Charleston, SC: Charleston is the oldest and second-largest city in the southeastern U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina’s coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers.
Founded in 1670 as Charles Towne in honor of King Charles II of England, Charleston adopted its present name in 1783. It moved to its present location on Oyster Point in 1680 from a location on the west bank of the Ashley River known as Albemarle Point. By 1690, Charles Towne was the fifth largest city in North America, and it remained among the ten largest cities in the United States through the 1840 census. With a 2010 census population of 120,080 (and a 2012 estimate of 125,583), current trends put Charleston as the fastest-growing municipality in South Carolina. The city’s metropolitan area population was counted by the 2010 census at 664,607 – the second largest in the state – and the 75th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, restaurant community, and mannerly people, Charleston has received a large number of accolades, including “America’s Most Friendly [City]” by Travel + Leisure in 2011 and “the most polite and hospitable city in America” by Southern Living magazine.
Mount Pleasant, SC: Mount Pleasant is separated from Charleston, South Carolina, by the Cooper River. For many years it was primarily populated seasonally by Charleston residents wealthy enough to afford summer homes across the river from the Charleston peninsula. The population of Mount Pleasant was centered in an area of the town now known as “The Old Village.” It was determined in 1928 that a bridge from the Charleston Peninsula to Mount Pleasant was needed. Spanning Town Creek and the Cooper River and crossing the uninhabited Drum Island, the two-lane Grace Memorial Bridge opened for traffic as a toll bridge 17 months later. A second and larger bridge, the Silas N. Pearman Bridge, opened in 1966, further connecting Mount Pleasant to its mother city. On July 16, 2005, the brand new, eight-lane Arthur Ravenel, Jr., bridge opened for automotive traffic, replacing the two aging bridges.
North Charleston, SC: North Charleston is the 3rd largest city in the state of South Carolina with incorporated areas in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. On June 12, 1972 the city of North Charleston incorporated and was the 9th largest city in South Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, North Charleston has a 2012 population estimate of 101,989 with a current area of more than 76.6 square miles. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, North Charleston is included within the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston urban area. The city is considered one of the state’s major industrial cities and it is the state’s major retail center.
Summerville, SC: Summerville, the largest city in Dorchester County, is located in southeastern South Carolina on I-26 just north of Charleston. Known as “The Flower Town in the Pines,” Summerville has a profusion of public and private gardens and is especially beautiful in the spring when the azaleas bloom. Summerville is well-known for its historic character. We invite you to experience the kind of charm and hospitality one expects from an idyllic, small Southern town with “big” charm — a town like Summerville, South Carolina. Read more…http://www.summerville.sc.us/
West Ashley: West Ashley is not a self-governed city or town. The majority of the West Ashley area is located within the city limits of Charleston with a few remaining pockets in unincorporated Charleston County that are served by the Saint Andrews Public Service District who provides municipal services for those outside the city limits. West Ashley is one of the six distinct areas of the city proper of Charleston, South Carolina, with an estimated 2010 population of 57,403. Its name is derived from the fact that the land is west of the Ashley River. Flanked by the scenic waterfront vistas and marshes of the Ashley and Stono Rivers and ancient moss draped oak trees, West Ashley’s initial neighborhoods were developed in the 1950s with its largest growth occurring throughout the 1970s and 80’s. As Interstate 526 was built in the early 1980s and the Glenn McConnell Parkway was built in the 1990s to help alleviate traffic on the historic Ashley River Road (SC Hwy. 61) corridor, the area saw explosive residential and commercial growth. Major retailers located in the community as land needed for “big box” stores was not available on the historic downtown Charleston peninsula. West Ashley’s original neighborhoods line Savannah Highway (US Hwy. 17) in an area closest to the historic Charleston peninsula. Its first retail district, built in the 1950s, is seeing revitalization with many art and design oriented businesses having located there in recent years.
