We spent a lot of time last week, north of Charlotte NC in the beautiful Lake Norman area visiting Salisbury, Statesville and Mooresville.
As luck would have it there are still more NC Best Places to visit in this area. So we’re going to stick around at least another week so strap yourselves in.
Just a reminder we’re visiting the NC Best Places to live around Charlotte NC.
Let’s take a look at the first on the list of NC Best Places to live in an area that the locals often refer to as “North Meck. ”
As in Mecklenburg County, the lakeside town of Cornelius NC, population 24,866.
Cornelius NC is located on the southeastern shores of beautiful Lake Norman only about 25 minutes north of downtown Charlotte NC.
As with many NC Best Places small towns in this part of the North Carolina Piedmont region, the history of Cornelius is tied to the cotton trade.
What really put Cornelius NC on the map is when Duke Power finished damming the nearby Catawba River creating Lake Norman in 1963.
This would not only give Cornelius NC a new source of hydroelectric power but better yet gave it 70 miles of prime waterfront real estate. An increasing number of people not only visiting but relocating and retiring to Charlotte NC another area to enjoy new outdoor recreational opportunities out on the lake.
In recent years, Cornelius NC has cemented a reputation in national rankings.
As being one of the NC Best Places and most affordable suburban small towns in the nation. And one of the fastest growing bedroom-communities in the Charlotte area.
Take a walk around Cornelius’s downtown area. Its classic Town Hall and tree-lined streets with blocks of unique little shops and eating establishments. You get the feeling of not only a small town but one that’s pretty special.
Most of your neighbors will work in nearby Charlotte NC. Residents are community oriented, highly educated, come from all over the country and love lakeside living!
There are all manner of neighborhoods and planned communities around Cornelius NC to fit any budget. The median home value is higher at $236,500 but, its hard to beat a place with low crime, a genuine small town vibe, a friendly diverse population and hundreds of miles of beautiful lake to play in!
Let’s race (I couldn’t resist) on over to our next NC Best Places to live in the Piedmont North Carolina Charlotte area.
NASCAR racing fans might know it as home to the Earnhardt racing clan. Others remember the cotton textiles it produced, the city of Kannapolis NC, population 42,625.
Kannapolis NC is located only about 25 miles northeast of Charlotte NC on the rapidly growing I-85 corridor.
Kannapolis was originally founded to house the workers employed in the giant cotton mills and textile factories.
All built by the Cannon family in the early 1900’s.
Much of the Kannapolis NC current and genuine small town appeal comes from its planned “model mill town” layout. Including close knit neighborhoods, a classic Colonial Williamsburg-style downtown and block after block of quaint old craftsman style homes that are still inhabited today.
When the last textile factory closed in 2003 Kannapolis NC transitioned to a new economic model. One built on biotechnology, medical and agricultural research.
The North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) opened up on the sites of the old factories only a couple years later.
With a vibrant high-tech economy, a key location on I-85 as well as careful planning and strategic investments, Kannapolis NC has been able to provide the kinds of things that make for a higher quality of life including -
- new library
- YMCA building
- parks and green spaces
- business parks
- senior center
- new stadium for its local minor league baseball team, the Kannapolis Intimidators
In my NC Best Places Guide, Kannapolis, NC has something for everyone from a low cost of living, low crime, good paying jobs, great schools and a very strong sense of community and small town values.
Kannapolis NC residents have access to all the services and amenities of nearby Charlotte as well as some fantastic outdoor recreational opportunities in nearby parks and lakes, including beautiful Lake Norman.
And let’s not forget a median home value of only $84,400.
Last on our NC Best Places to live list for today takes us back to “North Meck.”
To a community that only a couple years ago made Forbe’s 25 Best Places to Move list, the town of Huntersville NC, population 46,773.
Just a few miles south of Cornelius NC and only ten minutes from Charlotte. Huntersville NC has been one of the fastest growing towns in not only North Carolina but the United States.
Huntersville NC grew from a little over 3,000 people in 1990 to almost 50,000 today.
In fact as you move around town you’ll notice that it definitely has a lot of rural small town charm.
Much of Huntersville NC is made up of new housing developments, subdivisions, planned communities, business parks, retail outlets and industrial areas.
Being a lower cost alternative to Charlotte definitely has its pluses. And the people in Huntersville NC have taken it all in stride. With one foot in the past and the other charting a path into the future which definitely seems bright.
You’ll be amazed at all the parks and recreational spaces available to you. And it’s hard to beat being able to get out on Lake Norman most of the year.
I gotta admit a median home value of around $182,800 is not too shabby for this area either!
Thanks again and I’ll see you next week and see where we go next as we continue to visit the best small cities, towns and communities in the Charlotte NC metropolitan area!
Have a great week!
Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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