The heart of one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, where there is always something to do, from professional sports and museums to restaurants and nightlife. From Fortune 500 companies to small startups, the business and career opportunities are unlike that of any other city in the South. Welcome to Uptown.
Uptown Charlotte, aka Charlotte Center City, is the heartbeat of the Queen City. Tens of thousands of people travel there to work and play each day. It is the city’s business center, its cultural center, and its entertainment center. But it is also a wonderful place to live. From gorgeous new condo buildings to revitalized Victorian homes from a bygone era, there is something for everyone in this fast-paced yet friendly community, and each home is just minutes from all of these amazing opportunities.
Uptown is divided into four different wards, each with its own unique character and charm. The First Ward, nicknamed the “Garden District,” is a popular entertainment spot and home to attractions like the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Spectrum Center. The Second Ward is more business-oriented with government buildings and offices. The Third Ward is home to Bank of America stadium, as well as a bustling restaurant scene and a bit of the college life, and the Fourth Ward is largely residential and has undergone something of a facelift over the last few decades.
Charlotte’s history dates back to its founding in 1768. Named for Queen Charlotte of England, European settlers set the town up around the crossroads of two Native American trading paths, which are now Trade and Tryon Streets in Uptown. Despite a short-lived gold rush — the first in the nation — in 1799, the city remained largely agricultural until after the Civil War. As the railroads rolled in and cotton crop flourished, Charlotte became known as one of the biggest cotton processing centers in the entire world. That business died down during the early 1900s, but by the 1970s and 1980s, the city was well on its way to becoming the largest finance hub in the country behind New York City.
The name “Uptown” became popular in the 1980s when the city’s leaders began promoting what was known as Charlotte’s downtown area. They wanted a unique term for marketing purposes. However, few people realize that the Uptown moniker actually dates back to the days when settlers had to go to the trading post at Trade and Tryon to shop and barter for goods. They would often say, “I am going up to town,” which eventually became “Uptown.”
- Population: 30,000
- Public school students who live in Uptown will attend Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Private schools, such as Trinity Episcopal School, are also located in and around the area.
- Over 25 million people visit Uptown to take advantage of its many attractions each year. Over 100,000 people travel to the community to work throughout the week.
- Bank of America, Duke Energy, and Wells Fargo all have corporate headquarters in Uptown. Companies like AT&T, Chiquita Brands International, Ally Financial, and BB&T also have a large corporate presence here
- Uptown is home to several college campuses, including those for Johnson and Wales University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Center City, Wake Forest University Charlotte Center, USC Darla Moore School of Business, Northeasetern University, and Union Presbyterian Seminary.
- The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library systems' main branch is located on North Tryon. ImaginOn, a learning center provided by the library system and the Children’s Theater of Charlotte, is also located uptown.
- Uptown is Charlotte’s number one hub for professional sports. The Panthers (NFL) and the Hornets (NBA) both play here. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is also located here.
Many of Charlotte’s top attractions are located in Uptown, and people come from even out of state to eat, shop, watch a game, see a show, or tour a museum. Well over 170+ restaurants representing cuisines from all over the world are located here, and there are numerous bars and places to enjoy a late night out on the town, as well. Museums and theaters are plentiful, and a few small parks are scattered throughout the area. There are also multiple historic buildings, churches, and homes that are worth a visit. Sports teams are a major attraction in Uptown, whether it’s the NFL, the NBA, or NASCAR. See this great map of Uptown Charlotte provided by Charlotte Center City Partners.
- Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina – For slightly upscale Mexican in Uptown, everyone loves Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, located in the Epicentre. Dine on delicious cuisine that combines traditional and contemporary Mexican cooking techniques, and wash it all down with one of the restaurant’s handcrafted cocktails or popular Skinny Margaritas. You can also choose from around 100 brands of tequila, including some obscure and hard-to-find types.
- Chima Brazilian Steakhouse – With a location in Brazil and four in the United States, including this one, you might say Chima is not just one of the best Brazilian steakhouses in Charlotte but one of the best in the entire world. The trendy eatery is within walking distance of several local attractions and offers complimentary valet parking. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the city when you dine upstairs.
- Mimosa Grill – Since 1995, the award-winning Mimosa Grill has been one of Uptown residents’ and visitors’ favorite places to dine. It has even been named one of the top 100 restaurants in the country by FSR Enjoy a new twist on traditional Southern cuisine with dishes like Stuffed Georgia Hushpuppies, Lobster Macaroni & Cheese, and Pecan Crusted NC Mountain Trout. Almost all ingredients are farm to fork, and the service cannot be beat.
