CharlotteCity Guide

Charlotte’s steady job growth plus below-average cost of living are both key factors that make it a popular hot spot for young professionals. The city’s size adds to its appeal; the city is small enough to feel manageable, yet large enough to include a wide variety of neighborhoods.

Local Perspectives

Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in Charlotte, as told by locals.

Local Perspectives

archetype Shekinah Smith

Front End Developer at Red Ventures

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City Guide: Moving to Charlotte - Shekinah SmithTime spent in Charlotte

3 years

Why Charlotte?

Right before I graduated with my masters’ degree I began job hunting and knew that I wanted to be in a bigger city. At the time, I was living in Morrisville, NC, which is in the Raleigh-Durham area. I had been there since high school and really wanted a change. When the opportunity to work in Charlotte arose, I took it. I wasn’t super familiar with the area, but I had one or two friends who had been living here and loved it. It seemed like a good compromise of a bigger city without being too far away from my family.

Best neighborhoods, IMO

I absolutely love NoDa and Plaza Midwood. The crowd or “vibe” in both neighborhoods is a bit more artsy. There’s a ton of cool places like arcades, a 24-hour French bakery, and restaurants that do a hip hop night every Monday and you can watch b-boys show off their skills.

City Guide: Moving to Charlotte - Lightrail

Charlotte’s LYNX light rail to uptown, built in 2007 and still expanding north.

The job market

Charlotte is obviously a banking center, so there are a ton of banking jobs in the area. What may surprise some people is that there are quite a few growing tech startups in the area, and they’re definitely trying to recruit new talent pretty consistently. The job market is definitely pretty good!

Surprises about Charlotte

It’s big, yet small at the same time! In terms of size, the city and surrounding areas of Charlotte are pretty huge, and during rush hour if you have to get from one side of the city to the other you should probably plan to leave an hour before your planned arrival time depending on where you’re going. The positive about it being so big is that there’s a neighborhood or side of town that’ll fit most people’s tastes/interests. And although the city is huge, if you get plugged into a particular community or “scene” here, you’ll find that everyone knows each other or knows a friend of a friend of a friend.

Local Perspectives

archetype Ryan Corte

Co-Founder and optometrist at Northlake Eye; Founder and CEO of health and wellness website IntroWellness.com

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City Guide: Moving to Charlotte - Ryan Corte Time spent in Charlotte

4 years

Why Charlotte?

During professional school, I spent a lot of time researching places to live. Fortunately, North Carolina had a reputation for being a great place to practice optometry, and I loved the growing young professional presence Charlotte offered. Also, I loved knowing I had easy access to the mountains and the beach.

How is the housing market?

Booming! My friends in the construction and real estate world say things have never been hotter! When a single-family home hits the market, if it even makes it that far, someone has usually made an offer on it in a couple of days. Also, it seems like there’s a new apartment complex going up every week.

City Guide: Moving to Charlotte - Crowders Mountain

The view from nearby hiking trails at Crowders Mountain.

Favorite after-work spots?

I like Ink N Ivy. It has good food, and is located right next to Romare Bearden park, which is a new and growing area in Uptown Charlotte. Fahrenheit or City Lights are great if you’re looking to dine with a view.

Best weekend getaways

For a foodie, exploring the Charleston food scene is a must. For an adventure seeker, hiking the Appalachian Mountains on the west side of the state. For a golfer, checking out Pinehurst for a couple rounds of golf is ideal. And for beach bums, spending a weekend at any of the North Carolina beaches is a blast!

You’re not a local if…

…you refer to Uptown as Downtown.

Text by Emily Yates