Where to Live in Charleston, SC: A Neighborhood Guide

Did you know that Charleston gets 33 new residents every single day? Because of this, the city is seeing population increases that are climbing rapidly. Charleston, South Carolina is a coastal city known for its antebellum architecture and relaxed southern charm.

If you’re wondering where to live in Charleston, SC you’ll want to explore what the area has to offer. It has a thriving art scene and is also home to multiple sites and beautiful beaches.

Over 137,041 people call the city home, and North Charleston alone hosts more than 50 neighborhoods, from coastal enclaves to historic suburbs and everything in between. Because finding the perfect place to live can feel like uncovering a hidden gem, you’re going to want to find out what neighborhoods are worth exploring.

We’re going to cover some of the top neighborhoods in the city. Keep reading as we talk about some of the best neighborhoods in Charleston to help you figure out your next destination.

Are you are considering a move to Charleston? Here is a Charleston, SC neighborhood guide.

Renting Is More Feasible: A Look at the Charleston Housing Market 

It’s hard to predict whether the next few years will be a boom time for the Charleston housing market, but there are other options that make moving to Charleston and actually living in Charleston more attainable. With the number of homes for sale and high demand from out-of-state buyers, finding a beautiful apartment to call home can get you into the city without the hassle or the high costs of buying.

Rising interest rates are another thing that consistently puts a damper on the market. However, this is one of the reasons why finding luxury apartments in the area has gained so much popularity.

Searching for the perfect apartment in the area you want to live in, will allow you to test out the area that appeals the most to you while also getting more on your must-have list for the place you decide to call home in Charleston. 

Overall, you’ll be happy to know that your Charleston home budget for your perfect apartment could go pretty far in the area. The cost of living in South Carolina, in general, is 11.5%. That’s less than that of the U.S. average.

Why Living in Charleston, SC Is the Best Option

The cost of living in Charleston isn’t as bad as you might have thought and with the multiple options for perfectly located apartments, spots for relaxation, school choices, and work availability, moving to Charleston means you can enjoy your new space, in a beautiful place with historic charm and modern amenities all without breaking the bank. Not only that but, Charleston has some of the state’s best beaches and the city has many desirable neighborhoods. 

Charleston has a rich history and lovely coastal setting, and it’s a great place to meet people and explore the different cultural offerings the city has to present. With that, even the growth of jobs in the city has been going in a positive direction with some of the main industries in the area ranging from life sciences and aerospace to energy or IT and defense.

Where to Live in Charleston SC

There are multiple neighborhoods throughout Charleston and each has its top features for potential movers. Whether you live close by and want a change of scenery and location or you’re preparing to make a cross-country move, knowing about some of the top neighborhood options could help. Let’s take a look at some of the best choices for those looking to call Charleston home.

West Ashley

This perfectly located neighborhood is among the first to appear on many newcomers’ radars. It’s a coastal neighborhood with stunning ocean views and a laid-back vibe. There’s no wonder the area is so popular considering you can find luxury apartments that are pet friendly along with a pool, gym, and beautiful layouts.

There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you busy, and you’re a short distance from downtown Charleston. West Ashley is a great place to live if you want to be close to both the city and the coast without having to sacrifice one or the other. 

If you’re looking for a place to settle down and even put down roots, this is a perfect option. The West Ashley neighborhood is a popular destination for anyone looking to make a move with unique retailers and even its own little downtown.

The area used to be called West of Ashley, and another reason why the area is such a popular pick is not only because of its affordability but because West Ashley has shown to present with the fewest number of records concerning crime.

Along with low crime, the neighborhood does offer the opportunity to have walkable areas and you’re always around the corner from delicious seafood and other types of eateries. For those that want a balanced lifestyle in an area that keeps them busy yet relaxed, West Ashley would be the best option.

Downtown Charleston

Downtown Charleston is the epicenter of the city’s modern culture. This vibrant neighborhood is home to many notable attractions, from the Provost Dungeon to the Fireproof Building and a variety of other sites. You’re also only a short drive from premier shopping and dining options and you’re also close to the airport.

Downtown is also home to some of the city’s most historic areas, like the Battery and the Charleston Historic District. If you want to be right in the center of things, Downtown is the place to be without a doubt.

