March 23, 2017
Charlotte NC: 10 Things I'll Miss The Most About Living Here.
I shared some big news at the beginning of March here on the blog- I'm moving in April to Vermont for a job opportunity! If you had told me six months ago I'd be doing that, I wouldn't have believed you! Up until this winter, I saw myself hopefully staying in Charlotte for at least a few more years. It is a great city, and I always thought that I would have more time there. But sometimes to pursue you dreams, you need to leave the place you love, and that is the case for my radio career right now! And at this point in my life, my career is my number one priority. So as I prepare over the next few weeks to move away from my beloved Queen City, I wanted to share the things that I'll miss the most about this special place! I hope those of you from Charlotte can relate to this list, and those of you not from here might fall in love a little bit just from reading this post- haha! 😉
1. The location: Charlotte is such a great location for travel. There's an easily accessible airport with flights to just about anywhere, and a plethora of interstate highways. And distance-wise, Charlotte is in such a convenient place on the East Coast! It's within a few hours of most notable Southern cities, and also still drivable from cities in further places like Orlando or Washington D.C.. It's also just about midway between the mountains and the ocean. I think the only thing that could make Charlotte more perfect is if there was a large water body or river in the city, but luckily beautiful Lake Norman is directly north of the city!
2. The weather: The Queen City has what I think is the ideal geographic location in the South. It experiences all four seasons, with long summers, short winters, and extended springs and falls. I think few things are more beautiful than springtime in Charlotte, but really, all seasons are lovely here. It doesn't rain very often, and the few times that it does snow in the winter, there are essentially city-wide "snow days."
3. The skyline: Oh, sweet beautiful skyline. How I love you! Seriously- I can be having the worst day in the world, and then find myself driving down a road that has great skyline views, and after one glance suddenly all seems right again. This will be one of the hardest things for me to leave. From the stunning new Uptown apartment buildings, to the impressive Bank of America building, which is one of the tallest buildings in the South, to the modern Duke Energy tower that lights up a different color every night to represent various causes (And a fun fact: the lights on the building are actually owned by Wells Fargo!).
5: Forest Hill Church (SouthPark campus): I have been so blessed to attend a great church for the last three and a half years. When I first transferred colleges and moved to Charlotte, I was nervous about finding a church. I attended a great church at my first university and was involved with the college ministry there, and losing that community was hard. But after visiting a few different churches in Charlotte, I found my new church home! I attend Forest Hill Church, which is one of Charlotte's larger mega-churches with a few different locations (I attend SouthPark campus, which is the largest branch). However, what I love the most about Forest Hill is that even though thousands of people attend the various campuses, it manages to have an intimate and close-knit feeling in the services! Senior Pastor David Chadwick is absolutely incredible, and I learn a life lesson and something new about the bible every time I go to church, which is exactly how it should be. I can't say enough good things about Forest Hill, and I will probably still be tuning in for some services online after my move (you can live stream the weekend services from anywhere!).
6. The urban radio stations: A fun fact about me that y'all might not know is that I listen to quite a bit of rap music, especially when driving in the car. Charlotte has three great urban radio stations, and they're usually what I have on when driving! There's just something about rap music that makes driving seem more fun, especially at times like rush hour! While urban radio is a format that I don't ever see myself working in, I do definitely appreciate it as a listener. Vermont sadly doesn't have any urban radio stations (the Top 40 station I'll be working at on weekdays in the closest thing), and I will miss my beloved 92.7 The Block and Streetz 103.3 back in the Queen City!
7. Nova's Bakery (South End): I love a good local coffee shop, and while Charlotte has many to choose from, Nova's Bakery's South End location is by far my favorite. Fellow Charlotte blogger Morgan from How 2 Wear It first introduced me to this spot a couple years ago, and it's become one of my very favorite places in the city! I'm more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker, and Nova's offers two different chai lattes: a spiced chai and a vanilla chai. They're both absolutely divine- seriously, one sip of this drink and my day is instantly better. Nova's Bakery is also where I wrote most of my final Capstone project during senior year of college, so it will always be special to me for that reason. Nova's has a few different locations throughout Charlotte, but I'm loyal to the South End location!
8. Target Midtown parking deck: This was one of the first spots in the city that I ever ventured to off campus from my university for blog photos, and I've always returned to it time and time again. Outside of my blog, it really is one of my Charlotte happy places! The Uptown views are so beautiful, and you're right above Target so #WinWin! A year or two ago, Target closed off the top level of their deck to cars, but now it's extra peaceful up there since you can only go up by elevator! Definitely a must-visit viewing spot for skyline photos if you're ever in Charlotte.
9. City Lights Rooftop and the Sheraton/Le Meridien Hotels: I've gotten to do some really fun collaborations and attend many awesome events last year at both the Sheraton and Le Meridien hotels in Uptown. Le Meridien is also home to City Lights Rooftop, which is a rooftop bar with the most amazing panoramic views of Charlotte. In September, I did a fun staycation weekend to celebrate my 22nd birthday at Le Meridien- I would definitely recommend this hotel if you're visiting the area! I will definitely miss getting to attend all of the fun events that they host regularly there.
10. SouthPark Mall (and the shopping options in general): SouthPark Mall is Charlotte's luxury mall. My university was a mere five minutes away from the mall, and I always joke that it's a miracle that I didn't go into debt living so close to SouthPark for three years! There are lots of high end retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch and David Yurman, but also some more moderately priced stores like Loft and H&M. A few of my SouthPark favorites are Ann Taylor and their Belk- it's one of the flagship Belk department stores, and it carries a lot of high end fashion and cosmetic brands, including Lilly Pulitzer!
And in general, Charlotte is an amazing city to shop in. There isn't a lot of shopping in Uptown Charlotte due to the way the city is zoned out (I actually studied this in a class I took my junior year of college!), but lots of neighborhoods around Charlotte have malls and other great shopping centers. The Charlotte Premium Outlets opened near the airport within the last couple years, and Concord Mills in another fantastic outlet mall just north of the city.
I could keep this post going all day.... it was hard to limit myself to just 10 things! Charlotte has truly been the most amazing city to go to college and grow into an adult in. I can't say enough good things about the city itself. The closer that it gets to my move date... the harder it is. But I know that a wonderful job and the beginning of my dream career awaits me in Vermont, and I'm ready to embrace the changes and new adventures ahead!
In other news, I just got back to Charlotte yesterday from my Italy trip with my mom! What an incredible time we had! I have so much to recap on the blog, but it will take me a little while to go through all of the photos and plan out blog posts. Stay tuned for some new travel content soon!