As the Seattle Seahawks prepare to take on the Carolina Panthers in the NFL playoffs, we compare boasting points with our cross-country rival, Charlotte, N.C.

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As the Seahawks and the Vikings last week prepared to face off, we looked at the long-standing cultural rivalry between Seattle and Minneapolis. This week, it’s a new game — and a new comparison.

At first glance, it wouldn’t seem like Washington and North Carolina have much in common. Charlotte, where the Panthers play, is host to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Washington’s greatest contribution to sporting might be the invention of pickleball, quite a few RPMs lower on the excitement chart.

One of North Carolina’s two(!) state dances is called the shag, which sort of makes Washington’s selection, the square dance, look, well … square.

North Carolina even boasts its own state carnivorous plant, the Venus fly trap. Washington chose a state flower, the lovely Coast Rhododendron. Beautiful, yes, but it can’t swallow a frog.

In some areas, we’re in competition for Carolina cool. Both states boast beautiful outdoor hiking, hunting and coastal scenery. Charlotte and Seattle are neck-and-neck in growth. Here’s how the two regions stack up.


Both states are known for scenic riches, where hikers can enjoy long stretches of famous trails. Washington offers thigh-burning hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail, which gains more than 100,000 feet overall as it snakes up, down and through the state’s mountain passes, meadows and snowy peaks. The trail hits its highest point about eight miles from the Canadian border at 7,126 feet.

One of the steepest sections of the Appalachian Trail is in North Carolina. Stretching more than 300 miles, much of this leg of the trail lines the state’s border with Tennessee. Along the border, the trail travels over its two tallest sections. Clingmans Dome, on the Tennessee side, rises to 6,643 feet.


With plenty of mountain and forest terrain, both states are a haven for hunters.

In Washington, 120,488 hunters in 2014 killed 32,216 deer, according to Department of Fish and Wildlife data. About 29 percent of hunters had a successful season, the data shows.

Big numbers, but not compared to North Carolina, where more than twice as many hunters had nearly twice as much success that deer season.

More than 51 percent of North Carolina’s 258,409 deer hunters killed at least one of the animals.


Washington and North Carolina are lucky enough to have miles of beautiful ocean coastline and beaches. According to the Congressional Research Service, Washington has 157 miles of coastline and North Carolina counts 301 miles.

Lighthouses dot the coasts and Puget Sound. According to Lighthouse Digest, which keeps a database of the beacons, Washington features 34 lighthouses to North Carolina’s 41.

Manageable growth

Both Seattle and Charlotte are among the fastest growing cities in the nation, with housing prices rising as more people flood the two regions.

From 2010 to 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates Charlotte’s population has grown from 731,424 to 809,958, a 10.7 percent change.

Meanwhile, in Seattle our population has grown from 608,660 to 668,342 in the same period, a 9.8 percent change.

As CityLab reports, Charlotte faces many of the same issues as Seattle: Soaring traffic volumes on roadways, class divisions and gentrification worries.

Public transportation

Even with rapid growth, Charlotteans beat us into work. It takes about 24.5 minutes for the average commuter to get in to the office, according to Census Bureau figures. That compares to 26 minutes in Seattle.

Our commutes might take more time in Seattle, but we aren’t forced to be behind the wheel because we have viable transportation alternatives. Eighty-seven percent of people in Charlotte drive to work, 76.4 percent alone. In Seattle, 59.4 percent of workers got to work by car, and 19.6 percent took public transportation.

That compares to just 3.9 percent in Charlotte, where transit doesn’t appear to be much of an option.