If you’re starting your career in Charlotte
, but aren’t so fond of city life, we have some good news. We’ve compiled a list of the best Charlotte suburbs for young professionals, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds with easy commutes to the city and plenty of space to spread out.
Whether you’re searching for a town with a thriving Main Street and a close knit community, or an affordable house on a big lot, you’ll find the perfect place to live on this list.
Let’s take a look at the 10 Charlotte suburbs that made the cut.
1. Pineville, NC
Source: Wikipedia user Deshort
- Residents age 22-29: 18.2 percent
- Total amenities: 1,223
Pineville kicks off our list of best Charlotte suburbs for young professionals with the highest percent of residents age 22-29, and a whole lot of amenities to enjoy. Affordable starter homes and condos are available, as are single family homes with large yards and room to grow.
Quaint neighborhoods and a historic downtown give this suburb plenty of charm. Enjoy convenient shopping at the Carolina Place Mall, or get to know the neighbors over live music or movies at Lake Park.
Local restaurants and bars like Maestro’s Bar & Bistro and Waldhorn Restaurant are great spots to grab a bite to eat after work or get drinks with friends on the weekend.
2. Dallas, NC
Source: Dallas Historic Courthouse via Facebook
- Residents age 22-29: 11 percent
- Cost of living: 90, compared to the Charlotte average of 97
Young professionals looking for small town living will be drawn to Dallas. This Charlotte suburb of around 4,500 residents is tiny compared to the Texas city of the same name. Home buyers will find plenty of affordable starter homes on private lots.
Grab a bite to eat after work at Long Creek Fish Fry, or get a drink with friends at Tavern On The Square. With a much lower cost of living than Charlotte, your hard earned money will go a whole lot further in this close-knit community.
3. Mooresville, NC
Source: Town of Mooresville NC via Facebook
- Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: $58,524
- Total amenities: 3,991
Bordered by beautiful Lake Norman, the Charlotte suburb of Mooresville earns a third place spot on our list. Affordable starter and single-family homes, some with waterfront views, are available in Mooresville.
Network while you hit the links at the Mooresville Golf Course, or enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing at Lake Norman.
For an upscale night out, dine at local steak and seafood restaurant, Eric Chophouse. Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse is the perfect casual spot to grab drinks and a bite to eat with friends on the weekend.
4. Rock Hill, SC
Source: City of Rock Hill, SC via Facebook
- Residents age 22-29: 13.3 percent
- Cost of living: 92, compared to the Charlotte average of 97
Young professionals looking for the best of both worlds—city amenities and a small town feel—will be drawn to Rock Hill. Home buyers will find a range of affordable housing, from modern condos to new construction single family homes.
Grab a bite and a drink after work at Millstone Pizza and Taproom, or enjoy convenient shopping at the Rock Hill Galleria indoor mall.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking the wooded trails along the scenic Catawba River at 70 acre River Park, or biking the Giordana Velodrome at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center.
5. Monroe, NC
Source: Flickr user 69458536@N07
- Residents age 22-29: 10.5 percent
- Total amenities: 2,949
Young professionals considering buying a home in Monroe will have their pick of affordable ranch style homes and single-family houses on large lots.
Grab some delicious soul food after work at Stone Table, or meet up with friends on the weekend at laid back Hilltop Bistro & Bar. Network at Monroe Country Club or Stonebridge Golf Club.
Monroe’s historic downtown offers local shopping and dining to residents, while local events like Music on Main are a great way to get to know your neighbors while enjoying live music.
Source: Visit Lake Norman via Facebook
- Residents with a bachelor’s degree: 34.1 percent
- Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders: $65,493
Located along Lake Norman, the town of Cornelius is the perfect fit for an active young professional. Home buyers will find a range of options, from waterfront condos to new construction single family homes with room to grow.
Plan a night out with friends after work at The Wine Cellar, or grab a bite to eat a local joint, Pop’s Barbecue.
Enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating at Lake Norman, or hike through scenic Jetton Park and have a picnic on the beach. Arts and culture enthusiasts will love the Cornelius Arts Center.
7. Matthews, NC
Source: Town of Matthews, NC via Facebook
- Residents with professional occupations: 49.4 percent
- Total amenities: 2,979
Young professionals who want plenty of amenities and wide-open spaces will be drawn to the Charlotte suburb of Matthews. Home buyers will find a range of housing options, from affordable condos to large single-family homes with room to grow.
Local events like Food Truck Fridays & Artist Showcase are the perfect way to meet your neighbors and enjoy the first night of your weekend, and local establishments like Grapes Wine Bar are great spots for a night out with friends.
Outdoor enthusiasts can get their kicks at the scenic Colonel Francis Beatty Park, which has plenty of challenging hiking and mountain biking trails for active young professionals to enjoy.
8. Fort Mill, SC
Source: Town of Fort Mill via Facebook
- Unemployment rate: 5.3 percent
- Total amenities: 2,168
Fort Mill provides a quiet suburban environment with the most amenities per capita of any suburb we ranked. Young professionals searching for the perfect home in this suburb will find everything from historic bungalows to new construction homes.
Network or just have a relaxing weekend at the Fort Mills Golf Club. Local restaurants like The Flipside Cafe are great spots to grab dinner after work, while chic wine and beer bar, Grapevine, is perfect for a night out with friends.
Fort Mill is just a 25-minute drive from downtown Charlotte in light traffic, making it a convenient place to live for young professional commuters.
9. Belmont, NC
Source: City of Belmont-Government via Facebook
- Residents with professional occupations: 43.6 percent
- Cost of living: 95, compared to the Charlotte average of 97
Young professionals searching for a tight community feel will find it in the ninth suburb on our list, Belmont. Home buyers will find plenty of single family homes with room to grow.
Local restaurants, shopping, and nightlife are centered around pedestrian friendly commercial strips on Main and Catawba Streets. Grab a bite and drink after work at The String Bean, or shop at local boutiques like 3 Hip Chicks.
Grab fresh local produce at the Belmont Farmers Market or enjoy live music and kick off your weekend at the free concert series, Friday Night Live.
10. Gastonia, NC
Source: Visit Downtown Gastonia via Facebook
- Cost of living: 92, compared to the Charlotte average of 97
- Total amenities: 4,755
Your hard earned money will go further in the Charlotte suburb of Gastonia. Plenty of amenities and a low cost of living are big draws for young professionals, as are the affordable starter homes and single-family houses with room to grow.
Grab a bite to eat at Jia Asian Fusion & Sushi bar or Tequila’s Mexican Grill & Taqueria after work, or get drinks and enjoy live local music at Freeman’s Pub. Local shops, restaurants, and bars in downtown Gastonia are sure to keep young professionals busy on the weekend.
Active young professionals will love the beautiful views and challenging rock climbing and hiking trails at scenic Crowders Mountain State Park.
For our purposes, we defined “suburbs” as places that had more than 50 business listings and were less than 30 miles away from the center of Charlotte, which left us with 29 places.
We then ranked these suburbs according to the following criteria:
- Percent of residents age 22-29
- Professional opportunities (unemployment rate, percent of residents who attained a bachelor’s degree, median earnings for residents who attained a bachelor’s degree, percent of residents who work in management, business, financial, or other professional fields)
- Cost of living
- Amenities per capita
Then, because some things are just a little more important to young professionals than others, we weighted the percent of residents age 22-29 and amenities per capita to make up 35 percent of our score. Professional opportunity made up 20 percent, and cost of living made up 10.
We then averaged those weighted scores into one overall score, and the 10 lowest overall scores made up our list of the best places near Charlotte for young professionals.
Want to see how the rest of the places we ranked measured up? Take a look at the table below:
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Feature image source: Flickr user James Willamor