Charlotte City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2007

Charlotte is both the largest city in North Carolina and the 20th largest city in the United States. Lovingly known among its residents as “The Queen City”, Charlotte has an estimated population of almost 700,000 people.

In the past ten years, Charlotte has really come into its own as a major urban center, with numerous skyscrapers now forming the city’s majestic skyline. Having had a long and proud historical tradition–the city is actually where the Mecklenburg Declaration, which proclaimed independence from Britain a full year before the more famous Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia was signed– Charlotte is now poised to take its place among the most important cities in the country.

Residential Places in Charlotte

Charlotte has grown considerably since it was founded more than 250 years ago by Scots Irish immigrants, who found the crossroads of two ancient Indian trading paths an ideal place to settle in and raise their families. The towns of Matthews, Pineville, Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson in the surrounding Mecklenburg County, have also flourished as well.

Today, your options for residential properties in town are numerous and varied, with the Lake Norman and Lake Wylie areas offering superb resort style communities with easy access to uptown Charlotte. If you want to be even closer to the center of the city, you may want to look for a house in the historic Dilworth and Myers Park districts. For a more laid back pace and a rural setting away from the busyness of the urban center, you can do far worse than to find homes in the outlying counties such as Cabarrus, Union, Iredell and York.

One of the best things about living right in the city center is that you do not really need to drive around to get anywhere. All the major entertainment and leisure centers are within walking distance of each other, as are the restaurants, markets and shopping malls. You will have to give up some space, as you will find that you don’t really get very much for your money. Many of the residents don’t seem to mind this however, as the short trips to and from work make it a worthwhile trade off.

Hospitals and Universities of Charlotte

Charlotte is home to a great many fine hospitals and specialized medical care establishments. Even so, the continued growth and expansion of the city–as well as the influx of new residents–has necessitated the need to build even more hospitals. This will ensure that the city is well equipped to handle a broad range of medical and emergency needs for the foreseeable future.
Some of the best hospitals in Charlotte are: the Presbyterian-orthopaedic Hospital on Randolph Road, Presbyterian Hospital on North Tryon Street, Carolinas Medical Center on Blythe Boulevard, Mercy Hospital on Vail Avenue, and Gaston Memorial Hospital on CT Drive.

Charlotte also boasts of many fine colleges and universities, and the city attracts scores of students every year because of their excellence in education. Among the most respected universities in the city are: Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University of Charlotte, Devry University-North Carolina, Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens, University of Charlotte, and Planet Beach-University.

Commercial Places in Charlotte

As far as your choices for places to dine in Charlotte goes, you are only really limited by your imagination and willingness to stray off the beaten path. Sure there are many places that offer familiar favorites, but you would really be missing out if you did not at least try out one of the more exotic restaurants in the city. Greek Isles Restaurant is just one of these, and as you may have guessed from the name, they offer the finest authentic Greek cuisine in the city. Greek Isles takes pride in recipes that have been handed down through many generations, and which are painstakingly prepared on the premises.

Eddie’s Place Restaurant has long been a fixture in the Charlotte culinary scene, and for good reason. There are two branches–one at Cotswold and the other at Ballantyne–and both offer everything from hearty breakfasts to New Orleans style fare steeped in the Creole tradition.

Service Establishments of Charlotte

Duke Energy primarily handles electricity supply services in Charlotte, although there are several other companies you can choose from. Among these are: Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp., EnergyUnited, Lynches River Electric Cooperative, Monroe City Gas and Electric, Rock Hill utilities department, Rutherford Electric Membership Corp., Union Power Cooperative, and York Electric Co-Operative Inc.

You can contact Duke Energy at 1-800-777-9898, or you can visit their Web site at www.duke-energy.com to see a list of their full range of services.

Piedmont Natural Gas, whom you can reach at 704-525-3882, provides gas supply services. Their Web site is www.piedmontng.com.

For telephone connection service in Charlotte, you have a few options, two of them being: BellSouth, which you can call at 888-757-6500, and Time Warner Digital Phone, at 704-377-9600. You can also call Time Warner at the same number for cable TV services. Some other telephone service providers in the city are CT Communications, Pineville Telephone, and Windstream.

For waste collection services, you can either contact Allied Waste Services, through their Web site at www.alliedwaste.com, or the Charlotte Department of Sanitation, whose Web site is www.charmeck.org/Departments/Solid+Waste. You can also simply dial 311.

Finally, for water supply services you can contact the City of Charlotte water department at www.charmeck.org/Departments/Utilities.

Embassies in Charlotte

If you are a British national in need of consular assistance while in Charlotte, you are in luck, for the British Honorary Consul has an office right in the city. You can reach them at 330 South Tryon Street, Suite 400,Charlotte NC 28202, or you can call them at (1) (704) 383 4359. You can also fax them at (1) (704) 383 6545, or email them at [email protected]

Alternately, you may also contact the British Embassy in Washington D.C. at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008. Their telephone numbers are (1)(202) 588 6500 for the embassy, (1)(202) 588 7800 for consular assistance, and (1)(202) 588 7830 for the British Council.

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