There’s a reason Charleston has been voted America’s Best City three times over
2011 Charleston Voted #1 U.S. City Celebration Video
2012 Charleston Voted #1 U.S. City Celebration Video
2013 Charleston Voted #1 U.S. City Celebration Video
Charleston is known as a top tourist destination with world-class restaurants, compelling history and fabulous beaches, but to locals it's simply a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family.
A small southern town with big-city sophistication, greater Charleston's neighborhoods offer something for everyone -- from million-dollar antebellum mansions to quaint beach shacks. Skyscraper bridges connect more than a dozen islands in the Low Country of Charleston.
So, why live in the Charleston area…because living here is an experience unlike any other…
Urban but close to nature
Beautiful Beach Towns
A Golfer’s Paradise
Long cobblestone streets
A perfect bowl of shrimp and grits
Hand-woven palmetto roses
Spanish moss on oak trees
Named after its former inhabitant, the colonial governor of the Carolinas, Robert Daniell, the island is located between the Wando and Cooper Rivers; Daniel Island is five miles long and 3 miles wide and has 23 miles of water frontage. Not too long ago, Daniel Island was farm and marsh land. Today, it thrives with a broad collection of restaurants, shops, stores, businesses, and schools.
Downtown Charleston is a peninsula extending out into Charleston Harbor and separated on either side by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. It is bursting with Southern charm and hospitality. Soaking in the ambience of the brick-walled, Spanish-mossed downtown is Charleston’s main attraction with gas lamps that burn consistently. The French Quarter is just south of the Market Area along the waterfront. The area near the southern tip of the peninsula, where the Ashley and cooper Rivers meet, is known as the Battery. Downtown Charleston is a highly desirable place to live because it is so rich in history and culture. Downtown Charleston has beautiful old houses, but they are much more expensive than some of the other areas in Charleston. Also, taxes have soared over the past few years – so take the taxes into consideration when comparing prices of homes in Charleston.
Just 15 miles from downtown Charleston, Folly Beach is a barrier island known to the locals as “the edge of America”. Folly Beach is home to numerous surf spots and offers a laid-back beach community for residents and visitors. Folly Beach is a great investment because there will pretty much always be a great demand of people who want to live at the beach. Folly Beach is the most popular beach in the Charleston area, especially for college students and young professionals. Add this popularity with its proximity to downtown Charleston, and you will find that Folly Beach is a great rental area.
Located in the southern end of Berkeley County and established in 1961, Goose Creek has a population of around 37,000. Goose Creek has a more country feel than Charleston as the surroundings are much more rural.
Bordered by Goose Creek and North Charleston, Hanahan is located in perhaps the most centralized part of the greater Charleston area.
Hollywood is located about 30 minutes south of Charleston on US 17, the name comes from the profusion of holly trees that grow in the area.
ISLE OF PALMS
Isle of Palms is located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston, on the Atlantic Ocean side of Mount Pleasant.
James Island is truly one of South Carolina’s best kept secrets. This large triangular sea island is separated from peninsular downtown Charleston by the Ashley River, from the mainland by Wappoo creek and the Wappoo Cut, and from Johns Island by the Stono River. Affectionately nicknamed “Jim Isle” it is known for its farming, fishing, shrimping and live oaks. James Island is a little more affordable than Folly Beach, and it is even closer to downtown Charleston (about a 5 minute drive). James Island is mostly a residential area, but there are some restaurants (most of which are independently owned). James Island is very laid back, and many students from College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina live here. The young population and proximity to Folly Beach makes James Island a great rental area for investors.
Johns Island was named after St John’s Parish in Barbados by the first sellers to the island. Like James Island, it was once considered to be quite remote but today, it is one of the hottest areas of growth and home prices are reflecting that. Johns Island is ideal for people who want more space – larger yards, less traffic, and fewer neighbors. Also, land in Johns Island is a great investment because there are plans to extend the Interstate to the area. Johns Island will slowly become less rural and more developed.
Kiawah Island is a private beach resort located 45 minutes from historic downtown Charleston and known for its natural marsh and beach setting. Kiawah has some of the priciest real estate in all of Charleston.
Ladson is located in southwestern Berkeley County and northern Charleston County. Ladson’s Exchange park is a large events center that draws crowds from all three counties and beyond.
Monck’s Corner is located near the center of Berkeley County, it was granted the trademark “Capital of Santee Cooper” by the South Carolina Secretary of State. The trademark is a symbol of its abundant outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, hiking, water sports, boating and the best freshwater fishing in the South.
Mount Pleasant is considered to be one of the upscale and sought after communities in Charleston. For many years it was primarily populated seasonally by Charleston residents wealthy enough to afford summer homes across the river from the Charleston peninsula. The beaches at Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are just a short drive away. Mt. Pleasant has the best public schools in Charleston County. There is also plenty of shopping and restaurants in this somewhat upscale area. Mt. Pleasant also has a great location – about 10 minutes to the beaches and about 15 to 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. The main drawback is price – Mt. Pleasant is more expensive compared to other non-beachfront real estate in Charleston.
North Charleston is the third largest city in the US state of South Carolina. The success of the cultural arts center and coliseum complex, a professional hockey team, Boeing aircraft assembly and delivery prep center has helped to establish North Charleston as a thriving industrial city.
This 2200 acre island has more than three miles of beach, marshes and forest.
Summerville is recognized as a nurturing community, rich in history with superior schools which make Summerville a truly special place to work, live and play. With over 700 homes and buildings on the National register of Historic Places, Summerville is also the birthplace of Southern Hospitality and Sweet Tea! Summerville rivals Mt. Pleasant when it comes to public schools, but Summerville is much more affordable. It has a small town feel, but real estate there has grown rapidly in the past five years and will continue to grow. The biggest drawback to buying a house there is location. Summerville is about 45 minutes from downtown Charleston and a little less than an hour to the closest beach. Summerville is less of an investment area compared to James Island or Johns Island simply because of appreciation. However, if you are looking for a place to live and have a tighter budget, Summerville would be a good area to consider.
West Ashley is noted as the birthplace of Charleston as English colonist’s established the first permanent settlement in the Carolinas there in 1670. Flanked by the scenic waterfront vistas and marshes of the Ashley and Stono Rivers and ancient moss draped oak trees, the demand for homes on deep water is very high. West Ashley is more affordable compared to James Island, Johns Island, and Mt. Pleasant. And, it is still very close to Folly Beach (about a 20 to 30 minute drive) and to downtown Charleston (about a 10 to 15 minute drive). West Ashley has more commercial real estate compared to James Island and John’s Island – there are lots of chain restaurants and shopping centers.