Maxwell’s Tavern Waxhaw

MaxwellsIntIf you live in the southeast Metrolina, head to Maxwell’s Tavern in Waxhaw pronto! This place is insanely good and truly one of a kind. With a great beer selection and a commitment to quality, Maxwell’s Tavern is loved by Charlotte100Best.

Long-time restaurant owners, brothers Johnny and Terry Balatsias run the back of the house and spend their days creating delicious recipes that take traditional sports bar food and knock it out of the park! Their wives Katina and Cindy manage the front of the house and make sure everyone is treated like family.

The exposed brick walls and beadboard ceilings add to the energy of Maxwell’s Tavern. Locals love to gather here to watch a game, dive into a burger and choose from the great beer list.

The burgers are ground on site with new and unique combinations every month. Not a burger-lover? Not to worry! There are plenty of other selections on Maxwell Tavern’s menu. From pulled pork bbq to a veggie greek pita, there’s something for everyone here.

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Garden Centers Charlotte

DearnessFlowerGarden Centers in Charlotte are gearing up for spring planting season. Although Charlotte might still see snow this year, many Charlotteans are ready for spring to appear. In fact, most home gardeners are already making plans for their spring planting at the end of February and early March.

The Charlotte area is overflowing with fabulous garden centers and great gardening resources as well. Some of Charlotte100Best picks for local garden centers and gardening resources are below.

DearnessSignBy far, our favorite nursery is Dearness Gardens in Huntersville. This garden center is filled to the brim with everything to complete your landscaping needs. An enormous selection of trees, plants, shrubs can be found here, and the knowledgeable staff make selections easy. A multitude of statuaries, planters, water features and other garden accents are all available for purchase. Landscape consultation, design and installation services are also available.


If you want to add a water feature to your landscape, be sure to head up to WhiteHouse Gardens in Cornelius. With the largest selection of fountains, statues and planters in the Charlotte area, you are sure to find the perfect piece to complement your landscape design. We love this place so much, this is our second mention! Read our original review here.


Within the Charlotte city limits, we have several nurseries that we love to frequent:

Rountree Plantation Greenhouse & Garden Center 
You can always find a great selection of standard annuals as well as some of the newest and more difficult to find varieties. Also offers a selection lawn products, tools, gloves and accessories.


Blackhawk Garden Center
Part of Blackhawk Hardware, this garden center boasts a staff who are passionate and knowledgeable about plant care. Top-quality Monrovia plants, shrubs and trees are available as well as specialty gift items.


Southern Styles Nursery
The spacious grounds of Southern Styles Nursery offer a wide variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and Japanese Maples. Design help is available on site at no charge.


If you live in south Charlotte, you will find great resources, too!

Pike Nursery
Located in Ballantyne, this nursery has a wide selections of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and ferns.


Pine Lake Nursery
Located in Matthews with over 5 acres of plant material to choose from, Pine Lake is one of the largest retail nurseries in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Landscape design and installation is available.


In addition to Dearness Gardens in north Charlotte,

Turtle Creek Nursery
Located in Davidson, this nursery has an abundance of landscaping trees, shrubs and plants for homeowners. Delivery is available to the local area.


If you want to learn more about sustainable gardening, or simply want tips on how to create a food producing garden, as well as techniques for preserving what you’ve grown, check out the 2015 Sustainable Living Series from Mecklenburg Family and Consumer Sciences and Mecklenburg Extension Master Gardeners.

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Toast Cafe

Toast Davidson

Toast Davidson

Around since 2005, and a recurring BOB Award winner, Toast Café nails a top spot on the list as well. Toast Café (with a name change to “Famous Toastery” this year) consistently serves up delicious, fresh dishes with a strong cup of coffee.

Cali Benny at Toast Cafe

Cali Benny at Toast Cafe

If you want a long list of creative Eggs Benedict choices, Toast is a must do with six different Benny styles on the menu, including the Cali Benny with avocado and the Corned Beef Hash Benedict. If your crave is lunch food, no worries. At Toast you can get lunch at breakfast. Both breakfast and lunch menus are served from 7am-3pm, so if you want to dine on meatloaf instead of eggs for breakfast you can.

Toast is committed to fresh food made daily with fantastic service in a family-friendly environment. Each location has a hum of quiet energy with an easy, laid-back atmosphere. It’s easy to see why so many in the Charlotte area love waking up to breakfast at Toast.


Country Benedict at Toast Cafe

Country Benedict at Toast Cafe




Toast Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at four locations around Charlotte.

Open Daily 7am-3pm

Dinner Wed-Sat 5pm-9pm 

Locations in Davidson, Dilworth, Ballantyne and Tega Cay. Coming soon to Mooresville and the University area.



