Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina, the seat of Mecklenburg County, the second-largest city in the Southeastern United States, and the third fastest-growing major city in the United States. Residents of Charlotte are referred to as “Charlotteans”. It is listed as a “gamma-plus” global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte and its resident county received its name in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of Great Britain the year before the city’s founding. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was “a hornet’s nest of rebellion”, leading to the nickname The Hornet’s Nest.
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which among other financial operations makes it the second-largest banking center in the United States.
Among Charlotte’s many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major international hub, and was ranked the 23rd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic in 2013.
Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate. Charlotte is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.