The Ultimate Charlotte Fall Shopping Guide
Locally sourced essentials (and a few nice-to-haves) to prepare you for fall season.
by Stacee Michelle Aug 27, 2020
The warmth of summer is still upon us but we’ve been here before and know what comes next. The temperature will drop and days will become shorter, but still...who doesn’t love fall? It’s the perfect excuse to pull out our favorite layers and shop for new finds. Here are a few more fall essentials you should score for the colder months.
For the PSL Coffee Drinker
Neighborhood: Villa Heights
Nothing symbolizes the arrival of fall more than the pumpkin spice latte, and it’s soon coming to neighborhood favorite, The Hobbyist. In addition to the PSL, visitors will be able to enjoy two sweetly spiced espresso drinks: the Amarillo Vanilla and Roasted Cinnamon Pecan. Now offering farm-fresh produce, this is your Villa Heights one-stop-shop! Pick up local bread, eggs, milk, cheese and a variety of other options. Oh, and no need to set your alarm clock, coffee is served all day.
Paper Skyscraper has been Charlotte's go-to gift shop for over 30 years and has all you need to satisfy your fall season senses. Whether it be fall-flavored popcorn or a cute coffee mug, there are carefully curated items from 70 different vendors displayed throughout the 4,500 square-foot store.
For the Seasonal Brew Fanatic
Neighborhood: South End
Featuring a vast beer garden, Sycamore Brewing is a great outdoor spot for an afternoon of socially distant brews. For the seasonal beer enthusiasts, get ready to sip on the brewery’s Pumpkin Latte Blonde (5.8% ABV), brewed with real spices, vanilla and house-roasted coffee. If you’d rather enjoy it from the comfort of your own home, you can order a four-pack here.
Named after the Catawba River in western North Carolina, Catawba Brewing Co. has been a staple of the Belmont neighborhood since 2017. With outdoor seating and views of the Charlotte skyline, you and your quarantine crew are able to enjoy the White Zombie White Ale, a Halloween brew, all year long. For the true pumpkin heads, Catawba Brewing Co. is releasing King Don’s Pumpkin Ale (5% ABV) on September 18.
For the DIY Guru
Neighborhood: Hickory, NC
If you are heading to the mountains to enjoy the fall foliage, stop by the Hickory Furniture Mart to shop North Carolina-made furniture and home accessories. The Fall After Market Sale is the most popular event of the season and takes place November 13-15. Customers can find high-quality, one of a kind pieces at a heavy discount. There’s no better time than now to make your home feel a little bit cozier – with items such as accent chairs and couches in warm tones like brown, bronze and gold.
If you are looking for that special piece to bring personality to your living space, Dressing Rooms Interior Studio is the premier choice for refurbished vintage furniture and decor in the Queen City. This fall, customers will find vintage furniture newly upholstered in warm cut velvet fabrics with tribal patterns. When it comes to trends, owner and huntress, Ariene Bethea, says that the season will have a 1980s focus. You’ll see more curves in furniture – round coffee tables, sofas with rounded arms and benches with rounded sides (a.k.a waterfall benches). If you can’t make it to the store, shop online and find stunning pre-loved items to mix into your abode.
For the Outdoorsy Type
Area: West Charlotte
The U.S. National Whitewater Center has over 1,300 acres of land, and that means there are plenty of opportunities to explore the trails for hiking, mountain biking and take in the views of the changing fall colors.
An Annual Pass is the best way to access the outdoor facility’s activities. Valid 365 days from its first use, this pass gives access to upcoming experiences like ice skating on 17,000 square feet at the Upper Pond in November. They also have several Paddle to Table Adventure dining events on the schedule for the fall, which include a paddle trip on the Catawba River plus a three-course meal at the Ridge Pavilion.
Neighborhood: Myers Park
Geared up and ready to go with the finest in sporting and lifestyle merchandise, The Sporting Gent is the ideal destination for the Southern man who loves the outdoors. The store will be launching a massive fall collection of their signature brand, TSG, plus an assortment of other gear from partner brands. Fan favorites like the Boone 5-Pocket Pant and Pisgah Fleece Vest are a no-brainer for the outdoorsy guy at home. If you need help planning a fishing or hunting trip this fall, the team at The Sporting Gent will help coordinate customized sporting adventures and mountain resort experiences for individuals and groups.