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Charlotte Summer Camps 2015


Although many of us are dreaming of snow days and ski resorts, it is already time to start planning summer activities for our children.

The greater Charlotte area has so many wonderful camp opportunities available all summer long! No matter what your child is interested in, you are sure to find an engaging camp that is a perfect fit.

Does your child light up at the sight of paintbrushes and easels? Do they adore going to museums and studying various art styles and techniques? The Mint Museum in Charlotte has a fantastic art program that integrates museum time and hands-on creative time.

If your child loves crafting and creating their own masterpieces, small hands big art is the perfect place to mix in and get your hands dirty! The camps are designed for ages 4-14 and include exploration in painting, drawing, 3D sculpture, upcycled art and more! small hands big art is located in Ballantyne and Dilworth, with special Pottery camps at the Weddington Activity Center.

Do you have a future explorer at home? For kids that love the great outdoors, Anne Springs Close Greenway offers a host of camp opportunities, from mountain biking and hiking to equestrian camps or kayaking. For those that love science, writing, photography, or even LEGO® building, the Recreation Complex on the Greenway has tons of camp choices to chose from!

Overnight camps can be a great way to meet new friends and stretch independence while having a blast exploring new activities! Campers come from all over to enjoy a week at YMCA Camp Thunderbird. This home away from home has it all! Water fun, ropes courses, sports, crafts, even horseback riding are activities campers can select. Located in Lake Wylie, SC, YMCA Camp Thunderbird is easily accessible from the greater Charlotte area.

No matter what you are searching for, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your child. While not a comprehensive list, a great resource for sorting through many camp options is

Many locations are offering early registration discounts through the month of January – don’t miss out!

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Peppermint Forest

The holiday season is in full swing! Halloween decorations are coming down and quickly being replaced with Thanksgiving gourds, wild turkey feathers, cornucopias and fall wreaths. Glass pumpkins are placed delicately on tabletops while sturdier white pumpkin tureens decorate kitchen counters. Children’s handprints turn into cherished turkey tail feathers and friends and family begin to gather.

Peppermint Forest SignFor many, the transition from Thanksgiving decorations to Christmas décor happens in a single day, often the day after Thanksgiving! If, like me, you’ve realized that Christmas is less than 50 days away, maybe, also like me, you’ve started to panic over this year’s Christmas trimmings. Don’t worry! Take a deep breath, and follow me into one of the most charming Christmas stores in Charlotte. Peppermint Forest (if the name sounds familiar, check your child’s Candyland gameboard) is one of the South’s largest Christmas shops, and is truly a treat for those who love to decorate for Christmas.


Cozy Christmas Display

Cozy Christmas Display

Living up to its name, Peppermint Forest has a huge assortment of artificial Christmas trees. But more than that, you will find themed tree ideas, decorated wreath ideas, and more ornaments and accessories than you can count! Holiday floral and ribbons galore, candles, lights, and collectibles fill every inch of this store. Peppermint Forest also has Fontanini Heirloom Nativities as well as Department 56 Villages. – You have to see the adorable new Fisher Price Fun Factory, which incorporates everyone’s favorite childhood toys into one supremely cute building.


Themed Trees at Peppermint Forest



Peppermint Forest has hours daily; Monday-Saturday 10am-8:30pm and Sunday 1pm-6pm.

Peppermint Forest VillageCollectables

Adorable Fisher-Price Fun Factory!



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Reid’s Fine Foods

Reid's Fine Foods SignReid's Fine Foods BasketsReid’s Fine Foods has been a Charlotte institution since 1928. This is THE place to go if you want to build a gourmet gift basket for any occasion. Reid’s has baskets that are pre-made and ready to grab-and-go, or you can select the products you want to add to a customized basket of your own. Reid’s, combined with its sister company Young Plantations, ships over 70,000 packages across the country and to more than 30 countries around the world every year.


In addition to customized baskets, Reid’s sells an assortment of delectable prepared dishes as well as a butcher shop that is second to none. Featuring prime-grade beef, local chicken, lamb, pork and seafood, the butcher shop also carries a selection of grass-fed beef, bison and other specialty meats. A carefully curated selection of fresh cheeses, micro-brew beers and domestic and imported wines are also available.

Reid's Fine Foods Gourmet 1Reid's Fine Foods Beer


Stop by Reid’s for a casual lunch with friends, or enjoy a glass of wine after work. On Wednesdays, Reid’s pours ½ price glasses of wine to accompany their tempting Bar Menu with offerings from cheese and olive trays to a potato-truffle flatbread. Reid’s is re-opening their 3,500 square-foot location at 112 Overhill Drive in Fort Mill next week, and is planning to announce the location of a new South Park store to open in November 2015.


