Rowan County lies in the northeast portion of the Charlotte region and has a number of civic and cultural institutions that enrich its quality of life. Salisbury is unusual for a city its size in its support of a local symphony, community theater and visual arts center. Private colleges with rich histories of their own, including Catawba and Livingstone, have added to the intellectual climate, while the county has long supported and nurtured non-profit organizations such as the Historic Salisbury Foundation and The LandTrust for Central NC that have set regional standards in the protection of cultural and natural resources.
In addition to its built environment, Rowan County is also known for some of the Charlotte region’s most productive farmland and draining these lands are numerous creeks and streams that feed two of the county’s most important natural and recreational resources, the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers. Economically, Rowan benefits from its proximity not only to Charlotte, but also the Piedmont Triad metropolitan area. On the county’s southwestern border with Cabarrus, the NC Research Campus is promising to create an economic boost fueled by bio-technology. The recent designation of the passenger rail line between Raleigh and Charlotte as a “high speed rail corridor” places Rowan among a fortunate few counties in the state that stand to benefit from what many experts believe will be the “place-making” infrastructure of the 21st century.