The best places to find maps and a wealth of information about the sights, attractions, restaurants, and lodging options in Charlotte  are the visitors centers. There is an information kiosk on the ticketing level of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport and two locations in Uptown—a full-service visitors center (330 S. Tryon St., 704/231-4636) filled with brochures, maps, books, and a gift store, and a smaller kiosk in the Levine Museum of the New South  (200 E. 7th St., 704/333-1887).
As a result of Charlotte’s rapid growth, the city started to run out of telephone numbers with a 704 area code and introduced 980 as a second area code. Regardless of which area code you’re calling to and from, you must dial a 10-digit phone number.
The number of public pay phones in Charlotte has decreased dramatically, as it has in most areas of the United States. The few public phones that do exist charge $0.50 for a local call and will accept coins or calling cards. Prepaid phone cards are available at many supermarkets and convenience stores.
It’s not hard to find Internet service in Charlotte. Some “hot spots” charge a fee, while others are free. Libraries, colleges, coffee shops, and restaurants are the best bets for getting online for free. Many hotels have computers available for guests.
The post office has locations across Charlotte. The Uptown branch (100 N. Tryon St., Ste. 50, 704/338-1770) is located near the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets. A quick online search will also turn up locations of national package delivery services like UPS and FedEx all over the city.
Charlotte  has one daily newspaper, the Charlotte Observer (www.charlotteobserver.com ). It’s the largest newspaper in North Carolina and offers coverage of local, national, and international news. The weekly CLT section comes out on Friday and features entertainment reviews and weekend events.
The Charlotte Business Journal (www.charlotte.bizjournals.com ) is published weekly and features local business news.
Other local newspapers include the Charlotte Post (www.thecharlottepost.com ), news and information for the African-American communities; Charlotte Weekly (www.charlottepulse.com ), a local news weekly; and Mecklenburg Times (www.mecktimes.com ), covering local business news.
The city has just one alternative weekly. Creative Loafing (www.charlotte.creativeloafing.com ) is published every Wednesday and covers local personalities, investigative features, and arts and entertainment events. It also has its fair share of inane tidbits and ads for adult services. You’ll find issues in newspaper boxes around Charlotte.
Q-Notes (www.q-notes.com ), the regional GLBT magazine, might also qualify as an alt weekly (though it comes out bi-weekly). It covers news, politics, entertainment, and arts in the region and is the largest LGBT news publication in the Carolinas.
Charlotte Magazine (www.charlottemagazine.com ) is a monthly lifestyle magazine covering issues of importance in Charlotte and beyond. It’s a good read, offering a range of feature articles, arts and entertainment coverage, restaurant reviews, and shopping guides, and can be found in bookstores and supermarkets throughout Charlotte.
Uptown magazine (www.uptownclt.com ) focuses on the people and events that shape the Uptown neighborhood. It feels more like a series of glowing advertisements than serious journalism, but it’s a good resource for event listings. The free publication is stocked in newspaper boxes Uptown.
Skirt! (www.charlotte.skirt.com ) is a regional version of the national print publication that features essays and profiles of interesting Charlotteans based around a monthly theme. The artwork is incredible and the calendar often includes events that aren’t found in other local periodicals. It’s also free and stocked in newspaper boxes around Charlotte.
There is a little bit of everything on the airwaves in Charlotte. For up-to-the-minute local news, tune into WSOC-TV (www.wsoctv.com ) or WCNC (www.wcnc.com ). UNC TV (www.unctv.org ) is shown on public broadcasting stations and includes a range of educational programming. You’ll find talk radio, oldies, classic rock, hip-hop, and classical depending on where you land on the radio dial. Here are a few of the more popular local stations: