If you’re looking for vibrant, New-American appetizers and entrees, try Burtons Grill or the farm-to-table Flour Shop. For that cult-classic type of joint, order a BBQ plate from the Midwood Smokehouse or the diner-style Park Road Soda Shoppe that’s got burgers, fries, milkshakes and a soda foundation.
6. Take your tastebuds on a trip around the world. You’ll find signature margaritas and Mexican food at Cantina 1511, Vietnamese pho at CO, classic Italian dishes at Osteria LuCa and Irish pub grub — best ordered with a pint — at Sir Edmond Halley’s.
7. Make the most of the most important meal with breakfast at The Flying Biscuit Cafe. With all-day breakfast and delicious biscuits, you won’t want to skip breakfast ever again. Sit down inside or order carry out once you’re done shopping.
9. Tackle your to-do list. Snack on some popcorn while you stock up on home improvement supplies at Blackhawk Hardware and Garden Center. Do your favorite pair of shoes need a bit of TLC? Drop them off at Park Road Shoe Service and they’ll look like new in no time.
10. Gear up for your next outdoor adventure. You’ll find a wide selection of bikes at BikeSource, camping gear and equipment at Great Outdoor Provision Company and plenty of team sports gear at Omega Sports. Looking for a workout? Feel the burn with a high-intensity workout session at Orangetheory Fitness.
13. Elevate your home’s interior design. Browse the unique home goods selections at the High Cotton Home Company or Traditions Interiors & Accessories. Want the pros to do it for you? Both stores have designers on staff that are ready to serve your style needs.
16. Go get your nails done at Polished Nail Bar. Looking for more than nail services? They also offer waxing, lash extensions and microblading.
17. Pick up a unique gift for any occasion. Grab a bestselling book or one of the many selections from local authors at Park Road Books. Need something for the tobacco aficionado in your life? It’s just a short walk to McCranie’s Pipe Shop, which has a wide selection of premium cigars, pipes, and tobacco.
18. Bring your kids for an afternoon activity. Find upcycled kid’s clothes and accessories at Kid to Kid, fun toys and delicious candy at Harper & Skyler’s Toys & Sweets, and fun afterschool or summertime dance classes at Jami Masters School of Dance.
19. Grab your friends and family for a few frames at 10 Park Lanes. Conveniently located across from the Park Road Shopping Center, this modern bowling alley has 32 lanes, interactive games, an onsite pro shop and plenty of great food and drink specials.