Situated between the Carolina coast and the Smoky Mountains, Charlotte exudes Southern charm. There are still places where you can sip sweet tea from a mason jar, spend a languid afternoon in a rocking chair, and step back in time with a stroll through the Streetcar Suburbs. But the Queen City is not all plantation houses and long drawls. Charlotte is also NASCAR country, as well as home to the second-largest banking district in the United States.
Between the wide front porches, financial transactions, and fast cars — is there a Charlotte somewhere in there for the rest of us? Absolutely. In fact, Money magazine named Charlotte one of the best places to live and launch a career or business in 2008. And, despite being the 18th-largest city in the nation, Charlotte still manages to retain its small-town charm.
The Queen City is also referred to as part of the “New South” because of the focus on new development. The newest additions to the Charlotte cultural scene — the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, EpiCentre, and NASCAR Hall of Fame — are also among the most popular sights to visit.
The city’s restaurants and nightlife venues are among some of the best in the South; you can sample Southern fare or choose from numerous ethnic restaurants. After-dinner activities range from sipping North Carolina reds at a local wine bar, to catching a live show at a local concert venue, cheering on a professional sports team, or late-night dancing at a hot nightclub in Uptown.
Regardless of how you spend your time here, it only takes one visit to discover what Charlotte insiders have known all along: This city is a one-of-a-kind place that offers a slice of Southern charm with a dash of the cosmopolitan.
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© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition