Downtown Clayton's vision is to be the regional center for artistic expression and a destination where people, businesses and the arts thrive.
We've got everything: restaurants, live entertainment, gift shops, coffee shops, cheesecake, cupcakes, candies, cakes, a local pharmacy, food stores, health and wellness, hair salons, produce and garden centers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, art galleries, sign shops, printers… and how could we forget, a homemade ice cream shop!
Every year since 2006, Clayton's Downtown has received accreditation from the National Main Street Program, a prestigious designation that helps Clayton receive local and national visibility. Every year we have to meet 10 Standards of Performance so that we can continue to make the List of Nationally Accredited Programs.
Want to see where we're going? Check out our Downtown Vision 2025 (PDF) or browse our Downtown Master Plan (PDF). This was updated in 2010 with the public's input and set major goals for our downtown to optimize the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere and contribute to the unique sense of character in downtown. The Downtown Master Plan also provides Design Guidelines and Architectural Guidelines to help reach those goals.
Events such as the Town Square Concert Series, Millstock Music and Art Festival, Harvest and Music Festival, Squealin' on the Square, Zaxby's Movie Night, Clayton Farm and Community Market, the Shindig, Heart Chase, Halloween Parade, Christmas Village and Tree Lighting, and others are all centered in downtown Clayton.
Clayton was founded in 1869, and we are re-discovering many of our historical buildings and neighborhoods within the Clayton Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Town of Clayton offices are located in The Clayton Center complex, which was the former Clayton Elementary School. The Clayton Center Auditorium and Conference Center is located in the old high school auditorium, and both sides are connected with a 21st-Century atrium/lobby. The performance center provides professional entertainment with such legendary performers as Riders in the Sky, comedian James Gregory, the Harlem Gospel Choir and other traveling and local shows. Monthly art exhibits of local artists are featured in the lobby.
Downtown Clayton is easy to get to, with I-40 and I-95 just minutes away. You can get to the state Capitol in less than a half-hour and Raleigh-Durham Airport in less than 45 minutes.