NOTE: We are not advocating mass travel during this time, but we do want to continue to support the incredible businesses and destinations that make North Carolina so amazing. Please virtually travel with us through our articles and plan your visits for when it is safe to do so.

The Charlotte Metropolitan Area

The Charlotte Metropolitan Area, aka Charlotte Metro or Metrolina, includes nine counties in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. Of course, it’s centered around the massive city of Charlotte and continues to grow both inward and outward.

On this page, you’ll find an introduction, things to do in Charlotte and its surroundings, and background info on the area.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, also known as Queen City, is North Carolina‘s largest and one of the largest in the entire American South.

If you’re looking for a fun place to spend a weekend, Charlotte should definitely be at the top of your list.

Today’s Charlotte offers so much to do beyond banking, from family-friendly fun, great nightlife, a truly diverse food scene (including healthy options), and an amazing parks system.

There are tons of things to do in Charlotte and in nearby towns, cities, and counties, especially outside. Many can be found on our NC Bucket List.

Popular Charlotte NC Posts

Here are some of our most popular posts on Charlotte, which should show you why this is one of our favorite places to visit in North Carolina.

The Latest Charlotte NC Posts and Mentions

We’re also working on new posts about Charlotte and even mention the city in roundups that include spots from Western North Carolina all the way to the coast.

Surrounding Towns, Cities, and Counties

As we mentioned, seven counties around Charlotte and Mecklenburg on the North Carolina side comprise the rest of the Charlotte Metro. They include the following day trip spots, comprised of more than a few prominent cities, towns, and landmarks:

  • Cabarrus County: Concord, Kannapolis (shared with Rowan County), and Mount Pleasant (home to Southern Grace and 73 & Main).
  • Cleveland County: Boiling Springs, Kings Mountain, and Shelby.
  • Gaston County: Crowders Mountain State Park, Gastonia, and Kings Mountain (shared with Cleveland County)
  • Iredell County: Davidson, Lake Norman (shared with Catawba, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg Counties), and Statesville.
  • Lincoln County: Lincolnton.
  • Mecklenburg County (including Charlotte): Davidson and Huntersville.
  • Rowan County: Kannapolis (shared with Cabarrus County), Salisbury, and Spencer.
  • Stanly County: Albemarle, Badin, and Locust.
  • Union County: Monroe.

We’ve created a few posts about these spots, too, and look forward to sharing more!

Background

Origins

Before it became the Charlotte Metro, the area has enjoyed an interesting journey.

The Catawba Tribe were the first people recorded to settle in this area, as early as 1567. Other tribes utilized their “Nations Path” that passed through Charlotte. It ran all the way from the Chesapeake Bay to Georgia, which is the same path as today’s I-85.

Europeans eventually settled the city and named it for the wife of King George III (Queen Charlotte) when chartering it in 1768. Her birthplace in Germany, Mecklenburg, is the origin for the county that Charlotte and surrounding towns inhabit.

Revolutionary War and Civil War

During the Revolutionary War, General Cornwallis attempted a takeover of Charlotte and found, in his own words, “a hornet’s nest of rebellion.” Following the Revolution, the city steadily grew, with its first rise to prominence coming as a result of the railroad.

During the Antebellum, the area around Charlotte was the scene of America’s first gold rush. In fact, you can visit Reed Gold Mine in Cabarrus County and learn about North Carolina’s place in gold history.

The Confederates leaned heavily on Charlotte during the Civil War, producing cannon and iron for ships. Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet even held their final meetings in Charlotte on Tryon Street.

Post-Civil War to Banking Capital

After the war, Charlotte experienced more growth as a cotton hub and when Camp Greene was established during World War I. It was the state’s second-largest city by 1920 and permanently overtook Winston-Salem soon after.

Charlotte’s most recent population boom began in the 1970s when banks started calling the city home. Starting with the Hugh McColl-led North Carolina National Bank (now Bank of America), Charlotte is now America’s second-largest banking headquarters after New York.

Searching for Something Specific?

We look forward to sharing more fun things to do in Charlotte, its awesome people, and more as we continue exploring the Queen City. If you’re seeking something specific, check the search box above.

You can also visit our Facebook Group and ask a question there. Either way, we’ll be happy to help your search.