An award-winning suburban town situated in one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. Beautiful yet affordable new homes, a short commute, low taxes, excellent schools, and quick access to practically everything in Charlotte. Welcome to Matthews.
Despite its massive growth since the 1990s, Matthews, North Carolina still feels like something of a small town. The community-oriented city is located just southeast of Charlotte and just within Interstate 485's boundaries. Once a sleepy farming community, Matthews is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and that might have a little something to do with some of the city's awards and accolades. It has been called one of the "most exciting suburbs" and one of the "top ten suburban cities" in the United States. In North Carolina, it has been named one of the "top 10 places to retire" and one of the "top ten best cities."
Many people choose to live in Matthews because of its proximity to Charlotte's business and entertainment opportunities. The city is just 10 miles from Uptown with several major roads and bus service available to get you there for work or play. Several golf and country clubs are located in the area, and the beautiful Lake Wylie is just about 20 miles to the west, making for a perfect weekend getaway.
The Charlotte area has a rich history that dates back to the 1700s and includes the nation's first gold rush, a thriving textile industry, and, most recently, becoming the second-largest banking and financial city in the United States. While Matthews has taken advantage of the metropolitan area’s growth in recent decades, its own history dates back to the 1800s. Cotton farming was big in the area in those days, and a community of settlers chopped down several trees in the wooded area to set up more farms. This led to the community’s first name, Stumptown.
In 1825, the city became known as Fullwood, named for the local postmaster, John Miles Fullwood. After the Civil War, a sawmill popped up in the area and several homes and businesses followed. By 1874, the Central Carolina Railroad was roaring through the community, and the name of the town was changed to Matthews in honor of Edward Watson Matthews, a director with the railroad company. In 1879, with just under 200 residents, Matthews incorporated. While the city experienced growth over the next century, the majority of the homes and businesses in Matthews were built over the last few decades in order to keep up with the growing population.
- Population: 32,044
- Public school students living in Matthews will attend Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, including Butler High School which has a reputation for its strong athletics program. Its successful football team has graduated several NFL stars.
- Private schools in the area include Carmel Christian, Blessed Sacrament Academy, Greyfriars Classical Academy, Covenant Day School, and Charlotte Christan School.
- Matthews has its own branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System located on the first floor of the local town hall. It is the most active branch of the entire system.
- Work opportunities are plentiful in Matthews. The Fortune 500 Company, Family Dollar Stores, has its corporate offices here. Harris Teeter and Pokertek also have headquarters in town.
- Matthews is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, which is the second-largest financial center in the country. The area has one of the healthiest real estate markets and the top business climate.
Matthews residents can easily drive into Uptown to watch a football, basketball, or hockey game; visit a museum; or take in a concert or show, but there is no need to leave the city to enjoy a date night or a day out with the family. Restaurants are plentiful in the city, ranging from dozens of international options to old-fashioned southern cooking. Shopping is also plentiful. Numerous shopping centers line Highway 74, and several are scattered throughout Matthews. Count on quick access to the stores and brands you know and love like Target, Old Navy, Dicks Sporting Goods, Best Buy, and Lowe's. When it comes to things to do, Matthews is home to a major sports complex as well as several parks, a popular bowling alley, and a busy YMCA, meaning residents of all ages should have no problem staying active and having a good time.
- Kabab Je Rotisserie & Grille – You will find a little bit of everything at Matthews restaurants, and that starts with the delicious Mediterranean food at Kabab Je Rotisserie & Grille. Located in Sycamore Commons, diners can enjoy fresh food with Lebanese influences, including many healthy, yet tasty options.
- PePeRo – For Korean cuisine, PePeRo may be the worst kept secret in Matthews. The mom-and-pop eatery does not look like any special from the outside, and if you blink, you may miss it, but once you try the food, you will be so glad you did. Reviewers have compared it to the authentic Korean restaurants in bigger cities like Los Angeles and New York. You can even shop for Korean ingredients in the restaurant's store.
