Charlotte, named after King George III's queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, has a beautiful, metropolis skyline balanced by its tight-knit communities. Many newcomers moving to Charlotte often end up calling the city home thanks to the welcoming and friendly people. 

Charlotte is known as North Carolina's most diverse city, contributing to its growing popularity among those looking for a gentle cost of living, good schools, and affordable homes.

Cost of living in Charlotte  

At two percent below the national average, the cost of living in Charlotte is one of the city's main drawcards. Although this may change as the city's population grows, renting accommodation in Charlotte is much more affordable than in other major US cities, such as New York City. Buying a home will also be possible for new arrivals, as housing prices remain relatively reasonable.  

Utility and grocery prices are also below the national average in Charlotte. Transport expenses in Charlotte are 7 percent lower than the national average. New arrivals should consider the cost of buying and maintaining a vehicle, as public transport in the city is not comprehensive. Still, with thoughtful planning, you can easily navigate the city and enjoy all it offers.

Healthcare is likely to be one of the most significant expenses facing newcomers in Charlotte, at 13 percent above the national average. New arrivals to Charlotte are encouraged to secure comprehensive private health insurance to avoid incurring unexpected expenses.  

Getting around in Charlotte 

Charlotte boasts multiple public transport options, making getting around the Queen City's central areas a breeze. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) agency oversees public transport in the city and offers light rail and bus services.  

Since its inception in 2007, the LYNX Blue Line light rail has expanded to almost 19 miles (30 km), featuring 26 stations and 11 park-and-ride commuter facilities. The City of Charlotte also has plans to add more lines to connect Charlotte's suburbs to the city centre.  

With 65 routes, buses are the most common way to get around Charlotte. Buses reach the areas and suburbs not served by the light rail. To ensure accessibility, CATS offers a paratransit door-to-door service for people living with disabilities.  

Cycling is also hugely popular in Charlotte, with four bicycle-sharing schemes operating in the city. Charlotte Joy Rides allows riders to rent an electric bicycle for a day, month, or year to get around the city centre.  

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Healthcare in Charlotte 

The healthcare in Charlotte is fantastic, with two major hospital systems operating dozens of hospitals around the city. Atrium Health and Novant Health offer Charlotte's residents excellent facilities and highly trained healthcare practitioners pioneering innovative treatments.  

Charlotte is also home to one of the biggest hospitals in North Carolina. Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Centre is a teaching hospital offering care in various specialist areas, including cancer, cardiac, and robotic surgery.

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Schools in Charlotte 

Families moving to Charlotte will enjoy many beautiful green spaces and good schools, making the city a wonderful place to raise children. Charlotte has a top-notch education system with ten school districts, nine colleges, and a university; the possibilities are endless.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is the largest among these districts, with 184 schools and more than 140,000 students. Parents looking to give their children a high-quality education will be delighted that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools offers 38 AP courses.  

Although technically not part of Charlotte, Fort Mill School District is considered among the best, and many parents in Charlotte send their children to schools in the district. Other esteemed school districts in Charlotte include Union County Public Schools and Cabarrus County Schools. 

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Weather in Charlotte 

Charlotte has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The annual average temperature in the city is a cool 62°F (17°C), while winters are generally mild, with only a few freezing days.  

Summers in Charlotte are hot, with July and August reaching highs of 86°F (30°C). New arrivals are encouraged to pack breathable clothing and plenty of sunscreen.  

Spring and autumn are the best seasons in Charlotte, as temperatures remain mild, and the leaves transform the city into a beautiful wonderland.  

Working in Charlotte 

The Queen City ranked in the top 10 of the Wall Street Journal's strongest labour markets in the US, making working in Charlotte an attractive prospect. As the US's second-largest banking centre, Charlotte offers new arrivals with finance and banking expertise plenty of employment opportunities.  

The city's healthcare, social assistance, and education industries are also key employers. The administrative, sales, and services sectors are also vital in Charlotte.   

Accommodation in Charlotte 

Charlotte is a delightful, family-friendly city with over 200 fantastic neighbourhoods. Parents moving with their children must carefully consider the proximity of their chosen neighbourhood to the city's top school districts, as catchment zones are vital in determining admissions. Charlotte's communities are also incredibly diverse, allowing new arrivals to experience many cultures.  

Young professionals and students will love the trendy Uptown Charlotte area for its convenience, proximity to work and college, and walkability. Most of the housing in Uptown Charlotte is high-rise apartments, but it's also possible to find beautiful Victorian homes.  

Plaza Midwood is the suburb to consider for young professionals looking for a more suburban feel with more affordable rental prices. This area blends historic homes and modern amenities, including wellness venues, vibrant eateries, and breweries. Cherry and Ashbrook-Clawson Village are other quiet yet trendy neighbourhoods for newcomers to explore. 

Families will also have plenty of options, with neighbourhoods such as Myers Park, Beverly Woods, SouthPark, and Providence Plantation topping the list. Myers Park is a historic neighbourhood with streets lined with trees and some of Charlotte's most expensive homes, all located just 10 minutes from the city centre. Schools in the neighbourhood are excellent, but newcomers will need a car, as public transport here is limited.  

Most families move to Beverly Woods for its top-notch schools, recognised as some of the best in the state. SouthPark is an upscale neighbourhood with beautiful stately mansions. SouthPark Mall is likely to be one of the neighbourhood's most prominent attractions thanks to the presence of designer retailers. At the same time, Symphony Park in SouthPark allows residents to enjoy the great outdoors.  

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Lifestyle in Charlotte 

Whether new arrivals are big gourmands, sports fans, or arts and culture lovers, Charlotte has something for everybody. Thanks to the city's central location, it's also reasonably easy to be at the beach or the mountains in under three hours.  

With seven professional sports teams calling Charlotte home, sports lovers can enjoy games year-round. Newcomers can catch the Carolina Panthers Football team at the Bank of America Stadium, while basketball fans can visit the Spectrum Centre to watch the Charlotte Hornets. Baseball, hockey, golf, and soccer fans are also catered for, while petrolheads will relish watching NASCAR races at the Charlotte Speedway Motor.  

Gourmands and beer connoisseurs will enjoy Charlotte's budding food scene. The city has a diverse food scene that represents its unique population makeup, with everything from North Carolina barbecue and Asian food to microbrews on offer. There are also plenty of food and wine festivals throughout the year.  

Breweries are a quintessential part of Charlotte's culture, with more than 40 scattered across the city. Craft beer lovers can also spend their weekends on brewery tours and tastings. As a college city, the nightlife in Charlotte is electric and fun, with many bars and clubs available to suit all budgets.  

The city's world-class venues often host Broadway and local theatre performances. Visual art enthusiasts can marvel at the art pieces at one of Charlotte's many art galleries or on one of the city's public art tours. Classical musical lovers can enjoy phenomenal performances at the Charlotte Symphony, while the Charlotte Ballet also stages several performances annually.

It's easy to stay fit in Charlotte, as the city boasts 14 parks and hiking trails nearby, including Ramsey Creek Park and Crowders Mountain State Park.   

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