Explore the Best Neighborhoods in Charleston SC
While most people know our famous historic district, there are all kinds of places to live here. From bedroom communities like Mount Pleasant, James Island and West Ashley — and master planned communities like our own Daniel Island — to beach and resort towns like Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Kiawah and Seabrook, you have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing the best neighborhood in Charleston, SC.
Downtown Charleston’s walkable scale, scenic parks, courtyard gardens and coastal setting are among the many characteristics that draw residents to its neighborhoods. Museums, galleries, theaters and countless historic attractions make it a prime location for history and culture buffs, who’ll find endless diversions right outside their front door. The peninsula also offers an eclectic mix of shops and world-class restaurants in its varied neighborhoods.
Wide inviting porches, columned entrances and intricate details are just a few elements that embody Charleston’s famous architecture, from grand mansions on the Battery to the classic “Charleston-singles” found in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Dining & Culture
The arts flourish in Charleston, with historic and modern-day theaters, galleries and museums for theater, art, music, dance, lectures and more. The city is also among the country’s top culinary destinations with outstanding restaurants of all kinds virtually anywhere you go.
Historic homes of all sizes (dating back to as early as the 1700s) have been restored as single-family homes and condominiums throughout the lower Charleston peninsula, offering a variety of appealing options for those who desire to live in a home with a history.
In some pockets of the city, redevelopment has made way for newly-constructed townhomes, lofts and condominiums that offer modern layouts and amenities within this historic urban setting.
Part of the City of Charleston, Daniel Island offers a convenient central location within the region. This scenic sea island is home to residential neighborhoods, a downtown with shops and restaurants, corporate offices, schools, churches and resort-style amenities. A diverse offering of properties makes Daniel Island one of the best neighborhoods in Charleston for a wide variety of residents, from single professionals and young families to empty-nesters and retirees.
Sound planning and design has guided the evolution of this newer community within Charleston, which has been recognized with a prestigious “Award for Excellence” from the Urban Land Institute.
Daniel Island is perfect for people looking for an active and healthy lifestyle with its hundreds of acres of parks, 18+ miles of trails, 23 miles of rivers and creeks, swimming pools, tennis and a private country club with nationally-acclaimed golf.
Volvo Car Open
Daniel Island is home to the Volvo Car Open, the world’s largest women’s-only professional tennis tournament. This is truly a sporting town – it’s also home to MUSC Health Stadium, home of Charleston’s professional soccer team, The Battery.
Real Estate Options
From traditional single-family homes and homesites with golf, marsh, park or deepwater views, to convenient condominiums and townhomes, Daniel Island offers something for all ages and lifestyles.
You won’t find a more fun and eclectic beach community along the Eastern seaboard than Folly Beach, which is affectionately referred to by the locals as the “Edge of America.” Just 25 minutes from the Charleston peninsula, Folly is easily accessible by a short causeway that crosses the Folly River.
Laid Back Attitude
A popular vacation destination and one of the top surfing spots on the East Coast, Folly Beach is also home to full-time residents who enjoy its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful Atlantic beaches and bohemian vibe.
Folly Beach Pier
Some of the area’s best saltwater fishing can be found at the Folly Pier, a breathtaking landmark that stretches 1,045 feet into the waters of the Atlantic. At 25-feet wide and 23-feet above sea level, the pier is the second longest on the east coast.
Retro Beach Town
Center Street leads onto Folly from the mainland and is the island’s hub, with eclectic beach shops, restaurants and bars. The original Taco Boy is still one of our favorite spots! Folly’s downtown embodies the island’s bohemian vibe and unique identity.
Living on ‘The Edge’
Single-family homes range from 1950s beach cottages to newly-constructed homes of all sizes. Townhomes and condos are primarily situated on the island’s western edge, enjoying views and close proximity to marsh edges and expansive views across the Folly River.
This quiet community in the north area of Charleston was named by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as the best place in South Carolina to raise a family. Located within the heart of Charleston’s growth, the semi-rural city of Goose Creek is home to many emerging new home communities that are defining the city as it evolves.
Past & Present
The actual origin of the city’s name remains a mystery, but many believe it was named for the “gooseneck” turn in the creek that runs through town. Today Goose Creek is one of the fastest growing municipalities in South Carolina.
Goose Creek benefits from its close proximity to I-26 and I-95, making access to many of the region’s new jobs and area attractions like Lake Moultrie, Francis Beidler Forest and Santee State Park a snap.
New Home Communities
Joining Goose Creek’s established 1970s-era planned community of Crowfield Plantation are a variety of emerging planned communities. Collectively, they offers a diverse mix of new homes, townhomes, apartments, condominiums and commercial and recreational amenities.
