Street side view of downtown Charleston at dusk

Best Neighborhoods in Charleston for Families

Thinking about moving to Charleston? The Holy City is one of the best places to live on the East Coast, offering great public schools, low crime rates, and plenty of family-friendly activities. If you’re looking for a great place to raise your family in Charleston, check out these five neighborhoods and suburbs!

  • Mount Pleasant
  • Park Circle
  • Stiles Point
  • Summerville
  • Wagener Terrace

Mount Pleasant

Blue Colonial house in Charleston. Photo by Instagram user @jtproperties
Photo via @jtproperties
  • Home Price: $393,800 median purchase price; $1,403 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 92% of South Carolina cities

If you’re looking for a family-friendly place to live in Charleston, consider settling down in Mount Pleasant! This established suburb is ideal for families looking for dining and entertainment options, as well as outdoor recreation at local parks and nearby popular beaches like Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Mount Pleasant is ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and is home to top-rated schools like Moultrie Middle School and National Blue Ribbon School Mount Pleasant Academy. Growing families can find affordable housing in this Charleston suburb with options ranging from cozy cottages to coastal townhomes and single-family homes. And Downtown Charleston is only a short 20-minute commute for those who work in the city!

Things to Do in Mount Pleasant

Check out Copper Penny in the Mount Pleasant Town Centre to find trendy women’s clothing, jewelry, or handbags. Let the kids play on the playground and enjoy an ice cream cone from River Watch Cafe while boats pass by at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Go kayaking at Palmetto Islands County Park or let your dogs roam off leash at the Dog Park. Dig into Lobster Shrimp Pasta, Crab Cakes, or Pasta Carbonara at Burtons Grill & Bar. Try a Buffalo Shrimp Wrap or BLT made fresh to order at the Square Onion. Order a California Burger, Veggie Wrap, or Fish Sandwich paired with a Pisgah Turtleback Brown on tap at Coleman Public House. Or get a SAVI Wine Flight or sip on an Italian Blueberry Mojito at SAVI Cucina + Wine Bar.

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Park Circle

Gray modern plantation home in Charleston. Photo by Instagram user @flanaganhometeam
Photo via @flanaganhometeam
  • Home Price: $144,200 median purchase price; $909 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 17% of South Carolina cities

Located just 20 minutes away from Downtown Charleston, Park Circle is a top spot for families! This Charleston neighborhood is an up-and-coming area that has become popular because of its many restaurants, breweries, and local shops along the neighborhood’s downtown-like East Montague Ave. In addition, there’s plenty of green space and neighborhood events to enjoy like the North Charleston Arts Fest. Park Circle also offers charming cottages, ranches, and contemporary homes near great schools like Malcom C. Hursey Montessori School, North Charleston Elementary School, and North Charleston High School.

Things to Do in Park Circle

Head out to COAST Brewing Company to try craft beers like a Rye Knot Brown Ale or Dead Arm West Coast Pale Ale. Go fishing in the pond at Quarterman Lake Park and listen to the birds in the scenic area. Let your dog roam off-leash at Mixson Avenue Dog Park. Take the kids swimming or sign up for a water aerobics class at Danny Jones Pool. Enjoy the Charleston weather by playing frisbee golf at Park Circle Disc Golf Course. Cool down with a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade or start your morning with a Caramel Latte from Orange Spot Coffee. Dig into wood-fried pizzas like Basil Pesto Pizza or Mushroom & Arugula Pizza at EVO Pizzeria. Or enjoy authentic Louisiana dishes like Crispy Buffalo Oysters with a Cherry Blossom Cocktail at LoLA.

Stiles Point

Gray Bungalow in Stiles Point, Charleston. Photo by Instagram user @livelyalileavitt
Photo via @livelyalileavitt
  • Home Price: $244,000 median purchase price; $1,095 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 91% of South Carolina cities

With waterfront views near Charleston Harbor and budget-friendly housing options ranging from cottages to brick ranches and Victorian-style homes, Stiles Point on James Island is a great place to raise a family in the Charleston area! Families can find highly-rated schools like Stiles Point Elementary School and Camp Road Middle School, and there are tons of things to do among the area’s local parks, kid-friendly recreation spots, and restaurants. Plus, this Charleston neighborhood is just a 13-minute drive to Downtown Charleston, where families can take advantage of incredible museums, shopping, dining, and entertainment!

