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Keep Calm and Travel On

Keep Calm and Travel On | Field Trip 1.0

Hop on board with our new blog series: Keep Calm and Travel On. Experience a field trip guide to our favorite Charlotte businesses, restaurants, hotels, organizations, and all stops in between. I love traveling, supporting other small businesses, and networking with others who are passionate about their work and community, so follow our adventures below.

1st stop: Hilliard Studio Method

We hopped off the bus for a whole-body workout at Hilliard Studio Method (HSM). Created and owned by Liz Hilliard, HSM combines Pilates, weight, and barre resistance training to produce results. Level up your floor work exercises with weights, bands, gliders, and core balls to get your heart pumping and muscles burning while shaping your most powerful self! 

Visit Hilliard Studio Method: Open Daily | 516 Fenton Pl, Charlotte, NC 28207

2nd stop: Optimist Hall

After working up an appetite, we hopped back on the bus to Optimist Hall. If you haven't experienced it, you must check it out. The former textile mill thrives with excitement, food, drinks, and great shopping.


  • I’m always craving sushi, but The Dumpling Lady is also a must. Enjoy authentic Sichuan cuisine, soup dumplings, noodles, and dim sum.
  • Craving comfort? Try Papi Queso for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches or Ava for Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven.
  • Plant-based? Village Juice Co. Winston-Salem-based cold pressed juice company serves local, organic, plant-based foods including smoothie bowls, salads, and grain bowls.


  • Calling all paper people! Visit Archer Paper Goods for your paper needs, fine stationery, greeting cards, journals, and go-to gift shop. I bought this card. This bright shop fuels my inspiration and creativity and is the perfect workspace refresh.
  • The Merchant: A unique gift and home decor shop. If you love vintage and good vibes, you'll love The Merchant. Grab one-of-a-kind pieces for kids, pets, a gourmet line, and candles. I love these plates, too!

Visit Optimist Hall: Open Daily | 1115 North Brevard Street Charlotte, NC 28206

3rd stop: Five One Five

We traveled over to the adorable Eastover neighborhood to another favorite shop: Five One Five. A contemporary yet classic shop with unique small-batch creations. Experience a relaxed vibe, upbeat staff, and charming space. I bought my favorite cream jeans here, which looks great with our Stay Wild T-Shirt!

Visit Five One Five: Open Monday-Saturday | 515 Fenton Pl, Charlotte, NC 28207

4th stop: Circa

From the truly stunning visual entrance to the friendly staff greeting, I love everything about this store. Candles, kitchen accessories, French pots and pans, this store has something for every décor. 

5th stop: Isabella

 We walked over to Isabella for more treasures. I love this gem, especially when searching for something exceptional. Grab hostess gifts like a new coffee table book, gorgeous linens, and cute jewelry from Nolan. Check out my favorite sheets. The staff is very friendly, and they have great design expertise!

 Visit Isabella: Open Tuesday-Saturday | 115 Cherokee Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

6th stop: Laurel Market

Travel with us to the European-like and inviting Laurel Market. From the moment you arrive, you feel like you’re in Europe. Enjoy fresh breakfast and deli sandwiches, provisions, and wine and beer. It gets busy, but it is worth the wait!

Visit Laurel Market: Open Daily | 114 Cherokee Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

7th stop: Duke Mansion Gardens

Hop over to the beautiful historic home in the heart of Charlotte for breathtaking views and an outdoor escape. The grounds are immaculate and open to the public. Although it is a great place to stay while visiting Charlotte, you do not need to stay there to enjoy the gardens. The gardens are free and open for strolling during daylight hours on days without private events. Ask the front desk for a map and spend sunny days soaking up the ambiance, flowers, and Vitamin D!

Visit The Duke Mansion: 400 Hermitage Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

Final stop: Summit Coffee 

I love Summit Coffee. Their hot and iced coffees are delicious. The service is also friendly and welcoming. The ambiance is sunny and warm, making it the perfect workspace. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up before traveling back to the studio! 

Visit Summit Coffee: Open Daily | 416 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205


Field Trip Takeaways

  • Chaperone Tip: Keep company staff contact info handy for future visits and connections!
  • Use this field trip guide as a checklist and mark off which places you visited. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so return the checklist to us at or @erinmcdermott1 on IG.

Shop the Field Trip looks:

  1. Hat: Made with my handwriting 
  2. Spanx Pants: I love them and own in several colors.
  3. Stay Wild T-shirt
  4. Shoes – Mine are currently sold out, but these are similar and so comfortable! Socks
  5. Bag: Meanwhile back on the farm
  6. Coco Hill Keychain & Wrap Bracelet: – A special line created by my artist friend and me by taking canvases to make accessories and jewelry.
  7. Necklaces: turquoise and pearl, tiny beaded rectangle, & what dreams are made of
  8. Triple Layer Everything Earrings
  9. Sunglasses: Krewe

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