Things to Do

Here’s What’s Opening Up During Phase One in Charlotte

As we move into Phase One, it’s important to remember what practices we need to continue in order to help stay safe and support our city.

It’s been the little things that have been getting us through the Stay-at-Home order – such as ordering bites from local food trucks to picking up an iced coffee jug curbside to walking around the beautiful neighborhoods in the Queen City. As we move into Phase One, it’s important to remember what practices we need to continue in order to help stay safe and support our city.

In Phase One, most retail businesses and parks will be allowed to reopen under specific guidelines starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8. The Stay-at-Home order is still in place, meaning residents should remain home unless the reason for leaving is to visit businesses now open under the new executive order. When out and about, make sure to follow the “Ws”: wear a mask covering your face, wait six feet apart and avoid close contact, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as often as possible. For a list of health and safety measures, visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

In addition to non-essential retail businesses opening at 50 percent capacity, Charlotteans will be able to visit previously closed state parks and gather outdoors as long social distancing measures are followed and group sizes are under 10 people. Working from home is still encouraged for businesses. Under Phase One, restaurants and bars remain closed for dine-in customers and personal care/grooming businesses, entertainment facilities, playgrounds and gyms continue to be closed. All non-essential travel is still discouraged.

Here are some ways you can enjoy and support our beloved city under the Phase One order, while practicing safe measures along the way.

Parks and Trails

Enjoy small (less than 10 people) gatherings at any of the below recreational areas, parks and trails. For more information on state park openings and continued closures, check out the North Carolina State Parks department’s website.


Crowders Mountain State Park

522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain, NC
Park Hours
: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

If you’re looking for some serious hiking, head to Crowders Mountain State Park. Located about an hour from Uptown Charlotte, it’ll reopen on May 9 under the Phase One order. The park will operate at limited capacity with some trails closed. Two hiking trails to try include the 2.2-mile loop that will take you up the Pinnacle Trail to the intersection of the Turnback Trail. For a longer distance, go for the 6.7-mile loop that will take you up the Crowders Trail, Rocktop Trail, down the Tower Trail and up the Backside Trail. It’s encouraged that you avoid areas where groups tend to congregate, such as the Crowders summits and the overlooks on the Pinnacle. Parking will be limited, and restrooms will be closed at regular intervals for regular sanitizing.


Lake Norman State Park

759 State Park Road, Troutman, NC
Park Hours
: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

The largest manmade lake in North Carolina will open its trails, restrooms and boat ramps as of May 9. The swim beach, visitor center, campgrounds, boat rentals and concessions will remain closed. All visitors are encouraged.

Morrow Mountain State Park

49104 Morrow Mountain Road, Albemarle, NC
Park Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Soak in the views at Morrow Mountain State Park. Trails, restrooms and boat ramps will open beginning May 9. The swimming pool, park office, museum and camping facilities remain closed with no boat rentals or concessions available. Parking and visiting capacity will be monitored.


U.S. National Whitewater Center

5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC
Facility Hours
: Select activities (mountain biking, flatwater access and whitewater kayaking): 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The trail and kayak centers are open May 9 (subject to weather and conditions) during Phase One, along with the Outfitters store, and the Airstream & Food Truck and The Market (for to-go orders only). Allowed activities include mountain biking, stand up paddle-boarding and kayaking (flatwater and whitewater). The center is operating in a limited capacity and guests must follow social distancing guidelines. Disinfecting measures will also be taken for equipment and on surfaces.


Local retail stores have been given the go to reopen under Phase One. Check out their social media pages or call for the most up-to-date information as many are still finalizing their reopening plans.



Neighborhoods: South End and Concord

This women’s apparel boutique will reopen on May 9 with social distancing measures in place including placing screens in front of registers, sanitizing highly touched surface areas on an hourly basis, and all employees will be wearing masks and offering them to customers. Five customers will be allowed in at a time at both locations.


Johnny Fly Co.

Neighborhood: NoDa

The trendy eye-wear showroom is reopening with reduced hours. There will be reduced capacity as per the order and all staff will be wearing masks and gloves. When trying on glasses, the store will use a UV sanitizing light for cleaning.


Paper Skyscraper

Neighborhood: Dilworth

The gift, book and card store is open with a limited capacity of 15 customers. They will also be providing face masks and hand sanitizing stations will be found throughout the store – customers can even get free refills on personal hand sanitizers.


South End Exchange

Neighborhood: South End

South End Exchange is asking customers to wear a mask, although they do have a limited quantity available for customers. The home decor store will operate at 50 percent capacity with signs posted encouraging social distancing. Curbside pickup is still an option for those that would rather remain outside of the building.



Neighborhood: Dilworth and Blakeney Village

This trendy women’s boutique opens May 9 at 11 a.m. Make sure to check their social media channels for up-to-date information on hours and hygiene protocols.


CATS Lynx Light Rail: Transit rides should only occur for life-sustaining trips to access essentials, such as food and getting medicine from the pharmacy. Riders are also asked to wear facemasks.

CATS Buses: During Phase One, buses will accommodate no more than 20 riders at once. CATS has implemented sanitation measures on buses and trains that will include cleanings during layovers.

Lime and Spin scooters: A small re-launch of both of these scooter companies will begin May 9. Fifty scooters will be put back out. Lime will deliver those scooters in the Uptown and South End neighborhoods. Spin will deploy scooters closer to the medical community, in areas near Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center and Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.

Bars and Restaurants

Don’t forget to support your favorite local restaurants during this time. Order the chicken dumplings from Hawker’s Asian Street Fare in South End, pick up a four-pack of beer from NoDa Brewing Company, and treat yourself to a macaroon from Amélie's French Bakery & Café.


For the full list of locations participating in curbside pickup, takeout and/or delivery, visit our Pitch In. Take Out. page.

Phase One is in effect until Friday, May 22 and will only work if we continue to work together as a community and be respectful of the new guidelines. This new phase has the possibility of an extension but once proven successful, Phase Two will ease even more restrictions and allow other types of businesses to open to the public, with hygiene and social distancing protocols still in place.

So for now, enjoy your time outdoors and wear a face mask when picking up your to-go orders. After all, this is one of the best times of the year to be outside in the Queen City.