How to Spend a Day at Camp North End
Nearly 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.
by DeAnna Taylor
The 76-acre open-air property is located in Charlotte’s North End Smart District and has become home to over 50 tenants in less than five years, with more openings on the horizon. The expansive campus is divided into different districts – Kewsick, The Mount and the Boileryard – making the space easily navigable. Whether you are looking for something new to do around the Queen City or are popping into Charlotte for a few days, here is how you can spend a day exploring Camp North End.
1. Grab a cup of your favorite morning pick-me-up at Hex Coffee. With plants and cozy seating filling the space, grab your favorite beverage and sip in comfort at this unique space roasting its own beans in-house.
2. Support local artisans and artists with a visit to Dupp & Swat and BLK MRKT, both located in the Boileryard. On the Keswick side, check out Wendy O’ Connor Art and Home, a contemporary art and home decor studio where the artist herself can often be seen at work. Also in the Keswick district is Goodyear Arts, an artist-led gallery rotating resident artists seasonally.
3. Get lunch at the Keswick walk-up stalls including 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 (charcuterie shop).
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. Get in a couple of running miles with the city’s largest Tuesday social running group, Mad Miles Club, hosted by You vs. Yourself (YVY) Sports Performance & Fitness Gym or, check out a Saturday boot camp hosted by the gym as well.
8. Pick out your next great read from That’s Novel Books inside Lokal by Hygge at The Mount and browse the other 25+ local retail brands housed inside the space. While there, pop in next door to Grow: a plant shop for all of your plant parent needs. For unique paper and stationery products, stop by mother-daughter founded Good Postage.
9. Make a dinner reservation at award-winning Leah & Louise, owned by husband and wife culinary powerhouse, Gregory and Subrina Collier, the couple also behind Camp North End’s BayHaven Food and Wine Festival each October.
10. Sip on uniquely crafted cocktails created by Black Moth Bars or your favorite glass of red or white wine from NoDa Company Canteen (only open on Friday evenings) as you relax on one of the many gliders set up around the Boileryard or in front of a fire pit in cooler months. On most Wednesday and Friday evenings, you’ll likely also hear the sounds of live local bands on the stage
11. Looking to try locally crafted beer? Walk over to The Mount for Free Range Brewing to see what’s on tap or to purchase cans from other local and regional brewers to take home.
12. Rent an e-scooter or bike from Rent EBoards and create your own tour around the property to find as many murals and art installations as possible. The painted garage doors in the Boileryard are always a fun place to start.
13. Depending on the season, you can also catch a few of Camp North End’s annual events and pop-ups, too. In the spring, look for Vintage Charlotte, a massive vendor market featuring handmade items and hard-to-find vintage clothing and goods; Durag Festival – a celebration of Black culture and fashion – happening in June; and Mistletoe Market, a family-friendly Christmas market open weekends around the holidays.
14. 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 in The Mount with family, friends or pups while you sip beer, wine, kombucha or vegan hot chocolate from Plant Joy.