Dewees Island is located just north of Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms. It is by far the most eco-oriented of any community in the Charleston area. Residents must use a boat or ferry to reach the island, and once you are there, transportation is allowed only by golf cart, bicycle, or good old-fashioned feet!
Johns Island is, quite simply, a gem. With a history and culture unlike any other community in America, it is still proudly rural, although it is being developed at an alarming rate. This growth is sometimes so insensitive that it may in time obscure Johns Island's identity to the point where it becomes simple another bedroom community, an Anywhere USA.
Kiawah Island – pronounced KEY-uh-wah – is widely considered the most exclusive gated community near Charleston. The island mainly features second homes, so it has a limited year-long population. However, its hotel and villas bring in ample renters and tourists. Owners and visitors must pass through rural Johns Island to reach downtown Charleston or West Ashley, and prospective buyers should be aware of the fact that Johns Island is an historic agricultural community that prides itself on its narrow, oak-lined lanes and a relaxed pace of life. Life is a journey, and Johns Island is a rare treasure in this modern world!
Mount Pleasant is one of the largest and fastest growing cities in South Carolina and offers plenty in the way of parks, restaurants, and shopping. It also boasts downtown Charleston as its immediate neighbor – available via a short trip over the Cooper River on the Ravenel Bridge. One drawback is that Mount Pleasant is already heavily developed and continues to grow, which means that nature is not its strong suit.
Mount Pleasant is located in Berkeley County just south of Lake Moultrie. It began in the early 1700s as a trading post named for landowner Thomas Monck. Significant growth occurred in the latter part of the 1800s when Northeastern Railroad laid tracks through the community. The train depot became the center of the new town which was chartered as a municipality in 1885. Today, Moncks Corner is the home of the corporate office for Santee Cooper, a state-owned utility company.
Once heavily industrialized, North Charleston is now experiencing a rebirth! It is probably one of the most affordable places to buy a home in the Charleston area. Like Mount Pleasant, it is growing by leaps and bounds and offers ample day-to-day amenities. It is also home to the Charleston area's Coliseum and Performing Arts Center.
Seabrook Island is Kiawah's immediate neighbor and offers much of the same ambiance and natural beauty. Both of these islands are tightly gated, and both are a good distance from downtown Charleston.
West Ashley was once an unincorporated area of Charleston County that has been largely annexed by the City of Charleston. Centrally located and a bit blue collar, it is a nice, convenient, and relaxed place to live! As a bonus, it also features some of Charleston's nicest parks and gardens.