Charlotteans love their cars, but with the introduction of the LYNX Blue Line, the Charlotte region’s first light rail service, that is changing.
With 15 stations stretching almost 10 miles from Interstate 485 at South Boulevard to uptown, the Blue Line provides a stress-free commute and transportation route for travelers, but it does so much more. It also provides Charlotteans an easy, no-parking, stress-free way to explore different areas of Charlotte. Each stop has something to offer riders, although some require more walking than others.
Here is a roundup of some of the places to eat, drink, and to easily explore along the Blue Line.
Map: Things to Do Off the LYNX Blue Line
Zack’s Hamburgers: Since 1975, Zack’s has served up traditional hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs and milkshakes. No frills, just good food. 4009 South Blvd.; 704.525.1720
New Bern Station
The Charlotte Rail Trail: Riders can jump off at this stop and start walking the Charlotte Rail Trail, a 4.5-mile urban trail located alongside the Blue Line that starts at New Bern and goes to the 7th Street Station in uptown. Along the trail, walkers will find restaurants, bars, shopping opportunities and everything else in between.
Triple C Brewing Co.: Featuring a cozy beer garden outside and televisions and foosball tables inside, this microbrewery is a must-visit. Grab the Light Rail Pale Ale to officially mark your day of Blue Line exploration. 2900 Griffith St.; 704.372.3212
Blue Hem: Blue Hem is Charlotte’s one-stop-shop for all your denim needs. Shoppers can expect to find known brands such as J Brand and JOE’s along with up and coming designers. 1750 Camden Road; 980.228.1868
Blaze Pizza: Patrons get pizzas fresh-to-order in an assembly line fashion at Blaze Pizza. Select from the Blaze menu or create your own, choosing toppings from their offerings of seven cheeses, eight proteins, 17 veggies and 10 sauces. 1750 Camden Road, #112; 980.859.1463
Studio Cellar: This studio/bar allows patrons to paint either in a class setting or at the paint bar, painting whatever inspiration comes to mind. Beer and wine is offered while you paint. 1800 Camden Road; 980.207.1671
The Liberty: A gastropub focused on classic American food favorites and a varied beer selection, The Liberty is a great stop for a delicious bite. 1812 South Blvd.; 704.332.8830
All American Pub:A prime spot to watch sports thanks to the vast interior and the numerous televisions throughout, All American Pub also doubles as a go-to spot for drinking and dancing during the weekend. 200 E. Bland St.; 704.370.2000
Wooden Robot: With a tasting room and a tree-shaded patio perfect on a warm day, Wooden Robot features Belgian farmhouse beers such as pale ales. There are a few permanent beers on tap such as the Good Morning Vietnam, but the beer selection is constantly evolving ensuring a unique experience each time. 1440 S. Tryon St.; 980.819.7875
Charlotte Trolley Museum: Learn about Charlotte’s past and future as it pertains to the Charlotte Trolley. There are vintage cars to see and information on how the Trolley and Charlotte transportation in general has and continues to evolve. 1507 Camden Road; 704.375.0850
Futo Buta: Ramen, sushi, and other unique Japanese dishes can be found at this establishment. With an intimate communal dining set up inside and the outdoor patio, it’s a perfect spot on a cold or warm day. 222 E. Bland St.; 704.376.8400
The Midnight Diner: Open 24 hours, The Midnight Diner serves comfort food at reasonable prices. Hash browns are good any time of day. 115 E. Carson Blvd.; 980.207.3641
Halcyon Flavors From the Earth: Located inside the Mint Museum Uptown, Halcyon is a sophisticated restaurant specializing in farm to table cuisine from local vendors and delicious cocktails. Eat inside, or head outside and eat on their patio overlooking Tryon Street. 500 S. Tryon St.; 704.910.0865
Levine Center for the Arts: Hop off the Blue Line, walk a few blocks, and have a cultural experience at the Levine Center for the Arts. Stroll around Tryon Street and visit art institutions and museums including the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Knight Theater and the Mint Museum Uptown. 550 S. Tryon St.
3rd Street/Convention Center Station
Latta Arcade and Brevard Court: You’ll find rows of restaurants, bars, and other establishments at this indoor and outdoor space. Grab a coffee at Rush Espresso, a Guinness at Belfast Mill or a meal at the French Quarter Restaurant. 230 S. Tryon St.
Romare Bearden Park: This park is much-needed green space in uptown Charlotte. Named after Charlotte’s own artist son, Romare Bearden, the park is perfect to stretch your legs, and offers some beautiful photo opportunities. 300 S. Church St.
BB&T Ballpark: Catch a ballgame at BB&T Ballpark and cheer on the Charlotte Knights while enjoying nachos, hot dogs and all the other food and beverages that makes baseball such a fan favorite. 324 S. Mint St.
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Learn about the history of racing here as well in addition to the men and women that have made it what it is today, and also challenge yourself and loved ones to see if you have what it takes to be a driver or a member of the pit crew. 400 E. M.L.K. Jr. Blvd.; 704.654.4400
Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) Station
EpiCentre: The best way to describe the EpiCentre is that it is an adult version of Disney World. Three floors of bars—including a piano bar and a bar where you can ride a mechanical bull—restaurants and entertainment venues such as a movie theater and a bowling alley make the EpiCentre an uptown staple. 210 E. Trade St.
You don’t have to stay the night here to enjoy all of the amenities they offer. Grab a macaroon at Bar Cocoa, dinner at BLT Steak, a bite and a drink from Kinship or a fancy cocktail from The Punch Room and meet local celebrity bartender, Bob Peters. 201 E. Trade St.; 704.547.2244
Spectrum Center: The home of the Charlotte Hornets and numerous events, the Spectrum Center is an entertainment destination in uptown. The team store is open even if there isn’t a game for fans to pick up some merchandise. 333 E. Trade St.; 704.688.9000
7th Street Station
7th Street Public Market: Located mere steps away after exiting the Blue Line car, 7th Street Public Market is home to numerous vendors and artisans selling everything from bread, wine, coffee, soaps and gifts. It is also home to some of the best food in uptown with different restaurants specializing in cuisine ranging from sushi to pizza. 224 E. Seventh St.; 704.230.4346
The Cellar at Duckworth’s: With a speakeasy vibe, The Cellar is a great spot to grab a delicious craft cocktail and a bite to eat. This gastropub focuses on American cuisine and is known for their steaks and burgers. The food is delicious, but the standout is the libations made at the bar. Grab a drink and relax. 330 North Tryon St.; 980.349.4078
Discovery Place: A few blocks away from the station, Discovery Place is a great spot for kids, or for those adults who are children at heart. Hands-on opportunities, an IMAX theater and revolving exhibits, Discovery Place makes learning fun. 301 North Tryon St.; 704.372.6261
ImaginOn: Let your imagination run wild at ImaginOn. A collaborative effort between the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, ImaginOn features two theatres, a dedicated library space for kids 11 and under, four multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library, a multimedia production studio and interactive exhibit space. 300 E. 7th St.; 704.416.4600