Oak Forest – Charlotte, NC

The East Charlotte neighborhood of Oak Forest lies within an area of the city going through a transitional phase. This once-suburban community has evolved into an urban neighborhood. Young families make up the vast majority of residents here, and they find Oak Forest appealing because of the low cost of living and convenience to east Charlotte's amenities. Unlike much of Charlotte, East Charlotte neighborhoods such as Oak Forest contain great ethnic diversity. Locals love that they have become part of the revitalization of their community and welcome those wanting to help in the renewal.

Schools in Oak Forest

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Restaurants within the neighborhood of Oak Forest line the border along Milton Road, with a cluster of establishments around North Sharon Amity Road. In general, dining options throughout east Charlotte reflect residential demographics with a strong emphasis on diverse cuisines at reasonable prices. The Parkway House Family Restaurant sits directly on East W. T. Harris Boulevard and serves up the area's most popular breakfast dishes. This casual diner's specialty remains their mouth-watering meatloaf. Regulars agree that every meal served here during breakfast, lunch and dinner exceeds expectations. Teddy's Pizza can be found next door to Parkway. Teddy's has become a local gem. Patrons come back time and time again for the Cleveland Special, which includes two large pizzas with two toppings plus 20 wings for a very affordable price. Pick up and delivery services run slow, but the quality of the food more than makes up for it. Floyd's Restaurant rests within the Hampton Hills Shopping Center at the corner of The Plaza and Milton Road, and features some of Charlotte's best soul food. Serving up quality beef tips, fried chicken, and the creamiest macaroni and cheese, Floyd's has been impressing diners since the 1980s. Floyd's sits in a converted McDonald's, and the atmosphere here is laid-back, friendly and unpretentious. Crowds gather on Sundays, so plan accordingly. No bars or nightlife options sit within Oak Forest, but that doesn't stop locals from exploring other areas of east Charlotte for entertainment. AMF University Lanes has an alley located off of North Tryon Street. Many residents drive to nearby Plaza Midwood for a visit to Petra's Piano Bar or Whiskey Warehouse. Clubs and music venues are scattered throughout the city, but uptown holds the largest concentration. The Double Door Inn hosts great bands year-round, and BAR Charlotte has become one of the city's most popular hot spots for dancing the night away.

History & Culture

Once a vast area of farmland, eastern parts of Charlotte started to develop residentially in the 1960s during the urban renewal movement. Neighborhoods in uptown were demolished to make room for incoming businesses. Those businesses, in turn, attracted workers looking for middle-class, suburban housing with an easy commute. East Charlotte neighborhoods such as Oak Forest were constructed out of this need. Oak Forest has struggled to find an identity since its gradual urbanization in the 1990s and 2000s, but new homeowners are driving the renewed revitalization of the neighborhood. The oldest house in Mecklenburg County sits directly south of Oak Forest at the Charlotte Museum of History. Hezekiah Alexander's colonial abode tells the story of life in the 1770s through the preserved structure and artifacts left behind. For an arts experience, locals drive uptown to the Levine Museum of the New South or Mint Museum.


Similar to most of Charlotte, a majority of commuters rely on personal vehicles to get to work, school and to run errands. The 76 percent of residents that drive frequently find interstate access easiest by taking Robinson Church Road/Harrisburg Road to Interstate 485. Drivers must go through uptown to reach Interstates 77 and 85. Public parking remains available along residential streets within Oak Forest. Those needing alternative modes of transportation have a handful of options. Bus riders utilize Charlotte Area Transportation’s convenient service. Almost 100 percent of residents in Oak Forest live within a half mile of a bus stop. Routes run along The Plaza and Barrington Drive from 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. during the work week. Stops along Milton Road bring commuters into uptown from 5:30 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Taxis and Uber service the neighborhood but must be called ahead of time to schedule service. Oak Forest does contain bike lanes for commuters along North Sharon Amity Road, Milton Road and Barrington Drive. Less than 20 percent of all residential roads contain sidewalks, so those who walk around the neighborhood should exercise caution.


Residents enjoy the reasonable cost of living in Oak Forest, as it sits 7 percent lower than Charlotte's city average. The main reason for the lower cost of living relates to the low housing prices. Renters pay, on average, $574 a month for a one-bedroom rental. Other costs that factor into living expenses such as groceries, transportation, goods and services remain the same in Oak Forest as they do elsewhere in the metro area. In terms of transportation, riders pay $2.20 for one-way fare and $6.60 for a day pass aboard Charlotte Area Transit System's buses, and gas sits at 4 percent less than the national average. Patrons pay $5-$6 for a locally-made microbrew from one of Charlotte's famous breweries, such as Olde Mecklenburg and NoDa.


Because of the limited shopping options within Oak Forest, locals generally travel elsewhere in East Charlotte to purchase basics such as groceries and apparel. Apparel retailer DTLR sits along North Sharon Amity, and sells contemporary, urban clothing and shoes geared toward young males. People from all around the country appreciate DTLR's street-inspired selection of accessories as well. This store remains busy, and shoppers like the store's approach of clothing customers from the 'shoe up.' Additional stores line Milton Road, North Sharon Amity Road and The Plaza including Family Dollar, Auto Zone and CVS. Grocery stores around the community include a Food Lion along The Plaza and a Compare Foods situated on North Sharon Amity. The Newell Farmer's Market at Rocky River Road acts as the closest farmers market to the Oak Forest neighborhood. For upscale shopping, shoppers must drive out of east Charlotte to Founders Hall, the EpiCenter in uptown or the South Park neighborhood. A high concentration of name brands are featured at shops within SouthPark Mall, neighboring Phillips Place and the Village at SouthPark, including Sur la Table, Louis Vuitton and Burberry.


Oak Forest houses two city-operated parks, Devonshire Park and Julian Underwood Park. Both facilities remain free to use and welcome dogs. Devonshire Park, though only slightly larger than an acre, houses a reservable picnic shelter and a playground perfect for small children. The larger Julian Underwood Park, along the western boundary of Oak Forest, covers 12 acres and includes a great playground. Those needing athletic fields and walking trails flock to Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center east of Oak Forest. Reedy Creek houses basketball courts, soccer fields, an 18-hole golf course, ponds and a highly rated dog park. Events occur at many parks around Charlotte. Popular festivals include Party in the Park at Romare Bearden Park and Festival in the Park at Freedom Park. The annual series, Party in the Park, occurs every Wednesday evening during the summer months and features family-friendly live music acts. Festival in the Park celebrates local music and food every September.
Sharon Pointe
5609-5926 Sharon Pointe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28215
$685 - 895 1-3 Bed Available 05/12/17
Hamilton Square
6017 Williams Rd, Charlotte, NC 28215
3 days
$625 - 995 1-3 Bed Available Now
Crossing at Reedy Creek
4400-4626 John Penn Cir, Charlotte, NC 28215
2 wks
$637 - 1,027 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now