Matthews, a humble town just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, is often overlooked as the perfect tourist getaway, where people of all ages enjoy a lifestyle of leisure and a unique quality of life. Founded in 1879, the quaint town is full of cultural and historical significance everyone can admire on a stroll down N Trade Street, which runs straight through the heart of downtown Matthews.
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Off of N Trade Street is the local hardware store, Renfrow Hardware, where for over 100 years people have been enjoying a cold glass bottle of soda, seeing baby chicks, or buying that hard-to-find hardware item. Walking through the store, you get a feeling that you are part of something bigger, a long generation of customers that have been right where you are now only a century ago. A few blocks down from Renfrow Hardware is the Reid House, a true spectacle to see. It is one of the very few Victorian Queen Anne Style houses left in Mecklenburg County. Built in 1890, the house was owned by Dr. Reid, a well-known man who served patients relentlessly for over 57 years until his death. After his passing, the Matthews Historical Foundation took ownership of the house and kept the house in the same condition as when it was built. Along with the Reid House, ten buildings in downtown Matthews have been listed by the National Register of Historic Places to be historically significant.
Although rich in culture, Matthews is just a hop and a skip away from many modern attractions that draw in thousands of people daily. Within a 100 mile radius of Matthews, amusement parks such as Carowinds and Wet n’ Wild, the fourth best zoo in the United States, Riverbanks Zoo, and the Appalachian Mountains allow visitors of Matthews to enjoy the surrounding luxuries during the day, but return to the nostalgic feel of Matthews at night. Visitors can often catch a concert or movie on a summer’s night right in Stumptown Park, home to Matthews Alive, the annual town fair on Labor Day weekend. Every summer the streets become filled with the best food vendors, thrill seeking carnival rides, and hundreds of tent shops each selling individual homemade gifts. The Matthews’ community thrives at this time of the year, coming together for good times, making Matthews Alive a must-see event.
Although Matthews may not be the picturesque city with breathtaking views of landmarks, it’s the unconventional vacation spot with its warm sense of home that makes you never want to leave. “What was true in 1879 is still true today. Matthews is a special place to live, work, and raise a family.”
And an even better place to visit.
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