Best Place to Live

Best Place to Live

Charlotte has a real royal heritage. Founded in 1768, it was named after the wife of England's King George III. Its county, Mecklenburg, owes its moniker to Queen Charlotte's German home state. Although its long history is impressive, it's what the city offers today that makes it one of the top 20 places to live and work in America. Excellent job opportunities, a top-tier school system and various recreational and cultural activities are just some of the reasons that Charlotte's regal bearing continues to shine through. This region of North Carolina is one of the country's most important financial, distribution and manufacturing centers. Employment opportunities also abound in other industries, including services, retail, high-tech medicine, software development, and travel and tourism. For nearly 30 years, the city's rate of economic growth has been twice the national average, an increase fueled by the number of high-profile companies that have opened offices in the area.

Besides the outstanding employment outlook, residents also have the opportunity for a full and active lifestyle outside of work. The city consistently ranks as one of the top fund-raisers for art and cultural endeavors. The efforts of its residents have created and nurtured such local treasures as The North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, The Mint Museum of Art and Charlotte's award-winning science museum, Discovery Place. Another passion for the city is its sports, as it is home to various professional teams including the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Bobcats. The city is also the No. 1 travel and tourism destination in the state. Perhaps one of the biggest jewels in Charlotte's crown is its school system. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has gained national attention as one of the top urban school systems in the country. Its commitment starts even before kindergarten. Through the Bright Beginnings program, CMS offers literacy-rich curriculum to more than 2,000 4-year-olds who might otherwise start school a step behind. Although Charlotte is one of the most impressive cities in the nation, it still maintains its mid-size appeal. It is not too big, nor too small. In a lot of ways, it's just right. Charlotte combines big-city amenities with small-town charm. What more could someone want to make him feel at home?

Key Employers:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Bank of America, Lowes Home Improvement, Family Dollar Stores Inc National Headquarters, FoodLion National Heaquarters, Carolinas Healthcare System, Duke Energy Corp. National Headquarters, US Airways, North Carolina State Government, Presbyterian Healthcare/Novant Health, City of Charlotte, U.S. Government, Mecklenburg County, Solectron Technology Inc., U.S. Postal Service, Ruddick/Harris-Teeter, AT&T Telecommunications, Food Lion, Freightliner Corp., Springs Industries Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,  Gaston Health Care, Siecor Corp., Carolina Mills Inc., CommScope Inc., Continental/General Tire Inc., IBM Corp., Lance Inc., KoSa Ltd., Pharr Yarns Inc., Belk Stores Headquarters, Central Piedmont Community CollegeUniversity of North Carolina-Charlotte, Allstate Insurance Co., Bi-Lo Food Stores, The Charlotte Observer, ., Hoechst Celanese, McCopco Operations, Rea Construction Co., United Parcel Service,  Fairpoint Communications.Shaw Engineering.

Recreation:

More than 110 city and county parks, 18 public and 16 private golf courses, Paramount's Carowinds Entertainment Park, Blockbuster Pavilion Amphitheater, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Checkers, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Motor Speedway,  Nascar Hall of Fame, Aquatic Center, National Whitewater Center.

The Arts:

Discovery Place, Spirit Square, The Mint Museum of Art, The Mint Museum of Craft + Design, The Charlotte Symphony, Opera Carolina, North Carolina Dance Theatre, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, The Afro-American Cultural Center, The Nature Museum, Tryon Center for Visual Art, The Light Factory, Museum of the New South, The Charlotte Museum of History/Hezekiah Alexander Homesite, Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, Children's Theatre of Charlotte

Health Care:

There are six major hospitals located in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area as part of two healthcare systems - Carolinas HealthCare System and Presbyterian Healthcare. The region also hosts several specialty facilities and free-standing clinics and centers.

Education:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system operates 139 schools. There are also 60 private institutions. Higher education is represented by 11 facilities, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Wake Forest University.

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