Hey, Locals!

I’m sitting on the back porch, sipping coffee, listening to birdsong and my adorable chickens. Nahhhh! Not really. I don’t actually start allll my blog posts that way, although I’ve been quite redundant lately… I was scrolling through my posts and noticed that in the last three, I’ve commenced two of them with a relaxing scene of porch lounging. Those statements were true, but what’s also true is that an hour of writing later it was 17362517 degrees and 146% humidity. Ahhh, summer in the South.

Enough rambling. This post is for the locals. A summer bucket list of the restaurants you need to try, places to visit, and events to attend this season.

First up, the food: These are the restaurants that have sustained locals for years and the new up-and-comers. Try one of the Monroe classics or a trendy place to hang out with friends.

Pat Thai & Pat See Ew  
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Stone Table

Oasis Sandwich Shop– The best dogs in town. Grab a hot dog and a homemade dessert. Oasis has been around since 1933.

Duke’s Grill– What’s more American than a hamburger and fries? Dukes are the juiciest ones you’ll find. They’ve even been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives!” Get the chuckwagon. Thank me later.

Koumi Express- For when you need hibachi, fast. And cheap. A favorite college-budget-friendly meal.

La Unica- The burritos are great, if you can ever stop eating the fresh chips and motley of salsa choices.

Stone Table- The best restaurant in Monroe. In the mood for crafted Southern cuisine, but don’t want to drive to Charleston? Head to Stone Table. I think their shrimp n’ grits are actually better than Magnolia’s. Yes. I said that.

East Frank Superette & Kitchen- The newest haunt in town. If you’re a fan of Common Market, you’ll loooove this place. It’s actually owned by the man who started Common Market in Charlotte.

Tamarind- Another new restaurant that used to be in Matthews. They have the most delicious Thai and Lao street food. Super fresh flavors.

Alice Jule’s Coffeehouse– The cutest coffeehouse in the area. Their iced coffee is delish. There’s plenty of room to spread out and study or meet with a friend.

East Frank

Next up, local events and things to enjoy this summer.

  • Independence Day Celebrations
    • Indian Trail: Parade, 11:30 a.m. on Indian Trail Road in downtown area.

    • Monroe: Festival, 4:30-10 p.m., with fireworks around 9:30 p.m.; at Belk Tonawanda Park.

    • Unionville: Parade, 1 p.m.; festival, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Unionville Elementary School.

    • Waxhaw: Parade, 10 a.m. (no fireworks display this year).

  • Cane Creek Lake
    • Swim and tan: Cane Creek Park’s Beach Area will be open ALL WEEK from 11am – 6:30pm. Reminder: Park Hours remain 7am to 7pm
    • Treasure Hunt! Free for all. Go out and search the trails at Cane Creek Park on the Day-Use Side for the missing Treasure Rock. Return Treasure Rock to the Main Office for a marvelous prize.
    • Paddle boarding: Enjoy sunset at Cane Creek Park! 10 Spots available. $20 per person. Ages 18+ only. Sign up online at unioncountync.gov/parks.

      • July 3rd from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.

      • July 16th from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
      • August 10th from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
      • August 24th from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
    • Kayaking: 4 Single kayaks, 4 double kayaks; $15 per person. Ages 18+ only. Sign up at unioncountync.gov/parks.
      • July 23rd from 7:30pm – 9:30pm
      • August 15th from 7:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Union County Farmer’s Market
    • Our favorite “grocery store” in the summer! Open Saturdays from 8am – 2pm at 805 Skyway Dr. The market features locally grown fruits and vegetables, pastured beef and pork, chicken, various eggs, area crafters, baked treats including cookies, bars, bread, cakes and more! Follow them on Facebook at Union County Farmers Market to keep up with weekly activities and offerings (like live music and cooking demonstrations) and sign up for the weekly newsletter Y.U.M. (Your Union Market). The market accepts SNAP/EBT, WIC and Senior Nutrition Vouchers.
  • Treehouse Vineyards
    • The coolest place to hangout in Monroe! What brings on more seasonal nostalgia than sleeping in a treehouse? Enjoy this grown-up version that overlooks a beautiful vineyard. There’s plenty of family-friendly events, as well!
  • Classic Car Cruise-In
    • This event takes place on the 2nd Friday of every month from April – October in downtown Monroe. The City of Monroe Parks and Recreation Department is excited to announce the 12th annual Downtown Monroe Classic Car Cruise In. Awards are given for best in show and 1st and 2nd place for featured monthly car. No registration required. Spots are open first come first serve.
      • Featured Car List
      • July 12th -Motorcycles
      • August 9th – Jeeps
      • September 13th – Trucks
      • October 11th – Corvettes
  • Monroe Sip n’ Shop
    • Customers in downtown Monroe are invited to shop late on the first Thursday of each month at participating local businesses from 4pm to 8pm.  As always, there will be wine and snacks at each local boutique. Stop in to see all the goodies. A great idea for a ladies’ night out.
  • Food Truck Friday
    • This technically isn’t Union County, but it’s the closest food truck Friday and I would argue that it’s the best in Charlotte. There’s live music and plenty of free activities for kids.
    • FTF 2019
  • Music on Main
    • Free! Live music! Every fourth Thursday of the month from April – September, downtown Monroe hosts some of your favorite bands. Bring your lawn chair and get ready for some great music and tasty food! Make sure you check out all of the downtown vendors and shops while you’re there.

Hopefully this post can help you venture out, support local businesses, and make some sweet memories with your fam! Happy summer, ya’ll!!


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