Living in the Queen City
With a population of over 1.5 million, Charlotte’s metropolitan area is the biggest in the Carolinas and it’s only growing. Roughly one in four residents of the Queen City have moved here in the past decade. In fact, as one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Charlotte attracts 500 newcomers each week!
The geographic location of the city is a major drawing point for a lot of people. For a lot of transplants from northern states, the midwest, and the west coast, Charlotte has a lot to offer. The city’s climate is relatively mild, but still allows for a taste of all four seasons. Also, for a quick getaway, residents can take advantage of the “Three Hour” Rule — a trip to the eastern seashore and a multitude of beaches and great golf is just a three hour drive. Rather hit the slopes than the beach? The Appalachian Mountains are just a three hour drive in the opposite direction.
Charlotte also boasts a number of different options for recreation — from Carowinds, one of the largest amusement parks in the Southeast, to the US National Whitewater Center, featuring the world’s largest and most complex recirculating artificial whitewater river. Just north of the city is Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina and a host of great summertime activities for any boating enthusiast.
There is a vibrant nightlife in Uptown Charlotte and most would argue the focal point is the EpiCentre, a premium dining, entertainment, and shopping complex. It is centrally located in the heart of the city and boasts more than 30 venues including bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping, a bowling alley, an upscale movie theater and a 12 story hotel.
Getting to enjoy the Uptown Atmosphere has gotten a lot easier over the past few years with the addition of Charlotte’s Light Rail System, which transports into and out of the heart of the city. Executives and young professionals also take advantage of this efficient way of avoiding rush hour traffic every morning and evening as well. Plans are underway to expand this popular way of transportation several more miles north of the city.
Venturing just outside of Uptown gives residents a more relaxing bar and dining experience in some of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods — like North Davidson, Elizabeth, Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, and Southend — each with a style and atmosphere their own.
Challenge Your Intellect
To stretch one’s intellectual muscles, Charlotteans can head to the Levine Museum of the New South, the Charlotte Museum of History, the Mint Museum or the Bechter Museum of Modern Art. You can even take the whole family to Discovery Place for a wide range of intellectual exploration. Education opportunities abound in and around the city with several colleges, the largest being UNC Charlotte. With over 21,000 undergraduate students, it is the fastest growing university in the state system and currently the fourth largest.
For the sports fan, Charlotte’s Uptown is home to two professional teams: the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. Current discussions are underway for the relocation of the Charlotte Knights, a Triple-A baseball team, which would bring a proposed multi-million dollar ballpark to the heart of Uptown. For the golfer, Charlotte is home to one of the PGA’s premier events — the Wells Fargo Championship — held at the Quail Hollow Country Club every year.
NASCAR fans are also proud to call North Carolina the birthplace of their favorite sport — one reason in March of 2006 Charlotte was selected to be the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Just north of the city is Charlotte Motor Speedway which hosts several NASCAR races annually including the Sprint All-Star Race.
Be it schools, museums, professional sports, unique bars and restaurants, great recreational activities like a day on the lake or an amusement park featuring the tallest rollercoaster in the Southeast, Charlotte has a lot to offer. A big city with small town Southern charm, it’s easy to see why Charlotte is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.