In a previous post, I discussed the variety of things there are to do in Charlotte for families with children. But what about young professionals, especially single folks? The good news is Charlotte has just as many things to do for this demographic. Young professionals will find the city has a vibrant nightlife, a bustling downtown, and is rich in the arts. In 2010, the percentage
of Generation Y residents was 21.7% and that number is steadily growing.
Charlotte draws lots of young professionals to the area due to its low-cost of living and job opportunities in the financial sector. Many young professionals, both singles and married couples, tend to live in Uptown, parts of Dilworth and Myers Park, South Park, and South End neighborhoods, although you may find young singles scattered through other areas.
For things to do, Uptown Charlotte offers a variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Historic Southend has everything from funky gallery crawls to street festivals to wine tastings. NoDa (short for North Davidson Street) is home to some of the city’s best collection of art galleries and performance venues as well as some of the most eclectic full-service restaurants including authentic Cajun cooking, Southwest cuisine, a Creative pizza eatery and more. And for outdoor activities as well as nightlife, Lake Norman is just a short drive for both.
Charlotte also hosts several signature events throughout the year that are popular with young adults. Art & Soul of South End is a two-day arts fest featuring the work of hundreds of local artists and live music. Yiasou Greek Festival, held each September, celebrates Greek culture, including arts, crafts, food and entertainment. Festival in the Park, also held in late September, includes arts and crafts, live entertainment, and plenty of food, all displayed in the inviting surroundings of the lake at Freedom Park. And perhaps the largest annual, charitable event in Charlotte, is Second String Santa, an annual holiday party that draws thousands of young professionals to see and be seen while raising money and collecting gifts for needy children in the area.
In addition to entertainment, dining and nightlife to suit almost any taste, young adults living in Charlotte can get involved in several local groups and organizations based on their personal interests. There are many young adult church groups, including CharlotteOne, a unified movement of 26 local churches aimed at 18-35-year-olds. For those interested in the arts, BRAVO! is Opera Carolina’s group for young professionals interested in exploring Charlotte’s vibrant performing arts scene. There’s also the GenY Council, Guys with Ties, YAD (the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte), The Mint Museum Young Affiliates, and several active college alumni groups throughout the city.