5 Great Neighborhoods in Charleston

Charleston is known as a top tourist destination with world-class restaurants, compelling history and fabulous beaches, but to locals it's simply a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family. A small Southern town with big-city sophistication, greater Charleston's neighborhoods offer something for everyone -- from million-dollar antebellum mansions to quaint beach shacks.

DOWNTOWN

Although only a compact 17 square miles, the Charleston peninsula (between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers) scores big with off-the-charts charm. Church steeples, hidden alleyways and cobblestone streets lend a European feel. Easily walkable and bikeable in size, the peninsula is home to a diverse population, from blue-blood Charlestonians to tattooed college students and everyone in between.

Notable Neighborhood: South of Broad

South of Broad (southern tip of peninsula, below Broad Street) is preservation central, home of the nation's first historic zoning ordinance and an architectural wonderland complete with fine gardens and an endless bounty of cheerful window boxes. Elegant mansions along the Battery aren't cheap, but cozy carriage houses and high-end condos abound for those who don't want the upkeep of an 18th-century abode.
The Neighbors: Typically well-heeled and green-thumbed. Many SOB homes are second homes, so neighbors might well be in New York or D.C.

Also Consider: Hampton Park/Wagener Terrace

On the peninsula's northwest corner along the Ashley, Wagener Terrace is a hip, racially and economically diverse neighborhood, offering a mix of Craftsman cottages, classic brick Georgians and fixer-uppers. Its centerpiece, Hampton Park, is a favorite for walkers, runners, cyclists and Sunday picnics.
The Neighbors: The whole gamut, from young families to professors at The Citadel to yoga teachers and tech professionals.

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