With a focus on gourmet, regional provisions, locally grown produce and superior meats, Reid’s has an extremely loyal customer base – after one visit, it’s easy to see why!

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Charlotte Extreme Cheerleading

Looking for a great gym for your Allstar Cheerleader? Charlotte Extreme Cheerleading is a favorite among Charlotte families. Located in South Charlotte with easy access from I-77 and I-485, the gym welcomes families from all over the Charlotte metro area.

The facility includes 2 spring floors, a tumbling floor, 2 Tumble Traks and a parent viewing area. In addition to being home to the Charlotte Extreme Allstars, the gym hosts summer camps, cheer clinics throughout the year and can be rented for birthday parties or events. Charlotte Extreme also offers an Allstar Prep Program that allows students to gain an introduction to Allstar cheerleading without the cost and time commitment of the traditional Allstar cheerleading program.

Cheerleading is a great activity for students of all ages and abilities. Charlotte Extreme welcomes boys and girls to join one of their many Allstar teams, from Mini level 1 to Senior level 5, and all ages and levels in between! Allstar teams typically compete in 8 events, with a mix of local and travel competitions that are either single day events or multi-day events with overnight stays.

Charlotte Extreme Allstars have received 2 Summit Bids and have been names Cheersport National Champions and Spirit of Hope National Champions. The gym fosters a positive environment where student athletes learn the values of sportsmanship, character growth, life skills and building friendships. Students experience the rewards of hard work and their passion for cheerleading is encouraged. Parents and students enjoy the camaraderie built inside the walls of Charlotte Extreme and on the road to competitions.

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The Next Baxter Village

Baxter Village in Fort Mill, SC has proven to be a highly sought-after neighborhood. With a Town Center full of shops and restaurants; an elementary school, Urgent Care center, library and YMCA integrated in the neighborhood; pocket parks, village greens and miles of nature trails; as well as true “front porch living”, Baxter Village integrates an urban lifestyle within a suburban setting. Creating a traditional neighborhood in which everyday conveniences are at residents’ doorsteps, has allowed residents to bask in the town-center feel of their community.

Baxter Village completed construction late last year with approximately 1,450 homes and 250,000 square feet of commercial development in addition to the civic space that includes the library and YMCA. Now, Clear Springs Development Co., the creator of Baxter Village, has turned its attention to the next community it plans to develop.

The as-yet-unnamed development will include at least 650 single-family homes and 300,000 square feet of commercial space. The site of the latest community is at the intersection of Springfield Parkway and U.S. Highway 21. The new community will closely follow the town-center feel that proved so popular in Baxter Village, with new home construction expected to begin in early 2015.

As northern York County continues to grow, more commercial development will be necessary to meet the demands for retail, restaurants and services. The new development will address some of those demands, with leasing for the commercial side of the community already in early stages. Harris Teeter has already started construction on their new Springfield store.

With the success of Baxter Village still strong, we look forward to the development of the new Springfield community and another wonderful neighborhood in Fort Mill, SC.



Elkins, K. (5/19/2014). Clear Springs plans 650-home mixed-use development at Springfield in Fort Mill. Retrieved from http://

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Boulevard Bazaar

Boulevard Bazaar 1Open only on weekends, Boulevard Bazaar is one of the best places to find high-end furniture closeouts in Charlotte. This warehouse-style storefront is overflowing with a wide assortment of furniture including contemporary, casual, traditional and formal styles. You’ll find everything here – sofas, dining tables, bedroom sets, accessories, and more!

Boulevard Bazaar ChairsLocated in Historic South End, the warehouse holds treasures around every twist and turn. Boulevard Bazaar is an authorized factory outlet for Century Furniture, Highland House and Hollin Gate – making the prices nearly unbeatable.

Boulevard Bazaar Dining

Because Boulevard Bazaar specializes in closeouts, you can select your furniture and take it home with you – no waiting for an order to be processed. They also offer a delivery service for a fee. If you see a piece of furniture you like, don’t hesitate to ask if a discount is available; items that have been on the floor for a while can often be marked down, making some pieces truly a steal.

Boulevard Bazaar RugsBoulevard Bazaar also has an incredible selection of upholstery fabrics in the back room – end of rolls generally have plenty for any upholstery project and the prices are deeply discounted. Area rugs are hung in the front room, making it easy to spot the perfect one for your space.

Boulevard BazaarBoulevard Bazaar is full of fabulous finds at incredible prices. The selection of furniture varies widely, and styles change from week to week. If you find something you love, be sure to grab it – most styles are unique, samples, or discontinued items that are one of a kind. If you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, be sure to come again since new pieces arrive every week.

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May Festivals

The school year is coming to a close, and festival season is kicking into high-gear! We’ve compiled a list of May festivals throughout the area, including some that are perfect for a day-trip out of Charlotte.






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