This post is not about picking which Carolina is the best; it is about picking which places within South Carolina are the best. We conducted an analysis to find out just which places in South Carolina were the best. So without further ado, here are the 10 best places in SC:
- CDP of Five Forks
- Town of Hilton Head Island (tie)
- City of Charleston (tie)
- City of Mauldin
- Town of Mount Pleasant
- City of Greenville (tie)
- Town of Lexington (tie)
- City of Beaufort
- Fort Mill Township
- City of Goose Creek
As much as we'd have liked to base our analysis around which South Carolina places had the best beaches (Hilton Head, by the way) or which places were best for sports fans, to find the flat out best places in the state, we needed something a bit more universal. So, we relied on the following seven criteria:
- Total Amenities
- Quality of Life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student to teacher ratio)
- Total Crimes
- Tax Rates (sales tax and income tax)
- Commute Time
- Weather (temperature and air quality)
Once we settled on our criteria, we looked at the U.S. Census data for all of the places in South Carolina with populations over 10,000, leaving us with a total of 50 locales. Then, with the criteria above, we ranked each place from 1 to 50, with one being the best possible score. After that, we averaged each ranking for an overall Big Deal Score; the lower the score, the better a place fared.
Tied for No. 2 on our list was another beach community, Charleston. Known for its beautiful architecture, variety of restaurants, rich history, and South Carolina charm, Charleston is not new to the world of honors and accolades. It was recently voted America's Most Friendly City by Travel + Leisure and the "most polite and hospitable city in America" by Southern Living magazine.
All this aside, Charleston scored well in our analysis for a number of reasons--a high number of amenities and high quality of life. For our quality of life ranking, Charleston's high median home price and low student to teacher ratio were key for its high rank.
Charleston also ranked better than the others when it came to weather, with a relatively cool average summer temperature of 78 (remember, we're in the south, people) and a low air quality score of 41. Perfect weather for a ride on the Charleston Water Taxi.