James Island, SC: James Island long settled as a semi-rural area, this island has been affected by increasing urbanization and the expansion of the city of Charleston. The Town was incorporated a fourth time after a referendum on April 24, 2012. The City of Charleston determined that it could not successfully challenge the Town by May and the deadline for a challenge passed on July 17. Former Mayor Bill Woolsey led the incorporation effort and unopposed in the election held on July 31, 2013.
The town limits have never incorporated the entire island of James Island, as the City of Charleston has annexed land on James Island before the original incorporation of the town and between subsequent re-incorporations. There were approximately 18,000 residents in what were the town boundaries and approximately 20,000 in Charleston’s city limits as of the 2010 US Census. The Town currently includes a population of 11,500. Approximately 6,000 residents remain in unincorporated Charleston county, and 20,000 in the City of Charleston.
James Island is the home of many historical events and areas. The last remaining Sea Island cotton plantation, McLeod Plantation, is on James Island and was recently sold by Historic Charleston Foundation to the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission. Ft. Johnson is the site of the first shot of the Civil War, and the remains of Ft. Lamar are nearby. Recent renovations of historical places include the Seashore Farmer’s Lodge on Sol Legare Road.
Johns Island, SC: Johns Island, also spelled John’s Island, is the largest island in the U.S. State of South Carolina. It is the fourth largest on the U.S. east coast, surpassed only by Long Island, Mt Desert Island, and Martha’s Vineyard. Johns Island is 84 square miles in area, with a population of 14,000 people. Johns Island was named after St. John’s Parish in Barbados by the first settlers to the island.
It is also home to scores of wildlife species: including deer, alligators, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, otters and wild hogs. The rivers and marshes that make this land an island abound with fish and shellfish, esp. oysters, and dolphins. The numbers of bird species are in the hundreds. They include bald eagles, osprey, wild turkeys, owls, hawks, herons, egrets and ducks. The flora is also abundant with many native and imported species as well as agricultural crops.
Johns Island is located to the west of James Island and to the east of Wadmalaw Island and inshore of Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island. It is separated from the mainland by the tidal Stono River, which forms part of the Intracoastal Waterway. Roughly one-third of the island is within the city limits of Charleston. The island is home to the Angel Oak, a Southern live oak tree estimated to be between five and fifteen hundred years old. It is also known for its farms, producing tomatoes and numerous other agricultural products. The population of John’s Island is growing because of its proximity to Charleston. Between 2000 and 2010 the islands population grew by 50%, the largest increase in the history of the island. This trend is expected to continue but numerous conservation organizations are striving for ecologically friendly growth.
Kiawah Island, SC: Kiawah is a sea island, or barrier island, on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Located 15 miles (24 km) south of Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina, it is operated today largely as a gated beach and golf resort — the Kiawah Island Golf Resort — with spacious villas, beaches, large and acclaimed golf courses, and other attractions. In the 2000 census, Kiawah Island’s population was 1,163; as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes, the island is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area. Alternative spellings and variants of the name itself include “Kiawa,” “Kittiwar” (in DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy), and “Kittiwah” (in George Gershwin’s operaPorgy and Bess).
Kiawah Island real estate is some of the most sought after in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with a variety of single family homes and villas ranging from luxury to modest. Many of the Kiawah Island properties are located directly on the beach or just a short distance away, and there are numerous golf course properties and lagoon view properties as well. Often, Kiawah real estate listings are offered alongside club memberships, including the highly desirable Kiawah Island Club.
Kiawah Island is widely hailed as one of the premier golf destinations on the East Coast. The island features five award-winning golf courses designed by the likes ofJack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, and Pete Dye. The courses snake along the skinny island, moving from the dense wooded interior of the island to the breezy oceanfront.
As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Seabrook Island is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area.
Seabrook has a known archaeological history dating back to approximately 200 B.C. In 1666, British subject Lt. Col. Robert Sanford arrived on Seabrook as an explorer in royal service to King Charles II. By 1684, the local Stono Indians were persuaded to cede their lands to the proprietary government, which in turn sold the property to English settlers.
