Beautiful, historic Charleston is located near the middle of South Carolina's coast at the point "where the Ashley River and Cooper River meet to form the Atlantic Ocean." It is the state's second largest city and the county seat of Charleston County.
Charleston was originally called Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, and its nickname is "The Holy City" due to the many churches that help create its skyline.
Things to Do
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Charlestonian's Tip: In general, rates for Charleston accommodations are lowest in July and August, when temperatures rise, and also from December to February, when the weather's cold. October and April through early June offer the mildest weather.
Bed & Breakfasts in Charleston
- Bed & Breakfast Inns in Charleston
From mansions on the Battery to historic plantations, we have it all. Let us help point you to the best in Charleston bed & breakfast inns, where you can have a glass of wine and relax after a long day exploring Charleston.
Hotels in Charleston
- Hotels in Charleston
Downtown Charleston can be roughly divided into upper and lower historic districts. Hotels in Charleston's lower historic district are located south of Calhoun Street (see our map of Downtown Charleston). The lower historic district is the oldest and most pristine portion of downtown Charleston, and its hotels are within walking distance to famous landmarks like the Battery, White Point Gardens, the Dock Street Theater, and the Waterfront Park. Unfortunately, their proximity also makes them more expensive.
Hotels in Charleston's upper historic district are located north of Calhoun Street, near Marion Square. They are close to the College of Charleston, the Charleston Visitors Center, the Charleston Museum, the South Carolina Aquarium, and the Gaillard Center.
These hotels are also central to the funkier, younger, more "local" side of downtown Charleston. This is where you're going to find your non-chain boutiques and your non-tourist bars. This is also where you'll find some of the best up-and-coming restaurants around. There is some seriously good eating in this side of town!
Vacation Rentals in Charleston
- Vacation Rentals in Charleston
Charleston's world-famous when it comes to vacations. Our guide will help you find the perfect Charleston vacation rental – whether you want to have a wedding, a reception, a party, a retreat, or just a place to gather with family and friends. We feature carriage homes in downtown Charleston, plus waterfront and oceanfront homes located on one of Charleston's many beautiful beaches. Vacation homes are offered by first-rate local rental companies as well as individual Charleston families.
Be sure to visit our featured tour company here:
Charleston Arts, Entertainment, Dining
Charleston Recreation, Sports, Clubs
Charleston Maps, Transportation
This guide will lead you to various maps of Charleston including Charleston's city limits, streets, parking, and historic districts.
CARTA provides public bus and trolley service in Charleston County. Most routes are located in downtown Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and West Ashley. Services to James Island are limited, and there are no services to Johns Island or the Charleston-area beaches.
The Charleston area has one commercial airport. It is located 11 miles from Downtown Charleston:
Charleston also has two local, non-commercial airports. Both are open to the public.
- Charleston Executive Airport - JZI - Johns Island
The Charleston Executive Airport is located six miles southwest of Charleston on Johns Island. It was built in 1943 as an Army airfield. It has two paved runways, each constructed of concrete.
- Mount Pleasant Regional Airport - LRO
The Mount Pleasant Regional Airport – also known as Faison Field – has one paved asphalt runway.
Charleston Jobs, Careers
- Jobs in Charleston
Our exclusive Charleston job board organizes jobs by type of employer, company name, and area within Charleston.
- SC Works Trident Centers
These branches of the Trident Workforce Investment Board provide job seekers in Charleston with employment support from job searching and application assistance to on-the-job training and education.
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Advertising in Charleston
Charleston is home to many of most top-notch ad agencies in South Carolina. Use this guide to find them:
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Dentists and Orthodontists in Charleston
Use this guide to find dental care in the Charleston area:
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Doctors in Charleston
Use this guide to find medical care in the Charleston area:
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Insurance Agencies in Charleston
Use this guide to find insurance agents and companies in the Charleston area:
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Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors in Charleston
Use this guide to find heating and air conditioning service in the Charleston area:
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Music in Charleston
Our guide to Charleston music and musicians features professional and recreational symphonies, choirs, and quartets; non-profit musical education organizations; bands and singers; and wedding and party bands.
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Real Estate in Charleston
Charleston is one of the fastest growing cities in America. The following guides will put you in touch with the resources you need to help you buy, sell, build, or move.
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Security Systems in Charleston
Use this guide to find residential and commercial security systems in the Charleston area:
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Sightseeing Tours and Cruises in Charleston
Our guide includes Charleston walking tours, carriage tours, history tours, boat tours, dinner cruises, sunset cruises, bus tours, and motorcoach tours.
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Other Charleston Businesses
Charleston Economic Development
A division of Charleston County's government, the Charleston County Economic Development Department works to recruit new businesses and grow existing industries within Charleston County.
The CRDA seeks to be a catalyst for economic growth in the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region. It also publishes an annual economic scorecard which compares Charleston to similar US metro areas.
Other Charleston economic development resources include:
Charleston News & Media
Charleston has one daily paper, the Post & Courier
. Other Charleston newspapers and magazines can be found here:
Charleston is also home to an abundance of television and radio stations:
Charleston is the county seat of Charleston County. The city has the second largest population in South Carolina, with over 120,000 residents.
City of Charleston
Founded by English colonists in 1670, Charles Town, as it was originally called, was named in honor of King Charles II. Charleston adopted its current spelling in 1783. Its early economy was largely based on slave trade and slave labor. The city's current economy depends mainly on tourism.
Charleston County is one of South Carolina's three largest counties, with 350,209 residents as of the most recent US census. It was founded in 1769.
Charleston Area Towns, Communities
Other towns and cities in Charleston County, SC include:
Other communities in Charleston County are Hollywood
, Parkers Ferry, Rantowles
Charleston Schools, Colleges, Libraries
Charleston K12 Schools
Charleston's public schools operate within a single, consolidated school district. The city also offers over 30 private schools.
Charleston Colleges, Universities
Several colleges and universities are located within Charleston's city limits. Located in downtown Charleston are the College of Charleston (which offers graduate degrees despite the name), and the Medical University of South Carolina. Both of these schools intertwine the city, whereas The Citadel – also known as the Military College of South Carolina – resides on a closed campus between Hampton Park and the Ashley River. Trident Tech conducts a few courses downtown as well.
Charleston Libraries, Archives
Charleston has five separate public school districts: Charleston 1, Charleston 2, Charleston 3, Charleston 4, Charleston 5. The area also offers several private schools.
Charleston Churches, Nonprofits
Charleston abounds with churches and other non-profits, including the Medical University of South Carolina, a nationally-recognized research hospital. Learn more about Charleston's non-profits and charities below:
In addition to the hospitals at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston is served by one general hospital – Roper St. Francis, which has facilites downtown as well as in nearby West Ashley. Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides care for Charleston's veterans.
Charleston isn't called the Holy City for nothing! Well over 100 churches serve congregations in the downtown area and West Ashley alone. This is to say nothing of the many nearby churches in places like James and Johns Islands, both of which have been largely incorporated by the City of Charleston.
Charleston provides a wealth of charities and community service organizations for its residents.
Senior Citizen Organizations
This guide will help you locate helpful senior citizen resources in the city of Charleston and all of Charleston County.
Charleston History, Genealogy
When the United States was a young country and many communities were little more than settlements, Charleston was already a sophisticated, wealthy port city, with schools, libraries, churches, and elegant neighborhoods. Most of Charleston's early success was based on its use of slave labor. Learn about the history of Charleston, from its earliest days on, right here:
Has your genealogical research lead you to Charleston? If so, here you will find information on family history, cemeteries, vital records and more.