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The Great Outdoors

Shelby, NC

Think outside. No box required. That’s what we say here in Cleveland County. Because you can choose the kind of outdoors that fits you best. Want to stroll around a town square and take in the local music scene? We’ve got that. Want to hike or bike until the views leave you breathless? We’ve got that, too. Maybe you prefer sitting back with a glass of wine and taking in the sunset? We’ve got you covered there twice. So, head over our way. Mother Nature doesn’t like to be kept waiting.

Medium Activity

2 days | 12 stops

Day 1

STOP 1: Breakfast at Hannah's Coffee Shop

If you think your birthstone should be a coffee bean, then a visit to Hannah's Coffee House is the perfect way to start any day. This little coffee shop has been in Shelby since 2013. The coffee is actually roasted less than five miles away by Broad River Roasters. The menu includes seasonal blends and local favorites. Order up a cappuccino, latte, or Snickers frappe. Pair that up with a Chocolate Croissant, Blueberry Muffin or your favorite bagel. You’ll be perked up and inspired in no time.

STOP 2: Visit King's Mountain Gateway Trail

Less than 20 minutes from Uptown Shelby, you’ll find the King’s 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 the edge of an active quarry, a garden designed for Monarch Butterflies, a bamboo forest or a scenic overlook of Kings Mountain and Crowder’s Mountain. It’s time to gear up and head out. May the forest be with you.

STOP 3: Lunch at 238 Cherokee Grill

When the menu includes a sandwich called the Pork-a-saurus, you know the meal is going to be a topic of conversation. That’s exactly what you get at 238 Cherokee Grill. Located a few minutes from Gateway Trail, this unpretentious little tavern offers big flavors to satisfy any appetite. The food is American with a Southern kick. Chicken is served smothered. Green beans are breaded and fried. Come hungry and with a belt you can loosen a couple notches.

STOP 4: Explore Baker Buffalo Creek Winery

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 5: Walk the LP Project

A visit to Shelby would not be complete without a tip of the hat to native son Don Gibson. This prolific songwriter and country music legend, penned more than 375 songs during his career. One of his top hits is "I Can’t Stop Loving You" which has been recorded in several languages and across genres by over 750 artists. As a tribute to this poet of song, the Don Gibson Theatre created a public art walking tour that highlights Don’s work. There are ten stops around Uptown Shelby. At each location you'll find an LP sculpture, each designed by a different artist, that features information about one of Don’s hit songs. You'll even see a mural of Don along the way. The stroll will take you about 45 minutes to see them all. But you’ll be humming the tunes for days after.

STOP 6: Dine at Pleasant City Wood Fired Grill

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!
Photo Credit: NC Tripping

Day 2

STOP 7: Wander Foothills Farmers Market

Farm to table begins at the Foothills Farmers’ Market. Located in Uptown Shelby, this market brings in food grown on family farms in Cleveland County and the surrounding 50 miles. Grab a watermelon. Stock up on some ears of corn. Check out the nuts, poultry, cheeses and meats. 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, chances are you can find it here.

STOP 8: Head to Broad River Greenway

About 3 miles south of Boiling Springs you’ll find the Broad River Greenway. This natural area joins more than 20 miles of trails. It's the perfect place for biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing or perfecting the art of doing nothing as you hang out by the river. The greenway covers 1,500 acres. So bring your outdoor gear and prepare to spend a full day high-fiving Mother Nature.

STOP 9: Lunch at J-Bird's Deli and Ales

Ready for a masterpiece made of premium cold cuts? J-Bird’s Deli is the next stop on your culinary adventure. This local deli specializes in artisanal crafted sandwiches. Try the Captain Fantastic --fresh sourdough piled high with chicken, pimento cheese, jalapeno, and garlic aioli. Order up the Bolognious Monk --sliced ciabatta with bologna, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo or build your own edible art and pair it with the latest craft brew. We’ll save you a seat.
Photo Credit: NC Tripping

STOP 10: Taste Uptown Sweets and Treats

If your sweet tooth likes a lot of choices, then Uptown Sweets and Treats is your kind of place. Choose from 28 flavors of premium, hand-dipped ice cream, eight flavors of fudge, 25 flavors of gourmet popcorn and homemade cupcakes. Grab your pants with the stretchy waist and head on over. Your sweet tooth demands it.

STOP 11: Ride the Wooden Carrousel

A century old wooden Carrousel has become a treasured stop at the Shelby City Park. Volunteers spent thousands of hours restoring this artifact to her original beauty. Today, music fills the park from an authentic Carrousel Band Organ as the carousel spins with a blur of color and new life. Twenty-nine original horses and three hand-carved replacements form a ring around hand-painted rounding boards. For a mere fifty cents, kids of all ages can take a ride. Giddy up over and choose your horse. (Check operating times. Hours may have changed during Covid.)

STOP 12: Dinner at 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. (Sit outdoors by the Earl Scruggs mural if you can.)

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