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Downtown Charleston at night

Best Neighborhoods in Charleston for Singles & Young Professionals

Want to live in Charleston? Not only is this South Carolina city one of the best places to live on the East Coast and one of the best places to live in the South, but Chucktown is also a top destination for young adults looking for job opportunities, affordable housing, highly-rated universities, and a budding nightlife scene. Here are the five best neighborhoods in Charleston for singles and young professionals!

Harleston Village

House in Harleston Village, Charleston, SC. Photo by Instagram user @carriageprop

Photo via @carriageprop

  • Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 57% of South Carolina cities

For Charleston singles and young professionals who want to live in the heart of downtown, Harleston Village is the place to be! This Holy City neighborhood offers easy access to the College of Charleston for those looking to earn an education or teach at a local school. This Charleston neighborhood also has a variety of coffee shops, music venues, boutiques, restaurants, and bars sprinkled throughout the area—particularly along King Street. And you’ll have your pick of gorgeous bungalows, townhomes, row houses, and apartments in Harleston Village!

Things to Do in Harleston Village

Go for a jog or play catch with your furry friend at Colonial Lake Park. Attend a concert, musical, or ballet at Sottile Theatre on the College of Charleston campus, originally opened in 1927 as a theatre for touring shows, vaudeville, and movies. Get in some retail therapy from world-famous stores at The Shops at Charleston Place. Grab a house-brewed coffee and scone on your way to work from hip coffeehouse Second State Coffee. Try everything from the Megadock Seafood Platter and Southern Philly, to Grilled Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon at waterside diner Marina Variety Store Restaurant. Sample Southern cuisine like Jambalaya, Carolina Crab Cakes, or Crispy Roasted Duck at 82 Queen. Pop in The Charleston Place for an afternoon lunch of Roasted Chicken Breast and Bucatini Alla Fresco at Palmetto Cafe—or splurge on handcrafted cocktails like the Pink Hummingbird with Crispy Fried Oysters or Ceviche at the Thoroughbred Club. Or enjoy a bottle of wine and food like the Paprika Grouper, 1855 Beef Tenderloin, and Berbere Sweet Potatoes at the romantic Circa 1886.

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James Island

  • Home Price: $244,000 median purchase price; $1,095 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 85% of South Carolina cities

Located across the water from the Downtown Charleston Peninsula area, the James Island neighborhood is a quiet, suburban counterpart to some of the more bustling city neighborhoods in Charleston. However, James Island is a mere 12-minute drive from the heart of Downtown, making the city center well within reach. Though housing here can be pricier compared to other Charleston neighborhoods—thanks to the area’s spacious multi-bedroom homes and beautiful Georgian and Greek Revival estates—it’s an ideal place for singles and young professionals who want to buy houses and get into the quickly expanding South Carolina real estate market. This Charleston neighborhood allows easy trips to sandy fun at Folly Beach, which is another reason why people love living on James Island.

Things to Do in James Island

Play sand volleyball, enjoy a picnic, or go crabbing at James Island County Park. Take a ferry over to Fort Sumter National Monument to learn more about the historic site and its role in the start of the Civil War. Find Mid-Century Modern furniture and other vintage home decor at The Island Bazaar. Catch shows of touring rock musicians, folk artists, cover bands, and more at the Charleston Pour House. Sip fresh-brewed coffee or a cappuccino while munching on breakfast pastries at Muddy Waters Coffee Bar. Try the Southern Burger, Fried Shrimp Platter, or Encrusted Tuna with a craft beer on tap at Maybank Public House. Order the Baja Fish Tacos, Gambas Al Ajillo, or the Carnitas Tacos with a House Goatarita at Grumpy Goat Seafood Cantina. Savor Italian favorites like Eggplant Parmesan, Penne with Piccata Sauce, or Mushroom Ravioli at Mondo’s Italian Restaurant. Or snack on a Big Texas Burger, Boneless Wings, or the Bar-B-Cuban at local James Island bar, Bohemian Bull.

North Charleston

House in North Charleston, SC. Photo by Instagram user @dedeandbvteam

Photo via @dedeandbvteam

  • Home Price: $144,200 median purchase price; $909 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 10% of South Carolina cities

As one of the fastest-growing Charleston areas, it should come as no surprise that North Charleston is one of the best suburbs for singles and young professionals. Offering quick commutes into The Peninsula and close proximity to Charleston International Airport and Joint Base Charleston, this Charleston suburb is a convenient home particularly for military personnel and those who travel frequently. North Charleston’s rapid expansion also means first-time homebuyers and renters can find diverse housing options, from historic Colonial single-family houses to more modern apartments.