- Royal Café & Creperie – Crepe fans are in luck. Matthews just happens to have its very own creperie. The family-owned eatery uses fresh, mostly locally sourced ingredients to make its delicious crepes and other goodies, as well as coffee roasted in Charlotte from beans from around the world. Build your own sweet or savory crepe using a vast selection of proteins, vegetables, sauces, eggs, fruit, nuts, and more.
- Stacks Kitchen – Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, or lunch you crave, Stacks Kitchen is the place to be. With locations in both Matthews and Waxhaw, Stacks has a reputation for good food, ranging from egg dishes and pancakes to sandwiches and French toast. Everything is warm and fresh when it arrives at your table.
- Azteca Restaurant – For Mexican cuisine, Matthews residents love Azteca. The family-friendly eatery has four locations in North Carolina, and each one offers daily specials on drinks, lunch, and dinner. The menu features a selection of traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes like flautas, quesadillas, fajitas, and a variety of nachos.
- Airports – Matthews is just under 20 miles from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country.
- Public Transportation – Bus service is available to Uptown from Matthews via the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS).
- Interstate 85 – Highway 74 and Interstate 485 intersect in the heart of Matthews, making it the perfect spot for commuters. Other major roads in the city include Matthews Township Parkway, Sam Newell Road, and Idlewild Road, which forms the city’s northeastern boundary.
- Sycamore Commons – Sycamore Commons is a large shopping center in Matthews that features several popular stores, local services, and restaurants. They include Lowe's, Old Navy, Michael's, Pier 1 Imports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Lane Bryant, GameStop, Starbucks, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
- Arboretum Shopping Center – Arboretum is a popular South Charlotte shopping destination that is home to dozens of stores and restaurants. Some notable ones include Bath & Body Works, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Harris Teeter, Gap, Michael's, Rack Room Shoes, and Wal-Mart. Restaurants include both fast-food chains and local eateries.
- Galleria Shopping Center – Anchored by Wal-Mart, the Galleria Shopping Center has everything from food to party supplies. Shop at Party City, Dollar Tree, Cato, Off Broadway Shoes, Wild Birds, Payless Shoe Source, Sally Beauty Supply, GameStop, and Family Christian Book Store.
Things To Do
- Brace Family YMCA – The Brace Family branch of the Charlotte YMCA is located in Matthews. Open since 1996, it features a fitness center, a family fitness room, a Genesis center, a twin court gymnasium, indoor and outdoor tracks, a six-lane indoor pool, an outdoor lap pool, a small waterpark, a yoga and pilates studio, locker rooms, a youth center, a chapel, sports fields, and programs for adults and children.
- Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews – The Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews is a fairly new facility, but it's already a popular spot for sports enthusiasts all over Charlotte. It features a 7,000-seat stadium, 12 multi-purpose fields, a playground, walking trails, and much more.
- Bowlero Matthews – When you need a night out in Matthews, there are several options, but the bowling center is a great choice. There are 56 lanes, including 20 that can be used for group events and team building, as well as two bars. When you are not bowling, you can ride in the racing simulators, play billiards or shuffleboard, or check out the many arcade games in the building. It also has free Wi-Fi, and 8 big-screen TVs always tuned to sports.
- McDowell Arts Center – Aspiring and established artists can take advantage of everything the McDowell Arts Center has to offer. There is a gallery that is open seven days a week, as well as art classes and programs offered for all ages throughout the year. The historic facility dates back to the 1920s when it was the Agricultural Building for the local high school.
- Idlewild Road Park – Matthews is home to the 125-acre Idlewild Road Park. The space is a great place to have a picnic at one of its many shelters and tables or take the kids to the playground. It also has 2 softball fields and a 1.5-mile nature trail.
Real Estate Information
The city of Matthews is proof that Charlotte has one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Many residents have moved here over the last 15 years, and most of the homes here were built throughout the 1990s and 2000s in family-friendly subdivisions. Some new construction is available, too. You will find some older Queen Anne, colonial, and Craftsman-style homes near the historic downtown area. The average home price in Matthews is around $355,000.