While Charlotte certainly has a flare for southern charm, you might just be surprised by everything that the Queen City has to offer! As North Carolina’s largest city, and geographically one of the largest cities in America, there’s a lot of ground to cover when getting to know Charlotte.
From the vibrant buzz of Uptown (the city’s downtown) to the relaxing shores of Lake Norman and everywhere in between, Charlotte provides a city atmosphere with easy access to the great outdoors that compliments any lifestyle. With an increasing number of James Beard recognized restaurants, an influx of local breweries and numerous award-winning dessert meccas, there’s plenty to savor.
The city is nestled on the border of North and South Carolina and while there are certainly Carolina locals, the majority of residents are transplants from elsewhere, giving the city an eclectic and diverse composition.
In recent years, Charlotte has popped up on all manner of lists linked to quality of life, happiness in living environment and manageable cost of living. It’s no surprise it appears the on such lists as it has mild weather, a thriving job market, growing arts and cultural scenes, world-class museums, multiple professional sports teams, ample green spaces and plenty of restaurants and retail options to explore.
State of the Market/Jobs
As the second-largest center for banking in the US – Bank of America and Wells Fargo are headquartered here – with a growing tech hub, the job market is incredibly strong and draws people from all over the country.
Recent graduates and young professionals flock to the city to take advantage of these opportunities as well as the low cost of living compared to similarly-sized cities like Seattle and Denver.
Creatives and entrepreneurs will find Charlotte to be a welcoming market that encourages ingenuity and collaboration while providing opportunities to showcase new work.
There are dozens and dozens of neighborhoods comprising this sprawling city, each with its own vibe and unique appeal. No matter what lifestyle you lead, there certainly is a neighborhood in Charlotte to match your interests and your budget!
Uptown – If Charlotte has a heart, Uptown is it’s pulse. By day this neighborhood is the center of business as people shuffle in and out of its skyscrapers and filter through 7th Street Public Market for a gourmet lunch or snack. As the day rolls into night, workers flock to restaurants, bars and rooftop establishments. Nightlife hotspots offer the option to continue the evening with dancing, standup comedy and live music. There’s no shortage of things to do and see for those looking to be in the center of city activity.
Plaza Midwood – Due east of the city center, Plaza Midwood is a neighborhood that welcomes all and thrives on building community. Funky retailers and tattoo parlors nestle harmoniously with their high-end boutique and restaurant neighbors in the same way that residents from all manner of backgrounds live and play together here. The area’s quirky vibe is both inviting and intriguing, while its walkability makes it’s an ideal place to call home.
South End – Is brewery central with that fun city pulse. Here you’ll find a vibrant neighborhood with close proximity to Uptown. The city walks along the rail are also a nice change.
Eastover – If money is no object, Eastover is likely calling your name. This upscale community is consistently ranked the best for overall livability not just in Charlotte, but in all of North Carolina. Wide streets, palatial homes, highly-ranked schools and high-end shopping areas all come as part of the package in this neighborhood that commands top dollar for property and rentals.
NoDa – Once a hub for textile mills and warehouses, NoDa (short for North Davidson, the area’s main street) is now Charlotte’s’ thriving arts district. Creatives of all types – think artists, chefs, designers and mixologists – congregate here and have established it as the center of the city’s creative spirit. It’s a pedestrian (and pet!) friendly area with captivating murals, unique coffee shops and an abundance of breweries.
Dilworth – As Charlotte’s oldest streetcar suburb, Dilworth’s historic charm has garnered it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and an immovable place in local history. Picturesque bungalows on tree-lined streets make this neighborhood highly walkable and accessible. It’s an easy distance to Uptown and is home to innumerable festivals and block parties throughout the year.
Ballantyne – is officially the burbs! Modern, upscale and beautiful. This metro area was all built within the last two decades.
One of the prides of Charlotte is its ease of navigability. From its reliable LYNX light rail and street car system to bike shares and walkable neighborhoods, getting around the city is easier than expected given the land-area it covers. And if you’re venturing further afield, a solid bus network or ride-sharing services are quick transport options. Oh and yes the Electric Scooters offered by Lime are here as well!
Perks of Living Here
As the second largest hub for American Airlines, it’s incredibly easy to catch a flight to, well almost anywhere. Inversely, your out-of-town guests will find it easy to book flights right to you for a visit.
North Carolina is home to a wide variety of barbecue styles employing various techniques and you can get your fill in Charlotte. As you explore the city, you can sample your way through beloved institutions like Queen City Q, City Smoke and Bar-B-Q-King.
Charlotte is fondly known as the pimento cheese capitol of the world, consuming more of the decadent staple than any other city. If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying this delicious spread, Charlotte is a great place to indulge!
Craft culture is thriving here. Craft beers, craft cocktails, craft coffee, arts and distilleries can be found throughout Charlotte. There is no end to small breweries and fun local places. (There are over 30 breweries here)
We’re just a few hours from both the mountains and beaches. Drive west and you’ll find Asheville or travel east for a coastal trip at Wilmington or Charleston.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center is an amazing hangout spot. You can enjoy craft beer on top, live music, water sports and activities for adults and families.
Drone footage of Queen City