Downtown Charleston at night

Best Neighborhoods in Charleston for Singles & Young Professionals

Thinking about living 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 it’s also a top destination for young adults looking for job opportunities, affordable housing, highly-rated universities, and a budding dining and nightlife scene. Here are the best neighborhoods in Charleston for singles and young professionals!

  • Harleston Village
  • James Island
  • North Charleston
  • South of Broad
  • West Ashley

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 74% of South Carolina cities

For singles and young professionals who want to live in the heart of Downtown Charleston, Harleston Village is the place to be! Not only is it home to College of Charleston and located near the Medical University of South Carolina, but 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 Georgian and Antebellum bungalows, townhomes, rowhouses, 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. Get in some retail therapy at stores like Kate Spade, Tommy Bahama, and Chico’s at The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. Grab a cold brew coffee and a scone from hip coffeehouse Second State Coffee on your way to work. Try everything from oysters and crab cakes to omelettes and chicken and waffles at waterside diner Marina Variety Store Restaurant. Enjoy a bottle of wine and food inspired by both European and African cuisine at the romantic Circa 1886. Order some beers, shoot some pool, and join in for weekly karaoke at neighborhood dive Burns Alley Tavern. Or pop in for handcrafted cocktails like the Uptown Manhattan or Chantilly at Thoroughbred Club lounge in Belmond Charleston Place.

James Island

House in James Island, Charleston, SC. Photo by Instagram user @baloo_thenewfie
Photo via @baloo_thenewfie

Home Price: $244,000 median purchase price; $1,095 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 87% of South Carolina cities

Located on the other side of Charleston Harbor from Downtown Charleston is James Island. Though housing here can be pricier compared to other suburbs of Charleston—thanks to the area’s spacious multi-bedroom homes and beautiful Southern-style estates—it’s an ideal place for singles and young professionals who want to buy houses and get into James Island’s hot real estate market. Another reason why people love living in James Island is that its location just outside of Charleston proper means a trip to the sun and fun at Folly Beach is within 15 minutes of home!

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 by touring rock musicians, folk artists, cover bands, and more at Charleston Pour House. Try the Southern Burger or the Santa Fe Flatbread with a craft beer on tap at Maybank Public House. Order the Baja Fish Tacos or the Carnitas Tacos with a House Goatarita at Grumpy Goat Seafood Cantina. Savor Italian favorites like Eggplant Parmesan or Mushroom Ravioli at Mondo’s Italian Restaurant. Or sip on a fresh-brewed coffee or cappuccino while munching on breakfast pastries at Muddy Waters Coffee Bar.

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 17% of South Carolina cities

One of the fastest-growing areas of Charleston, it should come as no surprise that North Charleston is a hot spot for singles and young professionals. This Charleston suburb offers quick commutes into The Peninsula and is close to Charleston International Airport and Joint Base Charleston, making it a convenient home 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 apartment homes.

Things to Do in North Charleston

Spend an afternoon at Riverfront Park, where you can go for a jog, attend arts and music festivals, and see the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial. Stroll through the oldest public gardens in America at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Find discounted clothing, shoes, and accessories at stores like Banana Republic Factory, Nike Factory Store, and Vera Bradley at Tanger Outlets. Enjoy spring rolls, fried wonton, and hot bowls of Pho Dac Biet at Phuong Vietnamese Restaurant. Order wood-fired pizzas like the Pistachio Pesto, Pork Trifecta, or Chorizo & Tomatoes at farm-to-table restaurant EVO Pizzeria. Try the Burrito La Nortena, Enchiladas Poblanas, or Torta La Cubana at Mexican restaurant La Nortena. Or pop into Stems & Skins for small plates, handcrafted cocktails, and wines by the glass.

South of Broad

House in South of Broad. Photo by Instagram user @holycitystrollin
Photo via @holycitystrollin

Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 74% of South Carolina cities

Considered the sparkling gem of The Peninsula, South of Broad is one of the best places to live in Charleston. With excellent views of the Ashley River and Charleston Harbor, as well as 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 the Calhoun Mansion. So if you’re hoping to live in a renovated 19th Century rowhouse, this is the best Charleston neighborhood for you!

Things to Do in South of Broad

Visit the Heyward-Washington House to 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. Take a walk through White Point Garden, where you’ll find incredible waterfront views, Civil War monuments, and plenty of green space. Check out everything from classic paintings and portraits to contemporary artwork at Gibbes Museum of Art. Dig into Southern-style brunch dishes like the Cajun Shrimp Omelet, Shrimp & Grits, and Blackened Catfish at Blossom. Get barbecue favorites like St. Louis ribs, pulled pork, and pork belly at Poogan’s Smokehouse. Order wines by the glass and charcuterie plates to share at wine bar Bin 152. Or check out The Gin Joint, where you can try unique cocktails like The Cobra Chicken, Cactus Queen, and Virginia Gentleman.

West Ashley

House in West Ashley, Charleston, SC. Photo by Instagram user @sarahellensellschs
Photo via @sarahellensellschs

Home Price: $269,400 median purchase price; $1,052 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 74% 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 place to live in Charleston that offers 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 stores like Target, Loft, and Bath & Body Works at Citadel Mall. Visit the Charles Town Landing State Historic Site to discover the birthplace of the Carolina colony and learn more about its English settlers. Sample signature sushi rolls like Spicy Girl, Twister Roll, and the West Ashley Roll at Zen Asian Fusion Restaurant. Head to The Glass Onion, where you’ll find soul-food favorites inspired by Alabama, Louisiana, and Lowcountry cuisines. Get a pulled pork sandwich, barbecue nachos, or a platter of St. Louis ribs at Home Team BBQ. Or grab some drinks and participate in trivia nights, karaoke, dance-offs, and more at Tin Roof.

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