Belmont, one of the favorite small towns at Charlotte 100 Best, has garnered a lot of attention lately! With so much to offer, it is no wonder that Belmont keeps making the news. Featured in the February 2015 issue of Charlotte Magazine, this small town is drawing young families searching for a relaxed pace of life and an easy commute into Charlotte. Residents can choose from neighborhoods that exude southern charm like Eagle Park and South Point or live on the lake in Misty Waters and Woodland Bay.
Located just 20 minutes from City Center, Belmont is becoming one of the “coolest, newest old mill towns around” according to Charlotte Magazine. More than just a small town, Belmont is an example of a revitalized, repurposed old mill town. While steeped in tradition, Belmont is unafraid of change. In the 1990s, a million-dollar streetscape plan drew businesses and residents back to Main Street. The plan reduced four lanes to two and widened the sidewalks to entice visitors and neighbors to linger and increased support for local businesses.
The plan worked, as evidenced by Belmont’s recent “Great Main Street” award from the 2015 Great Places in North Carolina awards. Activities in Belmont are centered around Main Street. From couples simply strolling through town, families bouncing into one of the two local ice cream counters, daily train watching, or one of the myriad special events the town hosts, there’s always something happening on Main Street.
The general store still exists on Main Street in Belmont – you can drop in and peruse LB’s Produce, get a key made, grab a stool at the ice cream counter, or head upstairs for a painting class. Stroll a little further and you’ll hit the jackpot at Gigi’s Boutique; you’re sure to find a bargain on the perfect outfit or the piece of jewelry you didn’t know you were missing. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll find you have lots of choices in town, and all of them are excellent. For something heartwarming, stop into Cherub’s Cafe, run by residents of Holy Angels and their adult helpers. Johnny B’s Pizza and Belmont Soda Fountain are fun local choices for a casual meal. The String Bean is a local favorite, and with an Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator, this cafe is worth your attention.
Located on Main Street is the town gathering place, Stowe Park. The park hosts many activities throughout the year. In summer months locals gather for Friday Night Live, a family-friendly concert series. Red, White and Belmont is the town’s spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display. Many join in the fun with carnival games and costume contests at Halloween. And in December, the park transforms into a Christmas village with carolers, carriage rides and a visit with Santa.
Belmont has also recently become the host of the Belmont Criterium, a competitive bicycle criterium race that runs straight through Main Street. Families line the streets to cheer on the racers, and the event even features a Kids’ Crit to let the littlest cyclers show their stuff!
Belmont embodies the movie ideal of small town. The southern hospitality pours out on locals and visitors alike. Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or are just passing through, you will be treated as a friend and neighbor everywhere you go.