Charlotte  lies in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains. The Piedmont region is the most urbanized, populated, and fastest-growing part of the state and is characterized as an area with rolling meadows, hills, low mountain ridges, and several small peaks such as Pilot Mountain and Crowders Mountain. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Charlotte has 687,456 residents, making it the largest city in North and South Carolina.
Charlotte has an area of 242 square miles. Water occupies just 0.25 percent of the total land area. The largest bodies of water in the area—Lake Norman  and the Catawba River—are outside of the city limits. Other bodies of water in Charlotte include Mountain Island Lake and Lake Wylie. Most of the city sits at an elevation of 870 feet above sea level. Covering more than 340 acres, Nevin Community Park is the largest municipal park in Charlotte. The park system includes a total of 210 neighborhood parks and facilities covering more than 17,600 acres, including Hornets Nest Park, Frazier Park , Winget Park, and Rama Road Park.
In 2008, Charlotte became the 18th-largest city in the nation, jumping from the 20th spot in 2006. The U.S. Census Bureau also ranked Charlotte as the country’s 23rd fastest-growing city in 2008. If growth continues at this pace, the population of Charlotte could surpass the populations of Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville in the next decade.
Charlotte is located in the southwest corner of North Carolina, near the South Carolina border and 93 miles from Columbia, South Carolina, 245 miles from Atlanta , 196 miles from Roanoke, Virginia, and 230 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee .