I moved to Charlotte fresh out of college, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. A 22-year old with a “real job”, a new car and my chance to explore a city (I was coming from a small town!). I was considered a “young professional” in this city deemed one of the happiest cities for young professionals. Over the past six years, my views on the city and what is has to offer have changed. I do not love it any less and still think it was the greatest move I’ve made; afterall, I met my husband here. However, my “to-do” list around the city has greatly changed.
At 22, I checked out the bars on the regular. I was riding the bull when Whiskey River had just opened, and then I’d go to Blackfinn to finish off the night. Buckhead was still in existence, but somehow we always ended up at the EpiCentre. RiRa, Madison’s and The Attic were the chill spots, sometimes with live music, always less crowded than Whiskey. Nikko was the best sushi place and Sullivan’s was a prime happy hour spot.
At 23-24, I met my now husband. Together, we tried lots of new restaurants (most much more upscale than my 22 year old self would have tried). We went to Knights baseball games (in Fort Mill), Bobcats basketball games, Panther’s football games, and always the ACC Championship. We spent a day at Carowinds (the only time we ever went even though we lived within 3 miles of the place). We hiked in the surrounding areas: Crowder’s Mountain, McDowell, and Anne Springs.
At 25-28 all kind of runs together, my bar-hopping days are over and now I enjoy a “good” cocktail at dinner, maybe two. We have joined the Young Affiliates of the Mint, volunteer with various organizations when we can, and still enjoy fine-dining and have a deal to try a new place each month. We visit museums, go to plays and to see the symphony, we (mostly me) run road races, check out bands at local venues, spend too-many hours at local breweries, enjoy sunshine and music at the Whitewater Center and walk through the city amazed at how it has grown over the past 10 years.
I 100% believe that Charlotte is one of the best places for young professionals, but also families, baby boomers, and anyone who enjoys a city feel without being overwhelmed. Charlotte still has a lot of growing to do. We’re welcoming back the Hornets, have minor league baseball in uptown, are adding upscale restaurants regularly and attract some of the best performers to come to our local stages. Charlotte is a great place to live and I’m excited to share my adventures, recommendations and reviews with you!