Carnes Crossroads is one of the area’s most exciting new communities. Neighborhoods with traditional homes, parks, lakes and trails are being combined with commercial offerings like shops and restaurants that will create a downtown for Goose Creek.
Isle of Palms/Sullivan’s Island
These two beach communities, located “East of the Cooper (River),” have served as summer retreats for many generations of Charleston families. Both Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island support a mix of full-time and part-time residents, and are popular vacation destinations.
Quaint Coastal Village
The small commercial district on Sullivan’s Island is home to a handful of unique, independently-owned shops, galleries and restaurants, including two of our local favorites, Poe’s Tavern and Hometeam BBQ.
Beach Town Living
Sullivan’s offers a peaceful, unpretentious sophistication, with quiet neighborhoods and a mix of single-family beach homes that range from historic homes from as late as the late-1800s to charming mid-century beach cottages and newly constructed coastal retreats.
Lively Center Beach
The commercial area at Isle of Palms is a popular destination for beach volleyball, surfing and live music from a notable array of popular bands at longtime watering holes like the Windjammer.
Waterfront, Golf Course & Resort Real Estate
At the gated resort-residential community of Wild Dunes, top-ranked golf courses, a marina and resort amenities are paired with homes, villas and cottages. Beachfront homes, interior cottages and deepwater homes on the Intracoastal Waterway are also available on Isle of Palms.
Located between downtown Charleston and the sandy shores of Folly Beach, James Island primarily remained farmland until the 1960s, when businesses and homes slowly began to emerge. Today, it is a city in its own right and a convenient and popular place to live in Charleston.
James Island County Park
This beautiful 643-acre park is a great place for a variety of recreational activities, including fishing and crabbing, a water park, miles of trails, a dog park, picnic spots and a climbing wall. Each December, the park transforms into a holiday wonderland with an Annual Festival of Lights.
Hidden Waterfront Jewels
On the island’s northern edge, next to the James Island Yacht Club, prominent homes overlook Charleston harbor, and in Riverland Terrace, a mix of cottages, bungalows and traditional Lowcountry homes share views of the Wappoo Cut and Intracoastal Waterway.
The Country Club of Charleston
This private country club on James Island is one of the oldest in the country, and is believed by some to be the birthplace of golf in America.
Mix of Old & New
Off the beaten path, an extensive mix of residential neighborhoods and subdivisions with homes, townhomes, condominiums and apartments serve a diverse population that range from young professionals to families and longtime residents.
Johns Island/Wadmalaw Island
Formerly an agricultural center famed for its tomato crop, these sea islands are located between Charleston and two of its poshest beachfront resort communities. Areas of Johns Island closest to Charleston are transforming into a bedroom community with new home developments, while the majority still retains its rural heritage. Meanwhile, neighboring Wadmalaw Island has wholly preserved its rural landscape and is home to horse farms, agriculture, plantations and quiet retreats.
Past its suburbanized core, the majority of this part of the Charleston countryside is rural in nature, bordered by gentle rivers and tidal creeks and dotted with farms, historic churches, plantation homes and hunting retreats.
Living Off The Land
Residential properties and communities in this area are scattered among cornfields and pick-your-own farms. Roadside produce stands are abundant here – a reminder of the area’s agricultural heritage.
Wadmalaw and Beyond
Just across Bohicket Creek, you’ll discover the remote beauty of Wadmalaw Island, home to the country’s only operating tea plantation. Just beyond, historic Rockville is a postcard-sized village of Lowcountry homes, churches and shrimp docks in an enchanting setting.
Property on Johns Island and Wadmalaw
Part bedroom community, part country living, Johns Island has a variety of housing options, from waterfront estates to new home communities, golf neighborhoods, townhomes and condos. Also popular on Johns and Wadmalaw islands are farm and equestrian properties.
Kiawah Island/Seabrook Island
Just 21 miles from Charleston, the resort islands of Kiawah and Seabrook offer the best of luxury beach living. Kiawah is an award-winning residential-resort island with a pristine 10-mile beach, world-famous golf and a lush maritime forest landscape of pines, palmettos, magnolias and live oaks. Neighboring Seabrook offers similar amenities in a more laid-back resort setting.
Luxury Real Estate
Kiawah marries a luxurious private residential community with the active amenities of an upscale, vibrant resort. From oceanfront mega-mansions and marshfront homes, to resort villages with rental cottages and villas, Kiawah offers the ultimate in beach resort property.
Located at the crossroads of Kiawah and Seabrook, Freshfields Village is the social hub of these two communities, with an active events calendar, unique shopping and dining, and conveniences like a grocery store, pharmacy, medical offices, banks and a new boutique hotel.
Golf, Golf & Golf
Kiawah is home to seven golf courses, including two private courses, The River Course and Cassique, and the famed Ocean Course, home of the 2012 PGA Championship and historic 1991 Ryder Cup. Seabrook also has two championship courses.
