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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Charleston

Moving to Charleston? With its stunning beaches, great weather, and plenty of things to do for all ages, Charleston is one of the best cities to live in the South, and even one of the best places to live in the U.S.! If you’re considering living in Charleston, check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods!


Charleston Style Home in Radcliffeborough, Charleston. Photo by Instragram user @bscottkline

Photo via @bscottkline

  • Home Price: $538,000 median purchase price; $2,308 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Bordered by the historical King Street and major thoroughfares like Rutledge Ave and Calhoun St, Radcliffeborough’s central location provides quick access from one end of the city to the other and direct paths to both the Ashley River and the Atlantic. You’ll also find plenty of green spaces nearby while living in Radcliffeborough, with Marion Square bordering it and Cannon Park only 11 minutes away. Plus, this scenic Charleston neighborhood offers more visual appeal with historical Colonial homes throughout Radcliffeborough and Ashley Hall. There’s even the Spoleto Festival, an annual event which takes place in century-year-old venues in the area.

Things to Do in Radcliffeborough

Shop art, food, novelties, and more at the Charleston City Market. Explore touring and permanent exhibits of paintings, photography, sculptures, and more at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. With free daily admission, pose with a set of giant Megalodon jaws, and see nearly 1,000 fossils from dinosaurs, ocean animals, and other organisms throughout time at the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History. Sip on a refreshing craft cocktail and sample meats and cheeses like Lamb Prosciutto and Roomano Pradera from The Belmont. Savor a gourmet Pig & Fig sandwich or a vegetarian Sloppy Chili Cheese Dog from Brown Dog Deli. Make reservations at Swamp Fox Restaurant to listen to jazz and savor breakfast dishes like the Swamp Fox Stack or a Grilled Bagel & Smoked Salmon. Order a Sausage Biscuit or buy some pimento cheese to take home from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. Or enjoy authentic Korean fare like Jajangmon and Bul-Go-Gee dishes at Mama Kims.

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Riverland Terrace

  • Home Price: $390,000 median purchase price; $1,713 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Riverland Terrace is an affordable option for people moving to Charleston who’d like to live on the scenic James Island and retreat from the busier side of the city. Instead of busy city life, residents in Riverland Terrace fill their time enjoying gorgeous waterfront views, public green space, and historic sites. Plus, the Riverland Terrace Neighborhood Association sponsors events throughout the year like the Holiday Golf Cart Parade, Windmill Day, annual clean-up days, and more, giving residents plenty of community events to participate in. An LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood, Riverland Terrace is a comfortable, quiet place to live for families of all kinds, with access to schools like Harbor View Elementary.

Things to Do in Riverland Terrace

Cruise around the lake at Plymouth Park, which features a public boat landing and a playground for kids. Plant your own vegetables, herbs, and more, all while supporting your local Charleston neighborhood, at Medway Park & Community Garden. Hit the green and try for a hole-in-one at the scenic Charleston Municipal Golf Course. Cast your line with expert guidance from Charleston Fly Fishing Adventures and see what you can reel in. Split a plate of Antipasto, then grab a slice of Chicken & Bacon Pizza at one of the best Italian restaurants in Charleston, Crust. Spice things up with a Quesadilla Rellena or try the fish tacos from Azul Mexicano. Chow down on a Public House Burger or a Fried Shrimp Basket from Maybank Public House. Or order American classics with a twist, like a Chicken McGeorge sandwich from Bar George.

Stiles Point

  • Home Price: $460,000 median purchase price; $1,713 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Stiles Point has seen considerable development over the years, making it a good spot for anyone moving to Charleston looking for single-family new builds or modern townhomes. And, because Stiles Point is tucked into James Island, many homes on the banks of the Cooper River have excellent marsh and harbor views! The neighborhood lies just 13 minutes from Downtown Charleston, 15 minutes from Folly Beach, and provides quick access to schools, too, like Stiles Point Elementary School and James Island Charter High School. With its central location, laid-back culture, and variety of activities, Stiles Point is easily one of the best neighborhoods in Charleston.

Things to Do in Stiles Point

Go for a walk down the well-maintained trails or let your kids run free at the playground at Harborview/Ft. Johnson Park, which is one of the best public parks in Charleston! Get one-on-one fitness advice and training sessions from Just You Fitness. Go hiking or grab your fishing poles and launch off the public boat dock at Melton Peter Demetre Park. Snatch a slice of fresh Pesto Chicken Pizza or a Hot Hammy Sandwich from The Hideaway Pizza Kitchen. Browse the expansive wine list, incredible desserts, and brunch items like Lowcountry Hash at local bistro Edison James Island. Snack on some serious comfort food like Lobster Mac & Cheese or Shrimp & Grits at High Cotton.

Wagener Terrace

Cute red brick cottage in Wagener Terrace. Photo by Instagram user @colonyandcraft

Photo via @colonyandcraft

  • Home Price: $651,000 median purchase price; $1,867 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Wagener Terrace is the perfect place to live in Charleston for residents who want to be close to downtown but away from the tourist traps. With wide sidewalks, sprawling lawns, and tree-lined streets, Wagener Terrace is a gorgeous spot to call home! Housing ranges from quaint bungalows to multi-family homes and spacious condos, and local Realtors recognize Wagener Terrace as one of the most affordable places to live on the Charleston Peninsula. This vibrant Charleston neighborhood is an ideal place for military families to live, given the neighborhood is a 20-minute drive from Joint Base Charleston. With plenty of things to do, delicious restaurants, and low crime rates, Wagener Terrace is a great choice for all kinds of people moving to Charleston.

Things to Do in Wagener Terrace

Venture down to The Citadel‘s picturesque campus, which also hosts public events like the Friday troop parades in Wagener Terrace. Enjoy a nice picnic next to the wildflowers or walk the scenic trails in Hampton Park. Grab a bite—like the Food Network-featured Mike’s Famous Duck Club—at Tattooed Moose. Chow down on Grilled Eggplant or Roasted Chicken at Butcher & Bee. Take on the sake-infused, nigiri-focused omakase experience at Sushi-Wa. Eat your fill of American fusion cuisine like Shrimp Tacos or traditional favorites like Roasted Pork and Cornmeal Fried Catfish at Rutledge Cab Co. Join the Growler Club and let your pup make new friends while you sip on a creamy stout or a Bricklayer’s Red Ale and chat with other dog parents at Tradesman Brewing Co. Or, lounge on the patio solo and order a refreshing craft beer from local Charleston staple Cooper River Brewing Co.

West Ashley

  • Home Price: $336,000 median listing price; $1,623 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees


Located across Ashley River, West Ashley is one of the best suburbs of Charleston. Architectural remnants from the neighborhood’s Colonial American roots and abundant green space make West Ashley a very scenic place to live. With additions like the large Citadel Mall, the West Ashley area makes it easy for residents to eat, play, and shop without having to leave the suburb. West Ashley resides on its own peninsula with bridges connecting it to the rest of the city—including Downtown Charleston, just 13-minutes away—making this neighborhood an ideal place to live in Charleston for commuters or singles looking to explore the rest of the city. There are a number of major Charleston employers near West Ashley, as well, including MUSC Health University Medical Center just four minutes outside of the neighborhood.

Things to Do in West Ashley

Soak up the sun in the beautiful West Ashley Park, which provides 260 acres’ worth of amenities open to the public, including sports fields, a pavilion, playground, and more. Marvel at preserved pieces of American history, including settler artifacts and a 17th-century sailing ship replica at Charleston Towne Landing State Historical Site. See bears, pumas, and bison up close at The Animal Forest. Shop local artisan goods, fresh food, and enjoy the sights of the neighborhood farmers market. Wake up right with a Chicken & Waffle or Buttermilk Pancakes from Early Bird Diner. Order mouth-watering house-smoked Brisket and other BBQ offerings at Swig & Swine. Have date night at Pearlz Oyster Bar, which has classy, yet casual, cuisine like Shrimp Po’Girl Sliders and Andouille Cajun Red Rice. Explore the flavors of the Baja Peninsula, like Bangin Shrimp and Carne Asada, without ever leaving the area at one of Charleston’s best Mexican restaurants, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina.


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Data found from Redfin, RENTCafe, and AreaVibes

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Charleston, SC