Friday, May 25, 2007

Singles scene: Raleigh vs. Charlotte

I know what you’re thinking already: Alisha, you’re not single, so why are you writing on the singles scenes in Raleigh and Charlotte? Let’s just say I have some experience being single in both cities; I haven’t been married for forever, ya know!

I grew up in Raleigh (ages 6-18) and have lived in the Queen City area for the past nine years. To me – it’s been the best of both worlds because the cities vary in their offerings, from sports to business to apartment living to yes, even the singles scene.

According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Raleigh ranks as one of the best cities for young singles. Are you surprised at this news? I’m not. Raleigh has the college-town feel cornered, and much like Charlotte, has completely revitalized a lot of its downtown area with night clubs and restaurants (I miss the old downtown Darryl’s off of Hillsborough Street). Charlotte seems to have a young business-professional feel to it, as though if you don’t work at a bank then you’re the odd man out. The Queen City has always felt more “adult” to me; wine in Charlotte, kegs in Raleigh.

I could sit here and debate the pros and cons of the singles scene in each city, but I’d much rather hear from readers who are single and have some experience in both regions. So, let’s hear it: Which city in your mind ranks the best for singles?

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely no comparison. Raleigh beats Charlotte hands down. I lived in Raleigh for 5 years, and have been here for seven, and would move back in a heartbeat if location for the job didn't matter. In addition to the college town feel, Raleigh doesn't spend all its time trying to be something else, as opposed to Charlotte trying to be Atlanta. People are much more open and friendly, and the range of things to do is more extensive. Just as one example, I hear people here in Charlotte talk about how culinary Charlotte is, but at any given point, there may be four or five choices for cooking lessons, private cooking lessons/personal chef offerings or free demos. When I'm in Raleigh on business and pick up their food section, there are usually 10-15 choices. In terms of social activities, the bottom line isn't necessarily more, but not as cliquish. You hit it on the nose when you said if you aren't in banking, you aren't in.

Anonymous said...

I went to college in Durham and have lived in Charlotte off and on for over 15 years (high school to present) and I must say that I've never seen Raleigh's booming night scene. I think this may be a cultural difference, too. I distinctly remember young black students from the area's HBCUs and majors like Carolina and Duke having to sort of band together to party. I talked to friend still in RDU recently and there seems to still not be any adult, urban clubs; no hip-hop clubs (barring when, say, the Roots plays an "alternative" bar in Chapel Hill); no jazz and blues bars. In Charlotte we have a little of all of that, if not in the large numbers some of us would like.

So, I'd say RDU is great for that late 20s, early 30s white/anglo community who still has ties to the college scene in the area.

They do however have better shopping!!! I want to stress that. :D

Anonymous said...

Have lived in Raleigh for 20+ years lived in Charlotte when UP-town charlotte was still the hood. Been back to Charlotte twice. Yeah there is plenty to do in UP-town Charlotte now, but, my god, you have to mortage your soul for the cost to do it. Cliquish doesn't scratch the surface as a description of the places there. The "Queen" has gotten just ever so slightly "snooty" over the past 10-15 years I would say. Raleigh isn't all that social, but most do greet you on the street with a hello, or hi. Generally, if you break down on a Raleigh street you get help without getting mugged. The college atmosphere makes it fun for most ages and all ages seem to be into the college sports events. Raleigh or Charlotte? Depends on where you are from and where you want to be going. Traffic issues in Charlotte keep me from visiting there more often. Wow, they knew 20 years ago this was coming, who was asleep at the wheel when those plans were being made? Oh well, to each his own.

Anonymous said...

whatever. charlotte's better. if you don't like it, go back to raleigh.

Anonymous said...

Although i've never been to Raleigh, it seems as though the singles scene up there probably is better. I have said this all along, charlotte is really not that hip. The atmosphere of college towns are always better simply because of the diversity of people and things to do. During college that was one of the things i enjoyed most. Although charlotte has uncc, kings, queens, and whatever, it just doesnt have that "college" feel. Some people think that because were "supposed" to be a major city that we dont need a college scene "wrong". The cities that are best for singles are cities that have a strong college, military, government or tourism presence and Charlotte does not fit any of those categories and Raleigh hits two. So I'm assuming the scene in raleigh is probably better.

Anonymous said...

People in Raleigh tend to be more creative and don't involve their lives around how much money they have, or how big or trendy their house or condo is. If the right job came, I'd probably move to the triangle in a heartbeat for the more cultural options and laid-back/open minded attitude. that makes their chicks a heck of a lot cooler too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a senior at NC State and have been in Raleigh for three years now. Grew up in Charlotte and I believe the Night Life in both cities is pretty good, they both offer something a little different. But yes, the prices in Raleigh are a lot lower on drinks, cover, and other things compared to Charlotte. There is one bar monday through thrusday that has a really good special that draws huge crowds each day of the week in Raleigh.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster who commented on the two cities from an African-American perspective. When I read some of these city rankings for best singles, I often wonder if they think caucasians are the only single people in america; with places like Portland and Seattle toping those lists. As a young single African-American professional who has spent time in Raleigh and Charlotte, Charlotte wins hands down. Raleigh is too small and offers too few alternatives to meet people. Raleigh's ok if you're 18 to 22, but once you reach adult status, its laughable to compare the two cities.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Raleigh isn't a college town! Yes, there are several colleges in & around Raleigh. Boone is a college town... Raleigh is a city with colleges. If it weren't for my career, I'd move back to Raleigh. I was raised in & all of my family still resides in Raleigh. Charlotte is generally full of snobs. I could go out any night of the week in Greensboro and Raleigh & meet someone. Here- no chance unless you're fake. That is fake hair, tan & breasts.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is all about the status quo. Yes it seems that the girls here that get all the attention from te eyuppies are the fake blondes with plastic tits and orange tans who think wearing jeans and a slutty top is being fashionable. Please they look nothing more than . . . . Anyways I prefer Raleigh because being such an educated population there seems to be a feeling going around the male population; They really take a liking to different types of beauties. From the ethereal waifs, goth, rock chicks, glamazons, minimalist artsy types etc. Charlotte on the other hand is all about the Pamela Anderson look PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping to get some insight for some good singles spots in both cities. My single friend just moved to Raleigh from CA. She is in her 40's, professional, fun, loves sports and no ties. She is looking to meet professional men - any ideas???

Anonymous said...

Charlotte atleast feels like a city. The Triangle is so spread out. If we could only take the educated people from the Triangle and plop them down in a somewhat real city like Charlotte, then it would be a lot better here. Atleast the towns/cities that make up the Triangle aren't full of rednecks. *@#$$!@#

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is also spread out!

Anonymous said...

And the tale of two cities rolls on! Historically, Raleigh and Charlotte have always tried to one up each other! They both seem to be fairly safe and offer a wide variety of social activity, depending on what you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

i liked the old raleigh. so much has changed over the past 7 years. i noticed it considerably after leaving in '01 and moving back in '04. there is no hillsbourgh scene anymore. everything is on glenwood south. it was nice back in the day when the college scene was seperated from the yuppies. there was a part of the city that did have that college town feel to it. now not so much. i credit that to the glenwood south/downton revitalization movement, opening of the RBC center west of campus, and the ultimate ban on anything resembling a party involving college students. while i was in school guys were always at held at a dis-advantage in the dating scene with the unfavorable guy to girl ratio at nc state (even with the two womens' colleges in town). i can just imagine how tough it is for broke college guys now that they are frequenting the same venues with johnny "fresh out of duke working for senator so and so" lawyer. i found raleigh becoming much like charlotte with the snootyness and growing cost of living. thats why i packed up and moved to the beach. even with the booming real estate prices down here, found a nice apt. across the street from the beach with an ocean view for $450 a month. The people are friendly no matter your job or background, unless you are a one of the annoying tourists that can't drive. raleigh will always be home though and i definitely could see myself moving back one day to settle down and raise a family. heck i even pick up a copy of the N&O from time to time during the summer when they are in the racks down here.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Raleigh, moved to Charlotte after high-school, moved back to Raleigh when I realized it just wasn't for me, and the MOVED BACK to Charlotte when I got bored with Raleigh, which didn't take long. I used to think Raleigh had a better social scene than Charlotte - back when I was in college 10 years ago. Now that I'm a little older I have a greater appreciation for Charlotte's more upscale scene. Raleigh's relaxed friendliness seems more appealing at first, but after a few years the frumpy atmosphere gets boring and repetitive. Charlotte may not have as much variety as larger cities, but if you try you can always find something new to do. In Raleigh, after a while you find yourself doing the same things over and over, and the RTP area starts feeling very clausterphobic.

Anonymous said...

Although I've been married now for seven years, I can tell you that the singles scenes in both Charlotte and Raleigh are for the birds. I was born in Charlotte, raised in Gaston County, went to college in Raleigh, and have lived in Charlotte most of my post-college life. I met my wife at a place you wouldn't typically think of for blossoming romances--the Post Office. We've had ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade her for anything. Heaven forbid anything happen to her or our marriage--I'd just assume head back to Gaston County and join the monks over at Belmont Abbey.

Anonymous said...

I am a 30 year old African American female with a professional career. I recently moved here (last August) from Durham. I lived in the RTP for 6 years. I have noticed that many of the people here are very "cliquish" and "snooty". I've tried to experience everything that I can in Charlotte from the nite clubs, parties, games, and other social events, but haven't had any real luck in meeting too many new people and making new friends (which is hard in your 30s). I think that Charlotte is great compared to Raleigh-Durham, but I can't find the single men anywhere. However, the ones I do find seem to be very snotty acting and I'm a down to earth, can shop at Wal-Mart and Nordstroms kind of girl. R-D is great for your college years and focussing on the medical profession for sure. But, Charlotte is definitely more corporate oriented and grown up.

Anonymous said...

Interesting...
Obviously from the comments Both cities have their pros & cons.

the RDU area as a whole, covers everything that Charlotte does and more.

West Raleigh, really captures the "college town" atmosphere. Keg parties, football games, young college students living out all of their early life lessons the hardway.. one party at a time.

Cary (suburb) now the 7th largest city in NC, is where you would find your educated, 27-37yr old singles & families, with the median home price range about 230k. most in this "white collar" city work in RTP for IBM (11k employees), Sony, Microsoft, Glaxo.. etc. similar to uptown Charlotte, except its a "Technology town", instead of Financial. and people here, while aware of their financial status, lack the snootyness of charlotte's elite, mostly because its a "new money" area. Almost everyone in Cary is a transplant from NY, CA, India, MI.. etc. the city itself grew with technology..

Center Raleigh, NC is really the heart of The city with the "Artspaces" coffee shops, hemp furniture? and although it has the highest concentration of alternative gasoline stations(flexfuel) everyone rides bikes! very scenic area. lots of activities.

East Raleigh is slightly more urban, but with a middle class twist. while most towns are segregated by "the tracks" and vary significantly in quality of life, Raleigh really has no "ghetto" as even the highest concentrated "low income" area's show economic development, Brand new affordable housing units and neighborhoods.

South Raleigh, is a bit "Country" several pick up trucks, blue collar industrial, manufacturing, & construction people. with the strongest NC Accents & southern hospitality.

So it really depends on what you're interests are, and where you think you might find people you can relate to.


But finally as for the "Single scene" you just have to find the neighborhood bar, club or grocery store that fits. and the prospects will come.

Alisha Hord said...

Thanks for all of your comparisons! It's interesting to see how everyone views Raleigh and Charlotte, with some vast differences in opinions.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the Raleigh area since college for 15 years. Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Cary. It's a great place to go to school, have a career in high-tech field or medicine. Then I moved to Charlotte, which has a bigger diverse feel. But along that comes with more crime.

One thing that I liked about Raleigh is better access/communication to social activities and recreational clubs (maybe due to high percentage of college students and techies online?).

So Raleigh has fresh young innovations while Charlotte has more older sophisticated feel. That's probably about right. Both are great places. one is closer to the beach and other is closer to the mtn's.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Okay first, I've never lived in either city. However you people are sadly confused, I live in Charleston and I am in my late 20's, I do not go out to bars looking for my wife, I go there because it's a meat market just like in every other city in americe. I'm going to help all you people out, especially the women in there 30's that move to Charlotte and go to the night life scene and then complain because you cant get a date. Theres a reason your surrounded by Pam Anderson types and the guy's there aren't interested in you, you simply can't compete.Furthermore, why would you, get out of that, go places that display your common interest's that you would look for in a suitable mate, I for one meet women at the dog park. I love animals, I want a woman that loves animals, wow what a concept. However after spending 5 years as a bartender in Charleston's meat market for the 18 to 28 year old demographic, I have learned that your going to the wrong place and then downing the city for it's lack of a social scene.
Let's review, bar's are meat market's, guess what, a guy isn't going to hit on a girl in a bar that he doesn't think is attractive, he doesn't know you, he doesn't know you make mean banana pancakes while listening to Elvis Costello, naked on a Sunday mornings. All we know is were drunk and if we'd like to be inside of you or not. Does that sound like your soulmate, hell no. Does that mean your cities got a bad singles scene, know that means your not physically attractive at 35 compared to a bunch of 22 year olds running around a bar, espicially not to other 22 year olds, not unless you go under the knife on a monthly basis. Men fall in love with there eyes, women fall in love with there ears, think about it and give my passed away grandmother credit for the quote, I'm out.

