City Walks

City Walks are free, public walking tours – and a few tours on bicycle – throughout May that highlight Charlotte’s neighborhoods. They’re intended to inspire people to get better acquainted with their own neighborhoods, learn about parts of the city they don’t know well and to meet others.

The walks are free and open to all; several walks have limits on how many can participate due to space constraints. Registration is requested so participants can be contacted if the walk is canceled due to weather or other unexpected reasons.

A City Walk in NoDa

(Pictured above: A City Walk through the NoDa neighborhood learning about the textile mill owners who built the mill village.)

Explore some of the city’s neighborhoods and hear their stories during a month of City Walks in May.

  • Meander through McCrorey Heights and the campus of nearby Johnson C. Smith University, where many of the leaders of the Charlotte civil rights movement lived – and where a home was firebombed.
  • Visit small businesses – restaurants and bakeries and shops – created and run by immigrant entrepreneurs along Central Avenue, South Boulevard and Sharon Amity Road.
  • See a modest, affordable neighborhood in east Charlotte that’s home to an increasing number of artists and their studios – with some open studio visits.
  • Hear how light rail is expected to change University City at the station areas close campus.
  • Spend a morning learning more about the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens with garden director, Jeff Gillman.

Those are among  23 walks scheduled so far as part of the annual City Walks civic engagement project by, an online publication of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. More walks will be added in coming weeks. Or you can organize a walk yourself. Anyone can volunteer to lead a City Walk. You don’t have to be a historian, professor or a professional organizer. The idea is to encourage everyday residents to get engaged in organizing walks for their neighbors and others.

PlanCharlotte organizes City Walks with assistance from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and local partnerships. Check back often to see what’s in the works. You can follow City Walks Charlotte on Facebook to see when new walks are added.