charleston neighborhoods

So you’re thinking about moving to Charleston, South Carolina huh? With Charleston being one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, you definitely want to choose a neighborhood that fits with your lifestyle and expectations.

Charleston Neighborhoods

West Ashley

avondale west ashley
Funky murals are Abundant in the Avondale neighborhood in West Ashley.

West Ashley is a great location west of Downtown on the Intracoastal Waterway. The Avondale area is a hotspot of several bars and businesses ranging from yoga studios to a wine and cheese shop.

Expect a mix of residents from families, young professionals, blue collar workers, retirees etc.

Cons: traffic. With affordable-ish rent, comes traffic.

Folly Beach

“Hey brah, do you love surfing and just relaxing, man?” Did you answer yes? Congratulations, you’re halfway to becoming a Folly Beach resident.

There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, local surf shops and unique stores along Folly’s main street strip. There’s also no shortage of outdoor watersports companies to rent paddleboards, kayaks, and the like to burn a few calories in South Carolina’s picturesque landscapes.

Cons: tourists in the summer + not in central location

James Island

If you can’t live on Folly Beach, then James Island is your second best bet. Relaxed vibes, beach hippies, young professionals and students dominate the JI scene. Just 10-15 minutes from the ocean, you can enjoy relaxed days by the tidal creeks and scenic views of Downtown Charleston from spots like Harborview Rd.

Cons: No central area for entertainment or nightlife.


charleston neighborhood

Expect off the wall charm in Downtown Charleston. What you see in picturesque postcards is actually what Charleston looks like, I promise. Of course, the price to pay for walkability, stunning architecture, and a lively social life is hefty. Downtown Charleston is the most expensive neighborhood of the metro area. Expect to pay on average $800-1100 for a nice bedroom in an apartment, and above that range if you expect a 1 bedroom apartment to yourself.

Stroll through the Battery through elegant mansions and cobblestone streets and enjoy a picnic in Marion Square or Battery Park. Grab cocktails on Upper King Street or rooftop bars such as The Vendue or Pavillion Hotel.

Cons: Getting stuck behind horse carriages. 

Mount Pleasant

Young professional with a healthy salary and affinity for boat shoes and dress shirts? Perfect. Mount Pleasant is the place for you. Just as the moniker suggests, Mount Pleasant is, well, pretty pleasant. I’ve been priveledged to call Mount Pleasant home for the past year and I love it.

Situated perfectly between Downtown by the Ravenel Bridge and 2 beaches (Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island). Thanks to its attractiveness to young families and young professionals, this idyllic suburb is rapidly growing and so is the rent.

Cons: Not very walkable + rising rent costs

Park Circle

mixson charleston
At Mixson Bath & Racquet Club

In my opinion, Park Circle is the “next big thing” in terms of trendy Charleston neighborhoods. This area is the spot for fun twenty-somethings look for affordable rent in a growing neighborhood. A gem of a neighborhood for those looking to escape Charleston but aren’t willing to go into the suburbs as far as Summerville.

If you’ve got the extra income, become a member of Mixson Bath & Raquet Club, a polished community of restaurants, a market, and pool club.

Cons: You’re not “technically” in Charleston. Tomato, to-mah-to.

So pack your bags and head to Charleston. Honestly, the whole city is amazing, you can’t go wrong no matter where you live!


Hi, I'm Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I've always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 15+ countries in one year. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

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