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Charlotte offers a fantastic mix of urban attractions with a hint of friendly Southern charm.

As the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte offers numerous urban attractions. But this southern city is also a perfect setting for a wide range of outdoor recreations like golf, boating and water sports, hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding. The Charlotte area is also home to a several suburban active adult communities with their own exciting amenities and activities.

Charlotte is set in Central North Carolina, about 30 minutes from the South Carolina state line. The city is about two hours east of Asheville and just under three hours from both Fayetteville and the Raleigh-Durham area. The city has many distinct neighborhoods and a variety of suburbs which are popular with active adult residents.

The climate in the Charlotte area is typical of the South. Summer days are hot and humid with average high temperatures in the high 80s and record highs over 100 degrees. Winters are cool, but relatively mild with days in the low to mid-50s and nights that fall just below freezing. Some snow may fall, but it doesn't last long. The area does experience four distinct seasons, including colorful fall foliage and flowering trees in spring.

As in other cities, Charlotte impresses with a beautiful city skyline and a wide range of urban attractions. Residents and visitors can enjoy shopping, dining and a number of entertainments. The city has a thriving nightlife and diverse arts and culture. Attractions run the gamut from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Performing arts venues celebrate opera, symphony, theatre, dance and diverse music concerts.

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Sun City Carolina Lakes is a fabulous active adult living option in the neighboring town of Fort Mill.

Sports fans who live in the Charlotte area can cheer for three local professional teams: the Carolina Panthers (NFL), the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) and the Charlotte Hounds (MLL). There are also 'AAA' level ice hockey and baseball teams, the Charlotte Checkers and the Charlotte Knights.

With so much to do, Charlotte is a great spot for a vacation or for an active retirement. Active adults who decide to settle in the area can choose from a variety of appealing age-restricted or open-age communities. Developments within Charlotte—like Regency at Palisades or The Polo Club at Mountain Island Lake—tend to be smaller with around 400 homes or less, but boast their own amenities in addition to easy city access.

Just outside of Charlotte, the nearby suburbs include several more options for active adult living. Sun City Carolina Lakes, in nearby Fort Mill, South Carolina, is the largest community with a 40,000 square-foot clubhouse, an 18-hole golf course and plans for 3,400 homes. Active adults have many other options as well, such as Bailey's Glen, in Cornelius, or The Village of Carolina Place, in Pineville.

Whether planning a southern vacation or looking for a retirement destination, the Charlotte area has a lot to offer for active adult retirees.