As the biggest city in North Carolina, Charlotte has a lot going for it. The Queen City has experienced nearly 20 percent growth in the last decade, surpassing San Francisco as the 15th most populous city in the United States. Thanks to the friendly job market, reasonable cost of living, and proximity to both the mountains and the beach, Charlotte has become a destination for transplants from across the Northeast and West looking for a lower cost of living and a little Southern charm.
And despite its growth, Charlotte has certainly held onto its charm and character. If you're looking for the convenience of a big city with a small-town feel, CLT fits the bill.
Deciding on exactly where to live can be overwhelming, especially in a city like Charlotte with so many options. That's where we come in. This guide will walk you through all the best neighborhoods and suburbs of Charlotte so you can decide where to live.
Why live in central Charlotte: The neighborhoods near the city center are all about convenience and lifestyle. If you're looking for walkability and proximity to breweries, restaurants, sports, and cultural activities, being in Charlotte's central neighborhoods might be for you.
Median home value: $275k
Charlotte's city center is called "Uptown" instead of the typical downtown. This name was given to the central business district years ago because it's literally on top of a hill. Uptown is home to some of the world's most prominent financial institutions, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Truist, making it a convenient place to live for professionals who work in banking. Split into four "wards," each section of Uptown has its own vibe.
The majority of Uptown's housing is multi-family and high-rise luxury apartments and condos, making it less appealing for families. But the Fourth Ward features quiet streets lined with Victorian-style homes, all within walking distance to everything Uptown has to offer.
What to do in Uptown: catch a minor league Knights game at Truist Field, cheer for the Panthers, or enjoy brunch at Tupelo Honey. For a fun day with the family, the Discovery Place science museum provides STEM education for kids of all ages.
Median home value: $500k
Short for North Davidson, NoDa is Charlotte's art district. The former mill town is just a short drive or light rail ride from Uptown and has experienced significant residential growth in recent years. In addition to refurbished mill homes, new housing, including townhomes and multi-family units, have been built to meet demand in this desirable, hipster part of town. With a commitment to supporting the arts, NoDa offers a great mix of cultural experiences and entertainment, including local art galleries, music venues, jewelry shops, local breweries, and eateries.
Median home value: $420k
Just one mile northeast of Uptown, Plaza-Midwood’s location can't be beaten. This former streetcar suburb turned trendy urban neighborhood has all the conveniences of city living. Home to some of Charlotte's best restaurants and art galleries, as well as the historic Charlotte Country Club, Plaza Midwood is a destination for those looking to live in a cute residential neighborhood with a ton to do.
What to do in Plaza Midwood: spend an active day walking around Veterans Memorial Park followed by some yoga at Okra Yoga Studio. Balance all that activity with some delicious Carolina BBQ from Midwood Smokehouse.
Median home value: $1.4M
This historic neighborhood located just southeast of Uptown is home to some of Charlotte's finest real estate. Luxury homes situated on large, manicured lots on wide tree-lined streets give this neighborhood a peaceful feel. But in Eastover, you're never too far away from much. Surrounded by Myers Park and Elizabeth, there are plenty of restaurants and parks nearby.
What to do in Eastover: spend the afternoon at Charlotte's first art museum, the Mint Museum of Art, or take a free yoga class on the Mint lawn on Wednesday evenings.
Median home value: $485k
Founded in 1890, Dilworth is Charlotte's oldest and most historic streetcar suburb. Much of this walkable neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it one of the city's most desirable places to live. Dilworth's convenient location near South End and Uptown can't be beat, offering residents the convenience of city living without the hustle and bustle. East Boulevard runs through Dilworth's center down to Freedom Park and features some of Charlotte's finest restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques.
What to do in Dilworth: enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry from Sunflour Baking Company, then take a walk through wooded Latta Park. Don't miss the annual Yiasou Greek Festival held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral every September.
Median home value: $415k
While this neighborhood may be known for the large, upscale shopping center by the same name, it's much more than a retail destination. In SouthPark, you'll find some of Charlotte's most exclusive homes and luxury apartments. The SouthPark neighborhood includes many smaller communities, including Beverly Woods, Mountainbrook, Lansdowne, and Barclay Downs, many of which come complete with their own neighborhood swim and racket club.
Median home value: $460k
Home to Park Road Shopping Center, Charlotte's first open-air shopping mall, Montford really has it all. From Shake Shack to the coolest hardware store you'll ever visit, this hip neighborhood filled with great shopping and dining will keep you busy and full. With all it has to offer, it’s no surprise that this strip has become a hub for the development of new townhomes and luxury apartments.
What to do in Montford: spend a full day shopping, eating, or working out at Park Road Shopping Center. Don't miss locally owned Blackhawk Hardware for niche items you never knew you needed.
Median home value: $380k
This historic neighborhood adjacent to Uptown is known for being home to two of Charlotte's largest hospitals and Central Piedmont Community College. While small, this quaint residential neighborhood is somewhat walkable, and residents love the local restaurants, bakeries, and ice cream shops.
