In Charleston’s historic walled city, the bustling French Quarter is home to the 19th-century Charleston City Market, which sells apparel, crafts, and artwork, as well as the Confederate Museum in the old Market Hall. The Old Slave Mart Museum, built on the site of slave auctions, tells the narrative of African-Americans. Waterfront Park on the Cooper River attracts families and guests, while boutiques and galleries along King Street.
Cannonborough Elliotborough’s renovated, wood-fronted residences attract young professionals and students from local institutions. The lush streets of King, Cannon, and Spring are lined with indie boutiques, vintage businesses, and bakeries. Upper King Street offers hip bars serving craft beer and house drinks, as well as restaurants serving anything from comfortable Southern cooking to Mediterranean cuisine.
Harleston Village, founded in the 1700s, is peppered with Georgian and Italianate buildings on tree-lined alleys. Joggers and bikers flock to the pathways and leafy trees that surround Colonial Lake, affectionately known as “The Pond.” The College of Charleston has a colonnaded entrance and a beautiful campus. King Street, to the east, is a concentration of premium retailers, as well as restaurants and pubs with outdoor patios and a hip vibe.
Wagener Terrace is well-known for its upscale-casual restaurants providing unique American cuisine, particularly around Morrison Drive and Meeting Street. Its nightlife scene has a hipster flavor, with craft beer bars and microbreweries, as well as no-frills bars with live music. On the eastern side, serene cemeteries, such as Magnolia Cemetery, contain historic tombs and mausoleums.
Radcliffeborough is a residential neighborhood with a vibrant dining scene on Upper King Street, which features Italian restaurants, upmarket American grills, and cozy seafood restaurants. At night, the area comes alive with hip cocktail clubs and taverns popular with local MUSC medical students and young professionals. Choral recitas are performed at the 19th-century Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul.
Mount Pleasant is a major American suburb of Charleston, South Carolina. It is the fourth largest municipality in South Carolina and the largest town in the LowCountry, and it has been one of the state's fastest-growing areas for several years, more than doubling in population between 1990 and 2000.View Community
Hampton Park Terrace is well-known for its eponymous park, which features groomed gardens, walking and cycling routes, oak trees, and flower beds. The Citadel, a military college campus with archives and a museum, borders the park. Local sports enthusiasts can catch the Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team or the Citadel Bulldogs football team at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Rutledge Avenue is lined with casual restaurants and bars.
The residential area of Wraggborough is known for the 18th-century Charleston Museum’s exhibits on Lowcountry history, with slave badges and historic weaponry. The Aiken-Rhett House Museum depicts the lives of Africans who were once enslaved there. The South Carolina Aquarium, which overlooks the port, is home to sharks, stingrays, and a loggerhead sea turtle. King Street is lined with bars and live music establishments.
NoMo, or North of Morrison, is a modest, up-and-coming neighborhood that has been converted into a creative hub of IT enterprises and modern housing buildings. Morrison Drive and Meeting Street are hot spots for hip locals looking for soul food and tacos in casual restaurants or foreign cuisine in polished diners. Relaxed bars and microbreweries serve in-house craft brews and frequently double as nightlife locations with live music.
The vibrant South of Broad neighborhood is famed for the 19th-century Rainbow Row, which features restored pastel homes that are famous for photo opportunities. The chandelier-filled Calhoun Mansion and the Nathaniel Russell House, with a “free-flying” staircase, are both Italianate 1800s icons. White Point Garden, at the peninsula’s point, is filled with mature oak trees, Civil War cannons, and monuments. Nearby King Street is lined with antique boutiques.
Sullivan’s is only a 20-minute drive from the city, which is ideal for a beachside retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle while also being close enough to commute in for work if necessary. According to Niche.com, this Island is an excellent spot to raise a family, having access to the #2, #6, and #8 finest high schools in South Carolina.
Sullivan’s Island is a popular summer destination for both locals and visitors. But if you live there all year, you have the best of all worlds: a bustling summer and a peaceful winter. That sounds about right to us. We should discuss the houses to fill up our section on Sullivan’s. The real estate market isn’t doing well.
James Island is another great spot to settle near the city of Charleston. That’s right; we’re talking about James Island, the ideal location for individuals looking for real estate near the town and the beach. James Island, located just over the harbor from downtown Charleston, is the closest suburb to the city, but that’s not all. If you want to live on James, you won’t have to leave until you can’t resist the impulse to go downtown because everything you could possibly need is on the Island.
Residents of James Island with school-aged children have assured access to James Island Charter High School, the state’s first and most notable charter school. When given the choice, families choose the charter school’s more personalized instruction over Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, which has a student body of over 4,000 but more competitive athletics, clubs, and extracurriculars.
