I don't understand why this place is consistently overhyped and exaggerated to be something it's not. It's not a cosmopolitan or world class city. Sorry, it just isn't. I think North Carolina natives assume it's great, and when you grow up in a rural conservative state, I'm sure it seems like mecca. I was born and raised in Maryland, lived near Philadelphia, New York, and DC. Moved to Florida and lived in Tampa and from my perspective Charlotte is far behind these other places. The people who rave about Charlotte are usually the people living around Lake Norman, which is a very nice area I agree, but as a whole I think the city should watch its boasts and claims. Downtown is cute, but does not compare at all to any of the other cities I mentioned nor even close to Atlanta. Once you drive through downtown you will end up in the ghettos, yes sorry but I had to mention the truth. East Charlotte is a complete ghetto. The roads don't make sense. Signs tell you to take 85 north but the highway is running horizontal East to West. Whoever did city planning needs schooling. Once you get outside of the highway perimeter, confederate flags reign, babtist churches on every corner and rundown little towns. The area is overtly religious and ultra conservative. It seems like this town tries to portray sophistication and it falls up short time and time again in the communities, planning, and culture. I guess it's great if you like cookie-cutter homes, Bojangles, and living in a civil war era reenactment. Sure there's the lake and access to the mountains but it's not enough compared to say Denver. Charlotte is mediocre to me.
I have lived in 5 cities in the last 33 years (my adult years) ; I have spent extended periods in another 3 (2 in NC, the others not). Two cities were smaller. The others were larger and 3 considered world-class for business, tourism, etc., etc. Charlotte is the best one in which I have lived. No, it is not a perfect city -- NOR are any others. I have learned to try and set my biases and personal preferences to the side and look at the whole. Yes it is sprawling and can take some time to get around, but I plan my day accordingly. It has growing pains like others that have gone before it (e.g., Atlanta); roads, schools, housing have some catching up, but that is also in any other city. So, what makes it best to me? The folks I have met and gotten to know are polite and congenial. Fine dining is okay, but the little community places bring some real good eats and personality to each neighborhood. If one does not care for the shopping or dining in her/his neighborhood, the next one is not far away. Entertainment is all around, just take the time to look for it (newspaper, social media, etc.) and go. Now, truth be told, the city could certainly be more aggressive in attracting businesses and development to the poorer sections of the city -- a challenge faced in all urban areas. Yes, stumbling in decision-making by city leaders has hindered some things and seemed pointless. But, what city has not had to deal with that from its leaders as they try to balance the traditions and character of a place with desire for more? Everyone's personal experiences and preferences color how any place is viewed. Will Charlotte ever be as vibrant and energized like New York, Chicago, or Miami? Dunno. But its laid back charm suits me.
Charlotte's a "nice" city that's very much about keeping up appearances. It's clean on the outside, but kind of dirty on the inside. I've been here for 20 years, and have seen it grow immensely. As far as amenities go everything's fairly adequate...there's plenty to do to pass the time but not a lot to get excited about. Anything that was once quirky or fun is being replaced by low rise apartment buildings and breweries. Outside of maybe a 3 mile perimeter of "uptown" is a lot of pretentious displays of the same old thing. Also there's nowhere particularly convenient to sit quietly and read a book without having to listen to some guy conduct a business transaction over the phone. However some people thrive in this capacity, and I'm not really knocking it. 1. Affordability- If you want to live in a decent area, you will have to be prepared to pay for it. You will also be driving a lot so it behooves people to have newer, reliable cars. 2. People- Are mostly ok. Here, status matters though. Enough said. Very in the box, Frat Bro, Corporate Culture. Appreciate people for who they are...Folks to pass the time with until someone starts having babies, or moves. 3. Location- Area's centrally located. My favorite area day trips to the mountains are all 2 hours or so away (not in traffic). Greenville, SC is a cool town. I find Asheville, NC to be obnoxiously Bohemian in the same way that Charlotte is obnoxiously Corporate. Savannah and Charleston are about a 4 hour drive and there are many resort towns along the coast that are accessible for a weekend trip. 4. Recreation- Quite a bit to do... You won't be the only bored, friendless one here. There are meet ups for just about anything. Adult sports leagues, at least a couple of races every weekend if you're a runner. Numerous Greenways and parks with extensive Trail systems. 3 area lakes. Only problem is everything is quite spread out, and it can be a chore fighting traffic to get to and from activities. 5. Laws and Stuff- If you like to text and drive, you're in luck. So does everyone else. I recommend this city for college graduates who like to party, Very in the box, dude-bro, sorority sister types of young to mid career professional, families (provided that they have money to send their kids to private school), Soccer Moms and retirees who have family here, and career criminals. You're not going to find much in the way of arts or culture, or serenity. You will find golf courses and country clubs. This is a live to work city. Charlotte's Culture is about the equivalent of a city block, and just about everything Historically significant has been bulldozed or "repurposed." Area's racially tolerant, and LGBT tolerant, but most won't actually want to be your friend or neighbor unless they feel that they can gain something out of it. That pretty much holds true for anyone who is not exactly like them though. I do not recommend this city for: Agnostics/atheists, Free Spirits, Sober people, Artists/Musicians (even though we need more of you), Teachers, or Rocket Scientists, people who enjoy places with a rich sense of History, and Character or charm. If you can't tell, I'm ready to get out.
7/18/2016Disgusted at the affordable housing situation!I have been searching for a home for OVER 190 days now, in this great metropolis area, beautiful full green covered areas with bumpin night live and activities to do round the clock for every age and gender with a real sense of spirituality in this “live well in the Queen City on a budget” city. Than why in the heck can't I find a decent place to live. I’ve been searching for a 3 bed 2 baths with medium to large kitchen, large bedrooms with a nice size yard possibly fenced in and possibly a deck. Isn’t that what I work 42 years of my life for to have a nice home in a nice neighborhood? Instead I’m being forced to live somewhere I don’t want to be a place I don’t want to bring my grandchildren to visit for fear they might get shot by any stray bullet from any one packin a place that is not safe. I’m being forced to look at homes that have roaches in the refrigerators and broken counter tops and kitchens with one or two cabinets and no closet space to think of for clothing, with bathrooms that will never pass code and smells in the air of mildew and old garbage. And for my budget in the Queen City a shoe box is what it gets me equivalent to a Skinners box, actually that box is bigger. Is that what my live has come to is that what I am worth to this society to this city all 54 years on this earth working since I was 13 years old, raised two children who completed college and I have to live in a shoe box? I’m thoroughly disgusted at what is being offered to me and the affordable housing market here in the “Queen City”, although my budget said I cannot get the finer things in live, it should never say you’re not worth having it, getting close to it or having the best my money can buy. I pay my bills like everybody else, I work hard like everyone too and if a decent home is what I want to pay for why can I not find one. I’m searching day and night and night day round the clock from the time I get off work til I have to start work again, looking for a decent place to live why is this not possible? I know, the Queen City is trying to run me away, I who doesn’t drink alcohol don’t do drugs, always pay my taxes and haven’t said a foul thing in this commentary yet, cannot find a decent place to live it has become nearly impossible. I know, maybe I should tell the world of how the Queen City treats its tax payers, like they don’t matter because we are not in a certain tax bracket. I’m frustrated and I’m blowing off steam because ever since I moved here this city has not been good to me. I came here to care for my elderly father who died from cancer and the people here in the queen city didn’t even do that, I gave up a career of 10 years to care for my father who had people here with him who wouldn’t even do that. I’m not asking for any rewards for caring for my father whom I loved very much and would have do all over again at a drop of a dime, but now I must move on and into my own home and there is no decent place for me. “Live well in the Queen City on a budget”, who came up with that slogan, they lied. I’m on a budget a strict one, one that I stick to so that everyone gets paid, charlotte you not letting me live well, in fact your telling me I don’t deserve to live at all. If a realtor cannot help me is there any private property owner’s out there who have a decent home for rent, that’s all I am saying. I’m not looking for an apartment, a box, I’m not looking to live on top of another or with a wall between a neighbor, I am looking for a house because so far I am thoroughly disgusted that these homes for rent in Charlotte are not affordable for the working class tax payer and for whoever thinks the working class should live in a 2x4 box I say shame on you, not everyone can live that way or should be force to live in such a way they do not wish to or made to feel comfortable with. Why should you whoever you are tell me how to spend my hard earned dollars or force me to live in an unsafe, undesirable corner of the city, I pay my taxes. Who gave you the right to tell me where I should live and make it to where I want to live is unreachable, “Live well on a budget in the Queen City”, whoever wrote that do you know what a budget is? It certain isn’t synonymous with living well. And, if you’re saying is true then in my world the 3 bed 2 baths with medium to large kitchen, large bedrooms with a nice size yard possibly fenced in and possibly a deck is living well for me and I have no problem paying rent for my living well, such is not the case in the “Queen City” and I pray after this article that a private property owner will step up and offer a nice and decent place to live. If you’re on craigslist don’t reply.
