Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center, and is now the second largest banking center in the United States after New York City. The nation's second largest financial institution by assets, Bank of America, calls the city home. The city was also the former corporate home of Wachovia until its purchase by Wells Fargo in 2008; Charlotte will soon become the headquarters for East Coast Operations of Wells Fargo. Charlotte is also home of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte and its resident county are named in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of British King George III 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 has a humid subtropical climate and is situated halfway between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. 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.