Charlotte is now one of the most popular urban areas for young professionals to relocate to. Affectionately referred to as the Queen City, it is home to a renowned BBQ scene, tons of culture, and a healthy jobs market, specifically in the finance, healthcare, and tech industries. Given its impressive employment opportunities and a relatively affordable cost of living, it’s no surprise that Charlotte has become a hot contender among college graduates.
If you are in your early to mid-twenties and are looking to move to an exciting metropolitan area, then Charlotte is likely a great option for you. Read on to explore a breakdown of the top five places to live in the Queen City based on factors like employment opportunities, entertainment, affordability, and safety.
Coming in hot with an overall A+ grade from Niche.com’s rankings, Uptown is located in the heart of the Queen City. The area boasts a burgeoning financial hub where you will find the headquarters of banking giants like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Truist. Finance majors will feel right at home in Uptown and should take full advantage of the neighborhood’s rooftop patios and bars which are heaving with nine to fivers come happy hour. Outside of work and the busy nightlife scene, you can enjoy Uptown’s countless museums, restaurants, theaters, and retail stores, including the 7th Street Public Market, a ‘lively indoor market’ which hosts the best of local businesses.
Highlight: Brush up that resume because there are no shortage of job opportunities in the area. From small tech startups to major fortune 500 companies, recent college graduates will be spoiled for choice.
Lowlight: Charlotte’s city center is one of the more expensive areas in the city. As of February 2022, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Uptown was approximately $2,500.
2) South End
This historic Charlotte neighborhood is located immediately southwest of Uptown Charlotte. Locals often refer to South End as a ‘neighborhood reborn’ given its impressive comeback story. The area was booming up until the late 1970’s/early 1980’s when it experienced a sharp decline, leaving behind a plethora of abandoned warehouses and mills. Today however, you will find trendy restaurants, art galleries, and bars in their place following extensive renovation efforts in the area. The blend of history with contemporary makes South End a unique and attractive area for young professionals. You will find the biggest collection of breweries in the city here, including the Wooden Robot Brewery, as well as food trucks, and street festivals like no other. Additionally, residents are just a short LYNX Blue Line light rail ride to Uptown, and minutes from the airport and major highways.
Highlight: Heads up healthcare majors! South End is specifically great for those seeking employment in health-related industries.
Lowlight: Similar to Uptown, South End is one of the more upscale Charlotte neighborhoods. You should be prepared to budget for a monthly rent of approximately $1,700 according to a 2022 Zumper report.
3) First Ward
First Ward was also given an A+ grade by Niche.com as a result of its endless bars, restaurants, budget-friendly rental homes, and quaint cottages tucked away in the beautiful Garden District. The neighborhood is conveniently located within walking distance of Uptown. This makes it a highly sought-after area for those who want a spacious, green environment that’s close to the city center. Weekends in First Ward can be spent cheering on the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center, taking a stroll through the beautiful First Ward park, grabbing a coffee and some groceries down at the 7th Street Public Market, or sipping on a 1920s-inspired cocktail at Prohibition Bar.
Highlight: For those working in Uptown’s financial and tech businesses, living in First Ward means you will be within walking distance from work while escaping the concrete jungle feel of the city center. Rents are also generally lower in First Ward versus Uptown. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in First Ward is currently $1,400.
Lowlight: If you are an extremely noise-sensitive person you may want to opt for a different neighborhood. Given its high walk score, the street noise in the area may be too much for some.
4) Fourth Ward
If you are looking for a more slow-paced and peaceful neighborhood then Fourth Ward is for you. This historic Charlotte district is home to streets lined with charming Victorian houses and endless parks. Since Fourth Ward is one of the city’s designated historic districts, preservation takes utmost priority so the surrounding green spaces and natural landmarks will remain protected from excessive commercial development. There are also copious quaint coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and retail stores for you to visit on the weekend. Despite the more laidback lifestyle of Fourth Ward, you are never too far from the fast-paced, hustle and bustle of Uptown and all of its employment and entertainment options. In terms of the expense of living in Fourth Ward, you will be paying approximately $1,700 monthly for a 1-bedroom apartment, similar to South End.
Highlight: Fourth Ward is one of the most stunning neighborhoods in Charlotte. Residents can take in the city’s rich history by strolling down its clean, safe streets.
Lowlight: The slower-paced Fourth Ward neighborhood may not offer enough excitement for some young professionals who would be better suited to living in Uptown or South End.
Similar to Fourth Ward, Dilworth is one of the most picturesque and historic areas of Charlotte. It is most suitable for the more mature college graduates who are looking for a peaceful scene while still living in close proximity to the city center. Dilworth residents can spend their free time tasting a diverse range of cuisines in the area’s top-rated restaurants or visiting the various to-die-for wine tasting rooms. For young professionals who are looking to relocate to Charlotte in order to access the city’s financial, tech, and healthcare employment opportunities, Dilworth is blocks from South End and just minutes from Uptown. Additionally, the neighborhood also has access to Uptown via the LYNX Blue Line. Like First Ward, Dilworth’s centuries-old streets are super walkable and pedestrian-friendly, and residents will often host block parties, festivals, and yard sales. Locals in the area can also take advantage of the easy access to Freedom Park when seeking an escape from the home office.
Highlight: Dilworth’s picture-perfect, charming streets and rich history make it a popular Charlotte neighborhood for everyone from a retiree to a young professional. You will also find that rent is generally cheaper here than in Uptown. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Dilworth is approximately $1,600.
Lowlight: Similar to Fourth Ward, Dilworth’s more peaceful lifestyle might not suit many young professionals seeking a fast-paced and exciting style of living.
Once you’ve decided on the best neighborhood in Charlotte for your budget and lifestyle, reach out to a reputable Charlotte moving company to get even more key information about life in the Queen City. If you are planning a move to Charlotte, you can use our free move estimate tool, moving tips, and other valuable resources.
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