The Old South is up to new tricks in Charlotte, a global banking powerhouse (the second-most important in the U.S. after New York) and holder of the #33 spot in our ranking for Prosperity. Locals in the Queen City are smart, too; Charlotte ranks #22 in our Educational Attainment subcategory. The prosperity is easily accessed and distributed, powered by Charlotte’s #10 ranking for Airport Connectivity. People call their downtown Uptown, but the good news is that it’s all walkable. Beneath its bankerly surface, Charlotte offers unexpected attractions: the Nascar Hall of Fame, for instance, where you can trace the sport from its moonshine-running roots to today’s multi-billion dollar powerhouse. Glory Road is a banked ramp featuring historic cars and tracks, and racing simulators let you become a pitstop crew member, and see the world from the drivers’ point of view.