Charlotte

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Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States North Carolina Charlotte

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Introduction

Charlotte is an ambitious and rapidly growing city in the southern part of the Piedmont of North Carolina. It is the largest city in the state, with a population of 809,856 (2014 estimate) residents within the city limits. As of 2006, the Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury combined statistical area (CSA) had a regional population of 2,589,763, and Charlotte is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. It is the center of finance, industry, technology, and entertainment for the region. It is a renowned financial powerhouse and banking center, with Bank of America's corporate headquarters and Wells Fargo's East Coast Operations in Uptown. It is regarded as the second most important financial hub in the United States, behind New York City. Primarily known in the past as a leading Southern textile and manufacturing center, Charlotte is has modernized and diversified its robust economy through successful applications of urban and economic planning, known as "Vision Plans." It is also developing its fledgling tourist industry; its central core is one of the most visitor-friendly districts in the Carolinas.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Uptown - Charlotte's central district, and the location of its somewhat oversized skyline as well as the center of Charlotte's commerce, culture, and government, with most of the bustle centered around Tryon Street, the "Main Street" of the city. The district is home to several Fortune 500 headquarters, museums, nightclubs, restaurants, parks, city and county government offices and theaters. It is generally agreed that the word "uptown" refers to anything inside the I-277 loop.
  • NoDa - NoDa, short for North Davidson Street, is one of Charlotte's most eclectic and original neighborhoods. About two miles north of the center city, this old mill district has been revitalized by artists moving in and is now home to street level art galleries, several restaurants and other unique shops as well as a popular "gallery crawl".
  • South End - Close to Uptown in the corridor formed by Tryon Street and South Blvd along the light rail line, this old mill district has been gradually converted into a hip, semi-upscale entertainment/cultural district that is also home to Charlotte's emerging design industry. This district is also possibly the best place in town to take a walk with children, with its ice cream shops and several kids-oriented stores.
  • Plaza-Midwood - Similar in some ways to NoDa and South End, but a little rougher around the edges because of its alternative and non-conformist crowd. This vibrant neighborhood is home to several local institutions such as: The Diamond (a popular diner), several consignment shops, the famous Nova bakery and local galleries that rival even the most popular ones in Noda.
  • Myers Park - Once altogether outside the city, Myers Park is near the heart of modern-day Charlotte. Its reputation as an "old money" neighborhood is accentuated by its beautiful tree-lined and winding avenues. Home to some of Charlotte's oldest and most expensive homes as well as Queens University of Charlotte and Freedom Park. A driving tour of Myers Park is a popular way for tourists to get acquainted with the neighborhood.
  • Dilworth - Charlotte's first "streetcar suburb", Dilworth has never lost its reputation as a desirable place to make home. The neighborhood has blossomed into an upscale district dotted with eateries and galleries. The promise of increased public transit service has added even more development to this already walkable neighborhood.
  • SouthPark - An affluent district in south-central Charlotte, and home to the city's second-largest business district. SouthPark is a newer suburb whose development has mostly occurred in the last 40 years, but it has quickly developed into a semi-urban concentration of office buildings, high rise condos, hotels and entertainment options.
  • Elizabeth - Just outside of Uptown, Elizabeth reflects a transition between elegant Myers Park and gritty Plaza-Midwood. Its tree-lined streets and quiet residential blocks provide an air of relaxation, but its commercial blocks are among the city's most colorful. Sometimes characterized as "a poor man's Dilworth", Elizabeth is coming into its own as a center of activity.
  • University City - A sprawling 1970s-style suburban district, focused around the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This area is on the city's northeast side and is largely an area in transition, having formerly been mostly rural or affluent suburbs and now drawing in minority groups and young families. Aside from the University and related research centers, this area is also home to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (now known as PNC Music Pavilion), a well-defined "downtown" cluster of hotels and retail centers, and many square miles of sprawling shopping centers.
  • East Charlotte - A somewhat ambiguous, but distinctive, area covering a large portion of the city's eastern end. East Charlotte contains the city's largest concentration of immigrants, and is mostly a middle- to lower-class area. Much of the east side is depressed and unattractive, but it contains some of Charlotte's most interesting cultural development. Virtually any kind of ethnic food can be found here, and much of the city's "street life" gravitates toward this area.
  • b]Ballantyne[/b] - The most recent large-scale development in Charlotte, Ballantyne is found at the far southern edge of the city. Sprawling and suburban in nature, it is noted for its luxurious "mini-mansions", upscale retail, large hotels and corporate buildings, and distinguished country club. Ballantyne is mostly residential in nature and most tourist attraction is generated by the Ballantyne Resort.
  • West Charlotte - An area unfortunately known for its poverty and crime. This section of town west of Uptown and north of Steele Creek lacks retail opportunities and has a high murder rate. Real estate in West Charlotte is far cheaper than other neighborhoods in Charlotte, but most of the property is not owner-occupied. It has close access to Uptown and the airport.
  • Steele Creek - Area generally defined by the original boundary of Steele Creek Township. This district is along Lake Wylie in the far southwest quadrant of Charlotte primarily bordered by Interstate 485 to the east and it is south of the Charlotte Airport. This area is home to the Charlotte Outlets and Rivergate shopping centers and to many suburban neighborhoods.
  • North Charlotte - North of Uptown and to the west of University City, North Charlotte consists of numerous nice neighborhoods and shopping opportunities including the upscale NorthLake Mall. This area is bordered by Sunset Road to the west and University City to the east.
  • Cotswold - This area, named for Charlotte's first suburban mall, Cotswold Mall, has been emerging as one of the more desirable areas for living and shopping with close proximity to Uptown. Many 1950s and 1960s homes are being remodeled and sold in this district neighbored by Myers Park and Plaza-Midwood.
  • South Charlotte - Area bordered by Ballantyne and the towns of Matthews and Pineville to the south, it is home to notable ethnic restaurants and neighborhoods including Starmount and Ashley Park as well as the nationally-known golf course of Quail Hollow that hosts PGA golf tournaments.

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Sights and Activities

Museums

There are numerous museums and historic sites scattered throughout the city, especially in and near Uptown. A "museum district" has arisen on Tryon Street on the south side of Uptown. The highlights of this district are the Mint Museum of Art and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, both housed in stunning buildings and holding impressive collections of modern and contemporary art. Nearby, adjacent to the convention center, is the new NASCAR Hall of Fame, a slick museum with plenty of interactive exhibits and race cars on view. The north side of Uptown is home to two of the city's best museums, Discovery Place, an acclaimed children's and science museum, and the Levine Museum of the New South, which has a fantastic collection of historical artifacts and displays illustrating the history of the South since the Civil War.

Other museums in the Charlotte area include the James K Polk Historic Site in Pineville south of Charlotte, the Carolinas Aviation Museum, and The Charlotte Museum of History in East Charlotte.

Sports

Professional sports are one of Charlotte's most popular forms of entertainment. Though its roots are primarily in stock car racing, the city offers something for fans of nearly every kind of sport. In particular, its success in the NFL and NBA have given it widespread exposure as a growing sports hub.

NASCAR events take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is outside of Charlotte in Concord, North Carolina. Charlotte is the de facto hub of stock car racing in the U.S., with several NASCAR teams based in the city. 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup races take place each season, including the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Additionally, Charlotte is the home for the NASCAR Hall of Fame and headquarters, which is near the Convention Center in Uptown. Each year Charlotte hosts "Speed Street", a large festival featuring various racing-themed attractions and a long list of musical guests.

The Carolina Panthers is the city's American Football franchise. Games are played at Bank of America Stadium. The city has had a somewhat turbulent National Basketball Association history. The Hornets were founded in 1988, and enjoyed great popularity for over a decade until the owner and the city had a huge falling-out, which ended in a nasty divorce and the team leaving for New Orleans in 2002. Two years later, the city was awarded a new NBA franchise, the Bobcats. After the New Orleans team renamed itself the Pelicans in 2013, the Bobcats reclaimed the Hornets name in 2014, and also got ownership of the history of the 1988–2002 Hornets. These events take place in Uptown.