Things to Do in North Charleston

Spend an afternoon at Riverfront Park, where you can go for a jog and attend arts and music festivals. Stroll the banks of the Cooper River as you learn about the thousands of men and women who served at the Charleston Naval Base and shipyard during its 95 years of operation at the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial. Stroll through the oldest public gardens in America, open to visitors since the 1870s, at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Find discounted clothing, shoes, and accessories at a wide variety of stores at Tanger Outlets. Enjoy a Spring Roll, Fried Wonton, and hot bowls of Pho Dac Biet or Pho Bo Vien at Phuong Vietnamese Restaurant. Order wood-fired pizzas like the Pistachio Pesto, Pork Trifecta, or Chorizo & Potato at farm-to-table Charleston restaurant EVO Pizzeria. Try the Burrito La Norteña, Green Enchiladas, or Torta La Cubana at the Mexican restaurant La Nortena. Or pop into Stems & Skins for small plates like Olive And Octopus Skewers, Whipped Ricotta With Garlic Fermented Honey, and Smoked Trout Roe & Potato Chips with handcrafted cocktails and wines by the glass.

South of Broad

 

  • Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 57% of South Carolina cities

Considered The Peninsula’s sparkling gem, South of Broad is one of the best places to live in Charleston. With excellent views of the Ashley River and Charleston Harbor—and close proximity to some of the best things to do in Downtown Charleston—this neighborhood is a favorite among singles and young professionals. In addition, South of Broad is well-known for its Italianate and Georgian architecture, with its famous Rainbow Row and historic houses like the Nathaniel Russell House and Calhoun Mansion. So if you’re hoping to live in a renovated 19th-century row house, this is the best Charleston neighborhood for you!

Things to Do in South of Broad

Explore the gardens, see the only 1740s kitchen open to the public, and learn more about owner Thomas Heyward Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence at the Heyward-Washington House. Find incredible waterfront views, Civil War monuments, and plenty of green space at White Point Garden. Check out everything from 18th and 19th-Century American Paintings and Sculpture, to American Miniature Portraits at Gibbes Museum of Art. Order from 40 different wines by the glass or 200 wines to share by the bottle at wine bar Bin 152. Snag some Banana Bread on the way to work or order a Frittata, Waffles, or Millers Plate with a breakfast cocktail at Millers All Day in Downtown Charleston. Sit and enjoy the retro vibe at Brown Dog Deli, offering the Pig n’ Fig Sandwich, Chipotle Chicken Pita, and Knuckle Sandwich. Get barbecue favorites like Smokehouse Ribs, The Four Porksmen, and The Meat Sampler at Poogan’s Smokehouse. Or check out The Gin Joint to try unique cocktails like Stuck in a Billabong, The Rodeo Clown, and Maui Myth.

West Ashley

  • Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 57% of South Carolina cities

Across the Ashley River from The Peninsula, West Ashley (sometimes called “West of the Ashley”) is one of the largest neighborhoods in Charleston, accounting for nearly half of the city’s population. It’s the perfect area for singles and young professionals who are looking for a safe, affordable neighborhood in Charleston with new construction, tons of public parks, and a wide range of shopping and dining options. West Ashley’s focus on community and quieter residential areas also make it a top destination for those who want to settle down and start a family in the Charleston area.

Things to Do in West Ashley

Meet up with some friends to play softball, basketball, or soccer at West Ashley Park. Spend an afternoon perusing shopping, dining, and entertainment options at Citadel Mall. Visit the Charles Town Landing State Historic Site to explore the birthplace of the Carolina colony and learn more about its English settlers. Grab some drinks and participate in trivia night, karaoke, dance-offs, and more events at Tin Roof. Sample signature sushi rolls like Spicy Girl, Color Dragon Roll, and the Black Angel Roll at Zen Asian Fusion Restaurant. Find soul food favorites inspired by Alabama, Louisiana, and Lowcountry cuisines on a daily rotating menu that can include anything from Pan Roasted Mountain Trout, to Shrimp & Grits at The Glass Onion. Get a Pulled Pork Sandwich, BBQ Nachos, or a Chopped Brisket Taco at Home Team BBQ. Or order entrees like the Seared Flounder, Fried Pork Chop, or Pecan Encrusted Chicken at Betty Lou’s Bistro.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes