From the shores of Charleston Harbor whipping against The Battery, to the neat rowhouses of the French Quarter, to the tree-lined streets of Charleston Single houses in Harleston Village – tourists flock to Charleston by the millions to experience, of all things, our residential neighborhoods.
Carefully planned and meticulously preserved, our downtown is truly a sight to behold. However, we do not live in a monolithic museum – just the opposite, the vibe of the historic district is vibrant, full of life and activity.
Each borough on the peninsula boasts its own character and flavor – quite literally in both culture and cuisine. Frankly there is too much to compress into a single webpage, though I’ll do my best.
TheNeighborhoods of Historic Downtown
If you’ve been to olde Europe, this will look familiar. As the business district of provincial Charlestowne, the French Quarter feels pre-Revolutionary urban.
Bricked and stuccoed rows of 18-19th century attached buildings, most with shops on the street level, many with condo apartments above.
Visualize exposed brick and 300 year old wood floors, and the ambiance of relaxed southern city life seeping through every open window.
Walkable to Waterfront Park – a daily experience that will soothe your soul – as well as the plethora of shops and restaurants of Market Street and East Bay Street.
South of Broad
Swanky and cultured, SoB is often the most sought after neighborhood in historic Charleston, extending to the peninsula’s southern boundary overlooking all of Charleston Harbor. The grandest stretch of homes in the South adorn The Battery – a seawall more than a mile long protecting our fair city from intemperate elements.
The grand mansions along East and South Battery Streets are the stuff of antebellum fever dreams. From pre-Revolutionary homes on the east one can travel back through time to 1920s Colonials on the western shore.
Garden parties and canapés – everything you’ve read about Old Charleston is real. And it’s not all stuffy grandmotherly affairs; quite the scandal occurs in its confines.
King Street/Meeting Street Corridor
The primary business corridors of downtown Charleston – likely where you visited that world class restaurant, historic boutique hotel, or swanky decor shop.
King Street in particular hosts the lion’s share of Charleston’s nightlife – rooftop bars, nightclubs, progressive theaters – all transforming the after hours into a vibrant scene.
Active streetfronts of three- and four-story buildings dating from the 1840s to the 1910s define King and Meeting.
The upper floors of many have been transformed into charming condo flats – think exposed brick and antique architecture accented with modern renovations.
If you want to be in the center of everything, this is where you’re looking.
The 19th century Charleston version of suburban utopia – which was generally long, narrow lots with long, narrow homes. Exquisite grand oak trees line the flower-laden streets. Full of historic credentials while living closer to the action of King Street and also the City Marina on the Ashley River.
Anchored by Colonial Lake and its lovely surrounds, Harleston Village boasts the blend of many great factors: sizable historic homes, proximity to shops and restaurants, integrated with parks and such, with also a smattering of newer homes and some exciting developments.
Often a favorite for those associated with the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina due its abutment of both those campuses.