How to Spend a Day at Camp North End
You can spend hours or a few days exploring the diverse array of businesses, murals, events and more at Camp North End.
by DeAnna Taylor
Almost a century ago, in 1924, Camp North End as we know it was home to a 240,000-square-foot building which served as the city’s first Ford Motor Company factory. Once a manufacturing site for Model T cars, and later assembling Hercules missiles, the property has now transformed into a hub for some of the city’s most creative and innovative businesses.
Since opening in 2017, this 76-acre, open-air property is now home to over 60 tenants, with more openings on the horizon. This expansive campus is divided into five districts: Mount, Keswick, Boileryard, Crossroads and Graham Street. Since this space offers so much to explore and experience, here are 15 things to do at Camp North End.
1. Grab a cup of your favorite morning pick-me-up at Hex Coffee. Sip a hot or iced beverage in comfort at this unique space that roasts its own beans in-house.
2. Support local artisans and artists with a visit to Dupp & Swat and BLK MRKT CLT, both located in the Boileryard. On the Keswick side, check out Windy O’Connor Art and Home, a contemporary art and home decor studio where the artist herself can often be seen at work. Goodyear Arts, in the Mount District, is an artist-led gallery that rotates resident artists seasonally.
3. Get lunch at the Keswick walk-up stalls, such as: Bleu Barn Bistro, a farm-to-table concept; La Caseta, Latin American street food; Plant Joy, fast-casual vegan; and Saru Ramen, Japanese ramen. Just a short walk away, you’ll find Babe & Butcher, a charcuterie shop.
4. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a refreshing, customizable gelato pop on a stick at Popbar, or fresh-baked goods and pastries from Wentworth and Fenn, both women-owned. Don’t let dairy stop you from enjoying a sweet treat. Seemingly Overzealous Ice Cream is scooping up 100% egg- and dairy-free flavors.
5. Stop by MacFly Fresh for your screen printing needs and pre-printed tees. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a live tiny desk-inspired concert from a local artist.
6. Take advantage of a little self-care with an appointment at full-service eXplicit Salon, specializing in all things hair.
7. Shop for sick sneakers and other streetwear at Current Nostalgia in the Keswick District. Then, browse custom-fitted hats nearby at Fitteds, home of the purple brim. Sneakerheads can also find pop-up events at Kicks & Fros, a space dedicated to uplifting and empowering women in the sneaker community.
8. Get in a run with the city’s largest social running group on Tuesdays, Mad Miles Run Club. The weekly runs are part of a partnership with You vs. Yourself, a private gym that also offers public drop-in yoga, bootcamp and dance classes.
9. Pick out your next great read from That’s Novel Books inside Lokal by Hygge, at the Mount, and browse the more than 25 other local retail brands housed inside the space. While there, pop in next door to Grow for all of your plant parent needs. For unique paper and stationery products, stop by mother-daughter-founded Good Postage.
10. Make a dinner reservation at award-winning Leah & Louise, owned by husband and wife culinary powerhouse, Gregory and Subrina Collier. The couple is also behind Camp North End’s BayHaven Food and Wine Festival in October.
11. Sip on uniquely crafted cocktails created by Black Moth Bars, or your favorite glass of red or white wine from NoDa Company Canteen, as you relax on one of the many gliders set up around the Boileryard. On most Wednesday and Friday evenings, you’ll likely also hear the sounds of live local bands on the Boileryard stage.
12. Looking to try locally crafted beer? Walk over to Free Range Brewing, at the Mount, to see what’s on tap or to purchase cans from other local and regional brewers.
13. Rent an e-scooter or bike from Rent EBoards and create your own tour around the property to discover Camp North End’s murals and art installations. The painted garage doors in the Boileryard are always a fun place to start.
14. Depending on the season, you can also catch a few of Camp North End’s annual events and pop-ups. In the spring, look for Vintage Charlotte, a massive vendor market featuring handmade items and hard-to-find vintage clothing and goods. Mark your calendar for the Durag Festival, a celebration of Black culture and fashion, happening in June. During the holiday season, Mistletoe Market, a family-friendly Christmas market, is open on weekends.
15. Spend the evening playing ping-pong, cornhole or giving the kids an artistic outlet with sidewalk chalk. In the winter months, cozy up around the fire pits at the Mount with family, friends or pups while sipping beer and wine, as well as kombucha or vegan hot chocolate from Plant Joy. Wednesday evenings, April through December, North End Farmers Market features a mix of local and regional farmers, food artisans and handcrafted goods.
Article originally written by DeAnna Taylor. Updates by Arielle Patterson in July 2023.