Anonymous said...

Well.. coming from someone that grew up near NYC and moved to Raleigh, I hate it. There is nothing to do for someone in their thirties. Believe me, I was all gung ho about moving here and now I regret it. It's very boring. Don't get me wrong it's very safe and beautiful.. but BORING. There is no nightlife and everyone goes home before 2am. And yes this is a perfect place for someone in their 20s verses someone in their 30s. To top things off.. the job market is terrible here and the pay is bad. From what I've read Charlotte seems to be a better place to live. At least there is a "city" feel to it. I think I will check it out because Raleigh is for old retired people wanting a quiet life. Such a big disappointment.

samplewhore said...

I've been in Raleigh for the past 6 years (NCSU)and I am getting ready to make the move to Charlotte in about 2 weeks. I couldn't be more excited. Raleigh is where everyone in college hangs around waiting tables. Charlotte seems like it is for people actually doing something with their life! Not to mention there is more than 1 street with bars on it. I am so sick of "Glenwood South" and ready to leave!

Anonymous said...

I moved from NYC to Charlotte over a year ago. I love Charlotte and I love Raleigh. Dating in Charlotte is tough for me because I am very outgoing, assertive...rather New Yorkish which most southerners hate. And, I must add that men from Charlotte want more of a "sweet and dainty" woman which is fine but not me. Now, for some reason to me the men in Raleigh have a little bit more of a free spirit about them. I am in Raleigh at least once a month primarily because my boyfriend lives there. I would say Raleigh is better for dating simply because there are more men and they are a bit more open...And, I know this is off the subject but the job market sucks in Charlotte and Raleigh...so if you move...move for love!!!

Anonymous said...

I am originally from Raleigh/Chapel Hill now living in Charlotte. One always thinks the place where they have the most fun and connect with people is the better place to live. I personally like Raleigh/Chapel Hill because of my friends and seems there are more people like me in that area than here in Charlotte. I do agree Charlotte is a better nite scene where you can meet more singles who aren't college aged. It seems more hip here but I like the more casual and family-life scene in the triangle area.
I think Charlotte is becoming like Atlanta so I am not a big fan of that. I hope Raleigh stays the way it is, highly educated and not so big, that way it stays manageable. Once a city gets too big, you get the bad side of big-city urban problems like crime and such that big cities have to constantly battle. If I have kids, I would want to be in Raleigh.

Anonymous said...

I went to school and worked in tech-industry 10+ years. I moved to Charlotte in 2007 for change of career and be self-employment.

If I was to return to tradition job of working for a company, hands-down I would be in the triangle area for the high percentage of educated people, research, innovative employers and casual laid-back people.

I am into outdoor and fitness activities. I think the triangle area offer more in that area. Charlotte has more fashion and pretty people that dress very nice. But I'm not really into the club scene or hip-hop so the bigger nite scene in Charlotte doesn't appeal to me.

I like the casual atmosphere of Raleigh with the nice affordable unique eateries that it has to offer (Bali-Hai and Dalat to name 2 very good restaurants). I think with so many good schools in the Triangle area, the city is influenced by the younger crowd who are the future, but also comes more innovation and more progressivenss type attitude in the city.

In Charlotte, it seems you have to make ALOT more money to be away from the undesired crime-ridden neighborhoods. And then in those neighborhoods are kind of stuffy rich people (banker types).

