How to Spend a Day at Camp North End
Your guide to enjoying Charlotte’s most state-of-the-art creative hub.
by DeAnna Taylor
Per a COVID-19-related Mecklenburg County health directive issued Jan. 12, 2021, please note that some businesses may have modified their hours of operation and changed procedures in order to comply with CDC and Mecklenburg County Health Department guidelines. Please wear a mask, limit any non-essential activities and refrain from gathering with anyone outside of your household.
What was once a manufacturing site for Model T cars and assembling Hercules missiles, has now been transformed into a hub for some of the city’s most innovative businesses. Camp North End, located in the up-and-coming North End Smart District, officially opened in 2017 and is now home to over 40 tenants — with even more being introduced.
Most of the 76-acre property is open air, which means it’s a great opportunity to discover a new neighborhood while still being able to safely social distance. Whether you are looking for something new to do around the Queen City, or you are popping into Charlotte for a few days, here is a guide on how you can spend a full day exploring Camp North End.
Work up an appetite with a drop-in class at Bloc Charlotte, a boutique fitness concept, which is currently offering one-hour fitness classes virtually until North Carolina moves into Phase 3. Once gyms are able to operate again, you can definitely expect to burn some calories in-person with this fun yet high-intensity workout.
If you prefer coffee as your pick-me-up, make your way to HEX Coffee to sip on a latte or cold brew on a hot day. Add in a few baked goods like an oatmeal creme pie and a samoa tart at gourmet bakery, Wentworth & Fenn. You’ll likely need to make an appointment here first.
Get an-up-close look at some of Charlotte’s artists in action by visiting the galleries on-site. Blk Mrkt and DUPP&SWAT are both Black-owned studios that feature original works of local artists. Windy O’Connor Art and Home is a contemporary art and home decor studio and the artist herself can often be seen at work.
Grab lunch at the newly opened walk-up stands including Bleu Barn Bistro (a farm-to-table concept), La Caseta (Latin American street food), and Saru by Bow Ramen (Japanese ramen). There is seating and picnic tables along the walkway to sit and enjoy your lunch.
After your main meal, grab a refreshing customizable gelato pop on a stick at Popbar. As you enjoy your treat, make your way to the retail shops to pick up a few goodies to take home. Stop by MacFly Fresh for your screen printing needs and pre-printed tees, Good Postage sells everything from greeting cards to stickers, or grab a few new reads from That’s Novel Books — a used bookstore that also features new books written by Charlotte authors.
You’ve had your lunch and even did a little retail therapy, now it's time for an impromptu photoshoot in front of the many murals around the area. Many of the larger-than-life paintings were done by local artists as well – from Osiris Rain to Rebecca Lowry.
Wind down your day with dinner at Leah & Louise, a Southern-inspired juke joint owned by James Beard nominated chef Greg Collier. You’ll want to make reservations ahead of time to ensure you get a table.
End your eventful day with cocktails from Black Moth Bars. The mobile cart can typically be found on Fridays after 5 p.m.