Minor league sports include the Charlotte Knights (AAA baseball) who play in BB&T Ballpark, one exit past Carowinds. The Charlotte Checkers ice hockey team play in Uptown and is cheap fun (Charlotte was the first city south of Baltimore to host professional hockey and has had a team for most of the last 50 years). The Carolina Speed is the fourth professional indoor football team to be based in Charlotte, with games taking place in East Charlotte. The city also hosts the Charlotte Hounds, a major league lacrosse team. The Charlotte Independence soccer team play near uptown. Charlotte Rugby Football Club, which play northwest of Uptown, and Charlotte Roller Girls, with games in Elizabeth complete a vast list of professional, minor league and club sports to enjoy in the city.

The immediate Charlotte area also has two NCAA Division I sports programs, one in the city and one in the outlying county. The Charlotte 49ers, representing the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, compete in nine men's sports and eight women's sports as members of Conference USA. Davidson College, in the nearby town of the same name, hosts the Davidson Wildcats, which compete in 11 men's sports and 10 women's sports, mostly in the Atlantic 10 Conference (though the football team plays in the second-level FCS in the Pioneer Football League).

Other Sights and Activities

  • SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium - New 26,000-square-foot indoor aquarium at Concord Mills, featuring over 5,000 creatures, 20 interactive exhibits and educational talks, and feedings. Address: 8111 Concord Mills Blvd, Concord, Phone: 1-866-229-1573

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max9.4 °C11.7 °C16.8 °C21.8 °C25.7 °C29.9 °C31.6 °C30.9 °C27.7 °C22.2 °C17 °C11.3 °C
Avg Min-1.3 °C-0.1 °C4.1 °C8.6 °C13.6 °C18.7 °C20.9 °C20.5 °C17.2 °C10.3 °C5.3 °C0.4 °C
Rainfall94.2 mm97.5 mm112.5 mm68.1 mm97 mm86.1 mm99.6 mm94.7 mm88.9 mm85.3 mm82 mm88.4 mm
Rain Days8.78.19.16.78.989.17.65.95.66.98

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Getting There

By Plane

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT) is one of the busiest airports in the USA and in the top 25 worldwide. It has numerous domestic connections and quite a few international flights as well. The airport is the second-largest hub for Oneworld member American Airlines. American Airlines serves over 120 domestic destinations from Charlotte/Douglas and over 35 international destinations, including Rome, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Madrid, and Mexico City, among many others. The airport also receives domestic flights from Delta, United, JetBlue, Southwest, Frontier, and ViaAir. Lufthansa, aligned with Star Alliance, is the only foreign transoceanic carrier, with service to Munich. Air Canada has service to Toronto. Though the airport has diversified somewhat in the past few years, American Airlines domestic flights are still its primary source of traffic. Due to this dominance by a single carrier, finding fare bargains can be a challenge.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)'s Sprinter Enhanced Bus Service connects the airport to the downtown Charlotte Transportation Center and it arrives and departs in front of Zone D Baggage Claim in the commercial lanes. The service operates from the airport every 20 minutes Monday-Friday from 5:50am to 7:00pm. After 7:00pm, service is offered every 30 minutes until 12:02am. On Saturday and Sunday, Sprinter operates from the airport every hour from 6:00am to 8:00am, every half hour from 8:00am to 9:00pm, and every hour from 9:00pm to 1:00am. It takes about 20 minutes and the one-way fare is $1.75.
  • Taxis, hotel shuttles and rental cars are all available at the airport as well.

By Train

Charlotte is served by two Amtrak trains. These include:

  • The Carolinian/Piedmont between Charlotte and New York, also stopping in Washington DC and Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
  • The Crescent between New York and New Orleans, stopping in Charlotte.

By Car

The interstate highways through Charlotte are Interstates 85 (northeast-southwest) and 77 (north-south). I-85 takes you to Burlington and Greensboro. N.C. 74 is also a primary route into the city, and links with I-277.

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Getting Around

By Car

Uptown is laid out in a grid, with numbered streets running east-west with few exceptions. Streets running north-south have proper names. Charlotte's outer suburbs are often difficult to navigate. Most roads are built according to the natural lay of the land; once you leave the I-277 loop, you are likely to find it increasingly difficult to predict the direction (and often, the name) of the road you are traveling on. Therefore, it is a good idea to make certain your directions are specific and trustworthy before venturing into an unknown area. Otherwise, you will likely find yourself relying on the (usually) friendly natives for directions back to your starting point.

