10 reasons to move to Charlotte
Why I fell in love with the Queen City, and why you will too
In 2006, I moved to the Queen City (Charlotte, NC) from South Florida. After living in California and NYC, I was anxious as to whether the “South” could hold my attention. Between the beauty of Lake Norman, the crisp and colorful fall season, and unique, family-owned restaurants, I was very happy with my decision.
There are so many wonderful reasons I fell in love with the city. But if I had to pick 10, these would be on the list:
10 reasons to move to Charlotte
1. The climate
The weather in Charlotte is incredible. Being a Floridian, I was not looking forward to wintertime in the Carolinas. But, really the winter here isn’t that bad at all. Summer heat, compared to Fort Lauderdale, was not even a comparison. I’m convinced that there’s no place with a more beautiful autumn season than right here. Charlotte is full of lush greenery that turns all kinds of shades of yellow, orange and red. The Carolina blue sky seems a little bluer. And Spring, are you kidding me? Where do all these beautiful trees come from?!
2. The people
The people in Charlotte may be some of the nicest folks i’ve ever met. There are two types here: you have your native “Charlottean’s” and then you’ve got people like me who have migrated here from elsewhere. It seems that no matter which of the two they belong in, they’re are friendly either way! Everyone waves when they change lanes, says hello and asks about your day. They address others as “Ma’am” or “Sir” and hold doors open for others.
Charlotte is super accessible when it comes to travel. The Charlotte Douglas Airport is an awesome international airport right outside of the city . It’s the 10th busiest airport in the U.S., averaging about 1,400 flights a day with about 700+ non-stop flights and more than 175 non-stop destinations around the world. Parking is easy, the restaurants are great, and you can be to the islands or NYC super fast! Not to mention it is the hub for American Airlines!
The light rail
Within Charlotte we have a light rail that makes travel from South Charlotte into Uptown easy, and safe. It’s constantly being expanded and currently transports 27,000 people every single day. It has 32 stations from Pineville to the University area, with additional arms under construction.
There are so many beautiful parks in Charlotte, it took me about a year before I experienced most of them. My favorite is Freedom Park which is comparable to the Central Park of the Queen City. You’ll love the annual Festival in the park! Complete with live performances, local art vendors, and of course, funnel cakes! Up north by Lake Norman, you’ll find Jetton Park, where you can walk, have picnics, even get married. Enjoy a beautiful sunset, watch the boats go by and just relax!
If you want to experience a piece of nature in center city, try Romare Bearden Park! It’s a beautiful green area with a breathtaking fountain and skyline view. First Ward Park is another Uptown Charlotte gem. It has a really neat water fountain that shoots from the ground, kids love it! It even has workout equipment adults can use while their kids splash around. Another secret that many don’t know about is Latta Plantation. You can rent kayaks there and go horseback riding. It’s a beautiful place to have a picnic by the water, hike, and just get lost with nature. They have the famous historical “Latta” home you can tour, the Raptor Center, and nature trails that go on for miles.
If sports if your thing, Charlotte has you covered with: The Carolina Panthers NFL team, NBA Charlotte Hornets , minor league Baseball the Charlotte Knights, and minor league Hockey The Checkers. Whether you choose to support Charlotte teams or not, you can still enjoy local Charlottes ports by waiting for your team to come play here in Charlotte! More than likely, your college team will be making a visit to play against USC, Wake Forest, Clemson, UNC or NC State, so you get your college fix once a year too! The Panthers and Knights stadiums have unmatched views of the beautiful Queen City skyline. Even if sports aren’t your thing, the scenery is so worth getting out there and experiencing the game!
Newly added to Charlotte is the National White Water Center. This is fun for the whole family. You can go white water rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing and paddle boarding! They have awesome concerts along the rapids, and a restaurant that is great to watch the rafters flip over and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Charlotte in case you haven’t heard is the home to NASCAR, the new NASCAR hall of fame, the ALL STAR RACE and the Bank of America 500. Whether you are a NASCAR fan or not, it is definitely something you need to check out once and cross it off your bucket list!
6. Road Trips
- In Charlotte, you are 2 hours from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Biltmore House and skiing.
- The beaches are 3 1/2 hours away: Sunset Beach, Myrtle Beach, Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach.
- #1 Place to visit in the U.S., Charleston, is only 3 1/2 hours away
- Less than a half-day trip away from destinations such as: Atlanta, DC, Raleigh, Nashville, and Charlottesville
The Charlotte food scene is growing more famous and delicious all the time. BBQ is a definite hometown must here, but beware of Bojangles.. those biscuits will lure you in, and the sweet tea? Lets just say you’ll put on a quick 10 lbs 🙂 My top 5 favorite places are:
- Midwood Smoke House : Located in Plaza Midwood. As if the BBQ wasn’t good enough, the banana pudding is even better
- Nikko Sushi: Fun ,lively sushi place that makes you feel like you are in the “big city”
- Soul Gastro Lounge: funky tapas place in Plaza-Midwood. They don’t take reservations, but it is worth the wait
- Custom Shop: Elizabeth area. Great “custom” fresh food, small portions. Don’t visit in a rush, this food is fresh and pricey but SO worth it!
- 131 MAIN: is another great NC chain that doesn’t feel like a chain at all. Different specials each night. High quality food and service. The cornbread, ahi-tuna appetizer and salmon appetizer are my favorite.
For the active people, Charlotte has stunning greenways around the city. I have yet to explore them all. They recently added the “rent-a-bike” around the city that makes exploring Charlotte even easier! I suggest checking out the 7 mile greenway that runs through Freedom Park and Midtown over to Elizabeth.
9. Unique neighborhoods
Much like NYC, Charlotte has its unique pockets of the city that are almost separate from the rest. I love the “artsy” style of NoDa (North Davidson). Here you will find art galleries, street vendors, live music, fun tattoo shops and the famous hot dog vendor! There is also Plaza Midwood, one of Charlotte’s eclectic, historic areas. This is definitely a destination spot for the FOODIE. Bring your taste buds here for sure! Check out, “Soul” the pork belly tacos are out of this world, Zada Jane’s, Midwood Smokehouse and a great burger at Kickstand. For the more historical charming town vibe, Davidson, which is North of Charlotte, is a quaint town, and feels like going back in time. While you are up there check out North Harbor Yacht Club, for a nice meal on Lake Norman.
10. Quality of life
This one is a little hard to explain, it’s something that you’ll just understand once you get here. I guess a better term for number 10 would be “the easy life.” The traffic compared to other cities of this size is a breeze. It’s so easy to make friends, get involved, raise a family or retire here. The cost of living compared to most major cities is minimal. I find myself always happy to be back “home” in Charlotte after a trip elsewhere. The pace of life is perfect. Once you find your niche group of friends, hobbies, church/temple, mommy groups, whatever it is you need– you will be right at home.
Let me know what your top 10 reasons are. Love to hear from you.
If you are ready to call Charlotte home I would be happy to assist you.
Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist