Charlotte, North Carolina is the fastest growing city on the east coast, and fifth in the nation. A poster child for smart economic development, Charlotte has emerged as the second largest banking headquarters in the U.S. The presence of young business professionals gives the city an energetic, sophisticated feel. The city's prosperity has breathed life into the arts scene, bringing music and theater productions to venues such as the NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Students at Charlotte's colleges and universities can also enjoy local recreational opportunities--the city won honors as one of the top five "Cities with Big Outdoor Appeal" (Shape).
The standout among Charlotte colleges and universities is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a public research university with over 20,000 students. Located in the 'University City' district of Charlotte, UNC also features a 3200-acre Research Park. Charlotte hosts several private colleges and universities, including Queens University of Charlotte and Davidson College.