Median home value: $850k
Myers Park is where you'll find some of Charlotte's most luxury real estate. This historic part of town is known for its beautiful oak-lined streets, gardens, and large residences. Myers Park also claims Charlotte’s infamous "Booty Loop," a three-mile hilly loop on Queens Road frequented by cyclists and runners alike. If gorgeous architecture, including American Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and Tudor Revival, and luxury retail are your thing, Myers Park is the place to be.
What to do in Myers Park: shop Selwyn Ave's luxury boutiques before enjoying lunch at Reid's Fine Foods.
Median home value: $575k
This small residential neighborhood adjacent to South End offers the convenience of urban living with bars, restaurants, coffee shops all within walking distance. Charlotte's light rail is also a short walk away, making Wilmore a desirable option for young families who prefer to use public transit.
Median home value: $372k
Like Wilmore, Sedgefield offers young families a more urban vibe with proximity to the South End and the light rail. This neighborhood has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, with many original bungalows being rebuilt or renovated.
Why live in the suburbs: More for your money. The Charlotte suburbs boast more space at an affordable price. Each Charlotte suburb has unique perks and activities, from golfing to boating.
Median home value: $330k
Located in southeastern Mecklenburg County, about 15 miles from Charlotte, Matthews is known for its excellent schools and quiet suburban charm. The downtown main street has preserved its history as a rail town while integrating newer restaurants and cute coffee shops. As a growing suburb, Matthews also has larger shopping and medical centers to keep up with the booming population.
Median home value: $473k
Located about 15 miles south of Uptown, along the border of South Carolina, is Ballantyne. This suburb features beautiful homes, high-end retail, and one of the nicest public golf courses in the area. With some of the best schools in the Charlotte area, many families choose to call Ballantyne home.
What to do in Ballantyne: play a round of golf at the Ballantyne Hotel or enjoy a treatment at the world-class spa.
Median home value (Cornelious): $363k
Nestled on the banks of Lake Norman are the suburbs of Huntersville, Cornelious, and Davidson. Located due north of Charlotte, these three cities are home to great schools, parks, and families who enjoy spending time outdoors. Davidson is also home to the prestigious Davidson College, a private liberal arts college known for its excellent academics and Division I athletics. The majority of residents in the Lake Norman area reside there full time and enjoy the benefits of living close to the lake.
What to do in Lake Norman: spend a day out on the lake fishing or tubing, watch Davidson's Wildcats play, or enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee on the patio at Summit Coffee in downtown Davidson.
Median home value: $317k
Like many other Charlotte neighborhoods, Pineville also holds onto a bit of history as the 11th U.S. President James K. Polk's birthplace. Located directly off I-485 and just 14 miles from Charlotte, Pineville's convenient location makes it a desirable and affordable area. Great shopping and entertainment, including Carowinds amusement park and Carolina Place Mall, also make Pineville a destination from across the city.
What to do in Pineville: ride the roller coasters at Carowinds, a 407-acre amusement park. Located on the border of South Carolina, you'll even cross state lines while in the park.
Median home value: $333k
Union County is home to several small towns and suburban communities southeast of Charlotte, including Waxhaw, Indian Trail, Marvin, Weddington, and Wesley Chapel. With a more rural feel than neighboring Matthews, Union County is an excellent option for families looking for more land and highly rated public schools. Most homes here are zoned to the Union County School District, one of the top 3 school districts in the state.
Most homes in the county are single-family on large lots, and you'll find a ton of new construction options.
Median home value: $230k
Just 15 miles west of Charlotte in Gaston County is Belmont, a former textile mill town on the Catawba River. Belmont has a little something for everyone with a charming main street, booming food scene, and riverside parks. As this town grows in popularity, housing options are also increasing, with newer single-family neighborhoods near the river and converted mill lofts and apartments closer to town.
Orchard’s Charlotte team is deeply familiar with the area. Here’s what they love about living in the Queen City:
“The best thing about Charlotte is that the Mountains are 2 hours away and the beach is 3 hours away! So no matter the season, you have something great to do. The food scene in Charlotte is also spectacular, especially Carolina pulled pork, but just the southern culture and hospitality is great! Having football, basketball, hockey, baseball and soon to be soccer, there's something for every sports fan almost every week of the year. Charlotte has got it all!" - Joseph A., Home Advisor
"The options for restaurants are limitless. I would highly recommend trying Beef n’ Bottle, one of the best kept secrets - a steakhouse established in 1958.” - Ashley W., Market Manager
"I love the U.S. National Whitewater Center! It’s a cool place near me where you can hike, kayak, and go whitewater rafting!" - Shana Y., Buying Specialist
If you’re relocating from Raleigh or from out of the state, it’s helpful to know both the positives and negatives of living in Charlotte:
Keeping these eight factors in mind should help you prepare to buy a home and live in Charlotte.
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