Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, is a major US financial centre. Second only to New York in terms of assets, the city is headquarters to banking giants Fargo Wells and Bank of America, along with a host of Fortune 500 companies.
Adding to its business-centric allure is a warm subtropical climate, picturesque suburbs, and excellent schools and leisure facilities. These attract no fewer than 500 new residents each week.
Plugged into the national transport infrastructure, Charlotte is an easy city to get to and from. When it comes to commuting however, the limited mass transit rail and the ‘iffy’ bus services compel most to take the car. Charlotteans accept a 30-minute drive as standard, which can be a shock to those arriving from smaller towns or big, urban environments.
In the rolling hills surrounding the city, vast lakes, both natural and manmade, can be found. These make for great weekend day trips. Golf courses and a host of other outdoor recreation options abound, while sports spectators flock to the city’s superb stadiums to support anything from Nascar to hockey. Charlotte boasts a rich selection of restaurants, bars, cafes and shopping complexes that make leisure time in this city a real pleasure.
What is special or unique about your city?
Welcome to Charlotte or the "Queen City" as it is known by the locals. Charlotte consistently makes the top 10 list of "best cities to live in America" which is published by a variety of organisations including CNN and relocate-america.com based on its employment opportunities, housing affordability and crime rates.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
When you arrive in the City of Charlotte, you will be welcomed by the hospitality for which the South is well known. Many people are very accommodating of visitors and newcomers to the area. Although Charlotte is a big city (its metropolitan area has over two million inhabitants.) it still has the feel of a large, country town.
Are these impressions likely to change?
Most people fall in love with the city the moment they arrive. The hospitality of Charlotte will draw you in and you may never want to leave!
What is the local language?
The primary language spoken in Charlotte is English and Spanish is widely spoken as well. Many nationalities can be found within the city and you will probably hear several different languages spoken in the streets.
How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?
Spanish is spoken in the Charlotte Metropolitan area, but knowing English is a definite advantage in getting things done.
What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
As a major financial hub, Charlotte attracts people from many walks of life. This multicultural aspect demands respect for and tolerance of other cultures. People in the United States value their personal space, which is at least an arm’s length between you and the person next to you. Also, asking too many personal questions when you first meet someone and/or using certain hand gestures (such as displaying your middle finger) is considered offensive.
How might the local weather affect my daily life?
On average, Charlotte receives 44 inches of rain and 4 inches of snow per year. The city has cool winters and warm, humid summers.
Charlotte's location puts it in the direct path of subtropical moisture from the Gulf as it heads up the eastern seaboard along the jet stream, thus the city receives ample precipitation throughout the year as well as great number of clear, sunny, and pleasantly warm days.
Occasionally, Charlotte does experience ice storms (December to April) which can result in the build-up of ice on overhead power lines causing power outages. You will want to secure an emergency kit that includes blankets, food, water, battery powered radio, etc., for such experiences.
Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
The people of the south have a reputation for being hospitable and Charlotte is no exception. It is very easy to develop long-standing friendships with people who live in Charlotte.