What You Should Know About Living in Charlotte, NC
Once, the only new arrivals to Charlotte, North Carolina came from other parts of the state or other parts of the South. Now they come from as far away as Michigan, Massachusetts, and California. Over 110 new arrivals moved into the city every day from 2021-2022, making it one of America’s fastest growing metro areas. Living in Charlotte certainly has its advantages. Nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Seaboard, its residents enjoy a growing economy, affordable prices, incredible sports, and miles of open wilderness, not to mention some of the best food you’ll find on either side of the Mason-Dixon line.
Thriving Job Market
Charlotte is the financial capital of the South and the second-largest banking center in the United States, after New York City. The nation’s biggest financial institution, Bank of America, is headquartered here, along with the sixth largest, Truist. It's also the regional headquarters for Wells Fargo, Ally Financial, U.S. Bank, USAA, and TD Bank.
But that's not all. There are over 3,000 manufacturing companies in the area, producing everything from chemicals to paper products, wood treatments, steel piping, battery separators, cellulose insulation, Bubble Wrap, electrical equipment, industrial machinery, and snack foods.
Duke Energy, one of the country’s largest energy companies, is also based here, supplying electricity and natural gas to millions of households on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest. The tech sector is expanding rapidly as well. Tech jobs grew by over 12 percent from 2020-2021, and are expected to grow another seven percent over the next five years. Companies can’t recruit coders and engineers fast enough, one of the reasons Charlotte’s salaries are so much more competitive than the rest of the nation.
With such a diverse economy, it’s no wonder Charlotte has one of the highest ranking job markets in the United States, with low unemployment, high workforce participation, and growing wages.
Low Cost of Living
You can not only earn a lot living in Charlotte, but save a lot as well. It’s one of America’s most affordable cities. Housing is 11 percent lower than the national average, for both renters and buyers. Utilities are eight percent lower. Transportation is seven percent lower. And groceries are three percent lower. Taxes are lower too. Residents here pay two percent less to the state and local government than they do in most other major cities.
Charlotte’s population is increasingly young and diverse, and as the city's changed, so has its appetite. People here are hungry for more foods than ever before. The clamor for fresh options has drawn a new generation of chefs to the area and launched a new wave of innovative restaurants, catering to a wider range of tastes. Alongside traditional southern barbeque and contemporary American cuisine, you’ll find dishes from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In fact, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the city’s become a dining destination. Food is one of its biggest attractions and favorite activities, thanks to cutting-edge eateries like:
- Fig Tree. A perfect blend of science, art, and taste. Wine and dine at the historic Lucas House, with an exquisite menu inspired by classic French and Italian cooking.
- Leah & Louise. Recaptures the fun and rowdy atmosphere of Memphis juke joints. Feast on traditional Southern soul food made with a modern twist. A mix of the old and the new, its seasonal menu means every time you come, there’s something to look forward to.
- Optimist Hall. Instead of one restaurant, choose from nearly two dozen. Enjoy Sichuan dumplings, wood-fired pizza, savory ramen, grilled kebabs, fried chicken sandwiches, sweet and savory empanadas, home-brewed English beer, and vintage Chicago cocktails.
- Haymaker. Uptown eatery offering locally inspired Southern cooking. Artisanal ingredients, farm-fresh produce, and locally sourced meat are expertly cooked in a brick-fired oven and served in a modern setting that reflects North Carolina’s heritage.
In addition to its great restaurants, Charlotte also hosts amazing food festivals, such as the Taste of Charlotte, showcasing the city’s finest culinary artists, and the Bayhaven Food and Wine Festival, which features the best chefs, farmers, artisans, brewers, and distillers from the local black community.
In Charlotte, most nights and weekends revolve around the action on the goal line, starting line, and scrimmage line. Basketball fans have the Hornets. Football fans have the Panthers. Soccer fans have Charlotte FC, the city’s new professional soccer club. And though they’re not part of the NHL, the Charlotte Checkers still provide plenty of excitement for hockey buffs.
Charlotte also has more NASCAR teams than any town outside Indianapolis. The Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts three Sprint Cup Series every year, including the NASCAR All-Star Race, and has hosted over 124 races from NASCAR's premier series as well. During the off season, NASCAR fans can relive some of the greatest moments in racing history at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte.
The city also hosts the PGA Wells Fargo Championship every year, where the best pro linksmen duke it out in the beautiful and challenging terrain at the Quail Hollow Club. Mainstream sports aren’t the only ones who thrive here, however. Charlotte is home to the Charlotte Rugby Club, the oldest rugby club in North Carolina, as well as a major league lacrosse team, the Charlotte Hounds. Anyone looking for a more visceral mix of fury, tears, and laughter should check out the Charlotte Roller Derby, which entertains fans at the Gary Cole Center from April through December.
Miles of Open Country
Living in Charlotte gives you access to huge tracts of Appalachian wilderness. The city and countryside are connected through a series of greenways, perfect for hiking, biking, and jogging. For a more rugged adventure, drive east to the DuPont State Recreational Forest and explore over 12,000 acres of woodlands, mountaintops, and waterfalls. It's an ideal getaway for hikers, hunters, campers, bicyclists, equestrians, and fishermen.
But there are even more amazing sights along the Blue Ridge, Kings, and Uwharrie Mountain Ranges. Crowders Mountain State Park provides stunning views of the Charlotte skyline. Morrow Mountain State Park, with its bald eagle nests, is a favorite for birdwatchers. Navigate the foothills at South Mountain State Park to experience an 84-foot waterfall. Or climb to the top of Chimney Rock Monolith, where you can look out over 75 miles of rolling hills, lazy rivers, and crystal lakes. Clamber through dizzying rock formations at Pilot Mountain State Park and Stone Mountain State Park, or post a picture of yourself dangling from the cliffs at Hanging Rock State Park. (Don’t worry. You don’t have to risk your neck. The whole thing’s an optical illusion).
Adventurers looking for a more heart-pounding experience will find all the thrills they can handle at the Whitewater Center. Raft or kayak down the largest, man-made whitewater river or test your skill at the largest outdoor climbing complex in America, with top-rope and bouldering courses designed for new and experienced daredevils.
Moving to Charlotte, North Carolina
North American Van Lines has been a trusted partner for long-distance moves since 1933. We make relocating as smooth as possible, from the initial estimate to final delivery. There’s nothing we can’t help with. From packing up your belongings to disassembling and reassembling your furniture, we make getting to your new home easy and stress-free. Call today for a free quote!
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