With its wealth of large superstores and unique shopping destinations, the Queen City draws shoppers from all over the region. Charlotte shopping nearly always means a visit to Concord Mills, a huge outlet-style shopping mall with all the big-name stores. If you'd rather visit boutiques in search of hidden gems, head to the charming Dilworth neighborhood. And if art is your thing, you'll want to visit the eclectic NoDa area, which hosts gallery crawls the first and third Fridays on each month. North Carolina is a big furniture hub, and many of the biggest American brands can be found in Hickory, NC, which is a 50-minute drive from Charlotte. For high-end shopping, visit SouthPark and Phillips Place, which offer hard-to-find designers in the mode of Roberto Cavalli and Jimmy Choo, in addition to big name brands.
Located in Pineville some thirty minutes from Uptown Charlotte, the Carolina Place Mall is a 1.3 million-square-foot retail establishment. This is place we go when we need normal, everyday items. Anchor stores include Sears, Barnes & Noble, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Abercrombie & Fitch. There's a basic food court onsite, as well as nearby family-friendly restaurants like Bucca di Beppo. If you have kids, they'll enjoy the children’s play area on the lower level.
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For bargain hunters doing their shopping in Charlotte, it's all about the Concord Mills outlet mall. It's hard to miss this humongous super mall. You can easily see it from I-85 with the large Bass Pro Shops outdoor store and its large, deep-sea boats that line the parking lot. With more than one million square feet of space and over 200 stores, shoppers can easily spend an entire day at the mall. PacSun, Tommy Hilfinger, Skechers, Osh Kosh B'Gosh, and The Disney Store Outlet are just a few of the stores on offer. If you don't like crowds, then don't venture into the mall on weekends when it's insanely busy. Just finding a parking space then can be a chore! The mall is shaped in a giant circle, and it will take you a while to walk through it. But, if it's raining outside, the mall is a great place to go for the afternoon. Break up your visit with a stop at the large food court, which includes several sit-down restaurants. There’s also an AMC Theater. Kids love taking a break at the NASCAR SpeedPark racetrack.
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Phillips Place is in the SouthPark neighborhood that could easily be called the most fashionable shopping area in Charlotte. Favoring European-style design, this outdoor mall includes retail shops, restaurants and boutiques set along an inviting main street. Gardens, a fountain and park benches make the neighborhood even more inviting. Don't go here looking for a bargain find. This is the playground for upscale shops like Luna, women’s specialty boutique, and Via Veneto, a local fashion landmark. We like stopping at Café Monte French Bakery and Bistro after a morning of shopping for one of their delicious crepes. Other restaurants here include P.F. Chang's China Bistro and the Palm Restaurant, a popular American steak house.
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Shopping in Charlotte for big name designer brands? SouthPark Mall is the place to go. Located a few miles south of Uptown in the SouthPark neighborhood, it's home to more than 100 designer and department stores, including Belk, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co. and Tory Burch. The strong perfume scent that seems to permeate the mall can become overbearing to sensitive noses, and the feel is decidedly mid-to-high-end all around. We go here for the Apple Store, which can be a zoo at times, but has everything a Mac-lover would need. SouthPark Mall also offers an array of dining options. In addition to a food court, the mall is home to restaurants such as Five Guys, Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s Little Italy.
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