For food and entertainment, James Island residents frequent Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint for scrumptious pulled pork or the Charleston Crab House for dinner by the water. And for outdoor fun, take the family (and the dog) to James Island County Park, which has 643 acres of walking and bicycling trails, an off-leash dog park, and boat rentals — the possibilities are unlimited.
Downtown Charleston, South Carolina at night, with a sunset and iconic structures in the background.
Carmella's Cafe and Dessert Bar, located in the center of downtown Charleston, combines generationally tested culinary cuisine with a regional flair. We feature an ever-changing selection of desserts, gelato, and sorbet, as well as fresh, organic coffees, sandwiches, wine, beer, and drinks.View
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (464 acres, 187.77 hectares) is a historic mansion and gardens on the Ashley River, located at 3550 Ashley River Road west of Ashley, Charleston County, South Carolina. It is one of the South's oldest plantations and is on the National Register of Historic Places.View
Folly Beach, a laid-back surf village, is the next community on our list. It’s difficult not to feel at ease when you breathe in the warm, salty air. Folly Beach is noted for several reasons, including its paradise atmosphere, amazing surf, pier, and community. Each year, residents of Folly Beach are joined by tourists and Charleston locals, giving the typically tranquil beach town a bustling summer flair.
The Folly’s year-round population consists of college students, young professionals, families, and seniors, possibly because this place appeals to everyone, not just one or two age groups. Furthermore, with median home prices about $560K compared to Kiawah’s $750K+ and Sullivan’s million-dollar real estate, it’s the more reasonable option for beachfront property near Charleston.
One of the finest neighborhoods in and surrounding Charleston is West Ashley. West Ashley, while not an island, nonetheless has some wonderful water views of the Ashley River just west of the Charleston peninsula. West Ashley is predominantly a residential neighborhood, with housing options ranging from a simple starter home to an 8,000-square-foot Gatsby mansion – whatever tickles your fancy, right?
Despite this, the average home price in this area is under $300,000, making the city’s largest suburb one of the more inexpensive options near to downtown. The food and nightlife scene in West Ashley is well-known, with the epicenter of activity located along the intersection of Magnolia Road and Savannah Highway.
West Ashley’s school-aged children typically attend West Ashley High School, Carolina Voyager Charter School, or West Ashley Advanced Studies Magnet. There are also various private schools in the area from which to pick. Overall, West Ashley is perfect for those looking close to the city without forking up significant cash in a neighborhood like South of Broad or on an Island like Sullivan’s Island.
Daniel Island, formerly a planned development that has now evolved to become its own full neighborhood, is less than 30 minutes from downtown Charleston—and it’s the greatest neighborhood in Charleston to stay in. While you’ll have easy access to downtown, if you choose to reside on Daniel Island, you’ll have lots of possibilities.
Daniel Island has a variety of restaurants to fulfill any appetite. Sermet’s Courtyard serves scallop risotto and gnocchi bolognese, and if you prefer Greek or Mediterranean cuisine, stop by Ali Baba Deli for a Kofta Kebab.
After you’ve satisfied your hunger, a visit to Governor’s Park can be a terrific opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, baseball, and tennis. You can also enjoy the dog walk and the breathtaking waterfront.
While only about a third of Johns Island is really in Charleston, it is another enclave that keeps you close to the city core while yet giving a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Golf aficionados should travel south to Kiawah Island to see the ocean course where Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship in 2021. If you’d rather spend your time eating and drinking, take a drive down Highway 700 and choose from the many restaurants. Start with a Pork Saltimbocca at Wild Olive Cucina and end with one of the dozens of whiskeys at Seanachai Whiskey and Cocktail Bar.
On Johns Island, rents range between $1,500 and $2,200. However, the typical rent is on the lower half of this spectrum, just about $1,500.
North Charleston is technically a city in its own right. In reality, it is South Carolina’s third-largest city. North Charleston is significantly farther from the water but is still accessible and a terrific place to live, boasting convenience (the airport is situated in North Charleston!) and lower rent than certain regions.
Given that North Charleston is its own city, there should be no shortage of food alternatives. Nigel’s Good Food serves down-home chicken and waffles or oxtails and gravy, and Jackrabbit Filly serves Dim Sum Sunday Brunch. Also, if you’re searching for a more friendly museum, go to the North Charleston Fire Museum and relive your childhood fascination with all things firetruck.
Rents in this neighborhood are lower, with an average of just under $1,200. Even at the upper end, rents tend to hover around $1,500.