Isle of Palms Office

1400 Palm Boulevard Ste. M
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
843.886.5600

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Folly Beach Office

31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439
843.588.3800

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Dunes Downtown

11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843.722.5618

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Kiawah Seabrook Office

1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455
843.768.9800

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Mount Pleasant Office

835 Coleman Blvd Ste. 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843.881.5600

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Tag: Park Circle

Is Charleston, SC, a Good Place to Live?

Charleston SC, a good place to live

Ask any resident of the Holy City, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and you’re sure to be greeted with resounding affirmative responses. But, there are many factors to consider before moving to a new area. Generally speaking, Charleston is one of the best places to live in the country. In fact, the city has received an extensive list of accolades over the last decade, topping Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. Cities since 2013. But, before permanently relocating, you should have a good understanding of the city, its culture, climate and cost of living to ensure it will be the best fit for your lifestyle.

Fortunately, Charleston has an abundance of beautiful areas to reside–from the bustling downtown homes to the beachside Isle of Palms real estate. Learn more about this flourishing coastal town in South Carolina and figure out which area your new dream home will be located.

What Is Charleston Like?

The Weather

Perhaps one of the most enticing reasons to move to Charleston is the gorgeous weather year-round. The summers may reach scorching temperatures from time to time, but the winters are mild and pleasant. Plus, with so many beaches and outdoor water activities in the area, it’s easy to escape the summer heat while enjoying all the city has to offer. On average, the temperatures usually remain between the low 50s and 70s in the fall and spring, dropping down briefly to the mid-40s in the winter and rising back up to the 80s and 90s in the hottest of the summer months. With such a temperate climate, it’s no surprise an abundance of outdoorsy adventurers and beach bums gravitate towards this sunny little city.

The Food

Charleston, SC, is one of the greatest culinary destinations in the country right now with new restaurants popping up all the time. Many travelers come to the area to experience authentic Southern cooking, but stay for the surprising variety of cuisines available from classic French cooking to Sichuan joints. Of course, if you’re looking for good Carolina barbecue, you’ll have no trouble finding smoked meats from some of the most renowned pit masters in the state like Rodney Scott, but the adventurous eater will love all the other options available for exploring.

Food in Charleston SC

Though the downtown area has the greatest concentration of high-quality restaurants, you’ll find delectable dining throughout the area–from unexpectedly divine hidden fish shacks like Bowens Island Restaurant to decadent dining experiences at places like The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. Believe us, you’ll never be hungry when you’re living in Charleston.

The History

Originally part of the first 13 British colonies, Charleston and the surrounding areas have a deep, rich history that spans from the Revolutionary War through modern times.

Although some of the city’s past is dark, with slavery playing a major role in the pre-Civil War economy, Charleston has become a flourishing, progressive hub of forward thinking and modernity. From the mix of historical events that can take place here, including pirate endeavors and the creation of the first playhouse in the country, there is so much unique history to learn and experience.

The Outdoor Activities

With such beautiful year-round weather, it’s no surprise Charleston is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream place to live. Avid golfers look for Kiawah Island homes for sale to stay close to some of the top-rated championship courses in the country, while others prefer the bohemian vibe of Folly Beach. You’ll find exciting things to do in nearly every corner of Charleston. Visit the Francis Marion National Forest for a daytime hike along the Palmetto Trail, a cross-state trail that extends 350 miles with the goal of expanding to 500 miles. The Caw Caw Interpretive Center is another resource for experiencing and learning more about the Lowcountry’s environment and the beautiful creatures that inhabit it. And, in Charleston, anytime is a good time to go to the beach.

Outdoor activities in Charleston SC

The Architecture

Downtown Charleston is home to some unique and very specific styles of architecture, ranging from Colonial and Federal styles to Classical Revival and even Art Deco. With more than 2,800 historic buildings, the area is teeming with unique designs and stories to match. You could spend days exploring the streets of downtown, discovering new, incredibly built houses. One of the most admired styles is the traditional Charleston Single, which is typically a two-story home featuring a covered porch off the side of both stories, a setup unique to Charleston developed prior to modern air conditioning to allow for air flow in the scorching summers.

The Best Areas to Live in Charleston, SC

If you’re still wondering, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” then you’re asking the wrong questions. Charleston is one of the most beautiful places to live along the coastline, and it encompasses so many different areas that there are plenty of different types of environments to choose from.

