Charlotte, North Carolina

The Hornet's Nest

Make Yourself At Home. Toss Your Bike Anywhere
--Mark Washburn, Charlotte Observer

The Best Thing About Charlotte?

Work Hard. Play Hard.

Charlotte is a small town with big city feels. Most known for being the biggest banking city outside of NYC and SF, Charlotte can also be summed up with the phrase “banks and beer.” The city boasts a relatively low cost of living alongside ample job opportunities in banking and medical fields. If you work that hard, you have to play harder. If anyone asks a local what there is to do in Charlotte, they’ll probably roll their eyes, take a big breath, and rattle off one of the many tourist attractions Charlotte is known for: go to a Panthers or Hornets game, visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, go to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, or visit the Bechtler Museum Modern Art. You’ll say thank you and then they’ll continue on their way to one of the amazing, and likely dog-friendly, breweries in Charlotte with their faithful companion to enjoy the amazing weather.

Review of town from a local: Things I like about Charlotte: It still has a small town feel but with way more to do. It's growing, fast, so thanks to that there's always something new to check out. There are too many weekend getaway destinations to even list. We get most major tours, our local symphony is fantastic. Traffic isn't that bad compared to many places. The climate is mild. Cost of living is rising, but is affordable. We own a home, utilities are inexpensive, taxes aren't bad.

The Worst Thing About Charlotte?

Making room for all the expansion

Charlotte is not exempt from the same lack of city-planning that plagues it's larger southern counterparts (we’re looking at you, ATL). Locals will complain about traffic getting exponentially worse as time goes on and a lot of that has to do with trying to make room for the vast amount of people who are looking to make Charlotte their new home. As expansion takes over the city, many Charlotteans are moving to the suburbs to get away from rising costs of living and constant construction.

A couple notes from locals on the growth issue:
Growth: CLT is visibly a growing city. You can see new luxury apartment building sprouting up everywhere.

City growth -- fast, cranes everywhere, estimates of 1 million new residents in the next 10 years I've heard

Lifestyle of Charlotte

Charlotte is a small town with big city feels. In addition to the tourist attractions mentioned earlier, large shopping centers, amusement parks, and nearby surfing and skiing hotspots provide residents with a massive list of things to do socially. A surprise to no locals, Charlotte consistently finds itself cemented near the top of the nation for foodies, with a wide range of highly rated options, many of which are dog friendly!

Some downsides to social life in Charlotte include nightlife and public transit. Despite its large population of young professionals (Charlotte is a magnet for UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and Davidson grads), a common complaint from younger generations of Charlotteans is the lack of things to do past midnight. If you do find something to do that late, be sure to find a designated driver or call an Uber, because a lackluster public transit system likely won’t be doing you any favors.

Check out the calendar of events for Charlotte if you want to see the happenings:

Worklife of Charlotte

It’s not just bankers in Buzz City. Charlotte boasts a steady job market in a solid variety of sectors for a southern spot. A substantially sized healthcare sector, headlined by Atrium Health and Novant Health, is growing rapidly. Lowe’s, Honeywell International, Duke Energy and Sonic Automotive are another handful of Fortune 500s that call Charlotte their home. The big players in Charlotte’s finance sector are Bank of America, Truist Financial and Wells Fargo, with other banking options around Charlotte’s downtown. With solid pay and an unemployment rate well below the national average, Charlotte is a great place to look for your next career move.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Be a part of something bigger!

As with most hidden gem cities, you want to move before it's too late! More than that, Charlotte has been called a city "searching for its soul as it grows'' and that couldn't be more true. Although life-long Charlottans are few and far between, everyone who moves here moved here for the gorgeous weather, affordability (relatively), and the ease and allure of the many weekend getaway spots. Don't count Charlotte out - as it grows, we think it'll find its place amongst the best little cities in the US.