- Sea Level NC – For those who enjoy seafood and a fresh oysterbar, friendly service, and a beautiful setting, Sea Level NC is the place to be in Uptown. Located on 5th Street, they have the only farm-to-fork oyster grown in North Carolina on their menu. There are only a handful of other known restaurants with this proprietary relationship to an oyster farm in the United States: Hog Island Oyster Bar in CA, Matunick Oyster Bar in RI, and Island Creek Oyster Bar in MA. Don't miss their amazing cocktails at the bar also.
- Halcyon Flavors from the Earth – Located on the second floor of the Mint Museum, Halcyon Flavors from the Earth was voted “Best New Restaurant” by the Charlotte Observer when it opened and has been featured in numerous other local publications since. Expect farm-fresh ingredients and a modern take on classic American cuisine, as well as amazing views of the city.
- Airports – Uptown is less than 8 miles east of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country. It is a hub for American Airlines, and it sees over 700 flights each day.
- Public Transportation – The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) offers bus and rail service throughout Uptown.
- Major Roads and Interstates – Interstate 277 practically loops around Uptown, making it easy for residents to get in and out of Charlotte or into other parts of the metro area in just minutes. Interstates 85 and 77 are just minutes away. Tryon and Trade Streets are the main roads through Uptown, and several notable businesses and entertainment venues are located on each one.
- Metropolitan – Located just south of Interstate 277, on the edge of Uptown, is the popular shopping spot, Metropolitan. It is home to stores like Best Buy, Marshalls, Trader Joes, Staples, and West Elm, as well as a number of restaurants. There are also several stores in the surrounding area, including Target, Mattress Firm, and Vitamin Shoppe.
- 7th Street Public Market – For a different type of shopping experience, Uptown residents and visitors go to the 7th Street Public Market. The market features fresh produce and meat from local farmers, as well as delicious food like pizza and chocolate. There is also a wine shop, sushi, coffee, and much more.
- Overstreet Mall – Overstreet Mall is a cluster of clothing shops, banks, newsstands, salons, restaurants, and other stores and services that connect many of Uptown’s office complexes. It is a popular spot for people who live in work in the buildings along the mall to grab a bite to eat or pick up a few necessities during the week.
- EpiCentre – In 2010, EpiCentre opened in Uptown, providing residents with the perfect place to spend a night out on the town. It is home to dozens of restaurants, clubs, bars, a movie theater, and a few shops and services. Eateries range from casual fast food to upscale dining.
- Bank of America Stadium – Bank of America Stadium is one of the city’s top attractions, particularly in the fall when the Carolina Panthers are in town. During each Sunday home game, up to 75,000 fans pack the seats to watch the Panthers beat a rival. Other events are held here throughout the year, and tours are available.
- Spectrum Center Charlotte – If you prefer basketball, Spectrum Center is the home base of the Charlotte Hornets. Throughout the year, the Arena hosts other events, ranging from concerts to college basketball games.
- NASCAR Hall of Fame – Charlotte is known as NASCAR country, and many of the sports’ top teams are located here in the metro area. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is also locate here in Uptown. Fans come from around the country to visit the facility which features a theater, multiple exhibits, cars and memorabilia, simulators, a restaurant, and a gift shop.
- Discovery Place – There are several museums to choose from in Charlotte, but the family-friendly Discovery Place is definitely a local favorite. The science and technology museum offers interactive exhibits for all ages, an IMAX Dome Theatre, educational programs, activities, and so much more. New exhibits are added each year.
Real Estate Information
Housing options in Uptown are as diverse as the community’s residents. Condos, townhomes, and single-family housing are all available, but each ward had its own distinct style of real estate. Around 2,500 people call the First Ward home, and many of them live in condos and townhomes. You will also find a small selection of single-family homes in the area known as the “Garden District.” The Second Ward is home to mostly upscale, high-rise condos. The Third Ward is a haven for new construction, including condos, townhomes, lofts, and some single-family homes. With its exciting nightlife and many college students living in the area, the housing here has a young and trendy vibe.
Finally, the Fourth Ward is the area where many Uptown residents reside and have since the mid-1800s. The historic neighborhood underwent a revitalization during the 1990s, and today, you can find an assortment of beautiful historic renovated Victorians, new construction, mid and high-rise condos with luxury amenities, and townhomes.
No matter which ward you choose, expect to be within walking distance of numerous amenities and possibly even your place of employment.
- First Ward
- Second Ward
- Third Ward
- Fourth Ward