Downtown Charleston

Most downtown residents consist of college students, young professionals or wealthy adults, with the South of Broad area being home to some of the richest residents in the area. The remainder of the peninsula welcomes the younger population, with many young families choosing to find homes further up the neck in the Wagener Terrace area. Close to Hampton Park and filled with adorable cottage-style homes, Wagener Terrace is close enough to the action of downtown while keeping a safe distance from the noisy bars and restaurants.

Mount Pleasant

Just over the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, you’ll find yourself in Mount Pleasant. In the last 10 years, this town has grown exponentially as more people fall in love with Charleston and decide to relocate here. Regardless of what area you’re in, Mount Pleasant allows you to remain fairly close to downtown while having a more suburban surrounding. There are two beaches in Mount Pleasant—Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms—so you have plenty of options when it’s time to hit the shore.

Mt Pleasant, SC a good place to live

For families looking to move to the area, Mount Pleasant is highly touted as having many of the best public schools in the entire state, a much sought-after characteristic. Enjoy spending your weekends walking through the outdoor town center, lounging by the beach or taking a walk over the bridge for unparalleled views of the surrounding area.

Folly Beach

Heading southwest of downtown, the opposite direction of Mount Pleasant, you’ll discover James Island, home to the charming little area of Folly Beach. Known as the Edge of America, this shoreside locale is known for being a bit more bohemian than the other beaches in the area, but nonetheless a favorite haunt for locals and visitors alike. Here, you’ll discover hidden gems of the culinary world like Jack of Cups Saloon and Chico Feo. You can opt to take a sunset walk along the pier, or drive farther down the beach to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve, a more secluded area of the beach where you can marvel at unique graffiti drawings and the abandoned Morris Island Lighthouse.

West Ashley

This area of Charleston was named for its geographical location as west of the Ashley River, which is also directly west of downtown. This charming town has plenty to offer, including proximity to downtown and its own hopping little area known as Avondale where you can explore funky tiki bars like Voodoo and even the oldest bar in Charleston, Gene’s Haufbrau. Though this area of Charleston is mainly residential, residents have easy access to the Citadel Mall, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Johns Island’s Angel Oak Tree.

Park Circle

Located in North Charleston, Park Circle is a short 15-minute drive from downtown. Considered a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood, Park Circle is home to young professionals and families. The strip of bars, restaurants and shops along E. Montague Ave. is the hub of this charming neighborhood, along with the adjacent Spruill Ave. businesses like brunch spot The Junction and the new Chinese-American joint called Jackrabbit Filly. Living in this area allows easy access to nearly every area of the city from downtown to the many beaches, while also harboring its own unique little culture of art and food.

Johns Island, SC a good place to live

Johns Island

Considered slightly more rural than other parts of Charleston, Johns Island is a gorgeous area surrounded by typical Lowcountry scenery of marshlands and live oaks draped in Spanish moss. The island itself is home to the Angel Oak Tree, what is believed to be one of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi, as well as renowned restaurants, the Fat Hen and Wild Olive, and the charming Low Tide Brewing. From this location, you’re just a short drive to the James Island music venue called the Pour House as well downtown.

Seabrook Island

As you move farther away from the city, you’ll begin to feel more entangled in the natural landscape of the Lowcountry. Seabrook Island is only about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston, but offers serene backdrops of marshlands and the quiet relaxation of the barrier islands. Here, you’ll be close to the many championship golf courses on Kiawah Island, while remaining slightly closer to the city of Charleston. One of the major differences between Kiawah and Seabrook is that Kiawah is a gated community. Some people prefer this type of privacy, while others find getting guests and visiting relatives in and out of a gated community to be a bit of a burden.

For those who love outdoor adventure, this area might be a better fit as the island’s surroundings are ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding and much more. If you’re in the market for a boat or you already own one, the advantage to living so close to the water is clear. And, with such a gorgeous climate, you’re able to sail across the water almost any time of the year. Just imagine a New Year’s Eve sunset boat ride before the festivities begin.

Kiawah Island

As the barrier island located right next to Seabrook Island, Kiawah is similar in surroundings with lush live oaks flourishing across the island and thriving marshlands providing homes for the unique Lowcountry wildlife. For those who are interested in birdwatching or other types of wildlife observation, the island is the perfect environment for such endeavors. You can visit the Beachwalker Park or Night Heron Park to look for native species or simply enjoy the surroundings.

