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Known by many as the Queen City, Charlotte is a city that has deep historical roots, but is constantly looking toward the future. From its historical past through the present, Charlotte has been a city that is constantly growing and evolving. It is now a thriving, diverse, and welcoming metropolis, and one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
A Look at Charlotte’s History
Charlotte became known as the Queen City because it was named by King George III after his wife, Queen Charlotte, at the time the town was chartered in 1769, when England still ruled the colonies. Charlotte’s roots run deep, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil war, where it served as a railroad junction and then a cotton mill hub for the New South. From those distant roots to now, one thing that has been a constant in Charlotte is growth. Charlotte, today, is one of America’s largest banking centers, and one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas. Located only a few hours from the beach and from the mountains, Charlotte offers plenty of outdoor beauty to enjoy, as well as a thriving arts and entertainment scene, plenty of restaurants, shops, and bars, and more than enough to suit anyone’s interests. Truly, it would be a wonderful place to call home.
Charlotte Fun Facts
Read more fun facts about Charlotte here.
The LGBTQ Community in Charlotte
The Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Charlotte exists to provide both the space and the opportunity to nurture, celebrate, and empower the LGBTQ community through events, programs, and collaboration.
The Time Out Youth Center is a community center in Charlotte for LGBTQ youth. Its goal is to offer a safe space for each individual, to foster unconditional acceptance, and to encourage self-expression through leadership, community support, and advocacy.
PFLAG Charlotte is Charlotte’s chapter of PFLAG National. PFLAG is a national support, education, and advocacy organization for LGBTQ people, as well as their families, friends, and allies, and it is the largest grassroots-based family organization of its kind in the country. The mission of PFLAG Charlotte is, “To support families, allies and people who are LGBTQ, to educate ourselves and others about challenges facing LGBTQ individuals, and to advocate in our communities to build a more equitable future for all.”
Charlotte has what is known as “humid continental” climate. In more basic terms, it means that residents will experience all four seasons, with summer typically being hot and muggy, and cold winters. It is not unusual for temperatures to regularly reach 90°F in the summer, and in the winter, the average temperature in January hovers right around 30°F. Charlotte receives very little snow, and has about 7 to 10 rainy days each month. Charlotte is also known for having plenty of sunshine year-round.
Can’t-Miss Events in Charlotte
Charlotte has proudly been celebrating its LGBTQ community for over twenty years with this weeklong festival of events, workshops, parades, and activities intended to promote inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Charlotte and beyond. Charlotte also offers Black Pride, Latin Pride, and Trans Pride celebrations each year. You won’t want to miss them!
The mission of the Charlotte Pride Band is to provide an open and inviting environment while promoting the value and respect of LGBTQ people in the Charlotte metropolitan area through quality musical performances. While the Band definitely performs during Charlotte Pride week, they also perform across the city in different venues throughout the year. You’ll definitely want to enjoy one of these amazing performances!
Where to Live in Charlotte
Many neighborhoods in Charlotte are popular with the LGBTQ community, and there is no one specific “gayborhood” as might be the case in some other cities. Although Charlotte is a city that has a number of diverse neighborhoods and suburbs, these are a few that are popular with the LGBTQ community:
NoDa, short for North Davidson, is the city’s historic arts and entertainment district. It has a funky and eclectic vibe, and is known for its eclectic galleries and music venues, and it offers an excellent selection of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. The median sale price of homes in NoDa is currently around $436,000.
Plaza Midwood is a trendy, laid-back neighborhood known for its nightlife, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and intimate music venues. It also has a vibrant restaurant scene featuring comfort food eateries, barbecue restaurants, gastropubs and several popular ice-cream shops. The median sale price of homes in Plaza Midwood is currently approximately $770,000.
The South End neighborhood of Charlotte is known for its nightlife, its craft breweries and pubs, and its excellent selection of restaurants and shops. It is also home to the Charlotte Rail Trail, which is popular with runners, walkers, and cyclists. The median sales price of homes in South End is approximately $530,000.
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Arts and Entertainment
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, opened in 2010, is one of only two museums in the country designed by renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta. Its stunning collection includes works by some of the most influential and important artists of the mid-20th century, and its definitely a must-see for any art lover.
The Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts is an excellent venue for local symphony, opera, dance & theater companies, as well as a film & photography museum. Truly, there is something offered for everyone to enjoy.
Parks and Recreation
Stonewall Sports is an LGBTQ and ally not-for-profit sports league in Charlotte. The league currently offers bowling, cornhole, dodgeball, kickball, softball, and volleyball leagues for anyone 21 or older in the greater Charlotte area. The league also offers volunteer opportunities to get involved with the community, meet-up events to connect with new friends, and fundraisers to support local non-profits.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center is an outdoor recreation and athletic training facility that sits on approximately 1300 acres in Charlotte. Those who visit can, depending upon the season, enjoy ice skating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, or hiking. This is a must-try for any outdoor enthusiast!
Sidelines is a popular LGBTQ sports bar on South Boulevard in Charlotte, where patrons can enjoy a few drinks, watch games on the big screen, and play a game of pool or two.
Bar Argon, a neighbor to Sidelines Sports Bar and Billiards (see below), Bar Argon is a quintessential video lounge bar. It has a dance spot that is often packed on the weekends, and it often hosts themed nights including line dancing, Latin nights, and karaoke.
The Nickel Bar, located in Charlotte’s historic Smallwood neighborhood is very popular with the city’s black LGBTQ community, and arguably throws the city’s best Black Gay Pride Weekend parties every July. It often welcomes guest DJs, and it an excellent spot for dancing, drinks, and socializing.