For the Art Aficionado
Time to embrace your creative side! During these unusual times, making art and creating is a great self-care practice to help you de-stress. This autumn, The Little King Art is offering a plethora of DIY Weaving Kits in fall color schemes, Pom Pom Earring Kits in local team colors, Rainbow Wall Hanging Kits, along with a new Macra-Weave Kit (a combo of weaving and macramé). Whether you're a beginner or expert crafter, there's a kit for everyone in your quarantine crew.
With every purchase of a kit, a kit is donated to A Child's Place & Cool Kids Campaign.
With more than 450 paintings of the greater Charlotte area, David French Originals has truly captured the essence of the city. Although fall art shows have been canceled, each month art enthusiasts can visit French’s personal studio in NoDa. Go check out where the artist creates his masterpieces and purchase a piece that speaks to you. You may even leave with a piece of free art! Stay connected on social media for announcements of upcoming open studios this fall.
For the Culture Lover
The Mint Museum offers a shopping experience that will make you forget you are in a museum gift shop. Every corner of the store is full of unique gifts, artwork, jewelry and books. This fall, stop by to pick up new reads from the vast collection curated by the Mint including:
- ‘30 Americans: The Rubell Family Collection’ by Franklin Sirmans, Glenn Ligon, Robert Hobbs and Michele Wallace
- ‘Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot’ by Mikki Kendall
- ‘Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight For Their Rights’ by Mikki Kendall and A. D'Amico
- ‘White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism’ by Robin Diangelo
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Area: Camp North End
Dupp & Swat is synonymous with Charlotte culture. For over 10 years, Dupp & Swat has been a watering hole for creatives across the city to find original art from local artisans, meet like-minded people and gain knowledge about the art culture community. When visiting, you will be captivated by the ever-changing collection of art and clothing on display, including the floor mural that spans the entire length of the space! Dupp & Swatt is also available to rent for private events, workshops, intimate concerts, and just about anything you may need a space for this fall.
For the Plant Parent
Area: Wesley Heights
Just a short ride from Uptown, you’ll find over 20,000 square feet of plant parent paradise. Oakdale Greenhouse is the largest retail greenhouse in Charlotte. Give your outdoor plants a head start this autumn by planting at the best time of year; when it’s cooler, plants have a chance to establish a strong root system before the summer heat strikes. Shop for cool-season veggies, mums, pansies and more to extend the beauty of your landscape. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, they do have a large selection of planters ready to go.
Shades of Moss takes the guesswork out of taking care of plants for new plant owners. As a community-based plant shop, they aim to not only provide customers with the best plants for their living space, but also educate through repotting sessions, DIY tutorials and plant swaps. Distinct classes to take from the shop this fall include plant styling and maintenance.
For the Family on the Go
Nestled in Cotswold Village, Toy Mania is one of the top toy stores in the Queen City. This family owned business is offering everything children need to keep busy this year. In addition to shopping for toys, games and crafts, you can also sign your child up for in-store science classes for grades kindergarten through 3rd that are designed based on the NC science curriculum. The classes will have educational resource materials, experiments and projects to make and take home. View the science schedule here. Want to take a look at the store before you go? Head to Toy Mania’s website to take a 3D Virtual Tour to be able to see the entire store, aisle by aisle.
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
Owner Michelle has a way of finding exclusive pieces that make you say, “ah-ha,” “wow,” or that make you chuckle. Whatever the reaction you have, you’ll more than likely leave with that item...or two. This boutique shop supports smaller makers and creators, filling the store with a curated collection of home goods, gifts and accessories that both men and women can appreciate. During this time, send a gift to a friend or family member to let them know you are thinking of them. Or better yet, get a head start on shopping for the holidays.
For the Treasure Hunter
Neighborhood: South End
If you’re on the lookout for quirky items to decorate your home this year, look no further than Sleep Poet Antiques. When shopping here, it’s best to come with a lot of ideas of what you’re looking for, since there are more than 60,000 square feet of antiques, vintage décor and one-of-a-kind items. Grab a map at the front when you arrive.