During the American Revolutionary years, the island was used as a staging area for Hessian and British troops. In 1816, the island was sold to William Seabrook of nearby Edisto Island, hence the present name. Under Seabrook’s ownership, the island was used for growing cotton. At the height of the Civil War, Seabrook sold the island to William Gregg who rented the land to Charles Andell.
After the turn of the century, the island was sold to sportsmen for hunting, fishing, and recreation. In 1939, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina rented land on Seabrook to establish a summer camp for underprivileged children. In 1951, about 1,408 acres (5.70 km2) of land were given to the church.
In 1970, the diocese sold about 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) to private developers who planned the private, residential community that Seabrook Island is today. Eighteen years later, the town of Seabrook was incorporated, and it celebrated a decade of private ownership and self-government in 1997.
Seabrook Island Club is a world-class private Club that offers 2 championship golf courses, an equestrian center, a tournament-grade tennis club, a health and fitness facility, beautiful oceanfront pool, private beach, and several restaurants. Rental properties on the island allow guest access to the Seabrook Island Club as well. Although it is only 30 minutes south of Charleston, South Carolina, Seabrook’s 2,200 acres of beaches, sand dunes, and forests make visitors and owners feel worlds away.
Folly Beach, SC: Folly Beach is a city, located on historic Folly Island, in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,117 at the 2000 census. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Folly Beach is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.6 square miles (48 km2), of which, 12.3 square miles (32 km2) of it is land and 6.4 square miles (17 km2) of it (34.23%) is water.
Known to Charleston locals as “the Edge of America”, Folly Beach is home to numerous surf spots, the most popular being the Washout, 10th Street and the Folly Beach Pier. Despite its usually calm conditions, Folly Beach has gained prominence as one of the more popular surf spots along the East Coast. Folly Beach is an eclectic beach community with surf shops, restaurants, gift shops, offices, and bars along Center Street; the main road and gateway to the community.
As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Sullivan’s Island is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) of it (27.11%) is water.
On September 23, 1989, Hurricane Hugo came ashore near Sullivan’s Island; few people were prepared for the destruction that followed in its wake. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over Sullivan’s Island. The Ben Sawyer Bridge was a casualty of the hurricane. The swing bridge broke free of its locks, and before the storm was over, one end of the bridge was in the water and the other was pointing skyward. Sullivan’s Island police chief, Jack Lilien, was the last person to leave the island before the bridge gave way.
The island was known as O’Sullivan’s Island[clarification needed] because of Captain Florence O’Sullivan, who was stationed here as a lighthouse keeper in the late 17th century. O’Sullivan was captain of one of the ships in the first fleet to establish English and Irish settlement at Charleston. In 1671, he became surveyor general. He appears in the earliest record of Irish immigration to the Carolinas, mentioned as being taken on “at Kingsayle (Kinsale) in Ireland“.
Sullivan’s Island was the disembarkation port for over 40% (ca. 200,000) of the slaves traded to the Britain’s North American Colonies, making it the largest slave port in North America. It is estimated that nearly half of all African Americans had ancestors that passed through Sullivan’s Island. “There is no suitable memorial, or plaque, or wreath or wall, or park or skyscraper lobby”, writer Toni Morrison said in 1989. “There’s no 300-foot tower, there’s no small bench by the road.” On July 26, 2008, the Toni Morrison Society dedicated a small bench on Sullivan’s Island to the memory of the slave trade.
Isle of Palms, SC: Isle of Palms is a city in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population on the island was 4,133. Isle of Palms is abarrier island on the South Carolina coast. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Isle of Palms is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area. The town lies along a narrow strip of land, hugging the beach, separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. It is an affluent community of both vacation home owners and year-round residents, with large beachfront homes, resorts, and local restaurants. Beach volleyball is popular in the summer, and the famed “Windjammer” restaurant features 1 court, hosting several tournaments throughout the year.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (15 km2). 4.5 square miles (12 km2) of it is land (80.56%) and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (19.44%) is water.
It is the location of the Wild Dunes Resort. The northeastern end of the Isle of Palms, which is home to the private community of Wild Dunes, endured a severe erosion crisis as a shoal attached to that section of the island and caused sand to be washed away from around the foundation of a large condominium. The City undertook a controversial beach restoration project in the spring and summer of 2008  which replenished the beach with dredged sand and saved the threatened structures.
