A Complete Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Charleston, SC

Neighborhoods in Charleston, SC, offer incredible variety. It is a great time to make your move to the South Carolina Lowcountry.  Each community has its own unique personality and charm. That’s why we’ve created a complete guide to the area’s best places to live.

And, if Charleston’s sea islands capture your attention, please contact us for a complimentary island tour! Our team at Pam Harrington Exclusives will show you the ins and outs of Kiawah and Seabrook Island.  Our tour includes neighborhoods, country clubs, restaurants, and more.

Discover Charleston’s Sea Islands

 

What Are The Best Neighborhoods in Charleston, SC?


Downtown Charleston

The peninsula offers a rich tapestry of residential neighborhoods in Charleston, SC. Historic downtown Charleston neighborhoods are represented by distinct architectural design periods. Each neighborhood’s character is influenced by the history and settlement of the area.

For example, living downtown residents enjoy local and world-renowned artwork in the galleries throughout the French Quarter.

No other Charleston neighborhood captures the fascinating history and art quite like this neighborhood.  View it through the material cultural artifacts and tales of folklore throughout the French Quarter.   World-class restaurants, intimate neighborhood eateries, and art galleries dot the area.

In addition, downtown Charleston offers numerous parks where families and friends gather to enjoy the sunny, southern climate. Downtown Charleston is home to several walkable neighborhoods in Charleston, SC. Living downtown is popular with professionals who work in the city as well as retirees who enjoy the abundance of dining options and interesting activities ongoing in the City of Charleston.

 

Downtown Charleston Neighborhoods and Burroughs


Let's look at some of the neighborhoods of downtown Charleston, SC.  Enjoy the comfort and ease of having the Holy City’s top attractions just outside your door.

  • South of Broad represents the iconic image of downtown Charleston. This neighborhood borders Charleston Harbor, the Cooper River, the Ashley River, and Broad Street. White Point Garden Park is a popular green space with majestic Live Oak trees rustling from the breeze coming off the harbor. Charleston’s elite population built their homes “South of Broad”. They are large 18th and 19th-century homes, many with grand ballrooms for entertaining, face the waterfront.

Your perfect home may reside in an intimate alleyway where you will find charming historic residences featuring the work of famous blacksmith Philip Simmons and cobblestone-lined streets.  South of Broad is home to a line of residences with brightly colored facades, the famous Rainbow Row.


  • The Gadsden or The Charles on Broad may be perfect for those looking for a newer residence with low maintenance.

  • The French Quarter in Charleston is possibly the most charming neighborhood!  Intimate alleys, serene gardens, brick walls, and archways weave through this community bordered by Meeting Street, Market Street, and the Cooper River. Residences are a mixture of condos, townhomes, and elegant historic homes. The French Quarter is a vibrant neighborhood with enticing art galleries, savory restaurants, and the famous Dock Street Theatre.

  • Radcliffeborough residents enjoy proximity to many businesses and entertainment options.  Marion Square, a focal point for festivals and gatherings, anchors this neighborhood. Neighbors walk to coffee houses, dining, MUSC, the renowned Charleston Farmers Market, and much more.  It's an eclectic mix of architectural styles. Radcliffeborough is a great neighborhood for homeowners seeking the downtown lifestyle offering a home with a yard.

Near the College of Charleston

  • Harleston Village offers the charm of several architectural styles and is home to the College of Charleston. Colonial Lake is a popular gathering area for neighbors walking dogs, enjoying lunch, or admiring the lushly landscaped beds surrounding the lake. This district features a variety of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century homes bordering the Ashley River.
Homes near the College of Charleston

More Downtown Charleston Neighborhoods

  • Mazyck-Wraggborough is an enchanting downtown Charleston neighborhood.  The Cooper River borders this neighborhood to the East and Calhoun Street to the south. It is often referred to as the garden district.  Large Greek Revival-style homes, dotted with ornate Victorian-era homes characterize the neighborhood.  Four parks offer residents quiet, focal points to meet and relax. Many of the streets are named for Wragg family members, such as Charlotte and Henrietta.

  • Cannonborough-Elliotborough is an up-and-coming area! This gateway to the peninsula is undergoing a vibrant revitalization. It is popular for investors looking for a property they can rent. It is zoned for vacation rental allowances. Bee Street borders this neighborhood to the south and the Crosstown Expressway to the North.  Many young professionals, families, and students love the energy and delicious dining outlets in the neighborhood.

  • Ansonborough is just a short walk from the famous Charleston Market. This neighborhood offers elegant, brick homes of substantial size surrounded by lush gardens.  Piazzas, ornate ironwork, and Palmetto Palm trees line the streets. This was the first neighborhood, or suburb, outside the original walled city.

  • Hampton Park Terrace is known for its early 20th-century bungalows and foursquare architectural style homes.  Hampton Park, downtown Charleston’s largest park, offers neighborhood residents over 60 acres of green space for enjoyment.  The Citadel and MUSC border the area.  The Ashley River is a short bike ride.

  • Wagener Terrace Just north of Hampton Park, Wagener Terrace homes are popular among young professionals and families. This neighborhood features homes built from the 1920s to the 1960s.  It still offers some of the more affordable housing as compared to the rest of the peninsula; it is only a short bike ride away from downtown Charleston.

The Southern Charm of Charleston

It’s not hard to see why so many people have fallen in love with the Holy City and the communities that surround it.

Browse historic Charleston real estate listings to get an idea of the current market. If you're just starting your search or still considering where you'd like to be located downtown, read more about the Charleston neighborhoods and Burroughs below. 

Other Neighboring Areas to Consider in Charleston


Kiawah Island

The natural scenery of Kiawah Island blends seamlessly with its elegant homes, making it one of Charleston’s best beach communities. 

The gated island operates as an exclusive community with access to championship golf courses, 30 miles of paved walking and biking trails, restaurants, and high-end shopping.

With proximity to the area’s top private schools, it is one of the best places to live in Charleston, SC, for families.

If the Kiawah community sounds like your match, explore these neighborhoods:

  • West Beach is recently revitalized offering oceanfront and river view properties along with easy access to the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
  • East Beach is home to Kiawah’s only hotel, The Sanctuary. The area offers a variety of family-friendly attractions at Night Heron Park.
  • Vanderhorst Plantation holds a unique position in the Kiawah community. It is home to the historic Vanderhorst Mansion, established by the Vanderhorst family in 1801, as well as The Osprey Point Golf Course and the world-famous Ocean Course.

 

Explore Kiawah Real Estate

 

Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island neighbors the lovely Kiawah Island. Both of these private communities offer many of the same residential perks, including proximity to the Lowcountry's top schools, championship golf, pristine beaches, and award winning tennis.

The main characteristic that distinguishes Seabrook from Kiawah is that it is a bit smaller and offers a more residential feel.

Its low-maintenance, beachside villas make it an especially attractive option for new retirees!

Here is a sneak peek at some of the island’s top communities.

  • North Beach Village homeowners enjoy easy access to Seabrook Island’s beautiful North Beach and the Seabrook Island Beach Club. Many of the homes here also feature serene sea marsh and ocean views.
  • Bohicket Marina Townhomes are a paradise for boaters and anglers. This waterfront community borders the Bohicket River and features area amenities and a community pool.
  • Pelican Watch Villas are only steps away from the island’s beautiful Pelican Beach, known by locals as Sunset Beach. With its gentle ocean waves near the mouth of the Edisto River, this area is perfect for surf fishing or simply relaxing.

 

Explore Seabrook Real Estate

 

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant represents the ultimate in Lowcountry suburbia. There are plenty of grocery stores, modern housing developments, and everything else you need to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

It is also home to some of South Carolina’s highest excelling public schools.

Many of the neighborhoods and communities feature gorgeous homes, shaded by mature trees.

The following neighborhoods rank among the best in Mt. Pleasant.

  • The Old Village is one of Mt. Pleasant’s first and most beloved neighborhoods. To this day, this historic community retains all of its original appeal. Fantastic restaurants and entertainment on Shem Creek are only a short walk or drive away.
  • I’On is a luxurious planned community that offers residents a variety of special amenities, like an outdoor amphitheater, deep-water boat dock, three crab docks, and more.
  • Snee Farm is a historic neighborhood surrounded by ancient oak trees, saltwater marshes, and the stunning Snee Farm Golf Course and Country Club.

 

Mt. Pleasant Listings

 

Tired of Searching for the Perfect Fit? Let Us Help

With over 40 years of experience in the Lowcountry real estate market, our team at Pam Harrington Exclusives has the local knowledge you need to discover the perfect Charleston neighborhood for you.

There’s no need to spend hours researching and rummaging MLS listings when you have our team of experts at your side.

If you are ready to take the next step in finding your new home, start by signing up for our free real estate listing alerts.

Simply send us your preferred criteria, including desired amenities and budget, and we will notify you as soon as your dream home hits the market!

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