Charlotte is The Queen City
Welcome to Charlotte, the Queen City and our home town. It is a growing, prosperous city with demographics and facts to match. Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and one of the 20 largest cities in the United States. In 2008, Charlotte was chosen the "Best Place to Live in America" by Relocate-America.com in its annual ranking, based on factors including employment opportunities, crime rates, and housing affordability. The climate is mild, with four distinct seasons of weather. You are always a short drive from wide, sandy beaches and tree-covered, smoky mountains. We are a city with a rich history, but one with an eye on the future development of our area.
One of the most attractive points of our city are the many historic neighborhoods with their wonderfully time-weathered structures and complimentary infill town homes and condos. Myers Park, Eastover, Dilworth, Plaza-Midwood, Elizabeth... prized for their convenience to work and play, not to mention the classic homes and their stable property values!
We are known nationally for our great public school system and many top private, parochial, Montessori and charter alternatives. For public offerings, Irwin Academic CenterSouth Charlotte Middle and Ardrey Kell High School stand out. Standout private schools include Providence Day School, Charlotte Latin School and Charlotte Country Day School. Great parochial schools in our area are represented by Charlotte Catholic High School, Hickory Grove Christian School, and Charlotte Jewish Day School. Montessori and Charter School options include Queens Grant Community School, Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, and Charlotte Montessori School.Not to be outdone by in-town options, there are many fine neighborhoods in the city limits but on the fringes of town. These include Ballantyne, Providence Plantation, Highland Creek... more than we can mention here. They are close to great retail, have fine school options but usually enjoy lower density development or larger lots.
A strong public/private partnership exists in our community in the relationships between business, government and the many top colleges and universities. The largest of these institutions of higher learning is the public UNC Charlotte, offering strong programs in many disciplines. Other area schools of note include Queens University of Charlotte, Johnson & Wales University, and Davidson College. We are fortunate to have one of the best community colleges in the country in Central Piedmont Community College, with a central campus uptown and satellites scattered conveniently.
Graduates of these institutions do not have to leave town after getting their degrees to work with some of the largest and most prominent companies in the world. Local companies read like a "who's who" of American business and include Bank of America, Nucor, Sonic Automotive, Family Dollar, SPX Corporation, Carolinas HealthCare System, Duke Energy, US Airways, Lowe's Corporation, TIAA-CREF, Harris Teeter, LendingTree, Compass Group, and Lance Inc. The list is long and it keeps growing as our business-friendly climate, weather, schools, transportation access, and access to financing entice large employers to relocate their headquarters here.
So what do you do when you are here? Well, the Carolina-blue sky is the limit! Want excitement? Try the US National Whitewater Center... a marvel of engineering a water-soaked fun for the whole family. Family fun interest you... then Paramount Carowinds will fit the bill nicely. If pro sports is what the family craves, then the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Knights, and Charlotte Checkers are here to please. We also host one the the premier stops on the PGA Tour in the Wells Fargo Championship at venerable Quail Hollow Country Club. OK, lets calm that family down... why not get some culture at the same time. A trip to The Mint Museums, Discovery Place, ImaginOn, Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens or the Charlotte Symphony fits the bill. Shop 'til you drop at SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills Outlet Mall, both offering the widest arrive of retailers. So are you hungry now? Well, pass up that food court and take in a Charlotte mainstay like Whiskey Warehouse, Bubba's Barbeque or the Cajun Queen... love those places! Or get cleaned up and fine dine at McNinch House Restaurant, The Fig Tree Restaurant or Carpe Diem... loves those, too.
Our city and county government leaders have pushed hard through the decades to provide thoughtful public infrastructure for it's citizens. Evidence of this is our county park system, with gems like Freedom and Reedy Creek parks, as well as historic Latta Plantation, a circa 1800 cotton plantation and living history farm. Transportation needs continue to be addressed with bus service and the addition of light rail in 2008. We have one of the busiest airports in the country in Charlotte Douglas International with direct flights to many foreign destinations. The public library is top-notch with branches located conveniently throughout the county. All in all, Charlotte has done a commendable job of balancing competitively low tax rates with high levels of public service and economic growth.
It is said that the Queen City has more places of worship per capita than any other city in the country with over 700 and counting. All denominations are represented, with beautiful holy landmarks including Calvary Church, Temple Beth El, and St. Ann Catholic Church. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Wycliffe Bible Translators' JAARS Center, and SIM Missions Organization also make their homes in Charlotte. The Salvation Army's headquarters for the North and South Carolina Division is located here as well.
You may know some native Charlotteans... Billy Graham as we mentioned above. Charles Kuralt with his long CBS tenure that was made famous by "On The Road." Randy Travis has had a successful and lasting country music career. John Scott Trotter was made famous by his musical direction of Bing Crosby and the Charlie Brown cartoon series. Lisa Walker writes cozy mysteries set in North Carolina and still is on the faculty at UNC Charlotte. And, of course, we can not leave out the nature boy Ric Flair... woooooooooo!!