Getting to Know Charlotte

Location and Climate
Charlotte is only a two-hour plane ride from 60 percent of the U.S. population. The highest mountains in eastern North America are a short 2-hour drive away, while some of the best Atlantic coast beaches can be reached by car in only three to 3.5 hours. For more information and Charlotte’s location in the state of North Carolina download the strategic location fact sheet from the Charlotte Chamber.

The area’s climate can best be described as moderate, pleasant and sunny. It offers the best of all worlds in weather with four distinct seasons:

Favorable Summers: Summer days are filled with bright sun and clear skies, dappled with pure white clouds. Unlike cities to the south though, very hot weather conditions (90°F, 32°F) occur only 40 days in Charlotte. On the average, temperatures reach 100°F (38°C) only twice a year. The average summer temperature is 76°F (24°C) with an average daily range of 20 degrees.

Balanced Springs and Autumns: The transformations of the seasons in Charlotte are the most breathtaking times of the year. The slow emergence of spring, from mid-March through May, and autumn from late-September through early December creates a visual extravaganza. In spring the city is painted with pinks, reds, yellows, purples and soft whites of spring blooms. Reds, oranges, yellows, browns and green compliment the clear blue skies in the fall into November.

Mild Winters: Only half of the winter days fall below freezing. Snow is infrequent, with an average annual accumulation of less than six inches.

Airport and Public Transportation
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport offers nonstop daily service to 171 different cities, including international service to Dublin, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, London, Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and numerous Caribbean destinations.

Bus The bus system connects Uptown Charlotte to the surrounding area by 74 routes, which include eight regional express routes and 10 neighborhood circulators. For bus routes and schedules click here.

Light Rail LYNX Blue Line is a 9.6-mile line that runs from the city center to the southern part of Mecklenburg County. Running every 10 minutes in peak periods at 15 stations. For more information about LYNX click here.

Gold Rush CATS’s Gold Rush shuttles are free to everyone and a great way to get around Uptown Charlotte. These two routes run in 12-minute intervals and connect the far-reaches of Charlotte’s city center. View the Gold Rush Map.

Charlotte Economy
Charlotte has 264 Fortune 500 operations such as Bank of America, Duke Energy, SPX, Sonic Automotive and Nucor. As well as over 1,200 companies that regionally employ 100 or more, and six Fortune 500 headquarters. Charlotte also offers a highly developed and sophisticated international business environment. There are currently more than 950 foreign-owned companies in the metro area, and their presence spawns a large number of international business and cultural organizations. Download the Charlotte Chamber International City Fact sheet for more information. Charlotte is firmly established as one of the country’s most recognized and respected regional health care centers. Its cutting edge facilities offer top-notch care.  

Living in Charlotte
With a population of more than 1.8 million, metropolitan Charlotte offers all of the advantages and amenities of a major urban area. Charlotte’s composite cost of living is lower than all but seven other major metro U.S. cities. Housing costs are low, primarily because Charlotte’s construction costs are 77 percent of the national average. Charlotte has the 12th lowest residential property tax. Utility costs in Charlotte are reliable and reasonable, ranking 17th lowest of the top 40 metro markets in this country.

For more basic information about living in Charlotte download the Charlotte Chamber’s Newcomer Guide.

Neighborhoods In Charlotte
Charlotte is regularly included among the best U.S. cities to live. Charlotte has something for everyone. Whether close to the city or nestled in the suburbs, from historic homes to modern apartments and condominiums, newcomers can find the perfect place to call home. Click the links below for more information about neighborhoods in Charlotte:

Myers Park
South End
South Park

Enjoying Charlotte
Charlotte spectators can cheer the home team in just about any sport and enjoy the city’s many beautiful parks, specialized facilities, annual festivals and other community events.

NFL-The Carolina Panthers
NASCAR-Stock Car Racing
NBA-The Charlotte Hornets
Baseball-The Charlotte Knights
Lacrosse-The Charlotte Hounds
Hockey-The Charlotte Checkers
Golf-The Wells Fargo Championship
Soccer-Charlotte Eagles

Recreation & Amusement
US National Whitewater Center
Carowinds Amusement Park
Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation

Preforming Arts and Museums
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Charlotte Museum of History
Charlotte Symphony
Harvey B. Gnatt Center
Levine Museum of the New South
McColl Center for Visual Arts
The Mint Museum
Knight Theater
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Ovens Auditorium

For more preforming art centers, museums and other cultural events in Charlotte visit 

Shopping in Charlotte
Shopping in Charlotte is the perfect pastime. The luxury department stores, alfresco spaces, shopping malls, specialty stores and bargain outlets located throughout the city ensure you find whatever’s on your list. Check out some of Charlotte’s go-to shopping spots, where you’ll find designer clothing, stylish accessories, home décor and more.

Southpark Mall– Charlotte’s oldest shopping mall is also one of the region’s largest. Anchored by Nordstrom, Belk, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, stores range from high-end luxury like Kate Spade and Tiffany to J.Crew and Chico’s.

Phillips Place– This European-style outdoor mall offers high-end boutique apparel and exquisite home furnishings. It a prime place for people-watching.

Concord Mills– The mix of traditional retailers and outlet stores is nearly 1.4 million square feet.

Shoppes at University– More than 75 clothing, electronic and home retailers that set up shop here.

Hickory Furniture Mart– Houses 100 galleries, stores and outlets and features 1,000 premier furniture lines in a mix of factory outlets, custom showrooms and private galleries on four levels.

Metropolitan– This newly developed mixed-use area near Uptown offers condos, dining, chic boutiques and salons along with major retailers such as West Elm, Best Buy, Marshalls and Target.

StoneCrest at Piper Glen– A variety of appealing retail, dining and movie options in one location.

Specialty Shops on the Park– Restaurants and exclusive retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, and Talbots anchor this open-air mall right across the street from Southpark Mall.

Blakeney– Specialty shops and retail chain stores fill this upscale shopping center with clothing shops for men and women, home goods, entertainment, sports and fine dining.

Ballantyne Village–Shopping and entertainment venue for dining, salon and spa treatments and to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster in the art house theater.

Northlake Mall – For those who value style and a big selection. The 150 retailers include Coldwater Creek, Coach, J.Crew, Banana Republic and Apple with a 14-screen movie theater and a variety of restaurants.

Additional Questions?
Please contact Diosa Adams, Enrollment Coordinator, at Northeastern University – Charlotte by email at or phone at 980-224-8468 ext. 101.