Moving to Charlotte– what you need to know

So you’re moving to Charlotte? Well, get excited because there is no shortage of amazing things to see, do and eat in the Queen City! Regardless of what your interests are, you’re in for a fun-filled next chapter of your life!

Where to live in Charlotte

First things first, where to live? Charlotte has a diverse set of neighborhoods and areas of town that can accommodate just about any pace – and stage – of life.

Millennials

Charlotte is quite the destination for millennials. In fact, Charlotte ranked 11th on SmartAsset’s list detailing where millenials are moving. It’s no surprise as Charlotte has a strong job market, affordable housing and amenities to meet almost any interest.

Charlotte’s housing market attracts both homeowners and renters alike, and popular neighborhoods and areas of town for millennials include the following:

  • Plaza-Midwood
  • NoDa
  • South End
  • Dilworth
  • West Boulevard
  • Myers Park
  • Ballantyne

Young Families

Charlotte is a wonderful place for young families to flourish, with a diverse mix of local communities to accommodate any family’s style. On top of that, Charlotte has some of the best school systems in the state. The question is, which area is best for you and your family?

Popular neighborhoods and areas for young families include the following:

  • Beverly Woods
  • Barclays Downs
  • Dilworth
  • Belmont
  • Commonwealth
  • Fourth Ward
  • Wessex Square
  • Matthews
  • Birkdale
  • Quail Hollow
  • Chantilly

Empty Nesters

It isn’t just millennials moving to Charlotte. Charlotte is consistently ranked as one of the best places to retire by Forbes. Charlotte has a unique mix of big city offerings and idyllic small-town charm thanks to its suburbs and nearby Lake Norman – a common destination for many retirees.

Empty nesters may want to consider homes in these neighborhoods and communities:

  • Trilogy Lake Norman
  • Sun City Carolina Lakes
  • Treetops
  • Carolina Orchards

What to do in Charlotte

Museums

Mint Museum

The Mint Museum was North Carolina’s first fine arts museum, which has since expanded to two locations in Charlotte with one of the largest art collections in the Southeast. The Mint Museum offers international art and design exhibits, collections, and educational programs to inspire all visitors. To learn more about upcoming exhibits and events, visit http://www.mintmuseum.org.

Discovery Place Science and Discovery Place Nature

Discovery Place Science and Discovery Place Nature spark imagination through interactive exhibits like Fort Wild, where kids can engage in “outdoor play” such as building forts and exploring wildlife. Beyond exhibits, the museums offer an IMAX theater, labs, classes and camps, live shows, and a variety of events. To learn more about what Discovery Place has to offer, visit https://www.discoveryplace.org.

Levine Museum of the New South

Charlotte’s rich history comes to life at the Levine Museum of the New South. This museum offers exhibits and events to deepen visitors’ knowledge of life in Charlotte and the greater Piedmont region from post-Civil War to the present. To learn more, visit http://www.museumofthenewsouth.org.

Carolina’s Aviation Museum

Located at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Carolina’s Aviation Museum is home to the US Airways Airbus A320, or better known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Through exhibits, events, and summer camps, the museum’s visitors experience the adventure of aviation. To learn more, visit http://www.carolinasaviation.org.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Located in Uptown Charlotte and situated on five acres, NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment museum celebrating the history of NASCAR. The venue includes hands-on exhibits, artifacts, a 278-person theater, and a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. The venue is designed to entertain race fans and non-race fans alike. To learn more, visit https://www.nascarhall.com/.

Historical Sites

James Polk Birthplace

Located about 20 minutes outside of Charlotte, nestled in Mecklenburg County, you can find the birthplace of James Polk, the country’s 11th president. The site features a reconstructed log cabin similar to the one James Polk lived in and commemorates significant events that occurred during Polk’s presidency. To learn more about the historical site, visit https://www.jameskpolk.net/visit.html.

Reed Gold Mine

Only a 30-minute drive from downtown Charlotte, Reed Gold Mine is home to the first documented gold found in the United States. The restored underground tunnels and reconstructed stamp mill are available for tour April through October. There also are several hiking trails open all year. To learn more about guided tours and gold panning, visit https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/reed-gold-mine/plan-your-visit.

