Monroe is a small city in North Carolina. It is in Union County, on U.S. Highway 74. It has a close association with Charlotte, which is about 30 minutes away by car. Monroe's population is slightly under 27,000. It used to be populated mostly by White and African-Americans; however, the city's Hispanic population has spiked dramatically.
Though Monroe has a small airport, the vast majority of visitors will arrive there by car. The primary artery through the city is US-74, though there are smaller roads connecting it to other nearby towns.
Cars are the only practical form of transportation in Monroe. There is no public transit. Biking or walking is possible in some areas -- especially in the Historic Downtown -- but not recommended for visitors limiting themselves to the businesses and shopping found along the 74 corridor.
Monroe maintains its historic downtown, though it has seen better days. The Union County Courthouse has an impressive bell tower, and is in a picturesque downtown district. The stores along Main St. bear the feeling of a 1940s town, and are reasonably well preserved. Also, the original Belk's Department Store can be found there.
There is a movie theater near the Monroe Mall on Highway 74.
Monroe is not a tourist center, and there is relatively little for a visitor to do there besides shop. The Monroe Mall and Union County Farmers' Market are probably your best bet aside from strolling through the downtown area. High-school football games are also an event of interest for those looking for exposure to Southern culture.
The historic downtown of the city has some shopping, and is worth visiting for a casual afternoon. Of particular interest are independently owned boutiques, The Renn's Nest, the antique stores, and the day spas, including Reflections and Emmy's, that populate the Historic Downtown.
Monroe's other shopping district can be found along the US-74 corridor. The Monroe Mall offers some department store retail, and has a few interesting stores. Other bog box and chain retail stores can be found at Poplin Place.
The strip along US-74 has many chain restaurants. If you are looking for chain food, there is no need to plan ahead; just drive down 74 and look for what you want.
For more personal dining, try exploring the historic downtown area. There are a few good cafes to be found there and on surrounding streets.
- Duke's Grill, 1114 Concord Ave, ☏ .
- Geraldine's, 1813 N Charlotte Ave, ☏ .
- Grey's Grill, 4002 Concord Hwy, ☏ .
- Gus's Family Restaurant, 1627 Walkup Ave, ☏ .
- J.B.'s Midway Country Cafe, 723 N Charlotte Ave, ☏ .
- Little Country Kitchen, 2526 Old Charlotte Hwy, ☏ .
- Mr. G's, 427 Morgan Mill Rd, ☏ .
- Mucci's Bistro, 100 N Main St, ☏ .
- Oasis, 116 S Main St, ☏ . "The best hot dogs in Monroe"
- Pat's Place, 6004 Concord Hwy, ☏ .
- Pizza Palace, 5250 Old Charlotte Hwy, ☏ .
- Ron's Restaurant, 3621 Old Charlotte Hwy, ☏ .
- Sandwich Shop, 100 N Secrest Ave, ☏ .
- Spartan Grill, 5250 Old Charlotte Hwy, ☏ . # F.
Grayson's Tavern is located at 106 N. Main Street (704-948-8887), right across from the Old Courthouse.
There are a variety of hotels along US-74 approaching Charlotte.
- Holiday Inn Express, 608 East Roosevelt Blvd.
- Best Value Inn, 1608 E Roosevelt Blvd, ☏ .
- Days Inn, 611 W Roosevelt Blvd, ☏ .
- Economy Inn, 412 W Roosevelt Blvd, ☏ .
- Quality Inn, 2351 W Roosevelt Blvd, ☏ .
- Best Western Inn, 2316 Hanover Dr, ☏ .
Almost all visitors will leave town via either US-74 or the Old Charlotte Highway (which, obviously, goes to Charlotte and becomes Monroe Rd. in Mecklenburg County). Driving west on US-74 will also bring you to Charlotte; heading east will eventually take you toward Wilmington and the coast. The next nearest town to the east is Wadesboro.
|Routes through Monroe|
|Charlotte ← Indian Trail ←||W E||→ Wadesboro → Lumberton|