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Exploring Waxhaw

Discover a community with a rich heritage and fun, local flair

Summertime creates the perfect opportunity to get out of the house or office, experience adventures, and explore the community. For guidance on local must-see stops and places to explore, we turned to Waxhaw resident, Museum of the Waxhaws board member, and Union County third grade teacher Meagan Plyler.

“My family moved here in 1991, so I grew up here,” shared Plyler. “My husband, William, and I met in second grade at Waxhaw Elementary. His family has been in Waxhaw since 1756, so his family history here goes back a long way. We have always known that we wanted to raise our family in Waxhaw because we have deep roots in Waxhaw and have always loved the town.”

Combining her passion for the community with her love of history, Plyler began pouring her time and energy into educating others about the area and its historic significance. In 2013, she founded a Facebook page focusing on local history called Waxhaw’s History, which currently has over 26, 000 followers. The page not only shares interesting historical information and photographs, but also brings attention to community celebrations that highlight Waxhaw’s history and heritage.

When exploring Waxhaw, one of the first places Plyer recommends visiting is the Museum of the Waxhaws, which opened in 1992. “We're the oldest regional history museum in Union County and we have so much to offer,” she said. “Because we have been open for so long, we have had many local families donate artifacts to us, including artifacts dating back to the early Native Americans. We also have artifacts from every major war, including the Revolutionary War.”

The museum includes indoor exhibits with artifacts but also includes an outdoor exploration area which includes historic buildings that have been relocated to the museum property over the years.

“We have the Secrest cabin, which is a mid-1800s cabin that was donated by the Secrest family. The Secrests were family friends of Andrew Jackson, our seventh president, and his family,” she explained. “We also have the Nesbit Smokehouse, which is a historic building the family used to preserve meat, and the building that served as the oldest post office in Union County.”

After exploring the area’s history, Plyler recommends enjoying historic downtown Waxhaw, where the past and present merge to create a fun experience for each member of the family.

“Our historic area is so large and there is so much to do in the downtown area, all within walking distance,” Plyler shared. “We have North Main Street and South Main Street that are divided by a railroad track. A wooden bridge connects both sides and families can walk over the bridge to get to each side of downtown and even stay and watch the train. Then, what is so neat is how you can walk the whole strip starting with South Main Street with its historic buildings from the late 1800s, then cross over the bridge and go to North Main Street. On both sides of the tracks, there are so many businesses, restaurants, and different kinds of shops, some of which sell locally made items.”

The area includes a fun variety of restaurants and specialty shops in addition to an art studio for kids, a weekly farmers market during the summer, and other engaging community events. Outdoor recreational activities for all ages include visiting David Barnes Park, the Skate Park, and the new Waxhaw Downtown Park, which opened this spring.

The Carolina Suspension Bridge on the Carolina Thread Trail serves as a unique approach to crossing from North Carolina into South Carolina on foot. The bridge provides a scenic opportunity to traverse state lines while enjoying a bit of adventure since the suspension-built bridge sways and moves with the foot traffic.

In addition to exploring Waxhaw’s many attractions, summertime provides ample opportunity to find new ways to invest in the community through volunteering and serving alongside local organizations. For those within the city limits, there are various committees with which to serve such as the Historic Preservation and Beautification Committees. For women, the Waxhaw Women’s Club offers opportunities to be involved in the overall welfare of the community and is a great way to make new friends. The local chapters of the Lions and Rotary Clubs, the library, and other organizations also provide a plethora of fellowship and service opportunities.

When it comes to the Museum of the Waxhaws, Plyler shared that the museum operates almost exclusively through the hard work of volunteers, so there are always openings where people can serve.

“There are volunteers of all ages who serve as docents and facilitate guided tours. Other volunteers enjoy doing landscaping and beautification, which is helpful because we have about 20 acres of land that needs upkeep,” she said. “We also have volunteers who help with large events and field trips, upkeep and construction of our historical buildings, and we almost always need help at the front desk. We are community run and we welcome volunteers who have knowledge in just about any area.”

For more information and to explore upcoming local events, go to visitwaxhaw.com and follow the Town of Waxhaw on Facebook @townwaxhaw.

Full of places to explore, shops to find gifts and treats, and historical landmarks, the town of Waxhaw is home to many attractions ready to be discovered and enjoyed.

Places to Explore

Historic Waxhaw Foot Bridge

The Carolina Suspension Bridge on the Carolina Thread Trail

Downtown Historic Waxhaw 

The Museum of the Waxhaws

Waxhaw Creamery

Crossroads Coffee

Bean and Belle Children’s Art Studio

Waxhaw Antique Mart

Uptown Tea Shop

Provisions Food and General Store

Historic Waxhaw Woman’s Club Building

Union County Southwest Regional Library

Waxhaw Downtown Park

David Barnes Park 

The Museum of the Waxhaws, which is located at 8215 Waxhaw Highway, is open Fridays and Saturdays 10:00am-3:00pm. For more information about exhibits and upcoming events, follow The Museum of the Waxhaw’s Facebook page and visit museumofthewaxhaws.org. To schedule for groups of 25 or more, call 704-843-1832.

Upcoming Events 

Special Guided Tours - July 11 & 25

Monday, July 8 at 10:00am – Nature Day

Saturday, July 13 at 5:00pm – Mother & Son Date Night

Monday, July 22 – Dinosaur Day

Thursday, July 25 at 6:30pm – Trivia Thursday

Saturday, July 27 at 10:00am – Colonial Day

Special Guided Tours - August 8, 9, 22, & 23

  • Intro photo

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