Living Here Guide

Living Here: Your ultimate guide to Charlotte

The 2017-2018 Charlotte Observer Living Here guide is your ultimate guide to Charlotte.
The 2017-2018 Charlotte Observer Living Here guide is your ultimate guide to Charlotte.

The Charlotte Observer’s annual Living Here publication is your ultimate guide to Charlotte.

In the stories below, you’ll find everything from the best coffee shops in Charlotte to real estate trends, the city’s top festivals to family-friendly activities. Whether you’re new to town or a Charlotte native, you can use this guide to explore everything the Queen city has to offer.

Get to know CLT

Mark Hames
View of uptown Charlotte skyline from atop Mosaic Village at Johnson C. Smith University. Mark Hames

Charlotte: A place you can belong

6 historical fun facts every Charlottean should know

17 numbers that will help you understand Charlotte

You’ll find these names all over town, but who are they? Get to know these Charlotte icons

How to get around Charlotte, no car needed

Food & drink

Robert Lahser Barbecue
A barbecue sandwich at Kyle Fletcher's in Gastonia. Robert Lahser

What is Charlotte’s cuisine? Well, it’s kinda complicated

Looking for a farmer’s market? Here are details on more than 30 Charlotte locations

7 Charlotte ice cream shops you need to try

Looking for a caffeine fix? Here are 8 Charlotte coffee shops you need to try

The 6 best breakfast places in Charlotte

The 10 best date night restaurants in Charlotte, from casual to classy

Want to understand Charlotte’s brewery scene? Start with these 6 beers

Slow down, sip and socialize at one of these must-visit local wineries

Cheap eats: 5 iconic dishes for $7 or less

Lunch your way around the world on Central Avenue

10 best cocktail bars in Charlotte

The 10 best sushi spots in Charlotte — and what you should order at each one

The 7 best dive bars in Charlotte


First Ward Park John D Simmons
Eight-year-old Jordan Koonce was able to fly his kite with the help of his grandfather, David Preston, in First Ward Park. John D. Simmons

Where to go and what to do at some of Charlotte’s best parks

Take the scenic route on one of Charlotte’s greenways

Best hikes within 3 hours of Charlotte

13 dog-friendly places you can bring your pup in Charlotte

Get fit: Your guide to working out in the Queen City

5 family-friendly places in Charlotte that parents will love, too

Charlotte is a boom town for retirement living

Things to do

Legion Brewing John D Simmons
Charlotte’s breweries are built for making friends. Chad Barnes (left) and Montell Watson spend some time at Legion Brewing drinking Juicy Jay IPA and Wooden Robot combination beer. John D. Simmons

New to town? Don’t be afraid to explore

Want to see a show? Here’s the ultimate guide to Charlotte’s live music venues

The 6 best places to do karaoke in Charlotte

10 things you need to know about the Charlotte sports scene

10 activities in Charlotte that cost $10 or less

Want to meet new people? Start here

From ballet to NASCAR: Charlotte’s arts and culture scene has it all

Mark your calendars: 16 Charlotte festivals you don’t want to miss

State of the city

Light Rail Extension Observer file
Charlotte’s ongoing light rail extension is opening up new real estate possibilities for buyers. Charlotte Observer file photo

Like Charlotte’s skyline, politics in North Carolina is ever-changing

Don’t know where to start with local schools? Here’s your primer

What you need to know about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Charlotte area private schools

Charlotte area charter schools

Colleges and universities

4 Charlotte real estate trends to watch in 2018

5 developments that will reshape Charlotte

In Charlotte, it’s a tale of two hospitals

Where to get care

6 things to know about faith in Charlotte

Around the region

Firebird T Ortega Gaines
The Firebird outside the Bechtler museum has quickly become one of the most iconic pieces of art in Uptown. Don’t forget to take a photo in front of it. T. Ortega Gaines

Unwind in Uptown

Get artsy in NoDa

Explore eclectic Plaza Midwood

Sip and stroll in South End

Dine out in Dilworth

Take the trolley to Elizabeth

Wander through West End

Shop — and sup — ‘til you drop in SouthPark

Get lost in majestic Myers Park

Head south to bustling Ballantyne

Meander through Matthews and Mint Hill

Poke around Pineville

Unwind in University City

Lounge at Lake Norman

Rollick in Rock Hill

Don’t underestimate Union County

Race up to Cabarrus County

Gather with friends in Gaston County