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Old 01-10-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
44 posts, read 158,129 times
Reputation: 39

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I've been really looking into moving into the Charlotte area from this junk Commonwealth of PA....mainly due to the economy and the blatant (as I call it at least) social retardation of the northeast.

I'm also truly looking for a southern city (which from what I understand Charlotte is losing that vibe a bit), and I've heard nothing but great things about Columbia.

What does Columbia have to offer that Charlotte would not?

I know I could read the graphs and pie-charts and all that stuff from this site all day, but I'm much more interested in hearing it's right from the horse's mouth if you will.

Any help would be appreciated.

-Ryan
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:17 AM
 
2,356 posts, read 3,473,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan101 View Post
I'm also truly looking for a southern city (which from what I understand Charlotte is losing that vibe a bit), and I've heard nothing but great things about Columbia.
The bigger the city or the better the economy/labor market, the less "southern" it will be. I'm not sure if Charlotte ever really did have a southern vibe, because of its size, but I suppose that's a matter of opinion.

If I had to choose between the two, it'd be a toss up. IMO, Columbia is a better place to buy a home, and seems like more of a community. Charlotte feels enormously spread out to me, and a little more transient. From a cultural standpoint (nightlife, art, music), I think the two cities are similar, despite Charlotte being so much larger.

If you want pro sports, loads of high-end retail, lots of white-collar job opportunities, a bigger airport, etc., then Charlotte sounds better.


Quote:
What does Columbia have to offer that Charlotte would not?
SEC football, southern hospitality, a state capitol building, cheaper real estate, Congaree Nat'l Park. To be honest, I think size is the biggest difference.
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
10,966 posts, read 21,970,243 times
Reputation: 10659
I agree with the above poster. I lived for a while in the Rock Hill area (Charlotte, SC if you will) and I've lived in Columbia. I love both. Columbia a bit more affordable, feels more like home. Charlotte is a lot of fun and has a lot to offer. You'd probably like both or hate both about the same.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,830 posts, read 16,555,957 times
Reputation: 1928
I don't know that I'd say Columbia is more "southern" than Charlotte. The two cities aren't a lot alike. Columbia is a college and government town and heavy in the insurance industry. Charlotte's jobs are more in banking, but both cities have a predominantly white collar economy. My biggest complaint about Charlotte is that I think it has been sterilized too much and is too plastic. My biggest complaint about Columbia is that the city tends to almost be too strict in approving projects, etc. I'd recommend visiting both cities on a busy weekend - a NASCAR or Panthers home weekend in Charlotte and a USC home football game weekend in Columbia. Stay at the Hilton or the Hampton Inn in the Vista in Columbia and stay somewhere in downtown Charlotte. In Columbia, hang out in the Vista and Five Points. I'm sure someone can recommend where you should hang out in Charlotte.
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: District of Columbia
737 posts, read 1,653,461 times
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Like many things it comes down to what you are looking for. As far as quality of life issues go there really isn't much difference both cities are pretty much on par. I think everyone knows that the Charlotte area is bigger, and with that comes the things that larger areas bring no matter where you go in the country (pro teams, shopping, congestion, cost of living, etc.) with that aside there really isn't that much difference. For a city of its size it has just as much to offer if not more than many of its peer cities (Knoxville, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Greensboro, etc.).

Again I just think it largely depends on what you are looking for?


As far as what to offer Columbia has of course SEC sporting events which is arguably livelier than many pro sporting events, Congaree National Park, presence of a major national university, less congestion, less pretentious stuck-up people? LOL.

I'd recommend visiting both and then deciding.

Last edited by sandlapper; 01-10-2008 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:59 PM
 
62 posts, read 278,487 times
Reputation: 29
Charlotte has a cosmopolitan edge to it. Columbia seems more homey and maybe that way you might get more of southern feel.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:39 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,180 posts, read 14,856,443 times
Reputation: 2698
Being very familiar with both cities and judging both cities from their cores, Charlotte is very corporate and buttoned-down, whereas Columbia comes across as more laid-back and artsy in an organic sense. Downtown Columbia is a center of education and government, whereas bank buildings dominate Uptown Charlotte. The major differences between both cities are the composition of the local economies and size. Charlotte is experiencing rapid growth, which has somewhat resulted in a dilution of the local culture. Columbia is growing, but much more moderately, so it does a better job of retaining its local flavor. On a per capita basis, both cities have similar offerings when it comes to the arts and entertainment. The decision will simply boil down to one's personal tastes.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Uptown CLT (4th Ward)
2,560 posts, read 8,549,726 times
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They are only about 1 1/2 hrs apart. There are families that actually live 1/2 way in between and one works in Columbia and the other works in Charlotte.

I am sure the one commuting to Charlotte has double the traffic or worse.

THANK GOD that Light Rail has opened in Charlotte!

Both are great cities and nothing alike.

I would compare Columbia to Raleigh and not just beacuse they are both capitals either.

Most people hang out...Uptown, Plaza-Midwood, SouthEnd, NODA and many more areas. We have 2 areas of town that both have gallery (art) crawls (NODA & SouthEnd).
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:27 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,466 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan101 View Post
I've been really looking into moving into the Charlotte area from this junk Commonwealth of PA....mainly due to the economy and the blatant (as I call it at least) social retardation of the northeast.

I'm also truly looking for a southern city (which from what I understand Charlotte is losing that vibe a bit), and I've heard nothing but great things about Columbia.

What does Columbia have to offer that Charlotte would not?

I know I could read the graphs and pie-charts and all that stuff from this site all day, but I'm much more interested in hearing it's right from the horse's mouth if you will.

Any help would be appreciated.

-Ryan
This isn't a real Apples to Apples comparo. They are two completely different cities. Think of Columbia as Scraton, and Charlotte as Philly. I've spent alot of time visiting down south before taking the plunge myself, and that dream of finding that Charleston house with the Palmetto tree isn't as viable as one would hope. With all the development down here, it does feel very similar to what you are leaving.... just all very new! The new housing developments that are everywhere have stripped these areas of a bit of that southern charm I had sought as well. The strip mall your used to in PA can just as easily be found here... and probably more frequently.

In terms of what you are personally looking for...
Price.. Columbia wins, hands down. (I found the economics of living columbia as a whole significantly less then Charlotte, Charleston, and Greenville)
Nightlife/Entertainment: Charlotte
"Cosmopolotion"- Charlotte
Things to do- My vote goes Charlotte again
Culture- (Unless your a South Carolina GameCock fan) Charlotte again.
Traffic- Columbia
Stable Economy- Columbia (just a personal belief that the Government jobs, and Medical industry will remain more stable then the financials that dominate the Charlotte Landscape)
Convience- Columbia, Its 2 hours to the Beach (charleston), 3 hours to Myrtle, and 2.5 hours to the mountains. If your like me and like mixing it up on the weekend roadtrips Columbia is really in a nice central location for that type of travel.

Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:57 AM
 
33 posts, read 102,762 times
Reputation: 18
Columbia has a very governmental feel to it - and it is a lot of people who are all originally from S.C. It is commonly referred to as a "concrete jungle" as there is not much landscaping or greenery. Charlotte is much more modern and you will probably have an easier time fitting in and there are a lot of different areas to chose to live in. A friend of mine and her husband relocated to Columbia for work a year back and she has not had an easy time, she feels as if most of the people there have known each for years and she says it tends to be clickish. Columbia does have a very central location however and that is convenient b/c most of the people I know who work and live there are always desperate to get out of town on the weekends...
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