Pineville has long been viewed by some as one of those suburbs that is just a bit too far outside of Charlotte to actually warrant the drive. The traffic jams along N.C. Highway 51 and the I-485 entrance ramp can be infuriating for any driver.
But things are looking up for Pineville as the historic downtown area welcomes new businesses. Here’s a list of three things in particular that make Pineville a great place to visit:
329 Main St., Pineville.
When Pintville opened its doors last year in the town’s historic downtown, a whole community of beer lovers was finally given the chance to sample some of the finest beverages that Charlotte and the rest of the world has to offer. Mondays are $4 pint nights –a steal — and Pintville has also begun hosting food trucks and live music on a steady basis.
11025 Carolina Place Pkwy., Pineville.
While you may think of Carolina Place Mall as a relic of the ’90s, this indoor shopping mall is still alive and kicking. Flanked on the outskirts by a modern Barnes and Noble castle and the ever-popular REI store, Carolina Place is still a great place to visit for some retail therapy. For me, however, the true reason to go to this mall lies in the food court, where everything from bourbon chicken to philly cheesteaks are readily available. Be sure to stop by Spencer’s before you leave if for no other reason than to exchange awkward glances with the kids inside with their parents.
400 Towne Centre Blvd., Pineville.
For decades Eastland Mall was the only real location around for those who love to ice skate. Then Pineville Ice House came about in the ’90s, and while it’s hidden behind a Burger King and a Chinese buffet, the rink still remains a great place to have a fun and active time for people of all ages. Free skate passes cost next-to-nothing ($7, plus $3 skate rental if you need it) and for those parents or young adults who need a rest, the Ice House has opened up an indoor bar where you can watch the skaters while remaining warm behind the glass.
Pineville Farmers Market, 100 Dover St., Pineville. (Reopens May 2017.): Seasonal location to get fresh fruit and enjoy being out and about in Pineville.
Belle Johnston Community Center, 1000 Johnston Dr., Pineville: Operated by Pineville’s Parks and Recreation Department and provides a number of different programs and activities for the community.
Monkey Joe’s, 601 N. Polk St., Pineville: Active fun for kids of all ages.
Photo: Charlotte Observer file