Updated: Nov 6
Waxhaw, North Carolina, a place full of history, that offers a great place to explore. This little town has a downtown area that other towns dream about having. Most towns lose population and structures fall apart, but Waxhaw still has many old buildings with business in them, old churches and some amazing old homes, some of which remind you of old colonial homes or plantation homes. There are also many great places for a bite to eat while learning about history as you go. Today I will talk about a little bit of history, attractions, food and of course accommodations nearby.
I have several videos on YouTube if you would like to watch them about this area. The list is below.
Waxhaw was originally inhabited by the Waxhaw and Catawba Native American tribes. European settlers began arriving in the area in the mid-18th century, primarily of Scottish-Irish descent.
One of Waxhaw's most notable historical figures is Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States. Jackson was born in the Waxhaw's region, which straddles the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. While the exact location of his birth is debated, Waxhaw claims him as their own. The Andrew Jackson State Park, located nearby, across the state line in South Carolina pays homage to his legacy.
Like many towns in the region, Waxhaw's early economy relied heavily on agriculture. The fertile land allowed for successful farming, with cotton becoming a primary crop in the 19th century. The railroad, which arrived in Waxhaw in the late 1800s, contributed to the town's growth and facilitated trade.
During the Civil War, Waxhaw was not exempt from the conflict. The town served as a supply base for the Confederate Army, and several skirmishes occurred in the area. The Battle of Waxhaws, also known as the Waxhaw Massacre or Buford's Massacre, took place nearby in Lancaster County, South Carolina. This brutal encounter between American and British forces during the American Revolution left a lasting impact on the community.
William Henry Belk, the founder of the Belk department store chain, had a strong connection to Waxhaw, North Carolina. He was born in Monroe North Carolina, which is just up the road in 1862 and opened up his first department store in Chester SC in 1888, but soon relocated the store to Waxhaw, where he saw greater potential for success. The Waxhaw store became the foundation of what would later become the Belk department store chain. Waxhaw Store: In 1888, at the age of 26, William Henry Belk opened his first store in nearby Chester, South Carolina. However, he soon relocated the store to Waxhaw, where he saw greater potential for success. The Waxhaw store became the foundation of what would later become the Belk department store chain.
In recent decades, Waxhaw has experienced significant growth and development. The town has been able to preserve its small-town charm while adapting to the demands of a growing population.
JAARS Museum of the Alphabet: A unique museum dedicated to the history and diversity of the world's writing systems. Jaars is about 10 minutes south of Waxhaw and is on land donated by the Belk family. They have a complex that has disc gold and a lodge. They are of Christian affiliation and are dedicated in preserving language and teach the bible to communities around the world. Check them out, they have a really interesting history, but their museum is rated a 5.0 on trip advisor with many old sculptures, art, and specialize in many languages and translations. Look for their copy of the Rosetta Stone and the Torah.
Cane Creek Park: A great place for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and picnicking. The park also offers boat rentals, swimming and horseback riding. They also have a disc golf area and a miniature golf course. It costs about $4.00 for a car to enter the park, but there are other things you can do you will have to pay for like, renting pontoon boats ($25.00) or swimming ($2.00). Fishing and biking are free.
Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Memorial: This museum gives visitors a glimpse into local history and the life of President Andrew Jackson. Drive east out of town and turn at the sign. It appears like you are driving back into the forest, but when you come out you see old cabins and the museum. Check out their website. They offer all kinds of activities throughout the year. Haunted Tours, Andrew Jackson talks, and historic tours of downtown Waxhaw. They even take you back to colonial times if you like.
Historic Waxhaw Footbridge: A charming footbridge in downtown Waxhaw that provides picturesque views of the town. It takes you from the main road through downtown, across the railroad tracks, and comes out in front of Dreamchaser's Brewery.
Outdoor Activities: Waxhaw offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking trails, fishing areas, picnic spots. Take a walking tour of historic downtown, book one or just walk on your own. If you are a golf fan, there are several golf courses nearby.
Andrew Jackson State Park is nearby and on the South Carolina side. Lots to do and see. Visit the amphitheater when they have presentations, and the lantern festival in the fall is a really great time to visit. They have trails, camping, a lake, and a museum also. They also have an event in March near Andrew Jacksons birthday.
Food and Drink
Dreamchaser's Brewery: A popular local brewery where you can sample a variety of craft beers.
Waxhaw Creamery: Indulge in delicious ice cream at this local favorite.
Emmet's Social Table: Great food, get the Fried Deviled Eggs, or Pork Belly Tacos.
Virtuoso Bread Works: Get the Irish Cheddar Sourdough.
Cork and Ale: Has a great French Dip or Burger.
Waxhaw Tap House: a great place to stop and have a beer.
Blue Lagoon Cafe: serves great burgers and hot bogs.
Crossroads Coffee House: They have really good coffee; I mean really good!
There are not any hotels in Waxhaw, but plenty nearby in Charlotte NC, Monroe NC, Matthews NC, or even across the state line in Fort Mill SC, Indian Land SC, Rock Hill SC, and Lancaster SC
You could also look into Airbnb and VRBO. Waxhaw has several vacation rental options available through platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. These rentals range from cozy cottages to spacious homes, allowing visitors to have a more private and home-like experience during their stay.
Campgrounds are also available at Cane Creek Park and Andrew Jackson State Park. If you choose Andrew Jackson State Park, say hi to Ranger Todd and Staff member Jacob. :)
I hope you have found this blog informative, and you get out there and explore Waxhaw North Carolina. With all the history and the quaint downtown area, it is definitely worth a pit stop if you are in the Charlotte NC area. Enjoy your visit to Waxhaw! And when here, drink a beer at Dreamchaser's!!!
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