Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing cities in the southeast, and it’s no wonder since it offers everything you’ll find in larger Southern cities without the headaches that go along with them. Charlotte is an appealing place to settle down, with its convenient distance from both the mountains and coast, its mild weather with four seasons, and its thriving job market. However, there are some downsides that go along with living in a city, like higher housing costs and taxes, limited land and space, as well as traffic congestion. Luckily, there are several suburban cities close to the city that offer easy commutes into Charlotte.

Here are four suburban cities that are just a short drive from the Queen City.


A train on the LYNX Blue Line of The Charlotte Area Transit System
Ballantyne is always buzzing with plenty of activity. (Image credited to meunierd /
Browse Homes for Sale in Ballantyne

The Ballantyne area offers most of the convenient amenities you’d typically find in the city, including countless restaurants, boutique shopping, and movie theaters. And while most suburban areas typically have limited housing options, Ballantyne sets itself apart with a mixture of houses, condos, and apartments to choose from. It’s a great fit for anyone who wants to live in a place that’s always buzzing with plenty of activity but avoids the high costs of city living. While current home prices can be a bit high (from the low $100s to just under $5 million), rental prices (an average of about $1,300 per month, according to Zumper) are still lower than most of the apartments you’ll find in Charlotte.

Ballantyne residents can skip both the morning and evening rush hours altogether by driving a few miles to one of the city’s LYNX Light Rail stations where they can park their cars then sit back and relax the rest of the way into the city.


Trees surrounding Stowe Manor in Belmont, North Carolina
Houses are much more affordable in Belmont. (Image credited to Tim O'Brien /
Browse Homes for Sale in Belmont

The quaint town of Belmont has recently become a hotspot for young couples and families who want to live in a small town but also have all the perks of the city. Only a 15-mile drive, the commute from Belmont to Uptown Charlotte mostly avoids the daily rush hour traffic that plagues most of the other suburbs surrounding Charlotte. The town is also only a few exits away from the Charlotte International Airport, giving frequent flyers easy access for a work trip or getaway.

Houses are much more affordable in Belmont than the city proper, which gives residents the opportunity to have more square footage and sometimes even a sizable amount of land for a lot less than what you’d typically find inside city limits. Current homes for sale in Belmont range from the low $300s to over $1 million, and average rent is about $1,600 a month.

Don’t let the idea of a typical small town fool you, Belmont has plenty to do. The town’s main street is dotted with popular restaurants, charming stores, and there’s even a rum distillery a few blocks away. It’s also home to the 380-acre Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and several different parks with lots of greenspace that are ideal for spending a beautiful day outside.

Fort Mill

Welcome flags on main street in historic downtown Fort Mill, South Carolina
There’s no shortage of things to do in Fort Mill. (Image credited to SSE Photography /
Browse Homes for Sale in Fort Mill

Right across the North Carolina state line is Fort Mill, South Carolina—a fast-growing community that’s only a short drive from Uptown Charlotte. It’s ideal for anyone who wants a South Carolina zip code with lower tax rates but easy access to Charlotte to work for one of its big employers (like Bank of America or Wells Fargo). Average rent prices are around $1,300, and current homes for sale range from below $100k to just under $4 million.

There’s no shortage of things to do in Fort Mill, including Carowinds amusement park, the upscale shopping area of Baxter Town Center, and several public parks with miles of hiking and biking trails.


A sunset view of Lake Norman in North Carolina
Residents are drawn to Huntersville because of its direct access to Lake Norman.
Browse Homes for Sale in Huntersville

Located just 20 miles north of Uptown Charlotte is the suburban city of Huntersville. Residents are drawn to the area because of its direct access to Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in the state of North Carolina. Lake Norman boasts more than 520 miles of shoreline that’s full of stately mansions, lakeside dining options, and marinas offering both boat rentals and paddleboards. There are also plenty of places in Huntersville to get outside and stay active besides Lake Norman, including Latta Plantation Nature Preserve’s hiking and horseback trails, historic Rural Hill, and the Carolina Raptor Center.

While some homes in the Huntersville area are in the millions (think lakefront properties), current homes for sale range from the mid $200s to $2.8 million. Rentals average about $1,500 a month.