I think Charlotte is a physically beautiful city, but lacks the attributes of a urban are that it needs to become better respected. First, the music venue is poor. You see very few musicians providing entertainment in the uptown area, and there is virtually no live music in this district. You need something to attract people to this area, as well as others, besides a bunch of bars and restaurants. Secondly, the epicenter is a joke. I don't know who thought this setup was a good idea, but coming from New York, and having lived in several other urban areas in the U.S., believe me, that structure looks quite tacky. The city of Charlotte might be able to overcome this blight by allowing more retail stores to open up. People attending conventions and other activities sometimes need to purchase articles and/or clothing. They have to go outside the area to do this. Lastly, public transportation is virtually nonexistent except in certain parts of the city. For example, I live in Ballantyne and would like to take a city bus Uptown sometimes. They only have two morning express buses running from Rea Road to Uptown, which would mean I'd have to take one or the other. As such, I end up driving. I don't know whether the councilperson or city planners read these posts, but hope they. I'm sure, however, that the issues that I've outlined aren't anything they haven't heard before. After living here four years, I'd like to believe Charlotte can do much better.
Where do I start. Charlotte is very slow, traffic is bad but I've lived in newyork so it's not nearly as bad. The designs of major highways are very 20th century. 2 lane major roads. 55 mph highways. And don't get me started on the driving skill of others. Public transportation is horrible. Although I have a car you will be ready to retire from driving living in charlotte. U will drive everywhere! Everything is spread out in a urbanization of generically built homes that mimic each other. Apartment complexes usually are built in some depressing area of nothing but forest trees around. Nightlife is also generic. "Uptown" is a poor excuse for a midpoint of any so called major city. Charlotte does have a couple nice places to dine in. But I don't recommend living here unless your 50 years old or older. It's no excitement here. And it's on my least inspirational cities list. It's just a drag to live in charlotte. So glad I left.
Charlotte needs more local charm. The few areas that have/had charm are either being torn down or have been. Charlotte knows only how to build using big box stores and has turned away any local mom and pop type businesses. If you like Walmart type shopping centers then you will love Charlotte. There are a few local restaurants mixed in but mostly all chain restaurants. You can drive, because there is no walkabilty here, in most any direction and you will hit a shopping center within a mile to the next one with pretty much the same chain stores.
Housing is also very Generic with the influx of developers that build cookie cutters communities over and over and over. There are some older areas that have stand alone homes with some character but they are few areas that do. If you like developmental houses where all the homes look alike you might like the area.
I have lived in Charlotte for just over 8 years. There is nothing good to say about this incompetently run hillbilly town, except it has provided me a job. Charlotte is not a city, it is an overpopulated rural town. The area decision makers want so badly to be world class but have no idea what a world class city is. They have spent billions on a light rail system that they seem to think is necessary to be world class, but that gets little use, meanwhile they have decided that highways built 50 years ago are just fine. Getting around is ridiculous, as the population has grown but the town refuses to build infrastructure. For an area of a million plus, it is sad that nearly every secondary road is a two lane. The "engineering" and "design" of what little road building they do seems put together by "Bubba's" 3rd grader as it is overtly engineered to dazzle & impress instead of for efficiency. I agree with pami, this is no Atlanta, more like Mayberry. Also, as stated, outside the downtown loop there is absolutely nothing happening and nothing to attract an outsider. Apparently, those in love with Charlotte have never been to an actual functioning city where the city provides a return for the citizens' taxes/contributions. No matter what local failure you find, and there is no shortage, it is always easy to find an official excuse for why it can't be fixed or improved, although other cities seem to have no problem overcoming the same issues. Charlotte may have been a nice sleepy little town when population was 100K, but as it grew, there was obviously no competent leadership to grow the town along with the population. So ready to leave, but career seems destined to keep me here, longing for a real city.