Historic Latta Plantation

Built around 1800, the Historic Latta Plantation is a 52-acre former cotton plantation full of history. Originally owned by a Scots-Irish immigrant, James Latta, a traveling merchant, the historic site now offers visitors a glimpse into what life in the area was like during the early 1800s. Latta Plantation also is home to regular Civil War reenactments of the Battle of Gettysburg, highlighting the role local soldiers played in the famous battle. To learn more about the plantation’s tours and events, visit https://www.lattaplantation.org.

Theaters and Music Venues, Popular Events

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center has three different campuses, each with multiple theatres. With performances ranging from Broadway to dance to comedy, it’s safe to say that there’s a show for everyone. The Blumenthal is also home to Opera Carolina, Charlotte Symphony and Charlotte Ballet, all of which perform regularly at the venue. For pricing, locations, and upcoming events, visit http://www.blumenthalarts.org.

Theatre Charlotte

Theatre Charlotte is the city’s oldest performing arts organization and has received multiple awards and accolades. The theatre is volunteer-based with community members helping with everything from ushering to acting in lead roles. For pricing, location, and upcoming events, visit http://theatrecharlotte.org.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

As one of the top theatre organizations for young people in the United States, the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte holds more shows than any other theatre company in the state. Over 250,000 children and family members get involved with productions each year. The theatre also holds camps and classes for young people to express creativity and build confidence on the stage. For pricing, location, and upcoming events, visit https://www.ctcharlotte.org/Online/.

The Fillmore Charlotte

Located in a historic textile mill, The Fillmore Charlotte embodies the same iconic ambience as the original Fillmore in San Francisco with similar décor including the red oak hardwood floors, chandeliers, and red painted interior. Shows are typically general admission/standing room only. For pricing, location, and upcoming events, visit http://www.fillmorenc.com/.

The Evening Muse

The Evening Muse is located in the NoDa arts district and features original music acts from both local and national talent. The venue offers a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits to enjoy during shows. For upcoming events and location, visit http://www.eveningmuse.com/.

PNC Music Pavilion

The PNC Music Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater known for hosting the biggest names in music like John Mayer, Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw. The venue offers reserved seating as well as general admission tickets. For pricing, location, and upcoming shows, visit https://www.livenation.com/venues/14471/pnc-music-pavilion.

Dining

Fine Dining

In the heart of uptown Charlotte, impeccable service and world-class wines are easily found at The Capital Grille. The wine selection includes virtually “every wine-growing region on earth,” all of which will pair perfectly with their immaculate steak and fresh seafood. When looking at “Best of” Charlotte lists, Barrington’s tops many. Opened in 2000, this upscale American restaurant is known for mixing the food and culture of the owner’s hometown, Barrington, Rhode Island, with the southern roots of its location.

Casual Dining

Southern style barbeque is the game and Mac’s Speed Shop is the name. Since 2005, Mac’s has been one of the hottest barbeque joints in Charlotte. With its traditional barbequing methods and southern-style sides like mac ‘n’ cheese, collard greens and baked beans, it feels just like home. If you are in the mood to step out of your comfort zone, try Cowfish. The vibrant and fun interior supports the funky vibes where you can grab a burger and a beer or use the interactive computer to build your own sushi roll. If you want a little of both, try out one of Cowfish’s boxes which include both sushi and a burger, or the All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi roll.

Breweries/Wineries

NoDa Brewing Company has a relaxing atmosphere in one of Charlotte’s most popular neighborhoods and includes frequent live music and a draft list that satisfies almost any beer drinker. Curious how they make the beer? You can even take a tour of the production room. Wooden Robot is a lot more than a great name; it’s also a brewery that knows a thing or two about making an outstanding beer. They offer indoor and outdoor seating, as well as various pour sizes. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery has been brewing beer for more than a decade and has one of the area’s best outdoor biergartens. Want to try all of Charlotte’s breweries? The Charlotte Five recently mapped out all of Charlotte’s breweries and listed their recommendations for each spot! If wine is more your speed, Charlotte has an impressive number of wineries such as Cougar Run Winery and Windsor Run Cellars. Charlotte Magazine has a great list of all the region’s wineries, with wine descriptions, directions and hours. Check it out here!

