Whether you think of Charlotte, NC, as the “Queen City” or the “Hornet’s Nest,” history is on your side. This heart of Southern charm and gentility was named after Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III at the time of its founding in 1768. Thank British Commander General Cornwallis for the “hornet” moniker. When hostile Charlotteans told him to “get out!” he grumbled that the city was a “Hornet’s nest of rebellion.”

That Brit had reason to grumble. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed here, one of the very first such declarations that led to the American Revolution. MecDec Day is celebrated every May 20 in Charlotte with musket/cannon firings and re-enactments.

Maybe its royal roots and rebellious energy are the reason this beautiful Southern city is second only to New York City among the nation’s largest financial centers by assets, even though (or maybe because?) the cost of living here is below the national average, according to Dickens Mitchener Associates, Charlotte’s leading real estate experts.

Home to Bank of America and Wells Fargo’s East Coast operations, the Greater Charlotte area boasts the headquarters of Lowe’s, Family Dollar, Chiquita Brands International, Time Warner Cable, and over 280 other Fortune 500 corporations.

Sports rank high on Carlotteans’ activities list, with hometown NFL Carolina Panthers, NBA Charlotte Bobcats, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the U.S. Whitewater Center. In fact, its multiple nearby lakes are a constant draw for anyone who loves water sports. The 600 NASCAR race is the fourth largest sporting event in the nation and we are home to over 50 NASCAR racing teams.

Carlotte’s broad spectrum of appeal has triggered an impressive expansion in high-end residential real estate in this county seat. And with the influx of those who can afford, and demand, the very best has developed a wealth of amenities, raising the bar in education (especially higher education), entertainment, cuisine and culture, including nationally famous museums, theaters and other performing arts.

Andrew Carnegie underwrote what has become the world-recognized Carnegie Library in Charlotte. Nationally famous museums, theaters and other performing arts abound as well.

History runs deep in this former home of the Catawba Indians, who actually fought beside Carlotteans against the British. The city itself grew up around the intersection of two Native American trading paths, now the site of Independence Square. One path is the route of Trade Street today. The other, the Great Wagon Road, is now Tyron Street.

Another nickname for our town is “City of Churches,” a fitting title for the hometown of Billy Graham. Founding site of Southern Presbyterianism, Charlotte was said to have had over 500 churches of all faiths, practically one every corner.

Another kind of riches set off the U.S.’s very first gold rush. The story goes that a 12-year-old youngster found a 17-pound rock in 1799. His family needed a doorstop and used it as such for years. Later, a jeweler declared it was nearly solid gold and paid the family a whopping $3.50 for it!

North Carolina led the nation in gold production until the California Gold rush in 1848. You can still mine for gold here if you like. Sited atop a ridge between Sugar and Irwin Creeks, amongst the Appalachian Mountains, Charlotte today is built over gunnies (spaces) left by the gold mining in the Carolina Piedmont.

Our subtropical climate translates into short winters, with lots of clear, sunny pleasant days on which to enjoy the many golf communities, other outdoor sports and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, a popular part of the park system inspired, in part, by the San Antonio River Walk. The American Foundation for the Blind dubbed Charlotte the “Most Livable Community for the Visually Impaired”.

Michael Jordan is a native son, as are many other sports heroes, including football greats Reggie White and Sam Mills, Football Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, NASCAR multiple champion Richard Petty and sportscaster Jim Nantz. Famed wrestler Ric Flair makes his home in Charlotte, as does American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino.

Dickens-Mitchener is one of Charlotte’s representative of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, which annually totals $300 billion in annual home sales. Vicky Mitchener’s commitment to the Greater Charlotte area is reflected in the involvement of their now-70 agents and 10 staff members in community activities far beyond the company’s technologically advanced approach to real estate transactions.