Large-scale residential development began when J.C. Long bought up most of the island and built low-cost housing for World War II veterans. In 1975, the Sea Pines Company (of Hilton Head Island fame) established the 900-acre (360 ha) development now known as The Wild Dunes Beach and Racquet Club. Isle of Palms was the first stop on Alton Brown‘s coast-to-coast tour in his program Feasting on Asphalt, and the first restaurant he visited was Jack’s Cosmic Dogs, owned by Isle of Palms resident Jack Hurley.
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Ravenel, SC: Ravenel is a town in Charleston County and Dorchester County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,214 at the 2000 census. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Ravenel is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area.
Ravenel is located south of Charleston on US 17. Once a place where rice plantations were carved out of cypress swamps, the Caw Caw Nature and History Interpretive Center now allows visitors to learn about the Gullah culture and the natural history of this area.
Birding and nature tours on foot or kayak … displays about rice, indigo, and tea … and presentations and storytellers are all part of the educational experience at Caw Caw.
Charleston is the largest city near Ravenel. Here is a map of the Charleston area.
Hollywood, SC: Hollywood is a town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,946 at the 2000 census. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Hollywood is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.
Hollywood is located in Charleston County about 30 minutes south of Charleston on US 17. One might think the name of the town has something to do with the film studio located in town, but the name comes from the profusion of holly trees that grow in the area. Charleston is the largest city near Hollywood. Here is a map of the Charleston area.
Meggett, SC: Meggett is located in South Carolina. Meggett is part of Charleston County. Meggett has 17.85 square miles of land area and 0.57 square miles of water area. As of 2010, the total Meggett population is 1,226, which has shrunk 0.33% since 2000. The population growth rate is much lower than the state average rate of 15.29% and is much lower than the national average rate of 9.71%. Meggett median household income is $61,250 in 2006-2010 and has grown by 33.71% since 2000. The income growth rate is much higher than the state average rate of 13.31% and is much higher than the national average rate of 19.17%. Meggett median house value is $280,700 in 2006-2010 and has grown by 75.66% since 2000. The house value growth rate is much higher than the state average rate of 45.52% and is much higher than the national average rate of 50.42%. As a reference, the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate for the same period is 26.63%. On average, the public school district that covers Meggett is better than the state average in quality.
Edisto Island SC and Edisto Beach, SC: Edisto Island is one of South Carolina’s Sea Islands, the larger part of which lies in Charleston County, with its southern tip in Colleton County. The Charleston County part is a census-designated place. The population was 2,301 at the 2000 census. The town of Edisto Beach is located in Colleton County.
The island and town were named after the historic Edistow people, a Native American sub-tribe of the Cusabo Indians. They inhabited the island as well as nearby areas of the Low Country on the mainland.
Indigenous peoples often had fishing camps on the islands, using them seasonally. The historic Edistow people are known to have occupied the island as well as mainland areas and traded with the upcountry Catawba. The sub-tribe became extinct during the colonial period. The Wassamassaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians is a group of descendants of various tribes who intermarried and who have occupied a settlement between Summerville and Moncks Corner in Berkeley County, South Carolina. In 2005 they gained state recognition as an Indian group, one of six tribes to do so.
Edisto Island was developed by English and Barbadian colonists for large cotton and rice plantations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with labor done by hundreds of enslaved Africans. They developed the creole Gullah language and culture on the islands and in the Low Country, distinctive for its African traditions.
Since the twentieth century, the island has been redeveloped for use as a tourist destination and resorts, although some private plantations remain.
Edisto Beach is a town in Colleton County, South Carolina, United States. Edisto Beach’s population was 691 as of the 2010 Census. The town limits include only the coastal area of Edisto Island, with the majority of the island’s area part of Charleston County, though the town itself is incorporated within Colleton County. Due to its status as a bedroom community, Edisto Beach is among the most affluent cities in the state.
