Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, and it sure has a lot going for it. The Queen City is full of surprises–from fine dining options and rooftop cocktail bars to 24-hour French pastry shops and a thriving arts scene. Are you a sports enthusiast? How about a history buff? This might be the city for you, too. Before moving to Charlotte, let’s get you acquainted with it.
Say Goodbye to Predictable Weather
Charlotte weather is known for its mood swings. It’s not uncommon for sunny skies and puffy clouds to immediately give way to a torrential downpour, then quickly return to sunny skies all within a matter of minutes. Bottom line: when moving to Charlotte, bring your raincoat and umbrella. Summers are humid and muggy, but temperatures rarely top 95 degrees and rainfall is very common in these months. May through September is particularly humid. Winters are chilly and wet but only average a few inches of rain per year. Winter temperatures can get down to the 20s, but they rarely dip below that.
Sports Fans Have a Lot to Cheer About
Not only does Charlotte boast two professional sports teams–the Hornets (NBA) and the Panthers (NFL)– it’s also home to three minor league teams: baseball, hockey, and soccer. If you’re more of a race car fan, you’re in luck. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is located in Uptown Charlotte, but for the live NASCAR action, head to the Charlotte Motor Speedway where you’ll have plenty of races to choose from throughout the year, like the Coca Cola 600 and the NASCAR All-Star Race.
Cheap Cost of Living
With the highest median rent prices in the country coming in at more than $3,500, Charlotte’s rent prices are a nice reprieve at just $1,160 for a one-bedroom and $1,280 for a two-bedroom. Along with affordable rent, Charlotte’s will utility costs aren’t too expensive either. Residents pay, on average, around $142 for utilities, which includes A/C, heat, and electricity.
It’s a Banking Mecca
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bank that doesn’t (at the very least) have a branch in Charlotte. In fact, Bank of America (a Fortune 500 company) and Wachovia are both headquartered here. The city is also home to the East Coast Operations of Wells Fargo. In addition, BB&T, First Citizens Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Bank of Granite, New Dominion, and many more local credit unions and banks have a home in the city. It’s no wonder the banking sector is a huge driver of employment in Charlotte.
Uptown is Bustling
Although it hasn’t always been a food and drink destination, Uptown has seen a surge in trendy bars and restaurants recently. Grab drinks at 5Church where the ambiance is entirely swanky enough for a first date; get a post-work cocktail at The Cotton Room where they pair whiskey cocktails with 90s throwback music; or, eat dinner at Angelines, where Italian classics are served in a contemporary setting. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, head to Merchant + Trade inside the Kimpton Hotel. This 19th-floor rooftop lounge features both indoor and outdoor seating, expertly-crafted cocktails and local beers, plus a sweeping view of the city.
History is Alive Here
Anyone interested in history will be happy to know Charlotte does a great job of preserving and displaying its own. At the Levine Museum of the New South, the good and the bad of both Charlotte’s history and the Civil War are on full display. Locals and visitors can walk through this interactive museum to get a comprehensive understanding of the Civil War and the post-Civil War society. The museum hosts family days throughout the year and provides educational programs for students and classes.
On top of all of that, there are also a plethora of historical sites in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, including a gold mine state park and the North Carolina Transportation Museum.
Neighborhoods Are Charming