Cornelius is a beautiful lakefront town located along the eastern shore of Lake Norman, between Davidson and Huntersville. Just 20 miles north of Charlotte, the town is conveniently located on I-77 and has a population of about 30,000 residents. Cornelius has seen tremendous growth in the past few decades, and is a wonderful place to live in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Cornelius is named for J.B. Cornelius, who funded the first full cotton mill in the town so that farmers wouldn’t have to travel to Davidson in order to do business. The town was founded in 1893 and officially incorporated into Mecklenburg County in 1905. With the construction of the Cowans Ford Dam completed in 1964 by Duke Power and the resulting creation of Lake Norman came huge growth in the town. Lake Norman boasts 520 miles of shoreline, creating an abundance of opportunities for waterfront property and recreation. As the downtown business district of Cornelius continues to thrive, the welcoming atmosphere of the town is still very much present.
Lifestyle & Area Attractions
Cornelius’ unique location along Lake Norman creates a fun, active atmosphere to live in. From endless waterfront activities, to live music at Old Town Public House, or even catching a stand-up show at the Lake Norman Comedy Zone, Cornelius has something to offer for everyone. As the largest man-made lake in the Carolinas, Lake Norman has a plethora of activities: boating, fishing, swimming, paddling, and so much more. There are numerous marinas and paddlesport companies that make renting watercraft convenient and affordable. Jetton Park and Ramsey Creek Park are great places to relax on the beach, have a lakeside picnic, or play volleyball. Lakefront dining options are also plentiful; Port City Club and Hello, Sailor are just a few of Lake Norman’s fantastic waterfront restaurants.
For those looking to get in touch with their creative side, the Cornelius Arts Center hosts multiple events to showcase local artists’ work and offers art classes for all ages. With the city of Charlotte just a short drive away thanks to the recent completion of the I-77 Express Lanes, a Carolina Panthers or Charlotte Hornets game makes for a fun afternoon or evening activity. To round out the North Carolina sports experience, the Charlotte Motor Speedway is located in Concord, just a 30 minute drive away. In fact, Cornelius is the preferred home base of several NASCAR drivers and team headquarters. These are just a few of the many perks that come with calling the town of Cornelius, North Carolina home.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Schools is home to 32 high schools, 46 middle schools, and 113 elementary schools. There are also a number of private schools nearby, such as Davidson Day School, Davidson Green School, Grace Covenant Academy Christian School, and many more. Belmont Abbey College, Davidson College, Johnson & Wales University Charlotte, Queens University, and Catawba College are all excellent private universities within driving distance of Cornelius. Public colleges situated nearby include the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Gaston College, and several community colleges.
Cornelius is home to job opportunities across various industries, including IT, healthcare, education, finance, retail, and more. Some top IT employers in the town include Mastech Digital, Patni Computer Systems, and Collabera. Atrium Health and Novant Health provide many jobs in the medical field in neighboring towns such as Davidson, Huntersville, and the city of Charlotte. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools also provides many employment opportunities in education, as well as the many nearby colleges and universities, such as Davidson. Other companies in the area include PNC Financial Services Group, Fifth Third Bank, Aquesta Bank, and much more.
In 2013, Michael Jordan, former NBA all star and owner of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team, purchased a lakefront home at Jetton Park in Cornelius. The home is also located on the Peninsula golf course and features 6 bedrooms, a luxurious pool, and a private dock on Lake Norman. Cornelius is also home to multiple NASCAR teams, one notable team being Michael Waltrip Racing.