Shopping

Charlotte Premium Outlets

Charlotte Premium Outlets features 100 upscale stores at outlet prices. Shop at Banana Republic for a nice outfit and then head over to Michael Kors for a watch or handbag and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th for the shoes to match. For more information about the outlets, visit http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/charlotte/stores.

Southpark Mall

With over 150 stores, Southpark Mall has got it all. As one of the largest malls in the Charlotte area, Southpark has everything a shopper could ever want. Stores like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Apple and Tiffany & Co. provide an upscale feel and are paired with high-end chain restaurants like Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s Little Italy. For more information about the mall, visit http://www.simon.com/mall/southpark.

Ballantyne Village

Ballantyne Village is much more than a shopping destination. With over 20 different restaurants, coffee shops and unique stores, it’s also the perfect place for a night out. Ballantyne Village also features exciting activities such as live music, events for the kids, art exhibits and so much more. For more information and a schedule of events, visit http://ballantynevillage.com/.

Outdoor Recreation

U.S. National Whitewater Center

If you’re a thrill seeker, look no further than the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Home to the official Olympic Training site, what better place is there to learn how to whitewater raft? With over 700 acres of land to explore, the U.S. National Whitewater Center has plenty of space to kayak, rock climb, canoe, mountain bike and hike. For more information, visit http://usnwc.org/.

Carowinds Amusement Park

If you’re looking for a fun-filled day, buy a ticket to Charlotte’s very own amusement park, Carowinds. With over 30 thrilling rides and attractions, Carowinds will have you smiling all day. Known for its roller coasters like Afterburn, Fury 325 and the Intimidator, these rides live up to their name. Don’t forget about the water park! Carolina Harbor has many rides and slides for the whole family to enjoy. To buy your tickets, visit https://www.carowinds.com/.

Crowders Mountain State Park

A relaxing day on the mountain is the perfect way to spend a day in Charlotte. With over 5,000 acres and many cliffs, Crowders is a popular destination for rock climbers. The park has many trails and two mountain peaks – Crowders Mountain at 1,625 feet and the Pinnacle at 1,705 feet. For more information, visit https://www.ncparks.gov/crowders-mountain-state-park.

Seasonal Events

Festival In the Park

Filled with food, music, and art, Festival in the Park is a celebration of the arts. The festival hosts 180 artists and almost 1,000 musicians over three days and nights around Freedom Park Lake. For more information, visit http://festivalinthepark.org/.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Celebrate renaissance times with entertainment including an outdoor theater, circus, arts and crafts fair, jousting tournament and food! This is one of the largest renaissance fairs in the country, nestled in 325 acres just 30 minutes north of Charlotte. For more information, visit https://www.carolina.renfestinfo.com/.

Carolina Panthers

Charlotte is home to the NFL Carolina Panthers. Tailgate and cheer on the Panthers at the Bank of America Stadium located in uptown Charlotte. For more information on game days and the Carolina Panthers, visit http://www.panthers.com/index.html.

Charlotte Hornets

Enjoy NBA games courtside at the Spectrum Center arena, home of the Charlotte Hornets. For more information on game tickets and dates, visit  http://www.nba.com/hornets/.

Charlotte Knights

BB&T Ballpark in Uptown is home to the Charlotte Knights, the area’s minor-league baseball team. The team is a Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. For more information on tickets and the team’s schedule, visit https://www.milb.com/charlotte-knights.

Charlotte Checkers

Ice hockey fans can watch Charlotte’s minor-league hockey team play at Bojangles Coliseum. The team is an affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes. For more information on tickets and game days, visit http://gocheckers.com/.

Are you excited yet? You should be! Whenever you’re ready to start planning your move to Charlotte, we’re here to help! Visit Hilldrup.com to schedule a free in-home move estimate.