While Kiawah Island is a bit farther south than Seabrook, it is still under an hour from Charleston, making it possible to take a day trip into the city at any given moment. But, the island itself provides a variety of entertainment options as well as top-notch dining available at The Ocean Room and lovely cocktails at the Ryder Cup Bar. For golf lovers, this island is truly a paradise with access to five public courses and two private courses, many of which have been created by top golf designers and offer a challenge to players of all skill levels.

If you’re looking for Kiawah Island homes for sale, you’ll find a plethora of gorgeous properties that offer privacy and proximity to desirable activities nearby. Anyone looking for a slower pace of life will be attracted to the atmosphere of Kiawah.

Experience the Lowcountry Life

charleston, a good place to live

People who haven’t visited the area often wonder, “Is Charleston, SC, a good place to live?” and the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Between the uniquely gorgeous natural landscape, abundance of activities and world-class culinary dining, what more could you ask for? If you’re thinking about relocating and looking for Seabrook Island real estate or property in the surrounding areas, consider the activities you’d like to be closest to. Seabrook and Kiawah offer the serenity of quiet island living, while areas closer to downtown Charleston provide the bustle of a small city and the promise of nightlife. Browse some of the available properties in the area and inquire with Dunes Properties to learn more about your next dream home.

Places to Grab a Cup of Coffee in Charleston

Coffee — for most of us it’s an everyday necessity, so where can you find the best cup of coffee in Charleston? Whether you need the perfect place for meeting with your real estate agent, need caffeine on the go, a place to plug in your laptop, or a quiet corner for reading, Charleston’s variety of local coffee houses has you covered — and caffeinated! Here are a few of our favorite neighborhood spots.

Collective Coffee, Mount Pleasant

Coffee in Charleston, Collective Coffee Co

Photo Credit: Instagram User @collectivecoffeeco

This upscale, hipster coffee shop is pretty cool indeed with its loft-like, airy space and tasty breakfast (pimento cheese biscuit is life-changing) and snack (avocado toast) items. We love the friendly service here at Collective Coffee along with the ample outdoor seating, community table, comfy corner seating, and plentiful parking, assuring that you and whoever you’re meeting up with will have plenty of places to perch your coffee cups and your cars. Not the cheapest place but they do take pride in preparing your lattes, we can assure you. They’re delicious. The wifi is free, and laptops are welcome here.

Orange Spot, Park Circle North Charleston

For the most adorable coffee experience, head to Park Circle. Orange Spot is nestled in a cute little house and consists of two rooms with plenty of tables, power outlets, cushioned seats, and sunlight. A spacious backyard patio means they can put on events, like mini markets and art openings, since they line their walls with local art. Wifi? Yep, and it’s free. Pro tip: get the the Cha Yen.

Classic Coffee, Avondale, West Ashley

Coffee in Charleston, Classic Coffee Avondale

Photo Credit: Instagram User @classiccoffeecharleston

Avondale residents love strolling on foot over to Classic Coffee for their caffeine fix, and it’s perfect for all kinds of situations. There are couches that make for cozy book-reading nooks, plus outdoor tables, a bar with bar stools, and several inside tables for all your meeting-up purposes. We also love their quiches, which come from nearby Wildflour Pastry, in-house roasted coffee, and fruit smoothies. Parking is a pain at times, though, be ye warned.

Normandy Farm, South Windermere, West Ashley

If you really want to feel fancy and French when you hit the coffee shop, make Normandy your new favorite. Visions and smells of fresh-baked breads, tarts, cakes, pies, and more will have you drooling, but the prices will make you stop in your tracks. Normandy, a light-filled space, is the most affordable coffee shop in Charleston — its pour-it-yourself in-house roasted coffee is only a buck-fifty. The only downside of this place is that the bathrooms are in the back, meaning you have to walk through the kitchen to get there. If you’re having lots of coffee, this can make you feel a bit self-conscious, but, really, they don’t mind at all. Oh and there’s free wifi.

 Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer

Coffee in Charleston, Kudu Coffee

Photo Credit: Instagram User @kuduchs

Kudu discourages folks from working on computers by denying guests their wifi password. So save Kudu for those days when you want to meet up with people (friends or clients) or you simply want to sit in their lovely courtyard and enjoy a book al fresco style. They serve coffee by the cafetiere and have a slew of great local craft beer selections. Kudu is also perfect for downtowndwellers; otherwise you’ll be circling the block in search of parking for an eternity.

