Charlotte is a verifiable shopping mecca, where you’ll find great boutiques and malls to quash your retail cravings. As the capital of North Carolina and as one of the major commercial hubs of the east, this buzzing city boasts a whole host of happening outlets, offering from chic fashion to memorabilia, antiques, and gifts.

    So, where should a shopaholic go to max out their plastic in the city? While most retailers gravitate around Uptown, plenty of whimsical options lie scattered around the suburbs as well – you just have to know where to go. Read on to discover the best places to go shopping in Charlotte.


    South Park Mall

    One of the biggest malls on the entire eastern seaboard

    • Shoppers

    Spanning 1.5 million sq ft, South Park Mall is the largest shopping mall in the Carolinas and among the biggest in the entire East Coast. Some 177 shops (and counting) flog their wares here, so you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.

    The modernist-style mall is upmarket, so get ready to splurge on the world’s most exclusive brands. A multiplex movie theater, an ice-skating rink, and a smorgasbord of food hawkers ensure there’s plenty to do between shopping jaunts. Just don’t rock up on Black Friday because South Park becomes one of the most congested sites in the USA.

    Location: 4400 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 704-364-4411


    photo by HangingCurve (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Charlotte Premium Outlets

    The city’s main discount outlet mall

    • Shoppers

    Charlotte Premium Outlets serves up some of the best deals in town. Nestled in a quiet residential zone miles away from the kerfuffle of Uptown, this bustling outlet sees big-name brands distribute their merchandise directly to the public at rock-bottom rates. Nike, Levi, PUMA, and others line the strip, offering cut-price deals on last season’s stock.

    Ample parking is available on site, and there’s plenty of casual dining in the food court should you need to refuel. Locals love the place, so rock up on a weekday to beat the crowds.

    Location: 5404 New Fashion Way, Charlotte, NC 28278, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 704-523-8865


    Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market

    Food doesn’t get fresher than this

    • Shoppers
    • Budget

    You can’t go past the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market for locally sourced produce. Small-scale farmers and artisanal manufacturers come here from around the region to hawk their wares, especially on a Saturday when the whole marketplace heaves. Aside from the scrumptious fresh fruit and veggies, there’s plenty of handmade jellies, cheese, bread, honey, and other goodies to reel in a ravenous crowd.

    Although the farmer’s market is open year-round, there’s better produce available outside the winter months. Plenty of onsite parking is available, so there’s no need to roll up early to find a space.

    Location: 1801 Yorkmont Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm, Sunday from noon to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 704-357-1269


    Paper Skyscraper

    Unusual gifts for the loved ones in your life

    • Families
    • Shoppers

    Paper Skyscraper might well be Charlotte’s quirkiest shop. Jam-packed full of oddball treasures plus eccentric calendars and cards, this knickknack superstore is an excellent spot to pick up a creative gift. Its substantial selection of literature goes beyond your ordinary bestsellers, and there’s a kooky collection of kids’ toys that's unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

    The long-time local favorite is located just south of the center, and it’s worth spending at least 30 minutes here to browse the site. Besides, the owners rotate their stock throughout the year, so even repeat shoppers are sure to stumble upon something new.

    Location: 330 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 704-333-7130


    Ole Mason Jar

    Stylish fashion for the sophisticated man

    • Shoppers

    Make a beeline to Ole Mason Jar to find the finest selection of menswear in Charlotte. This trendy boutique specializes in suits, shirts, and accessories for guys, all of which come fully customizable in the emblazoning of your choice.

    While you’re on the hunt for some dapper new clothes, why not treat yourself to a rare bourbon from the retailer’s fully stocked bar? As you sip down that delicious booze, the smooth tunes blaring from a vintage record player might make Ole Mason Jar seem more like a speakeasy than a fashion outlet – an unorthodox yet unforgettable shopping experience.

    Location: 1930 Camden Rd Suite 125, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 980-202-2173


    Rat’s Nest

    A vintage treasure trove awaits

    • Shoppers

    Rat’s Nest stocks some of the best vintage outfits and leather accessories in Charlotte, so check this place out if you love flicking through the treasures of yesteryear. The cowboy boot collection alone is worth a visit, with rows upon rows to peruse. There’s also plenty of retro goodies like band T-shirts and old school trucker caps buried among the rubble.

    The friendly staff can help you make sense of their chaotic ensemble of stock, although sometimes it’s best just to dig around and see what turns up. As you’d expect, the store resides within the NoDa (North Davidson) neighbourhood, the city’s famed artsy bohemian hub.

    Location: 442 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from noon to 8 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 704-371-3599



    A chic yet affordable boutique for women

    • Shoppers

    Vestique sets out to solve a conundrum as old as consumerism itself –finding stylish and affordable clothing for women. The brainchild of 2 entrepreneurial ladies who grew tired of overpaying for on-trend threads, the franchise stocks Instagram-worthy fashion at a fraction of the cost of its rival upmarket boutiques.

    Nowadays, the business has branches right around the state (and beyond), but its Dilworth locale boasts the highest turnover of the lot. From cute accessories to beautiful blouses and sensual skirts, there’s always fresh new fashion in stock to play around with. And feel free to bring your 4-legged friend as Vestique is dog-friendly.

    Location: 1532 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 704-910-6426


    Lunchbox Records

    A blast from the past in the era of Spotify

    • Shoppers

    Lunchbox Records in Charlotte is heaven is for DJs and vinyl collectors alike. The store crams in a dizzying array of vintage vinyl across its many rows of discount bins. Can’t find what you want? The amicable and music-mad sales girl will happily point you in the right direction, whether it’s electro, disco, or R&B. Practical? Perhaps not, but the place sure is nostalgic.

    Records aside, the shop is awash with cool merch and equipment, both new and second-hand. You’ll even find a small stage in the corner where local musos sometimes come to belt out their best tunes – as if you needed any more reason to loiter.

    Location: 825 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from noon to 6 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 704-331-0788


    Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

    Beautiful old antiques that add character to your home

    • Shoppers

    The Sleepy Poet Antique Mall stocks Charlotte’s best selection of quirky refurbished furniture. It’s the antithesis to IKEA – a lot of the stuff here is of the fixer-upper variety, making the space ideal for salvage buffs in search of charming old furnishings. Elsewhere, you’ll find a decent range of vintage clothing and vinyl records on offer at fair prices.

    The huge warehouse-style shop front feels more like a garage sale than a store, so get ready to spend a considerable amount of time digging around for hidden gems. There’s also an onsite coffee guy roasting up freshly ground beans.

    Location: 4450 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28209, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday from noon to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 704-529-6369


    Buffalo Exchange

    A popular vintage store that’s a hit with the hipster crowd

    • Shoppers

    Buffalo Exchange in Charlotte is a haven for local hipsters, who’d be hard-pressed to leave without finding at least 1 item they adore. The trendy chain deals exclusively in vintage and used fashion, with a sizable selection to suit both guys and girls.

    Buffalo Exchange also buys and trades, so drop by if you’ve gotten some old school cool accessories to unload. Although prices are definitely on the steeper side, you'll hardly find a better selection of vintage fashion elsewhere in Charlotte. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable, so don’t be shy to ask for a hand.

    Location: 1521 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205, USA

    Phone: +1 704-372-2300

    Harry Stewart | Contributing Writer

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