Online + Pop-Up Shop (Stay tuned for the live pop-up in November/December)
Vintage fashion is about taking risks and having fun. It’s about not being afraid to buy a piece that doesn’t fit off of the rack and then altering it to perfection. “VTGCLT Collections” is a 12 week-long online series that presents a new collection of local vintage and handmade items with a different theme every Wednesday at noon. Fashionable fall items include a vintage Charlotte Hornets starter jacket, vintage earthenware soup crocks and a mid-mod chess game. With over 50 different micro-businesses featured over the course of the series, be sure to set up a weekly reminder on your phone because you never know what treasures will pop up in the shop!
For the Queen City Lover
Neighborhood: South End
If you're visiting Charlotte for the first time, are a transplant to the area or are native, 704 Shop should be at the top of your list to rep the city. This autumn, shoppers can expect an expanded fashion mask selection, Panthers-themed gear, premium T-shirts and hoodies, fashion savvy capsule collections, and a few surprise collaborations. Owned by three Carolina natives, you too can feel pride for the city when sporting 704 Shop gear this season.
Located in the heart of 7th Street Public Market, CLT Find carries a collection of Charlotte-branded merchandise, gifts and tasty treats made by over 40 different local makers and artisans. Be sure to purchase a Charlotte Adventure Map, even if you are a local, as there is much to learn and explore in the Queen City.
Pro Tip: 7th Street Public Market parking is validated for the first 90 minutes with a purchase from any business in the market. Snag a fun gift, grab a bite and enjoy a day Uptown.
For the Classy Gentleman
Working from home has resulted in men choosing to grow quarantine beards. As the weather cools down, it only makes sense for both newbies and pros alike to keep those facial follicles moisturized. Available online and via multiple local barbershops, QC Beard Co. produces handcrafted soaps and beard care products fit for all lengths and types of beards. Started by Jackson, Michael and Zach, all Charlotte natives and longtime friends, QC Beard Co. is mindful of allergies and skin sensitivities. Their products are naturally derived and free of phthalate, alcohol, animal products and many other allergens you may not want to massage into your skin.
What do you get when you blend high-quality cigars, cocktails, wine, beer, coffee, small plates and entertainment into one experience? Founded by a lover of both cigars and coffee who grew tired of being forced to indulge in these activities separately, Sticks + Beans is the ultimate way to escape the mundane. Sit outdoors to enjoy an autumn evening, or kick back and lounge on one of their leather sofas.
For the Instagram Influencers
More than just a nail service, Mimosa Nail Bar has created an experience that encourages memories to be captured through Instagram pictures and fun boomerangs. Custom murals, neon lights, chandeliers, and plush furniture can be found everywhere – even in the bathroom! This fall, be sure to request an Apple Cider Mimosa and a Pumpkin Spice Pedicure – both very Insta-worthy.
Neighborhood: Camp North End
Camp North End was practically invented for Charlotteans to get creative. As the Queen City’s hub for originality and innovation, the historic factories here have been redeveloped into restaurants, shops and event spaces. The space is home to some of the city’s cherished favorites and a never ending list of newcomers – from Birch Fine Tea to Leah & Louise. Go on a self-guided art tour at Art @ Camp, a partnership featuring amazing artists from around the world (and locally) showcasing their incredible talent through murals. Your next Instagram post is about to be a whole lot cooler.
For the Sports Fan
“We are Charlotte FC. Welcome to the club.” is the moniker of the 30th MLS franchise in the Queen City. While we await creative designs from some of our favorite local shops, visit the official MLS store for all of your fan gear including face masks, long sleeve T-shirts, striped knit scarfs plus more cozy gear to rep this autumn. Be one of the first to sport the new Charlotte FC logo.
Sports may be different this year but team spirit doesn’t have to fade. Vintage Supremacy offers rare vintage Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets gear that you can rep all year long. Score hard-to-find graphic T-shirts, jerseys, hoodies and jackets to keep you looking fresh this season. If you see something you like, be sure to act quickly because these treasures go fast.