CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC
Window, bargain, and specialty shoppers flock to Cleveland County for the ultimate shop local experience. This tour lays out where to find unique, hand-crafted, and vintage pieces guaranteed to delight the giver and the gifted alike. We threw in a couple of places to refuel and stretch your legs along your retail expedition. Happy hunting and hiking, shoppers.
2 days | 21 stops
STOP 1: SHELBY CAFE
The Shelby Cafe is the kind of place where a balanced diet starts with a fork in each hand. This local and nationally known favorite has been cooking up Carolina comfort food for close to a century. From fried livermush to homemade pimento cheese, every order is the right order. Especially when it is brought to your table with a smile and followed by a “Y’all come back.”
STOP 2: FOOTHILLS FARMERS MARKET
Local foods defined! Doesn’t get more local than this. Stop by the gorgeous Foothills Farmers Market for meat and produce direct from family-owned farms in Cleveland County and the surrounding 50 miles. Grab a watermelon. Stock up on ears of corn fresh from the fields. Check out nuts, poultry, cheeses and more. Pick up a homemade pie that you really don’t need. Selections change by the season but if you can grow it on a farm or it's locally made, chances are you can find it here. Winter market runs 10 am - 1 pm through March. In addition to local sweet and savory food items from vendors, you can usually find a food truck onsite as well.
STOP 3: ANTIQUE MARKET OF SHELBY
Antique Market of Shelby is four floors of antiques in Uptown Shelby. Owners Bill and Myra have been collecting for over 40 years during travels around the world. These world-class pickers have done the hunting so you don’t have to. A vintage wooden rocking horse, vinyl records, gorgeous antique furniture and homewares in every style from Victorian to mid-century. Antiquers may never leave this gorgeous treasure chest.
STOP 4: DRAGONFLY WINE MARKET
Grab an outdoor table at Dragonfly Wine Market and sip a mimosa. Great for people watching in Uptown Shelby, this community gathering spot doubles as a specialty wine store and market. Pick up provisions like dry goods, local eggs and cheeses, fresh baked bread, and of course a vast selection of wines. Shopping local with a cocktail, now that’s Shelby.
STOP 5: ARTS COUNCIL GALLERY
Located in an historic landmark building which previously housed the post office, the Arts Council welcomes visitors throughout the year. Pop over to take in art exhibits, attend art classes, enjoy performances and more. The gallery features work from local artists and craftsmen. On any given day you may find hand-woven baskets, homemade soaps or not-so-flighty birdhouses. Stop by and take a piece of Cleveland County home with you.
STOP 6: EARL SCRUGGS CENTER
Earl Scruggs was born right here in Cleveland County in the small town of Flint Hill. (Ever hear Flint Hill Special?) Earl helped to define the voice of the banjo to the world. His three-finger playing style (Scruggs style) didn’t just cross musical boundaries, it created a whole new style of play. He was an innovator. He was a music lover. This Center that bears his name is our way to keep his legacy alive for future generations. You can even try your hand at the banjo in the Banjo Petting Zoo! Toe-tapping and inspiration included with admission. After a trip through the center, stop in the gift shop where you can take home a piece of Scruggs memorabilia. There’s music, of course, along with apparel, kids items, mugs, and more.
STOP 7: WORKSHOP VINTAGE MARKET
No shopping trip to Shelby would be complete without a visit to the largest craft and vintage market in Cleveland County. More than 80 vendors await in Workshop Vintage Market, perfect for shoppers who love to scour, scavenge, and collect repurposed and vintage furniture and home goods. Another bonus? This stop hosts DIY workshops for creative projects like macrame, watercolors, painting and more.
STOP 8: GREENBROOK DESIGN
Prepare to be inspired at Greenbrook Design. Step through their welcoming doors to find the latest trends, styles and technology of home décor and cabinetry. Shop for home decor, kitchen accessories, furnishings and more. Find the perfect accessory or the inspiration you need for a complete home transformation, Greenbrook Design is the place to be. Touch and feel the countertops and hardware in the fully working kitchen. Or, connect with their professional team of kitchen and bath designers who are eager to assist you with your next project, no matter what your budget.
STOP 9: NEWGRASS BREWERY
Anybody can drink a beer. But it takes intelligence to enjoy it. At least, that’s the thinking at Newgrass Brewery. That’s why they handcraft beer in small batches using only the finest ingredients from local farmers and around the world. Quality ingredients are the start of any great brew. Try a flight and see for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a pale ale or a stout, this place has the flavors to keep your beer palate at full attention. Nice weather begs for toasts on their patio in front of the larger than life mural of Earl Scruggs. AND, Newgrass isn't just known for their beer but also for their casual and delicious farm to table menu which includes some incredibly scrumptious vegetarian options.
STOP 10: UPTOWN GIRL BOUTIQUE
Nothing puts a pep in your step like wearing clothes that make you look and feel fabulous. This chic shop is just the spot to find that new wardrobe item you’ve been missing. It won’t take long to fill your arms with items to try on--sweaters, tops, dresses, and accessories. The toughest decision will be editing down what to keep on this trip. The store owner and staff are passionate about fashion, so don’t be shy about asking their opinion!
