Awful Place- Never Ever Go!
I grew up in Gastonia and never realized how bad it was until I moved away. Downtown is a dump. Nothing but chain resturaunts and mom and pops, nothing exciting. You have to deal with 16 year olds in suped up imports swerving around and cutting you off. It seems every girl has a kid by the time they are twenty. You can't even go to the movie theater without dealing with loud obnoxious teenagers. Add to that the areas that are ok are full of want to be yuppie-hipsters that think they are way more important than they are.
The only three good things about gastonia are ROs BBQ, sundrop, and tony's ice cream.
I moved to Greenville, SC and am in love with the city, the people, and the relief of not having to life in the vacuum of class that is gastonia. If you do decide to life in that area, move to Belmont, its smaller but has more to offer. Good(but small) downtown, water, less garbage to deal with. Plus you get the tax incentives of gaston county, but are actually closer to Charlotte bcause you are right on the river.