Starbucks, Multiple Locations

  1. Starbucks gets a lot of slack for being corporate, and while supporting local is always best, Starbucks isn’t so bad. They treat their employees pretty wonderfully actually, offering benefits to even part-timers. In West Ashley and Mt Pleasant you’ll find Starbucks with drive-thru windows, which is key for busy moms who can’t just unbuckle all three kids and run in and grab a quick coffee. (There is no such thing as a quick coffee when you’re a mom, unless there’s a drive-through!). Plus if you need to do some work on your laptop, at Starbucks you’ll find all you need for that: plenty of outlets, free wifi, lots of two-top tables and community tables. Starbucks is literally made for all of you laptop workers — be it freelancers or students.  AND most locations stay open until 9 p.m., while most other places shut down much earlier (5 or 6 p.m.).


What’s your favorite local coffee shop?

10 Ways to Treat Yourself in Park Circle, North Charleston

What’s not to love about Park Circle? One of the trendiest places to live in Charleston right now, it is full of entrepreneurs and young professionals who are turning the area into a perfect place to live and/or spend a day off. Here are 10 ways to treat yourself next time you have some time to spend in PC.

 1.  Zen at Barefoot Yoga

Everyone needs a little zen, which is why it’s essential to have Barefoot Yoga in the neighborhood. Going to Barefoot is on par with a spa visit — total indulgence and totally worth it. The space is calming and quirky, and the staff is warm and welcoming, even for beginners.

Park Circle

@coastbrewing

2. Laid-back brews at Coast Brewing Co.

About a two-minute drive from downtown area of PC is Coast Brewing, where all the Coast beer magic happens. But it’s not just a brewery: you can hang out and consume their brews in a super laid-back setting inside or out. One flavor to try: the Hop Art IPA.

3.  Shave and shoulder massage at Olde Village Barber Shop

Let’s hear it for the beards! Men need pampering too, and that’s their forte at Olde Village Barber Shop. Known for giving one helluva neck and shoulder massage, OVBS is also your PC go-to for a pro shave and a haircut.

Park Circle

@barrelhousespirits

4.  Local spirits at Barrel House Spirits

Owned by local vocalist Emily Richards and her brothers, Barrel House is the only spot to get your liquor in PC. And they have all your favorites and plenty of great local finds, like bottles from Firefly, Striped Pig, and High Wire.

5.  Perfect pizza at Park Pizza + EVO

Park Pizza, y’all. You can’t sit down inside but you can park it outside if there’s a table free (and it’s not raining). Our favorite part? The creative pies. Try the Spaceballs, Teriyabi, She Crab, Bradwell, or the Cordon Bleu. Across the way is E.V.O., another local fave, which features a big dining room, outside tables, a bar full of local brews, and insanely tasty apps, salads, and pizza. EVO uses the freshest SC ingredients, including an Upstate goat cheese fudge for dessert.

Park Circle

@pccreamery

6.  Lemon Crunch cone at Park Circle Creamery

Spoil yourself silly at the relatively new Park Circle Creamery, known for unique ice cream flavors like lemon crunch, german chocolate, Mexican vanilla, and peach pie. Not your unimaginative Cold Stone in any way — just a creative creamery locally owned AND locally loved.

7.  All-day breakfast and more at The Junction Kitchen & Provisions

Not only does the Junction Kitchen & Provisions serve the Park Circle community’s desperate need for an all-day breakfast, but they also offer delicious sandwiches, gluten-free foods, top-shelf dinners, and — provisions! Yep, come and get your local produce, cheese, raw local honey, hen eggs, beer, wine, and cider in one of their grab-n-go coolers. Pretty cool, huh?

Park Circle

@mccarusbeverage

8.  The little PC community also has not one but two places to sip wine and nibble cheese: Accent on Wine and Stems & Skins.

Accent has a sweet and knowledgable sommelier named Hal, serves affordable small boards, and is as unpretentious as it gets. Bonus? Wine on tap! Meanwhile, Stems & Skins not only has your perfect tapas and olives and wine, but also some killer desserts, like peach cobbler that goes great with Prosecco FYI.

9.  Crawfish mac at LoLa

LoLa = Lowcountry cuisine with a Louisiana twist, which is why their must-have is the crawfish mac! Owned by a father-and-son duo, LoLa also gets the cajun-cum-southern vibe right with their etouffee, poboys, and pecan cornbread.

 

Park Circle

@theorangespotcoffee house

10.  Cha Yen at Orange Spot Coffeehouse

Here you’ll find, by far, the best Thai iced coffee in Charleston. Owned by two old friends, OS also boasts a backyard perfect for sunny days, cold brew coffee, and fresh-baked snacks, like scones and quiche.

What’s your favorite place in Park Circle?

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