I am most likely moving to Charlotte with my family in the next few months. We have a 5 year old, 3.5 year old, and a 2 year old. Any information about the area would be helpful. Recommendations for areas to live? Would love to find an area that is somewhat walkable, access to fresh, organic foods, yoga, decent schools as my children will most likely attend public schools. Areas to avoid? Things to know?
Moving to Charlotte, What should I know?
Look into Baxter Village, which is a planned community within Fort Mill. It is right near an exit from 77, about 20 minutes to "uptown" Charlotte. Elementary school is excellent and lots of kids in Baxter walk there. Baxter has lots of restaurants, community pool, library, local Y, yoga studio, wine bar, parks, planned activites, etc. We often park at the library and walk all over Baxter. We don't live there but we wish we did! (We live in "old" Fort Mill which has nice old houses and bigger yards but not many kids to play with and can't walk to much.)
Thank you so much for this information. I have been researching on the internet, but would prefer input from real people. Do you know of any preschool programs in the area? I have a daughter who turns four in September and would like to put her in a part time program to socialize and make some new friends.
We live in East Charlotte. I live near the university area, which I like a lot. It's cheaper, and still easy to get to pretty much anywhere in Charlotte I want to go within a reasonable driving time. I don't personally want to live in Fort Mill, but I've heard very nice things about Baxter Village. Fort Mill Public Schools has a good reputation overall. Charlotte Mecklenburg does not really. If you decide to live within Mecklenburg county, choose your homeschool carefully. There are some wonderful magnet programs, but they are done by lottery, which means you might or might not get a spot. It is very discouraging.
For us that's a moot point because we will be homeschooling. We do send our children to preschool though. We are at Piedmont Progressive Preschool and I love it. Website: http://www.progressivepreschool.org/ The only other preschool we considered was Open Door School. http://www.uuccharlotte.org/ods_home.asp Both schools have Reggio-Emilia tendencies, although I'm not sure we follow a set style at PPP. It is a little difficult to find a non-religious preschool in Charlotte. If you don't mind going to a church preschool, I have heard that Plaza Presbyterian has a good play-based program. http://plazapresbyweekdayschool.org/index.htm
Fresh foods and the best grocery stores are easiest to find on the south side of town, such as Southpark and Ballentyne. Both are more expensive areas to live in. There are a few farmer's markets around town too, and it's not impossible to get organic food elsewhere. There's a Trader Joe's in the university area though.