The exceptional quality of life enjoyed by residents of Metropolitan Charlotte is an important factor in the tremendous growth of the city and surrounding rural acreage. Charlotte is the undisputed hub for entertainment and culture, drawing regional audiences to world-class performances and events at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and other venues from grand to intimate. One of the colorful events that dots the annual calendar is Charlotte Shout, a month-long celebration of art, culture, and community. More than 200 performances and events in more than 40 venues throughout the Charlotte region each September make this a “don’t miss” extravaganza of coordinated festival shows. The city is also home to famous art museums and galleries, including the Mint Museum of Art and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design with changing exhibits of some of the world’s finest collections. The McColl Center for Visual Art is committed to enhancing and promoting visual arts in the Southeast, while Levine Museum of the New South draws visitors to interactive historic displays. The Afro-American Cultural Center offers an innovative, multidisciplinary epicenter that celebrates the glorious African-American experience through performances and events.

Families will appreciate the kid-friendly attractions in and near Charlotte, including ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center. Covering an entire city block, the center offers a world-class interactive learning environment and a model for successful partnerships. The Discovery Place is one of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, drawing more than a half-million visitors each year. Other stellar destinations include the Charlotte Nature Museum, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, the Carolina Renaissance Festival, and Paramount’s Carowinds Water & Theme Park. Shopping is available in contemporary malls brimming over with boutiques and department stores or quaint historic districts and factory outlet centers. Recreational opportunities are abundant in local communities with highly developed parks and recreation programs or in the surrounding countryside. Deep forests, alpine splendor, Atlantic Ocean water sports, sparkling lakes, and sweeping meadows are just a few of the scenic backdrops for outdoor enjoyment within a reasonable commute from home. NASCAR fans will be pleased to know that 90 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are headquartered within 50 miles of Charlotte.

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