If you’ve lived in Charlotte long enough, you already know that one of the best parts of road trips is driving through the charming little towns of the Carolinas. We actually have so many quaint towns that even a Carolina native might not have visited them all. Discover them in this series.
Charlotte is surrounded by endearing towns that are ideal for exploring and providing a chance for pace on a day trip. Just a 20 minute drive from downtown Charlotte is Downtown Belmont.
This quaint little town in Gaston County, which was once known for its booming textile industry, has a downtown area that’s home to shops, restaurants, and more. There’s plenty to do, even if you’re on a tight travel budget for sightseeing.
When you’re ready to check it out, here are 5 things to do in Belmont for less than $50 a day:
Cafe in downtown Belmont
Location: The Everyday Market, 7 S Main St, Belmont, NC 28012.
Start your day at the daily market with a personalized latte. Order a small latte ($3.25) and add caramel ($0.85). The neighborhood cafe is inspired by European cafes with an ambiance that makes you want to stay a while. Hot and cold beverages, such as tea, smoothies, and Frappes, are also on the menu. You will also find an assortment of handmade desserts and snacks.
Cost: $4.10 + taxes and tip.
Explore a “huge treasure chest”
Location: Catawba River Antique Mall, 406 Catawba Street, Belmont, NC 28012
Do some window shopping as you browse the Catawba River Antique Mall in the old Majestic Mill building near downtown. The 67,000 square foot building is home to more than 300 vendors selling old records, furniture, golf clubs, memorabilia, collectibles and more.
Cost: Free (unless you find an antique you can’t leave without.)
Where to have lunch in Belmont
Location: The String Bean, 106 N Main St, Belmont, NC 28012.
Have lunch at the String Bean. (Bonus: there’s also a market and a butcher’s shop.) The Bistrot du Sud takes food seriously, offering daily specials and its own take on classic dishes. Order the Boom Boom Shrimp from the Bites section of the menu. Fried jumbo Gulf shrimp are served with a spicy red pepper sauce and sesame seeds ($14).
Cost: $14 + taxes and tip.
Visit a park in the heart of downtown
Location: Stowe Park, 24 S Main St, Belmont, NC 28012.
Spend the afternoon at Stowe Park, one of the area’s most popular parks. There are picnic tables, a picnic shelter, a pavilion, a walking path and a fountain that lights up at night. The park also hosts various events throughout the year. On select Friday nights, you can enjoy Friday Night Live concerts with music, food trucks, and drinks.
Where to dine in Belmont
Location: Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, 36 N Main St, Belmont, NC 28012.
End your stay in downtown Belmont with dinner and cocktails at Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, a Southern restaurant owned by Kevin Jonas Sr., father of pop stars Jonas Brothers. (Pro tip: there’s now a location in Vegas). Expect to feel the love and be comforted by the ambiance and the food. Order Nellie’s Chicken and Meatballs, with a rich broth and choice of side ($16). To drink, order the Front Porch Punch, which comes with gin, Malibu rum, drunken cherry juice, and mixed citrus juice. It is served over ice and garnished with a slice of orange and a drunken cherry ($10).
Cost: $26 + taxes and tip.
Total cost of your day in downtown Belmont: $44.10 + tax and tip.
This story was originally published July 13, 2022 06:00.