Edisto Beach was originally settled by the Edisto Indians, but was rediscovered by the Spanish in the late 16th century. Thereafter, commerce on the Island began to develop. Rice and indigo were the most common crops during the early settlement years. Later, significant cotton plantations were built and flourished. This industry, fueled by rich land owners and slaves, prospered until the Civil War.
By the 1920s South Carolina residents began arriving to Edisto Island, and Edisto Beach to build crude retreats. In those days, access to the island could be gained only at low tide by driving or riding across the marsh on beds of oyster shells.
Although most homes on the island were destroyed in the 1940s, Hurricane Hugo spared the island in 1989. It has since become a vacation destination with a section of the island recently purchased by Wyndham Resorts. In 2012, Edisto held its fist ever road race attracting close to 200 runners, including the mayor.
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Wadmalaw, SC: is an island located in Charleston County. Wadmalaw Island is located generally to the southwest of Johns Island and more than halfway encircled by it. To the north it is bordered by Church Creek; to the northeast and east by Bohicket Creek; to the south by the North Edisto River; and to the west by the Bohicket Creek. The island’s only connection to the mainland is via a bridge over Church Creek. The island is about 10 miles long by 6 miles wide. It has a land area of 108.502 km² (41.893 sq mi). The 2000 census reported a population of 2,611 persons.
Wadmalaw Island was landed upon by Captain Robert Sandford and the crew of the Berkeley Bay in mid-June 1666 after an excursion up the Bohicket Creek. It is believed that Sandford landed whereRockville, South Carolina now sits. On June 23, 1666, Captain and crew carried out the ritual of turf and twig, claiming the land for England and the Lords Proprietors.
In 1670, 148 colonists arrived and settled on the west bank of the Ashley (Kiawah) River. They survived the first four years of poor crop production through the generosity of natives who shared beans and corn. They later moved to what is now Charleston.
In 1890, planters organized the first sailing regatta at Rockville, less than a mile from the tea plantation. The 120th Rockville Regatta was held in August, 2010.
In more recent times, The Lipton Tea Company operated an experimental tea farm on Wadmalaw Island from 1960 until 1987, when was sold to Mack Fleming and Bill Hall. These gentlemen converted the experimental farm into a working tea plantation. The Charleston Tea Plantation utilized a converted cotton picker and tobacco harvester to mechanically harvest the tea. The Charleston Tea Plantation sold tea mail order known as American Classic Tea and also produced Sam’s Choice Instant Tea, sold through Sam’s Clubs. American Classic Tea has been the official tea of the White House since 1987. In 2003, Bigelow Tea Corporation purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation and temporarily closed the plantation in order to renovate it. The plantation reopened in January 2006. Tours are now offered of this last remaining working Tea Farm in America. Wadmalaw now produces Firefly, a sweet tea flavored vodka. It is popular throughout the Southern United States because of its recognizable flavor and cultural significance.
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Rockville, SC: Rockville is a town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States that was founded in 1784. The population was 137 at the 2000 census. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Rockville is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area.
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Awendaw, SC: Awendaw is a small fishing town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,294 at the 2010 census. As defined by the US Office of Management and Budget, and used by the US Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Awendaw is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area.
Awendaw was named by the Seewee Native American or “Sewee” tribe. It is also home to an oyster shell mound created by the Seewee Tribe. It is the northern most shell ring in a group that stretches south to the tip of Florida. Most of the mound is still intact. The rest of it was destroyed to construct roads and homes for the citizens of Awendaw. Awendaw was settled in 1696 as “Wappetaw” by settlers from Salem, Massachusetts who left after the Salem Witch Trials. The town was heavily damaged by Hurricane Hugo in September 1989, but did not receive as significant damage in 2004 when Hurricane Gaston made landfall in the region. In 1992, the town of Awendaw was first incorporated and elected Willam H. Alston as the first Mayor. Alston served as Mayor until 2009.
Local Map Reference: Charleston, SC and its Surrounding Area
Explore our Beaches: Read More…http://www.charlestoncvb.com/beaches/