Kiawah’s Quiet Neighbor
Seabrook feels more like the town it is than a resort destination. Its beautiful oceanfront, golf and marsh vistas provide magnificent settings for homes, villas and cottages. An equestrian facility and deepwater marina are great complements to its golf offerings.
If you’re searching for a family-friendly residential community convenient to the region’s many popular recreational offerings, Mount Pleasant has plenty of options. Its mix of older neighborhoods and subdivisions with newer construction are close to beaches, golf courses, major employers and area hospitals.
Mount Pleasant is connected to downtown Charleston via the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge. The bridge is an iconic image on the Charleston skyline, and it serves as an architectural backdrop for Mount Pleasant’s popular Waterfront Park, overlooking the Cooper River.
One of our favorite spots in the Lowcountry is Shem Creek, which offers some of the area’s freshest seafood and prettiest sunset views. Lined with casual waterfront dining options, fishing boats and docked shrimp trawlers, it’s also a popular waterway for kayakers and paddleboarders.
Mount Pleasant’s excellent educational institutions – both public and private – are great options for children of all ages.
From the quaint and historic Old Village to subdivisions and planned communities offering new construction and amenities, Mount Pleasant’s neighborhoods offer diverse residential lifestyles.
Home to the Charleston International Airport and a diverse array of big-name businesses, including Boeing, North Charleston is the third largest city in South Carolina. Beyond its great selection of shops and restaurants, it’s also the area’s hub for sports and entertainment. Real estate here is a mix of re-developed neighborhoods and a growing number of newer subdivisions with a variety of property types for the city’s diverse population.
Sports & Entertainment
North Charleston is a destination for sports and entertainment, with facilities like the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, which draw visitors for concerts by national recording acts, off-Broadway theater performances and professional ice hockey.
Many of the region’s top employers call North Charleston home. Most notably, the city is the location of Boeing’s South Carolina assembly plant, which has brought thousands of new jobs to the region since it opened in 2011.
Navy Base Renewal
The recently revamped former Navy base on the Cooper River is developing as a center for business, homes and recreation. Popular Riverfront Park is the center of this area, with water features, playgrounds and trails along the river.
This longtime North Charleston neighborhood recently underwent a revitalization and redevelopment. Now it’s home to new shops and eateries, including one of our favorites, Madra Rua Irish Pub, and also new eco-friendly LEED certified building projects.
This community of new and old neighborhoods has long been known for its beautiful gardens and historic small town village setting. It’s located 30 miles north of the City of Charleston, and is one of the region’s fastest growing areas. We consider Summerville to be a great location for families who are looking for a genuine small-town setting, and for retirees who want a quiet place to call home in the Lowcountry.
Historic Small Town Village
Summerville’s historic downtown is the heart of the community. We love its eclectic mix of antique shops, art galleries and restaurants, plus its popular weekly Farmers Market in the summer.
Beautiful Azalea Park boasts gardens, ponds and an amazing collection of sculpture. It captures the true beauty and character of Summerville and is the location of the town’s springtime Flowertown Festival, ranked among the top 20 annual events in the Southeast.
The Birthplace of Sweet Tea
Summerville, known for sweet tea and hospitality, can be explored via the “Sweet Tea Trail,” which guides you from the I-26 interchange at Exit 199A through the five districts of town, offering uniquely Southern dining, shopping, historical and cultural experiences along the way.
A Growing Assortment of New Homes
In addition to historic homes near the town’s downtown, Summerville features an increasing number of new communities, like Carnes Crossroads. These communities offer single-family homes (some with townhomes and condos, too) and trails, parks, pools and lakes.
Aptly named for its location directly west of the Charleston peninsula, just across the Ashley River, West Ashley was Charleston’s first bedroom community. Today, it has grown to include all kinds of residential and commercial neighborhoods.
Visitors to Charleston find themselves traveling in this direction to explore the carefully-preserved antebellum plantations on the banks of the Ashley River. Middleton Place, Drayton Hall and Magnolia Gardens are three of Charleston’s most visited historic attractions.
In recent years a revitalization has attracted some of Charleston’s hippest shops, bistros and watering holes to this eclectic and friendly neighborhood of homes and businesses in West Ashley near the Ashley River Bridge.
Where History Lives
Charlestown Landing is a popular historic attraction that marks the spot where English settlers first established the port city of Charles Towne. Its nature trails, live animal exhibit and special events are an great amenity for residents living in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Closer to downtown, older subdivisions offer a range from charming bungalows to executive retreats on marsh-lined creeks. Further west, newer subdivisions with homes, townhomes and condos and amenities like pools, parks, golf and playgrounds draw a variety of residents.