SOPHISTICATED, MODERN, BUSTLING
Home to the first enclosed shopping mall in the Southeast as well as a scenic greenway, this modern district stays active with shoppers, bikers and walkers alike.
Blocks from Uptown, the Midtown neighborhood gushes with its own urban identity. At its core, the ultramodern Metropolitan buzzes with shoppers browsing fashion boutiques and stores like West Elm, SILVERFLY and Lipp Boutique. The retail mecca is the fourth incarnation of the space, which started in 1959 as ahead-of-its-time Charlottetown Mall. The first enclosed shopping mall in the Southeast, it touted department stores, luxe decor and a million-dollar twin theater—North Carolina’s first. Over the years, the once-booming space couldn’t compete with new malls sprouting up around the city, and attempts at reinventions were unsuccessful. But in the mid-2000s, developers landed on the right combination: a multiple-story mixed-use oasis of offices, condos, posh restaurants and retailers—many with breathtaking skyline views.
Take home local delicacies from the Kings Drive Farmers Market, then get an incredible workout along Little Sugar Creek Greenway, which runs from Center City through the neighborhood. The greenway is dotted with information about the city’s rich heritage, thanks to the Trail of History plaques and statues. Refuel over a piping-hot calzone at Mama Ricotta’s Restaurant, a celebrated Italian restaurant. (Try the garlic rolls, too.) Be sure to save some time to shop in The Metropolitan, the neighborhood’s central hub.
Things to do
Add flare to an ordinary evening by two-stepping or tangoing with your number one at Midtown Ballroom. The dance studio offers partner, group and solo dance classes in all varieties of ballroom dance, which means your two left feet are fleeting. Perfect your moves on Tuesday and Thursday nights, when $10 drop-in (appointment-free) group classes are offered. For sweeping skyline views and unmatched ambience, celebrate someone or something special at fancy neighborhood favorite Dressler’s Restaurant. The Metropolitan is also home to local favorites such as Pisces Sushi and Vivaci, within walking distance of each other if you’re up for a food crawl after all that dancing.