I have lived in Charlotte, NC for 30 years. Although I have never lived anywhere else, I can say that it's one of the best places in the region to live. My home is an apartment, and compared to some other cities that I have checked on, the rent is very affordable. The people who live in the city are like family. Everywhere you go, you will see a smiling face. The politicians truly care about the people they represent, and there are various functions around Charlotte where you can meet the people you elect to office.
One of my favorite things to do in Charlotte is to go shopping. There are numerous outlet malls and events where you can spend a lot of money if you have it to spend. Concord Mills is an outlet mall with many of the stores that have trendy clothing and accessories. South Park Mall is another favorite. It's smaller than Concord Mills, but it still has a good selection of stores, and there are a lot of sales through the year. A new outlet mall is called Tanger Outlets. It takes a good bit of walking to get through, and a lot of the walking is outside from one store to another, but it's a breath of fresh air compared to some of the older places to shop in the city.
Carowinds is an attraction I visit every year. There is a new ride scheduled to be open in 2015, and there are already plenty of rides for every thrill level. Charlotte is a place I love to call home because of the wide variety of things to do in the city.
What it lacked? Energy & soul. It felt very southern, Bible-beltish and the whole city is suburban. The entire time I lived there I felt as if I had stepped back in the 90s. Very segregated and spread out. Once outside of the uptown area (which is nothing to brag about) what little excitement there is leaves. Surprisingly, the city gets compared to Atlanta often. Before I moved, I fell for the "mini-Atlanta" comparison big time. Please don't fall for that. It's not even a close race. I had such high expectations when I moved there. But, wow what a totally disappointing place! It's several years away from being the city touted on these " best places to live" lists.
I was shocked to learn from my best friend that her neighbor had been sexually assaulted in broad daylight and later held against her will at an apartment complex in Ballantyne. The incident was during this past summer and happened in Crestmont on Ballantyne Commons Parkway. I am a member at the Y and participate in a lot of community events and apparently it is no secret that some of these apartment communities are allowing just about anybody to move into these homes. It is unfortunate to hear since we put faith into our community as proud homeowners, parents, and Charlotte natives. I would hope authorities are actively taking measures to prevent outrageous crimes such as those that have occurred at Crestmont and I hope that all surrounding apartment communities are making the effort to keep our unique city safe for everyone.
I recently moved to Charlotte, NC from Statesville, NC last year. I live in an apartment in the city, and I must say there is always something to do. Fun events happen all through the year from New Year's Eve to Christmas. One of the places I like going to visit is the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It is a new facility that has lots of driver's cars and the history of NASCAR. Charlotte has an awesome fireworks display for the Fourth of July, but the traffic is maddening if you want to leave as soon as the show is over.
Area lakes offer fun in the summer, and you can usually find a spot almost anywhere to drive a boat. There are so many restaurants in the city that you would think you are in another country sometimes. If you are going to downtown Charlotte, don't park in the streets. It is a headache to get out of town, and you constantly have to monitor your time spent in your spot or you will get a ticket.
Some of the shopping is better than others. There are new shopping centers like Northlake Mall and Concord Mills that have the better stores to shop in. And then there are the run down malls like Southpark that don't have anything. My favorite thing about Charlotte is Carowinds. The rides are great and you pay one price to ride as much as you want. Aside from the congested traffic and the people who get a little crazy when there is a big event in town, the city is a good place to live.
I have visited the city of Charlotte, NC a couple times over the past few years. I really enjoy traveling to the city! I would consider it an up-and-coming city. There are quite a few things to do and attractions to see, however, you definitely need a car as the city is widespread. I strongly suggest that you take a city tour with a guide before venturing out to explore the city on your own. I found that it can be a bit confusing navigating around Charlotte. I recommend Queen City Tours and Travel for the most thorough overview of the city.
The warm Charlotte weather is delightful and the scenery is breathtaking. The city is very clean. In Uptown Charlotte, there are many banks and large skyscrapers. The Mint Museum is an art museum worth checking out. For the little ones, The Discovery Center is a great experience. There are many more attractions in Charlotte, too many to list. I recommend you visit Charlotte and see for yourself!