Charlotte's skyline can be seen for several miles as you travel on Interstate 77 in the Piedmont area. At night, the city glistens with beautiful skyscrapers and street lights. Since its beginnings, Charlotte has rapidly grown into a center for finance and banking. It is the second largest financial capital in the United States. "Queen City" is Charlotte's nickname.
As the county seat, Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County in the Piedmont region of North Carolina and is just above the South Carolina border. Charlotte's population was estimated at approximately 584,658 in 2003 and is still growing. Nearby cities include Monroe (NC), Concord (NC), Rock Hill (SC), Pineville (NC), Statesville (NC), and Lancaster (SC).
The area attracts folks from all around for business, shopping, dining, recreation, and entertainment. Many people visit Charlotte from South Carolina for work or play. For those who live in the area, Charlotte is only a couple of hours away from the Appalachian Mountains and several hours from the Atlantic coast.
Charlotte, North Carolina Attractions and Events
Charlotte offers activities for all ages. The city's night life is always moving with live entertainment and music concerts, ball games, restaurants, comedy clubs, movie theaters, and more.
Shoppers can visit one of several malls including the Eastland Mall, South Park Mall and the Carolina Place Mall (Pineville, South Charlotte). The huge Concord Mills Mall in Concord, North Carolina is just a short drive from Charlotte. At Eastland Mall, an indoor ice skating rink has provided many years of enjoyment for families.
Charlotte is also host to several big festivals and events throughout the year. One is the Festival in the Park, which takes place in Freedom Park. This early fall event has been held in Charlotte since 1964. It is a family-oriented festival where all types of regional works of art and unique crafts are displayed. Entertainment and refreshments are provided.
Charlotte hosts the Great Grapes Wine & Music Festival, where more than 150 North Carolina wines are available for sampling. Live music and gourmet foods are also provided. Each holiday, Charlotte residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of events, from a grand fireworks display on the 4th of July to cheerful holiday parades.
For the history buff, there are many fascinating museums to explore in Charlotte. Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte has always been a favorite for kids with many fun hands-on exhibits, an Omnimax theater, a space station, a rain forest, and more. Other Charlotte museums include the Levine Museum of the New South, the Mint Museum of Art, and the Charlotte Museum of History.
Family Fun in Charlotte
For the active family that's visiting or those who live in and around Charlotte, there are many parks for biking or hiking on trails, picnics, and family relaxation. One can enjoy fishing, boating, and golfing at Lake Norman. Bird lovers can relax at the Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary.
Straddling the North and South Carolina border is Paramount's Carowinds. The amusement park is filled with exciting rides for the young and old, entertainment and cartoon characters that will amaze the kids. Roller coasters, kiddie rides, twisting and twirling rides, wet rides - Carowinds offers something for everyone! During the hot months, the Carowinds water park and ocean-wave pool provide cool relief for thousands of visitors.