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The 20 Best Places to Live in Charleston, SC

If you are considering relocating to Charleston, South Carolina, you must consider the different areas to find the one that best suits your needs, has homes within your budget, and offers you the lifestyle you desire. Each of the neighborhoods in and around Charleston has different pros and cons, so they will appeal to different groups of people. To help you consider all your options, the following is an overview of the 20 best places to live in Charleston, SC.

20. Lincolnville

With a population of just over one thousand residents, Niche says that Lincolnville is a small town in Charleston County. The area has a semi-rural feel and the crime rates are exceptionally low. Some families like this area because the public schools are above average, and it offers a quieter lifestyle for raising children. Lincolnville has a diverse community with varied and affordable housing. The cost of living in this town is lower than the average for Charleston County, so it is a reasonably affordable option. Lincolnville offers a pleasant lifestyle to its residents as there are many leisure activities to enjoy in the area. The downsides are a lack of employment prospects within the town and poor transport links.

19. Hollywood

Retirees enjoy living in Hollywood, which is a town in Charleston County with a population of just over five thousand residents. There is a mixed rural and suburban feel to this small town, which has low crime rates and a diverse community. Residents can enjoy many leisure activities, including health and fitness facilities and many outdoor activities. Although the cost of living in the area is reasonable, the house prices are high. The main downsides to this area are the poor transport links and the lack of high-quality public schools.

18. Isle of Palms

The residents of Isle of Palms can enjoy the dense suburban feel of this small town in Charleston County. The family-oriented activities, open spaces, and outstanding public schools mean that this is an excellent area to raise a family. It also appeals to young professionals because of the vibrant nightlife, job opportunities, and transport links. The downsides to this area are the astronomical house prices, the above-average cost of living, and the lack of diversity within the community.

17. Folly Beach

The excellent transport links and the many nearby job prospects are two of the primary reasons why Folly Beach appeals to young professionals. However, the area is also good for families as the public schools are above average and there are plenty of activities for families to enjoy. There are lots of parks, bars, and restaurants in Folly Beach, so leisure options are varied. It is a relatively diverse community with varied housing options and low crime rates. The main negative is the high cost of living in this area. Folly Beach is a small town with a population of under three thousand residents, and the area feels suburban.

16. Sullivan’s Island

Niche says that Sullivan’s Island is one of the best places in Charleston for families to live. This town in Charleston County has just over two thousand residents, so it has a rural feel with a strong sense of community. The public schools in this town are highly rated, which is one of the primary reasons that families are drawn to the area. There are also lots of family-oriented activities, along with a good selection of outdoor activities and health and fitness facilities in the area. Despite the rural feel, there is also a lively nightlife in this town. Residents benefit from good transport links, low crime rates, and good employment opportunities. The downsides to this area are the lack of diversity and the high house prices and cost of living.

15. South of Broad

South of Broad is one of the best places to live in Charleston for singles and young professionals says Extra Space. The area has interesting architecture, plenty of leisure activities, multiple bars and restaurants, stunning views of Charleston Harbor and the Ashley River, and lots of employment opportunities. Another appealing feature about this area is that it is one of the safest places to live in the Charleston area, as it is safer than 74 percent of South Carolina cities.

14. North Charleston

Singles and young professionals are drawn to North Charleston, and one of the reasons for this is the low house prices and cost of living. The median purchase price for a property is under $150 thousand while renting generally costs under a thousand dollars a month. It is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in Charleston, and it is safer than 17 percent of the cities in South Carolina. Commuting to The Peninsula is easy thanks to the excellent transport links. There are many leisure activities to enjoy in this neighborhood. There are approximately 108 thousand people living in North Charleston, and it has a dense suburban feel.

13. Seabrook Island

Pam Harrington Exclusives says that one of the best places in Charleston to raise a family is Seabrook Island. This area is known for its high-end housing and luxe lifestyle, so it is one of the more expensive areas to live in Charleston. It is a fantastic option for families that enjoy an outdoor lifestyle because of the beautiful landscape, which has miles of nature trails. Activities such as paddle boarding and horseback riding are popular in this area.

12. Upper King

North of the Historic District is its modern neighbor, Upper King. Its modernity and the fact that it is home to the Charleston Area Convection means that this is a popular place to live for young professionals, singles, and students. Another appealing feature for these groups of people is the vibrant nightlife in this area. There are many restaurants, bars, and lively nightclubs. However, there are also some quieter spots in this neighborhood, such as Marion Square which is a nice place to relax with a picnic. Upper King also hosts the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and multiple festivals throughout the year.

