Piedmont (North Carolina)
Piedmont is the central flat region in North Carolina.
- Cary - A fast-growing city situated between the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh. Home to SAS the largest private software company in the world.
- Chapel Hill - Home of the Carolina Tar Heels.
- Durham - Famous for Duke University and tobacco connections.
- Raleigh - North Carolina's capital city and the location of many of the state's cultural
- Greensboro - One of the largest cities in the state, located near the northern center.
- High Point - "Furniture Capital of the World" and home of North Carolina's Shakespeare Festival.
- Winston-Salem - Mid-sized city, home of a famous Moravian settlement.
- Charlotte - The Carolinas' largest city and the center of commerce and culture in the Piedmont.
- Concord - Home of Lowe's Motor Speedway, host to three major NASCAR races; Concord Mills, the state's #1 tourist destination; a lovely historic district; and many cultural attractions.
- Kannapolis - Historic mill town now home to the NC Research Campus. Local attractions include the Gem Theater (built 1938); Cannon Village; and the Village Park, host to many concerts and festivals throughout the year.
- Asheboro - A small city, mostly known as the home of the North Carolina Zoological Park.
- Bessemer City
- Cornelius - 12,000 (+/-) (North)
- Davidson - 7,000 (+/-) (North)
- Fuquay-Varina - Suburb of Raleigh-Durham.
- Harrisburg - Historic town founded in 1765, home to Harrisburg Town Center, a lovely shopping district surrounding the new Town Hall and public commons.
- Hillsborough - historic town known for its arts and music festivals.
- Huntersville - 24,000 (+/-) (North)
- Matthews - 22,000 (+/-) (Southeast)
- Midland - A historic railroad town founded in 1913, home to Reed Gold Mine, site of the first documented gold find in the United States.
- Mint Hill - 15,000 (+/-) (Southeast)
- Mount Pleasant - Home to Gold Hill, a mid-1850s gold rush town, the Eastern Cabarrus Historic Museum and the Mount Pleasant Collegiate Historic District.
- Pineville - 3,500 (+/-) (South)
- Southern Pines
- Union Grove - Home of the Ole Time Fiddlers and Bluegrass Festival.
The Piedmont is, in more ways than one, a transitional zone. It is located in between the Deep South (the Hollywood version of Southern culture) and the Mid-Atlantic coastline. It also represents a gradual transition from the Appalachian mountain range toward the coastal area. Therefore it seems rather "in-the-middle" culturally and politically. Standard rules of Southern culture -- pronounced etiquette, slower speech patterns, relatively conservative social standards -- are present, but not nearly as overbearing for visitors as one might expect to find in other areas.
Due to the strong banking industry, mild climate, and natural resources, it has become a desirable destination for companies and families to relocate from the Northeast and Midwest.
English is standard in almost all areas. Some districts have become bilingual due to the recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants; these areas tend to be clustered around the urban centers. Charlotte also has a high Vietnamese population.. It is very difficult to get along outside the urban areas without conversational English skills.
Nature lovers will like Charlotte. The area, unlike most cities is very (with the stress on VERY) green. Charlotte's central location is nice, you aren't too far from the mountains or beach. The closest (large) bodies of water and waterways are:
- The Catawba River
- Mountain Island Lake
- Lake Norman
- Lake Wylie
Old Salem- Visit this 1800 style neighborhood and check out the college.Learn how to make corn pancakes and play old fashion games.
Tour Greensboro's historic Blandwood Mansion, have lunch at one of several restaurants on South Elm Street (three blocks east), then visit art and antique galleries along South Elm Street between Elm and Lee streets. 5 hours.
A local favorite is Cheerwine soft drink, you should give it a try. Other favorites include Sun Drop and RC Cola. As for beer, Char-Meck is nothing out of the ordinary. Liquor is available by the drink throughout the county, though some nearby small towns have wrestled with whether to permit it.
Be aware that liquor is only available through state-sanctioned "ABC" (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) stores. Therefore, traditional "liquor stores" do not exist. Wine and beer are available for purchase at any gas station or grocery store.
Allergy sufferers be warned; because of the heavily wooded nature of this region, this area will be hell on you during the spring. If you are sensitive to high pollen levels, you should consider coming another time, or bring medicine.