I-485 is Charlotte's major outer loop.

Similarly, I-277 is very useful when moving quickly around the center city. However, one side of the "loop" is actually I-77, which interchanges with I-277 in two places. It is easy to misread the signs and end up moving farther along I-77 rather than circling back onto I-277. When using the loop, be sure to follow signs for "Downtown" in order to stay on the correct path.

Secondary roads in Charlotte are notoriously difficult to navigate. In particular, visitors and residents alike are often befuddled by frequent name changes in the roads. To make matters worse, many roads in the city share similar names. Also, very few of the city's roads are based on a grid or similarly organized system; most of the roads outside the city core are winding avenues that follow the natural features of the land.

The city can be a delight to explore by car, but visitors are strongly advised to pick up a free map or purchase a road map upon arrival. A GPS unit with the most current updates can, of course, make travel in and around Charlotte immensely more enjoyable.

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

LYNX Blue Line is a light rail service that travels in a roughly north-south direction on 18.9 miles of track to 26 stations across Charlotte. The northern terminus is on the campus of the UNC Charlotte. The line travels to Uptown with stops at the Charlotte Transportation Center, Arena, and Convention Center. The line continues to the southern terminus adjacent to the intersection of South Blvd and I-485. Frequency varies from 7–15 minutes on weekdays to 20–30 minutes on weekends. Fares are $2.20 for a one-way ticket (discounts for seniors and youth) and $6.60 for a day pass. Service transfers to local buses are free and must be used within 90 minutes. Additional fares may be applied when transferring to a higher fare service.

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) operates transit service throughout the Charlotte area. Most bus routes start at the teal-roofed Transportation Center in Uptown (across the street from the Time Warner Cable Arena) and go toward the suburbs like spokes on a wheel (roughly). Though they are generally clean and safe, they are usually not the most efficient way to get around the city. Bus fare is $2.20 one-way, $6.60 for a day pass. Allow 45 minutes for a one-leg trip, 2 hours for a two-leg trip. Bus transfers can be used on the LYNX light rail and are valid for an hour and 45 minutes after issue. Colorfully-painted buses in the suburbs connect neighborhoods to primary routes.

CityLYNX Gold Line is a streetcar system that operates on Trade and Elizabeth Streets between the districts of Uptown and Elizabeth. There are 6 stops beginning at the central bus and train depot known as Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) and ending near Hawthorne and Elizabeth Streets, near Presbyterian Hospital. Streetcars generally run every 15-20 minutes depending on the time of day. Service is available 7 days per week although hours may be limited depending on the day. There is no charge to ride the CityLynx, therefore no ticket or transfers are needed. Future phases of expansion will add more stops and eventually require a fare payment for its use.

By Foot

Uptown is very dense, and almost all attractions in that part of town are easily reached by walking. However, only a few other districts (such as NoDa and Dilworth) are truly pedestrian-friendly. Outer districts, such as Ballantyne and University City, are pedestrian-unfriendly areas. If you must walk, give some thought to the weather; summer days in the South are quite hot and it is easy to get dehydrated.

By Bike

Some parts of Charlotte are very friendly to cyclists, especially the south-central area around Myers Park and Dilworth, but be aware that most of the city is not friendly toward bikers. The city of Charlotte website provides an interactive map of the suggested street routes and greenways. It is a good idea to research in advance to identify streets with designated bike lanes on the right-hand side of the road. Bicycles are subject to the same traffic laws as cars. Helmets are recommended but not required for adults.

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Eat

For the most part, Charlotte's culinary tastes are in line with the rest of the American South. Standards such as grits, sweet potatoes (yams), and greens are common in kitchens and restaurants. Southern food is typically high in fats and carbohydrates, so dieters should be careful to stick to higher-end restaurants that serve a more cosmopolitan fare. Otherwise, dig in and enjoy the richness of the Southern diet.

Many of Charlotte's older restaurants are owned by Greek families. Often, you will unexpectedly find Greek items on the menus of restaurants that otherwise serve American fare.