STOP 11: DON GIBSON MURAL
A former pageant queen is behind the affordable, trendy styles at Miss Molly’s Boutique. The former Miss Shelby 2014 and Miss North Carolina contestant opened the store for all the ladies in town who love a good outfit change and finding that signature piece for less than $50. This bright, youthful shop is full of fun items from t-shirts and rompers, to sweaters and accessories. While you’re there, check out the Don Gibson Mural on the side of the building. The giant portrait of the Country Music Hall of Famer is an homage to the hometown hero, and not a bad spot to take a picture. A selfie with a mural of trailblazing musician is almost as good as meeting one.
STOP 12: A. GRIFFIN POTTERY
Hand thrown pottery in the shape of your new favorite coffee mug are waiting at Griffin Pottery. Owned by potter Susan Jones and featuring the works of several talented artisans, this shop is a must stop in Shelby. Honey pots, wine mugs, intricately crafted trays all sculpted, glazed, and fired on site in the kiln. Stop in and see what’s new. These artists always have their hands in a new creation. (Closed Sunday)
STOP 13: PLEASANT CITY GRILLE
If you think your soulmate might be carbs, then this is the place for you. Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille is a lively joint in uptown Shelby offering a wood-fired menu, cold brews & cocktails. It’s been filling the streets of Uptown Shelby with the sounds of good times since 2008. Boasting the only brick oven menu and most beer taps in Cleveland County, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds. Healthy, lighter options are available and are so tasty you won't miss the calories!
STOP 14: SUNSET DRIVE IN
Bring the whole family for a night of nostalgia and entertainment under the stars at the Sunset Drive In. Showing movies every Friday and Saturday night, Sunset is owned and operated by three generations of the Stinnet family. Pack a picnic or hit up the snack bar for cheese fries, corn dogs, ice cream, and of course, fresh popcorn by the bucket. SEASONAL, Closed During Winter
2 HOURS VIEW LISTING
STOP 15: KINGS MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Less than 20 minutes from Uptown Shelby, you’ll find the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail. This area has some of the best hiking and biking in the entire region. Choose from four different trails that cover over 8 miles. Each trail connects to the other and weaves throughout the forest and hills. Along the path you may pass a bamboo forest, the edge of an active quarry, a garden designed for Monarch Butterflies or a scenic overlook of both Kings Mountain and Crowder’s Mountain. It’s time to gear up and head out. May the forest be with you.
2 HOURS VIEW LISTING
STOP 16: PATRIOT JACK'S OUTFITTERS
Gear up at Patriot Jack’s Outfitters. Yeti, Patagonia, Kavu, Vineyard Vines, North Face, Chaco and more--they have all your favorite brands to get moving and look good doing it. Located at the base of King’s Mountain State Park and the King’s Mountain Gateway Trail, it’s the perfect place to get that fleece you forgot or a new tumbler for your morning coffee. Need a new pair of river shoes or a new hiking bag? They have those, too. Or grab an Eno hammock in anticipation of the nap post hike.
STOP 17: 133 WEST FOR
Located in Historic Downtown Kings Mountain, 133 West brings a modern and creative approach to Southern cuisine. The atmosphere is light and relaxing. The menu is always changing. There is a focus on freshness and seasonality. But there's also a global curiosity to the dishes at 133 West. They are definitely Southern at heart. But you may also find a kick of Greek or Arab mixed in to keep your taste buds on high alert. (Ask to sit on the patio. It's the perfect way to enjoy your meal this time of year.) Burn off brunch in Patriot’s Park which boasts a gorgeous mountain mural by the splashpad, a gazebo, outdoor amphitheater, and easy walking trails .
STOP 18: SOUTHERN ARTS SOCIETY
Everything about the Southeastern Arts Society is unique. Located in a historic Southern Railway Depot close to downtown Kings Mountain, it’s home to the creative wandering of more than 80 local artists. Enter the doorways and you’ll find hand-blown glass vases, hammered copper jewelry, pottery that would look perfect on that shelf that always seems like it is missing something. Everything is one-of-a-kind. Find the perfect gift for anyone. Even if that anyone is you. (Closed Sunday)
STOP 19: VERONET VINEYARDS
Where the foothills begin to ripple towards the Blue Ridge Mountains you’ll find Veronét Vineyards & Winery. This 70-acre estate includes panoramic views of Crowders Mountain along with six acres under vine. Good soils and a sustainable approach allow for a variety of grapes to grow abundantly. Sample a Chardonnay or Orange Muscat. Pour a glass of Malbec or Sauvignon Blanc. Each wine bearing the Veronet name is chosen, blended and aged with the utmost care and passion.
STOP 20: BAKER BUFFALO CREEK VINEYARD
This vineyard is nestled into the rolling hills and farmland that has been in the Baker family for over a century. Inspired by a visit to Napa and Sonoma, the owners planted the first grapes here in 2003. Today the grounds include the historic farmhouse and eight different grape varietals ready to harvest. Venture into the original milking room for a tour of the wine-making operations and a tasting flight that may include chardonnay, merlot, Riesling, scuppernong and more. Raise your glass to a wonderful afternoon. That you may or may not remember.
STOP 21: THE HONEY HOG
Honey Hog is farmer- and pit master-owned. They source their meat from their own farm (or local farms) whenever possible. This makes the food fresh which makes it amazing. The ribs come wet or dry with a kick of spice. The fries are hand cut. The mashed potatoes are real, just like grandma's house on Sunday. Show up early and hungry. You will not be disappointed.