The largest of the incorporated cities and towns in Gaston County, Gastonia serves as the hub of education, healthcare, commerce and industry. Advantageously located in the geographical center of the county, the city is 22 miles west of Charlotte. Covering a sprawling area of 44 square miles, the city is home to a diversified economy that includes a regional healthcare delivery system and major medical center and the main campus for Gaston Community College. Two of the largest shopping centers in the Charlotte region are located in Gastonia. Westfield Shopping Town-Eastridge is one of the state's largest, offering leading department stores and more than 100 specialty shops. The Franklin Square retail village along East Franklin Boulevard fills more than one million square feet of space with shops, boutiques, stores, restaurants, services, and entertainment centers. Fine and casual restaurants offer everything from international cuisine to local "fish camps." The ambitious "Connect Gaston" bicycle and pedestrian greenway system crown lush parks and first-rate recreational facilities. Whether your dream is a luxurious golf-course community or a quiet neighborhood shaded by a canopy of trees, Gastonia has the ideal address.