Being self-employeed these days are hard. I am considering going to grad school next year and of course that means I would be relocating back to my favorite place to live in the South - the Triangle!!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog while doing a Google search on both cities. Just wanted to add my opinion here. I'm a 30, single, professional hispanic male. I lived outside of Raleigh from 1999-2005. I've now been living in Charlotte since 2007 so it makes it a year. Charlotte by far is the winner here. Take it from a guy who has dated for a long time. In just 1 year here in Charlotte I have met more beautiful women with class than all my years in Raleigh. Raleigh has a lot of young 17-20 yr olds who basically are there for school. A lot of that crowd comes from the smaller towns outside of Raleigh, like Fayetteville, Wilson, Dunn . A lot of these people stick around a year or two and head back to their small hometowns. Raleigh has a lot more rednecks and hicks typical of the south. I have nothing against southerners, I love these people, I'm just telling the truth. The people I have met in Charlotte tend to come from bigger places like NYC and Chicago. A lot of New Yorker's moved here due to banking. There's more of a business mindset here, and a lot of people mistake that for being snobby, but look around Charlotte and you'll see how much it is prospering and how people here think big. Charlotte is a bigger city. It takes an hour just to go from south to north Charlotte. I read a few postings here that shopping was better in Raleigh, but I have to disagree there as well. Charlotte has a lot more malls and shopping centers. We even just opened an IKEA. I guess if you took Durham's shopping centers and combined them with Raleigh's it would add up. But we have 3 major malls in the city and Concord Mills which is right outside Charlotte. If there's one thing I do miss about Raleigh it's that they have nicer museums. There are some other things as well such as the airport which I think RDU is laid out better. Nightlife in Raleigh is sort of that college fraternity scene. If you like to head out and smell beer and vomit in bars you'll love it. There are a few places more upscale, but not a whole lot of options. Downtown Charlotte has a lot more class. The bars and clubs are more upscale. This is how a city should be. I like the fact that some places are even non-smoking... that's something I could never find in Raleigh. Also driving here makes a lot more sense. It took me longer to figure out where places were in Raleigh. I like that SC is close by too, because we have the best of both states. Mountains are a 45 min drive away. The benefits of living here just go on and on...

katie1234 said...

charlotte is a soccer mommy town...nothing wrong with soccer moms...but if you are an single, professional woman over 35 who isn't a soccer mom, whore or gold digger...you are outta luck! at least the weather is beautiful and there are greenways and the whitewater park...other than that...it is even hard to meet other quality women as friends in their 30's who aren't constantly on the prowl or materialistic. ladies over 30...RUN FAST from Charlotte

Anonymous said...

raleigh-durham wins hands down the malls are better we have real colleges so that makes for a more intellctual conversation.the hospitals are better duke carolina.charlotte probably edges out raleigh but the triangle beats the charlotte metro hands down. charlotte people never go outside of the city because there is no where else to go.the dont go to gastonia or concord pr kernesville like we goto .raleigh,durham,chapelhilland cary.thats give the variety to the triangle over charlotte metro

Kamlesh Pardasani said...

hi
Thanks for all of your comparisons! It's interesting to see how everyone information.A lot of these people stick around a year or two and head back to their small hometowns. Raleigh has a lot more rednecks and hicks typical of the south. I have nothing against southerners, I love these people, I'm just telling the truth
Relocating to Charlotte, NC

Unknown said...

Here is some side by side data between the two cities:

Charlotte vs Raleigh

Anonymous said...

Interesting to compare this argument in 2007 to the way it is now in 2013.

Both cities have clearly improved their nightlife options in that time. In Raleigh, Wilmington street is now a big hub of activity like Glenwood South, and Hillsborough street is making a comeback.

Charlotte of course has NoDa and stuff along South Tryon and Uptown.

I think generally Raleigh has more of a college town feel, inside the beltline. While Charlotte has more of an upscale thing going on.

I do kinda think the proximity to Durham and Chapel Hill gives Raleigh a clear edge. What's near Charlotte? Its suburbs are nothing to write home about. In fairness, driving to these places is time consuming, and Charlotte does have more of a major city feel to it, whereas Raleigh still feels like it's transitioning into a major city.

Anonymous said...

I think the Triangle is great but Charlotte has a lot to offer for singles. We always attend different functions and we post a lot of nightlife options for singles in Charlotte!

MingleBerry

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Whitney Maybelle said...

I just moved to http://www.drhorton.com/North-Carolina and I am single so I am hoping for some good luck here. I havent ever lived in Charlotte, although I have heard good things. Thanks for the post. Lots to think about.