"Gastonia & Gaston County, North Carolina" Gastonia by HSC123

Gastonia Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 25 photos


Just west of Charlotte on the North Carolina/South Carolina border is suburban Gaston County, home to a string of towns where my wife spent about a year and a half when she was in high school. In July 2005 we spent a day exploring Gaston County in search of her former houses, school, and other local landmarks of importance. Here is a synopsis of the county's main towns:


The largest city and county seat, Gastonia is largely commercialized and suburban with a mall, numerous shopping centers, big box retailers, national chain restaurants and assorted car dealerships. In other words, it is a typical modern-day metro area suburb. At its core, however, is an old-fashioned downtown consisting of several blocks that show signs of both decay and attempts at revitalization. Downtown Gastonia has potential but seemed pretty deserted and a little dodgy in the middle of a weekday. Gastonia's attractions include a surprising science museum and a pretty park with a creek and footbridge.

Belmont appears to be a relatively affluent area characterized by interesting old homes. When we were driving through town, residents were making preparations for a parade featuring Barbara Bush.

Cramerton, another neighboring small town, has small brick buildings and quaint houses making up its center. Rising over Cramerton, Cramer Mountain is a gated luxury golf course community with lots of natural beauty.

Last but not least, the tiny town of
McAdenville is nicknamed "Christmas Town" during the holiday season. That's when the red brick buildings lining its streets are transformed into a fantastic twinkling light display so popular that it attracts drive-through tourists from far and wide. When we were there in the summer though, it seemed like a pretty quiet town.

For tips, photos and more information about the area near Gaston County see my CHARLOTTE page.

Visit my NORTH CAROLINA page.

  • Last visit to Gastonia: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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