The great thing about downtown Charleston is that while you do have to deal with tourists and some traffic, it can also be rewarding. Everything you need is not only within driving distance but a lot is within true walking distance as well. 

James Island

James Island is actually one of the best places to live in South Carolina. It’s not hard to see why considering downtown is only ten minutes away and you get to be in the middle of relaxation and beautiful scenery. The island will give you the feel of a small town while still being less than ten minutes from the beach as well.

You aren’t overrun with chain stores since you will see a variety of small businesses. This can be a good thing as the island features uniqueness and a cozy outlook on coastal living.

The French Quarter

If you’re looking for the perfect place to live with a piece of history at every turn, the French Quarter is where you need to go. This historic neighborhood is steeped in Southern history and tons of charm, with plenty of original architecture to explore. It’s also close to some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.

The French Quarter is one of the city’s most popular and oldest neighborhoods. It now features a multitude of different art galleries, museums, boutiques, and eateries.

The French Quarter also has its fair share of festivals and events throughout the year. The entire area…during the 19th century was the home of the City Market which was a busy epicenter for different merchants, crafting, and more. Today, the area is just as charming.

Mount Pleasant

If you’re looking for a quiet, yet large suburban area, Mount Pleasant could work out for what you need. Mount Pleasant is actually the largest town in the entire state of South Carolina. The area is also continuously growing.

It goes as far back as the 18th century and today it’s popular for the different historic houses that are left standing. While being in a suburban area, you won’t be short of anything to do. You’re less than 14 miles away from Folly Beach and different areas are easily walkable.

From Mount Pleasant Pier and the local farmer’s market to multiple options for golfing or breweries to check out, Mount Pleasant has a well-rounded area that everyone can enjoy. It’s a great option for those who want a small-town feel with easy access to the city. With Mount Pleasant also being home to some of the state’s best golf courses, moving to Charleston and living in Charleston becomes that much more simple for golf lovers.


If you’re interested in living in a smaller, more peaceful town near Charleston, don’t underestimate Summerville. The scenery is undeniably beautiful and the area has a lot to offer. This is an area for those that want to transition out of the busier city lifestyle and have a bit of a slower pace.

The thing is, Summerville is a versatile area that will give you close enough access to Charleston while still being set aside. If you want to find some of the largest sweet tea bars in the world, Summerville is where you visit. If you had no idea there was such a thing as a sweet tea bar…you’re in luck.

The town has much more to introduce to you for your exploration like the sweet tea trail, the world’s largest sweet tea which is about 15 feet tall, and even the town’s sweet tea festival. If you haven’t already grasped this, Summerville is well-known as the birthplace of sweet tea which many Southerners can appreciate.

Aside from sweet-tea-related activities, you would also have the opportunity to kayak in the Ashley River or check out the State Historic Park’ among other things. While it is outside of Charleston, it’s still within close proximity to it making it a great neighborhood only 30 minutes outside of the city.

Sullivan’s Island

If you want to live on one of the most beautiful islands in the area, Sullivan’s Island is the place for you. This little island town sits right at the edge of the Charleston Harbor. The area is quite unique as you get old town vibes, on an island that’s part of the metropolitan area.

This historic town is home to some of the city’s most stunning architecture, and it’s also a popular vacation spot for visitors from around the world. While being able to enjoy modern island living, you are no more than ten minutes from downtown.

This means that you don’t have to live right in the city to have access to its amenities. The island itself is full of great beaches, and a variety of shops and you get your pick of multiple restaurants.

Harleston Village

While this area is home to the College of Charleston, you will still notice Georgian-style buildings along with other touches of preserved architecture. Although created in the 1700s, Harleston Village has still managed to hold onto its aesthetics and transfer them into other areas.

From streets lined with trees, to a beautiful college campus and tons for outdoor enthusiasts to do, Harleston Village is the perfect area to live. With everything the village has to offer, you don’t have to go too far out of the area.

Find Your Perfect Place

Once you’ve found where to live in Charleston SC, you’re going to want to find the perfect place in the city to stay. Everyone has different needs, interests, and tastes. Ensure that you tailor your move to your personality by using Trion.

Trion Living works to provide those that are preparing for a change with the space that fits their career, hobbies, needs, or their overall life. Contact us today to combine luxury with convenience and find the place that was meant for you.

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