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Introducing Charlotte

The largest city in North Carolina and the biggest US banking center after New York, Charlotte has the sprawling, sometimes faceless look of many New South suburban megalopolises. But although Queen City, as it’s known, is primarily a business town, it’s got a few good museums, stately old neighborhoods and lots of fine food.

Busy Tryon St cuts through skyscraper-filled downtown Charlotte, known as ‘Uptown,’ home to banks, hotels, museums and restaurants. The tiny, funky NoDa neighborhood (short for ‘North Davidson;’ www.noda.org), a collection of renovated textile mills 2 miles north of Uptown at N Davidson St and 36th, is the city’s bohemian refuge.

The visitor center (704-331-2700, 800-231-4636; www.visitcharlotte.org; 330 S Tryon St; 8:30am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat), off W 2nd St, publishes maps and a visitors guide. The public library (704-336-2725; 301 N College St; 9am-9pm Mon-Thu, to 6pm Fri & Sat, from 1pm Sun) has terminals for free internet access.