iStock/Sean Pavone

liv score
696
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 52
Demographics 71
Economy 56
Education 63
Health 47
Housing 57
Infrastructure 46

#13. Charlotte, NC

Charlotte is known as the Queen City and is a crown jewel of the South, in large part due to its history, diversity and culture. Business is booming here as six Fortune 500 companies call Charlotte home, including Bank of America and Lowe’s. The city is also a major travel hub and is home to Charlotte Douglas International, the world’s sixth-busiest international airport. The opportunities to explore the great outdoors are endless here as the city boasts more than 60 parks, 20 golf courses and seven farmers’ markets.

Top Industries and Employers: Manufacturing, banking and technology 

Best Coffee Shop: Parliament Coffee

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Armored Cow Brewing is a veteran-owned brewery specializing in gluten-free brews. 

Must-Have Meal: North Carolina is the leading consumer of pimento cheese in the country. Also known as Carolina Caviar or the “paté of the South,” Bang Bang Burgers serves up a pimento cheese burger that is just as decadent as it sounds. 

Best Co-Working Space: Hygge is a one-stop shop for all of your co-working needs. Whether you need an office, a meeting space or a podcast studio, Hygge has it covered. Additionally, the space offers a low-cost additional monthly membership for a variety of fitness and wellness classes. 

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Located in the heart of Charlotte’s City Center, the 7th Street Public Market is a feast for the senses. The market serves as a nonprofit incubator for small businesses and houses a variety of local eateries, watering holes and artisan goods. 

Creative Hub: From the sculptures at Independence Square to the iconic Firebird sculpture outside of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art to more than 70 murals and public art spaces, the public arts scene in Charlotte is unparalleled. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Escape the city center and hit the waves of Lake Norman, the largest man-made body of freshwater in North Carolina. 

Free Way to Have Fun: The Queen City is nestled between the mountains and the beach and is home to more than 40 community and regional parks. We recommend taking time to explore Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve, which features more than 10 miles of paths and trails as well as more than 700 acres protecting flora and fauna. 

Local Dream Job: Lead groups as a rafting instructor along class II-IV rapids at the US National Whitewater Center, which is the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. 

Read More: 
Millennial Migration: Why Charlotte is Attracting Big Waves of Young People
5 Awesome North Carolina Beer Cities (That Aren’t Asheville)
Don’t Want to Give Up Big City Life? Check Out Charlotte!

– Cara Sanders

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