Things to Do in Stiles Point

Let the kids play on the playground or get in a game of tennis at Harborview/Ft. Johnson Park. Play a game of baseball or basketball with the family at James Island Recreation Complex. Savor brunch dishes like the Chicken & Waffles, Turkey BLT, or Eggs & Grits at Grumpy Goat Seafood Cantina. Stop at The Hideaway Pizza Kitchen for a Spicy Meatball Pizza or Pesto Chicken Pizza. Chow down on hearty meals like Black Angus Prime Brisket, Shrimp Tacos, or a Po Boy Sandwich at Smoky Oak Restaurant + Taproom. Spend an evening on the patio at Edison James Island, where you can feast on dishes like Vietnamese Pho Tacos or Sweet Corn & Crab Gnocchi. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with macaroons, holiday cookies, or a Customized Cake from Get Caked Charleston.

Summerville

White multi-story home in Summerville, Charleston. Photo by Instagram user @mccrackenproperties
Photo via @mccrackenproperties
  • Home Price: $182,800 median purchase price; $1,027 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 68% of South Carolina cities

Summerville is a quiet, historic Charleston suburb—and a favorite among families! This suburban area offers Craftsman-style bungalows and traditional ranches that are perfect for growing families, and families can rest easy that they’ll be sending their kids to top-rated schools like Summerville Elementary School, Alston Middle School, and Summerville High School. Not to mention, the suburb of Summerville has plenty of green space and local parks like Azalea Park and Wassamassaw Community Park for families to explore!

Things to Do in Summerville

Go for a scenic jog or walk on the trail at James Allen Park. Host a family reunion or play a game of horseshoes at Doty Park. Take part in a community event or festival at the Hutchinson Square amphitheater. Get your fill of breakfast favorites like an Omelet Croissant or Breakfast Burrito at Cuppa Manna. Sit down for a family meal at Baker’s BBQ of Summerville, where you can feast on Brisket or a BBQ Sandwich. Treat your tastebuds to seafood favorites like Fried Calamari or Buffalo Shrimp at Low Country Fish Camp. Try a Pulled Pork Sandwich, Seafood Platter, or Shrimp & Grits at Rommy’s Cuisine. Or kick back and relax with some local beers like Narragansett Lager or Coconut Pete’s Chai Ale at Homegrown Brewhouse.

Wagener Terrace

White brick house in Wagener Terrace, Charleston. Photo by Instagram user @colonyandcraft
Photo via @colonyandcraft
  • Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 76% of South Carolina cities

Looking for a neighborhood that’s closer to Downtown Charleston? Check out Wagener Terrace! Less than 15 minutes from the city center, this Charleston neighborhood is a hidden gem with everything from 1950s Craftsman-style bungalows to more contemporary new builds. Families can send their kids to public schools like Mitchell Elementary School and Burke High School, and there’s an abundance of outdoor recreation spots throughout the area. Living in Wagener Terrace also means you get beautiful views of the water near Ashley River and the Charleston Peninsula!

Things to Do in Wagener Terrace

Take in the gorgeous display of flowers or fly a kite at Hampton Park. Let the kiddos grind some rails at SK8 Charleston skate park. Fill up on Mexican favorites like a Veggie Burrito or Nachos at Santi’s Restaurante Mexicano. Make your way to the Rutledge Cab Company and order a Blue Cheese Burger or Reuben Egg Rolls. Enjoy a Porkstrami Reuben Sandwich, Moroccan Gyro, or Jumbo Wings at The Tattooed Moose. Pack the kids in the car and head over to Workshop, a trendy food court that has six vendors who serve a variety of dishes like sushi, Philly cheesesteaks, and brats. Or meet up with some friends for happy hour to sip on a refreshing Blond Ale or Frozen Mule at Edmund’s Oast Restaurant.

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Neighborhood and suburb statistics from AreaVibes

Best Neighborhoods in Charleston for Families via @extraspace

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