11. Hanahan

Hanahan is home to the Goose Greek Reservoir, so it is a popular place for water-based activities, such as kayaking and boating. Another popular activity in this area is bird watching. There are some excellent schools in this location, which makes it one of the top options for families who want to live in the Charleston area. Hanahan also suits people who want an active social life as there are multiple bars and restaurants for residents to enjoy.

10. The French Quarter

Some people describe The French quarter as the most romantic part of Charleston. It was once a refuge from religious persecution, and it is now known for its art scene. It is this part of the city that hosts the Charleston Art Walk twice a year. It is only a small neighborhood, but it has multiple historic churches, art galleries, and nice architecture. The area is best suited to those who want to live in period properties somewhere with a historical feel.

9. Elliotborough/ Cannonborough

The culinary scene in this neighborhood is one of its biggest attractions. There is everything from casual eateries to fine dining options in this area, and there is cuisine served from around the globe. Other than the many restaurants, this is a predominantly residential area, and it has a laid-back vibe.

8. Kiawah Island

A high-end area, Kiawah Island has some of the best restaurants and shopping options in Charleston. It is also known for its amazing golf courses. This area was developed in the 1970s, and it is now considered one of the best places in Charleston to live. It attracts the rich and famous, many of whom have holiday homes on Kiawah Island. The pristine beaches and multiple family-oriented activities also appeal to families, as do the above-average public schools. Less than two thousand people are living in Kiawah Island, so it has a sparse suburban feel. The downside to choosing this location to make your home is the high house prices and cost of living.

7. West Ashley

One of the most affordable neighborhoods in Charleston is West Ashley, which borders Downtown Charleston. The average price for condos in this area is between one and two hundred thousand dollars. It is the oldest suburb in Charleston, so the architecture is interesting, There are many activities to enjoy in this neighborhood including shopping, the only zoo in Charleston, some minor battlefields, and some historic plantations.

6. Harleston Village

If you want to live in an area that has lots of activities and attractions to keep you entertained in your free time, then Leasing and Management recommend living in Harleston Village. Some of the attractions and landmarks in this area include some interesting churches, William Blacklock House, Cannon Park, The Old Jail, and The Old Marine Hospital. It is also good for people who enjoy the outdoors as it is close to Moultrie Park and Colonial Lake. Those who enjoy a busy active love this area because of its many restaurants and bars.

5. Downtown

Those who want to live at the heart of the city and the center of the social activity should choose Downtown Charleston. There are plenty of employment opportunities, leisure activities, restaurants, shops and bars in this area. It is a hip and economically diverse area with housing options ranging from condos to large Georgian townhouses. There are also some nice outdoor spaces in Downtown Charleston.

4. Summerville

Summerville is a part of Charleston County that consists of 20 smaller neighborhoods. With a combined total of almost 49 thousand residents, this is the seventh-largest community in South Carolina. There are plenty of employment opportunities in this area as there are some major businesses with offices or manufacturing plants in Summerville or the surrounding area, such as Google, Volvo, and Boeing. This is a characterful area, and the historic district of Summerville is on the National Register of Historic Places.

3. Mount Pleasant

Niche lists Mount Pleasant as one of the best places to live in Charleston, SC. It is an area that is convenient for those who need to travel to downtown Charleston for work, and it is also close to the popular beaches of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. There are plenty of leisure activities to enjoy in this area, so the residents have an enjoyable and fulfilled lifestyle. Mount Pleasant has more than 80 thousand residents and a dense suburban feel. There are highly rated schools and family-oriented activities are plentiful.

2. James Island

Families enjoy the lifestyle on offer in James Island, which is an area with an antebellum architectural style. There are excellent public schools in this area and plenty of family-oriented activities. One of the nicest neighborhoods in this part of Charleston is Stiles Point, although the detached properties come with a high price tag. James Island is close to downtown Charleston and Folly Beach, which means that residents have access to all the amenities, restaurants, shops, and leisure activities of the neighboring areas. There are approximately 12 thousand residents living on James Island.

1. Johns Island

According to Luxury Simplified, the best place to live in Charleston is Johns Island. Within this area, the Grimball Gates gated community is considered a place that offers a perfect lifestyle. Located on the Intercoastal Waterway just 12 miles south of the Charleston peninsula, this gated community has 90-acres of nature reserve a private entertainment pavilion, private boat storage, eight ponds with water features, and miles of hiking trails. This area is equally popular among both retirees and families. In the past, this was a predominantly rural area, but a focus on residential developments and the creation of amenities has completely transformed this neighborhood.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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