North Carolinians have long been fiercely competitive about their barbecue, and Charlotte's eateries reflect that heritage. Outsiders beware: Carolinas "barbeque" is chopped and sauced pork. The sauce will depend on which region it comes from (east or west), and it all works well as a sandwich (though you usually get to choose between sandwich or plate). Barbecue sandwiches are invariably served with slaw (either a vinegar-based red slaw, or a mayonnaise-based white slaw) on the meat, though it will be left out or on the side if you request. This is a local custom and one of the many things that makes Charlotte and more generally NC interesting.

"Carolinas style" hamburgers and hot dogs are typically served with mustard, chili, and cole slaw, though some restaurants will vary their toppings slightly to create a "signature".

Krispy Kreme Donuts is headquartered in nearby Winston-Salem, and their products are widely available. Also, Lance Snacks is based in Charlotte.

The dominant local grocery chains are Harris Teeter and Food Lion. While both began in North Carolina, and still have their headquarters in the state, they are now divisions of larger companies. Harris Teeter is a division of Cincinnati-based Kroger, and Food Lion is a division of the Dutch company Ahold Delhaize. Harris Teeter is relatively expensive but more upscale. Food Lion is a middle-class favorite, and usually has an extensive ethnic section. Other groceries include Bi-lo, Aldi, Lowes Foods, and Bloom (a high-tech spin off of Food Lion). The city is also dotted with dozens of ethnic groceries, especially Hispanic, Indian and Vietnamese. Check out Compare Foods stores dotted around the city.

The specialty grocery store scene is also growing, as Charlotte has three Trader Joe's stores, two Earth Fare stores and two Fresh Markets. These stores specialize in natural and organic foods. For something a little bit more local, try the Home Economist or the quaint Berrybrook Farms.

One spot particularly popular with locals is Amelie's French Bakery on North Davidson Street in NoDa. Amelie's is open 24/7 and has a wide selection of French pastries and baked goods, coffees and teas. There is also a satellite location Uptown.

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Drink

Liquor is available by the drink in the city of Charlotte. However, some smaller towns in the region prohibit liquor sales. If you plan to explore nearby counties, there is a chance you may encounter a "dry" area. Open containers of alcohol are never permitted on the street; if you order a beverage you must finish it before leaving the restaurant or bar. If you want to buy liquor by the bottle, you must do it at state-run ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) stores, rather than at traditional liquor stores. Beer and wine are available for purchase at most markets, grocery stores and gas stations.

Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored soft drink, is a local favorite. Sundrop, available in a unique citrus blend and cherry-lemon, is based out of Gastonia and is a favorite among locals. R.C. Cola is also a "traditional" Southern soft drink.

If you are not from the American South, you may be surprised to see sweet iced tea is the predominant non-carbonated drink (and is arguably sweeter).

The city's nightlife is centered in Uptown, which is host to a wide variety of nightclubs. The largest concentration of clubs in the city is around College St. near its intersection with 5th St.; however, a quick check of local listings reveals plenty of alternatives for those who are seeking a more reserved atmosphere. See district listings for more details. There is also a large cluster of bars on Montford Dr. in Myers Park. These bars often run cooperative "bar crawl" events with one another.

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Sleep

If you are not driving or renting a car during your visit, it is highly advisable to try to find lodging near the center city (these can be found in the district articles). Otherwise you will be stuck paying cab and bus fares, and you will find it quite difficult to move around as freely as you'd like. Most of the city's large hotels are either uptown, near the airport, or in the University area. There are also some luxury hotels appearing in Ballantyne, and there are the typical options off the highways and interstate exits.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Work

Charlotte is a city that thrives on big business (specifically banking and is thus the second leading banking center in the country). Its most visible employers are Wells Fargo/Wachovia (the city's largest employer), Bank of America, Duke Energy, Nucor, Sonic Automotive, Continental Tire NA, SPX, Lowe's and Family Dollar. Though the Uptown area has the largest concentration of business offices, the entire metro area has sprouted office and industrial parks. In particular, the gleaming mid rises of SouthPark and Ballantyne are worth noting if you're in those areas. There are several Fortune 500 companies and is regularly listed as one of the U.S.'s fastest-growing business areas, as well as one of the best places to do business in the nation.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 35.227087
  • Longitude: -80.843127

Accommodation in Charlotte

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This is version 21. Last edited at 9:48 on Jun 12, 19 by Utrecht. 88 articles link to this page.

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