Charlotte travel information
Located 43 miles SW of Raleigh, Charlotte is the largest city in the Piedmont and the second-largest banking center in the nation. It was named after Queen Charlotte, but the locals didn’t put much price to it, while the patriot activities were much appreciated and lead to its nickname: "hornet's nest" that became part of the city’s seal.
The fact that the declaration proclaiming independence from Britain was signed in Charlotte more than a year before it was signed in Philadelphia is another proof of the patriotism of the locals that sustain that that Thomas Jefferson took their declaration as a model for the one he wrote. There’s even a monument called The Captain James Jack, raised in the memory of the man who took the document to Philadelphia.
After a period of war the city began to develop in the industrial area to such an extent that after a while it became a leader in this domain in the South. The water the Catawba River offered helped the fast development of factories. Another area well developed was gold production and the exquisite 1835 mint building, now part of Mint Museum is a reminder of that period.
The New South began to be built on the foundation of the Old South and today the city’s business is booming especially banking, insurance, and transportation industries and it is a top destination for business travelers. The signs of development can also be seen in the enormous shopping malls that springing up in every direction and in the many skyscrapers built around the city, the Bank of America Plaza and the 46-story Hearst Tower being the most spectacular. The sculptures that can be found at the four corners of Trade and Tryon streets are examples of public art and they are also appreciated by the visitors. They are all symbols of the city: the city's textile heritage is represented by a mill worker; commerce is represented by a gold miner, transportation represented by an African-American railroad builder and the future of the city by a mother holding her baby aloft.
The development of the city has brought a typical problem: traffic jams and crowded places, but the locals know how to take things easily and enjoy a picnic in Freedom Park.
Downtown Charlotte is the hearth of the city, it comprises the government center, some residential neighborhoods and here is where all the big business and cultural events take place. You can also find some of the city’s top attractions around Independence Square, the center of the Uptown area. Here you can visit Discovery Place and the “old city” even on foot as it won’t take more than an hour. You can add to these attractions the gardens and museums from Greater Charlotte, the historic sites from Pineville and Locus.
Outside Uptown the busses are the ideal way to visit the area and beyond the city a car is a must if you want to go to the theme park on the South Carolina state line.
While you tour the city you are welcomed to do some shopping bearing in mind that Charlotte is the largest retail center in the Carolinas. Most of the Uptown shops can be found in the Overstreet Mall but the majority of stores are in suburban malls.
A vacation in Charlotte delivers the best example of the New South, a fast-paced modern city proud of its heritage. Emerge yourself in the culture and traditions, get to know the people, taste the cuisine, and enjoy the splendors of Charlotte!