8 places to visit while riding Greensboro’s free Hopper Trolley

8 Places To Visit While Riding Greensboro’s Free Hopper Trolley

Photo courtesy of The Go To Greensboro via Instagram.

By Tyler Francischine

March 19, 2024

Greensboro’s most vibrant restaurants, coffee shops, museums, parks, and more are just a free trolley ride away.

It’s a tale as old as time: You make a reservation to visit one of the many vibrant hubs for arts, culture, or cuisine that line Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, but you arrive late to your destination because there was no available parking nearby.

Greensboro’s city leaders have heard the pleas of its citizenry — enter the Hopper Trolley, a free public transportation service that travels along Elm Street between Fisher Avenue and Carolyn Coleman Way, making stops approximately every block. A pilot program funded through June 2024 by the federal American Rescue Plan and the Participatory Budgeting Greensboro program, the Hopper runs from noon to midnight Thursdays through Saturdays and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays, with trolleys arriving every seven minutes.

Here are just a few of the places you can easily travel to and from while utilizing the Hopper Trolley:

Community Theatre of Greensboro

The oldest arts organization in Guilford County, the Community Theatre of Greensboro aims to unite the city’s varied communities in the name of experiencing live theater. The company offers family-friendly productions like “Finding Nemo, Jr.,” playing this May 10-19, and their annual productions of “The Wizard of Oz” gather crowds numbering in the thousands each November.

Feeling inspired after watching a show? Join in on the fun yourself by participating — the theater invites community members to volunteer in every capacity, including as an actor or crew member.

8 Places To Visit While Riding Greensboro’s Free Hopper Trolley

Photo courtesy of Community Theatre of Greensboro via Facebook.

Chez Genèse

If it’s the weekend, make sure you arrive early to Chez Genèse to ensure you get the opportunity to try their inventive breakfast and lunch menu, as this French-inspired establishment does not accept reservations and frequently fills up by early afternoon. Locals gather here for French classics like cocottes, or baked egg cups, and jambon beurre, or ham and butter on a baguette, as well as locally influenced, seasonal dishes — lavender olive oil pancakes, anyone? With an array of red and white wines sourced directly from French vineyards, there’s no excuse not to enjoy a celebratory glass with your meal.

Chez Genèse prides itself on being an active community partner, and its integrated hiring model employs local adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Center City Park

Combined with nearby LeBauer Park, downtown Greensboro’s Center City Park is a five-acre green space that serves as the central gathering place for city residents. Here, visitors can enjoy a picnic on the lawn, catch a live performance at the bandshell, or cool off on a hot day by getting up close and personal with a sculpture fountain whose many abstract forms represent North Carolina’s winding stream beds. During the holiday season, Center City Park lights up in technicolor for Greensboro’s Festival of Lights, and locals flock here for the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony each December.

Blue Denim

Greensboro’s unique history as a leader in textile manufacturing garnered the city its nickname Jeansboro, and that storied past lives on today in the name of one downtown Greensboro restaurant specializing in Southern, Cajun, and Creole fare.

Blue Denim is the kind of establishment where patrons should arrive wearing their most stretchy pair of dungarees — dishes like the king catfish arrive at the table with huge helpings of steaming grits and collard greens, while desserts like white chocolate pecan bread pudding and the bananas foster moon pie (complete with banana rum sauce) are not to be missed. Keeping to theme, the cocktail menu features the Jeansboro mule, a brightly colored update to the classic vodka drink featuring Blue Curacao and real blueberries.

8 Places To Visit While Riding Greensboro’s Free Hopper Trolley

Photo courtesy of Blue Denim via Facebook.

International Civil Rights Center & Museum

It’s been more than 60 years since four freshmen from Greensboro’s North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College — a group known today as the A&T Four — walked into the F.W. Woolworth at the corner of Elm and February and took seats at the (then-segregated) lunch counter. This seemingly simple action changed American history forever, sparking a series of sit-ins that led to North Carolina and the nation making changes to achieve racial equality for Black Americans.

Today, visitors to the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, housed at the site of the historic sit-ins, can view the original lunch counter where the A&T Four were served–six months after the sit-ins began. The museum also contains 3,500 square feet of exhibits containing original artifacts and interactive elements that tell the story of those whose bravery and perseverance made the American Civil Rights movement possible.

Awoo Coffee

More than just a spot to grab a cup of joe, Awoo Coffee aims to serve as a gathering place for Greensboro’s diverse communities to make new connections. Visit the Awoo Art Gallery to strike up a conversation with a stranger about the impressionist, surrealist, and photorealist artworks on display from local makers. Make sure to catch up with Awoo’s CEO, a dog named Fyodor, whose cheery demeanor sets the tone for Awoo’s compassionate model of customer service.

Of course, the coffee and tea offerings at this downtown Greensboro shop are unparalleled, too — opt for something a little off the beaten path, like a vanilla cardamom latte or a Blue Ridge Mountain mint tea.

8 Places To Visit While Riding Greensboro’s Free Hopper Trolley

Photo courtesy of Awoo Coffee via Facebook.

Scuppernong Books

Since opening its doors 11 years ago, independent bookstore Scuppernong Books has remained at the center of Greensboro’s thriving literary community. Time your visit to the shop to catch a live reading, workshop, or special event — Drag Queen Storytime on the last Saturday of each month (except for May 18’s iteration) combines storytelling, crafts, and the art of drag for audiences of all identities. For those simply wanting to peruse Scuppernong’s extensive collection of tomes, the booksellers stock non-fiction titles centering art, culture, and politics; fiction works, and plenty of children’s books.

Jerusalem Market on Elm

A day spent hopping on and off the Hopper and seeing all of downtown Greensboro’s sites of interest will surely work up anyone’s appetite. For a delicious, quality meal prepared quickly, head to Jerusalem Market on Elm. This Middle Eastern restaurant and market is known for its specialties made from scratch. On the go? Grab a Jerusalem wrap for the journey — the Armenian wrap comes with thin slices of basterma, an air-dried beef tenderloin expertly seasoned with garlic and fenugreek, an herb that may remind you of clover. If you have time to dine, order a feast: The New Jerusalem platter arrives overflowing with baba ghanoush eggplant dip, yogurt cucumber dip, falafel, pickles, onions, pita chips, and dolmas, or stuffed grape leaves.

8 Places To Visit While Riding Greensboro’s Free Hopper Trolley

Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Market via Facebook

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.8 places to visit while riding Greensboro’s free Hopper Trolley8 places to visit while riding Greensboro’s free Hopper Trolley


  • Tyler Francischine

    Tyler Francischine is a journalist who writes about travel, arts, culture and community. She's passionate about social justice, the Atlantic Ocean and live music.



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