Another Friday, another Carolina Blog where we look at the NC Best Places.
Yep, we’re still in and around Charlotte NC but now we’re moving away from the west side of town.
We’re headed over to the south side of Charlotte to visit the NC best places in this area.
Which may just become some of your best places in North Carolina and South Carolina!
So far most of the NC Best Places we’ve looked at in the Charlotte area have amazingly similar stories.
Former cotton mill towns with access to new and growing systems of rail lines. These NC Best Places are now benefiting from the growth of metropolitan Charlotte NC.
Yet they remain comfortable low cost alternatives to the big city.
All true to a certain extent what I want you to know is that each one of these NC Best Places we visit is unique in its own right.
Even though I can’t fully express the uniqueness of each NC Best Places here in, doesn’t make it less so.
My hope is that you’ll make your short list from the NC Best Places I’ve visited and shared with you. Then you visit some of these places and see what I mean.
Believe me there are some true gems in this part of North Carolina. Okay, enough of my rambling.
Let’s take a look at our first NC Best Places to live today!
A nice suburban community that straddles the southeast side of the I-485 loop 10 miles from downtown Charlotte, the town of Matthews NC, population 27,198.
Once a small farming community and railroad stop, Matthews has become a relatively affluent suburban hideaway.
It’s also a great example of how a lot of communities in this area have blended old and new aspects of their communities to make a highly desirable place to live.
Downtown Matthews NC is very pedestrian friendly. With many well preserved historical buildings. But you’ll also find there is a large village green bordered by a new City Hall.
Along with the City Hall are blocks of newer offices and shops designed and built to deliberately maintain the classic historic small town look of the downtown.
I like to look around the shops on nearby Trade Street especially Renfrow’s Hardware. A genuine old-fashion hardware and farm supply store. Matthews NC seems to have just about everything. Come spring one of the best farmers markets in the area opens for business right next to the hardware store.
Matthews NC is home to everything from Fortune 500 companies to a community college and well-respected medical center. And a lot of great arts and recreational opportunities so definitely check it out.
I will also note that for a more affluent area, Matthews NC median home value is still a respectable $170,700.
Indian Trail NC, population 33,518.
Indian Trail NC, whose name refers to a time when this area was part of a trading route with local Native Americans.
This route ran all the way up to Petersburg, VA, and is only five miles southeast of Matthews NC.
Indian Trail NC has grown by leaps and bounds. Going from barely 2000 people in 1990 to almost 35,000 today. Now that’s huge growth.
The major commercial and economic development along US 74 emanating out from Charlotte NC is one of the reasons for this growth.
The resulting explosion of newer, affordable housing subdivisions that has pulled people from all over the country and all over the Piedmont to town.
Needless to say Indian Trail NC is a pretty cosmopolitan place.
Frankly the newcomers outnumber the natives. But catering to that growth has also pushed needed investments in the kinds of things that bring a higher quality of life.
Including investments in parks and green spaces. Transportation infrastructure as well as more development of the downtown area. And strengthen neighborhoods instead of feeding suburban sprawl.
Despite the rapid growth, Indian Trail NC maintains a safe, family-friendly small town atmosphere. Even today, Indian Trail honors it’s history.
The downtown of Indian Trail NC this year (as has every year) will host the 28th Native American Pow Wow held each fall.
Indian Trail NC definitely is charting a course for continued growth and development that preserves its history and all of this with a median home value of only $113,000. Wow!
Our last NC Best Places to live today is another gem on the south side of the Charlotte NC metropolitan area.
This NC Best Place bills itself as “Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood.” Let’s see why!
NC Best Places of Monroe NC, population 32,543.
Monroe NC is located roughly 25 miles southeast of Charlotte on Rt. 74. And has benefited greatly from Charlotte’s rapid economic development. Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a small town state of mind.
Needless to say this has brought with it a higher quality of life and frankly won’t hurt the job prospects of those of you looking for work.
My favorite place in Monroe NC is its beautiful, classic downtown. Tree lined streets, quaint shops, historic buildings and a genuinely laid back atmosphere.
It’s a great place to take a walk. Check out the daily farmer’s market or take in one of Monroe’s many festivals like the annual Blooming Arts Festival or Waxhaw Scottish Fair and Games.
Another intangible benefit to living in Monroe NC is a mild distinct four season climate. This allows you to enjoy year round outdoor recreation. Nearby Cane Creek Park is a popular outdoor destination for hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding.
Oh yeah, Monroe is in a section of North Carolina known for its horses and equestrian industry. It is actually home to one of the best steeplechase courses in the country.
Monroe NC is also home to several quality public and private golf courses for those of you wanting to spend your free time out on the links.
And if you’re wanting to save a little money on housing, the median home value in Monroe NC is around $105,000.
I’ll see you next week when we continue to visit the best places to live around Charlotte NC.
Until then, 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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