Davidson Is the North Carolina Town That's Straight Out of a Hallmark Movie

You need to plan a visit ASAP.

Davidson College Campus at Sunset
Photo: Chris Record of Davidson College

Visit Davidson, North Carolina, and you might wonder if you've stepped onto the set of a Hallmark movie. You'll find easy access to Lake Norman and its 520 miles of shoreline, and downtown Davidson nearby, which is made up of beautifully restored historic buildings that feel decidedly postcard-worthy. It's a beautiful place to eat, shop, and unwind for boaters and non-boaters alike.

Where to Eat & Drink

If you go to just one restaurant in Davidson, make it Kindred, located in the heart of historic downtown. Founders Katy and Joe Kindred have taken great care to restore the building that houses their restaurant, which served as the town pharmacy in the early part of the 20th century. At Kindred you'll find chef-driven, inventive dishes created by Joe, a James Beard nominee. Try not to fill up on the restaurant's signature milkbread before your meal arrives—but we won't blame you if you do.

Coffee lovers will want to stop by Summit Coffee. Though the brand has now expanded all over the state, the "basecamp" Davidson location is a must-visit. You'll find a selection of zippy brews, as well as baked goods, beer, and wine. The cheerful space is the perfect place to enjoy a pick-me-up.

If it's fresh produce you're after, make a stop at the Davidson Farmers Market. The year-round market features the wares of more than 35 vendors. Enjoy farm fresh fruit, veggies, cheeses, breads, and more. Before you go, check the schedule for up-to-date seasonal hours.

Hungry? Visit the family-owned Davidson Ice House. Enjoy lighter fare like salads and grain bowls, as well as sandwich and burger options. And don't knock the buffalo cauliflower until you try it. You'll love how the restaurant has maintained the charm of the building it calls home, which was built in 1922.

When you're looking for farm-to-table cuisine, The Pickled Peach delivers. They make the vast majority of food in-house, and source organic produce and grass-fed meats whenever possible. Choose from homemade soups, tasty sandwiches, and ultra-fresh salads that will leave you energized for a day of exploring.

After dinner, grab a nightcap at Davidson Wine Company. With a beautifully designed interior (it used to be an organ shop) and a spacious patio, it's the perfect place to end an evening. The locally owned shop makes over 30 kinds of wines using grapes sourced from all over the world. For an especially refreshing sip, try the White Wild, a sauvignon blanc.

If you've got a sweet tooth, you'll want to include a stop at Davidson Chocolate Co. on your itinerary. The family owned and operated local favorite is known for its creative and visually appealing sweet treats. Their truffles are consistently a bestseller, and they're also known for their chocolate covered strawberries.

What to Do

Whether you have prospective college students in your group or not, take a stroll around the Davidson College campus. It's the alma mater of NBA star Steph Curry, as well as 23 Rhodes Scholars. The beautiful campus, with its quaint brick buildings and lush greenery, radiates a quintessential collegiate feel.

No matter what that teetering reading pile on your nightstand looks like, you'll want to drop into Main Street Books. The locally-owned shop has been helping readers find their next favorite title for more than 30 years.

When it's time for entertainment, grab tickets to a Davidson Community Players show. Look for shows like Legally Blonde and Death of a Salesman hitting the stage during the 2022 season.

And, finally, when it's time to call your trip to a close, stop by Honeysuckle Home. The shop has beautiful home decor, candles, puzzles, jewelry, cozy sweatshirts, kitchen items, and more. Your friends won't even think to complain that you visited Davidson without them when you bring home the perfect souvenir, although it might just be the catalyst they need to book a trip of their own.

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