Charleston is a unique 300-year-old city that started out as an 18th-century seaport. The Civil War played a role here and history has left its imprint. The city center has a large and beautifully preserved mainly residential historic district which is popular with local residents and tourists. The area is supported by tourism and is known as a good place for small business.
To the northwest lie features of a typical southern city, with areas of magnolia-lined streets, older homes, and commercial buildings. There are no downtown skyscrapers here. Old plantation homes on large spreads lie to the south and west. The rapidly growing North Charleston is actually as big as Charleston and is the third largest city in the state. The layout is typically suburban with large areas of retail and commercial development. Charleston represents the “old South” and North Charleston is the newer version.
Besides historic sites, Charleston has some minor cultural amenities, good seafood, and southern-style restaurants. The lifestyle is slow paced, pleasant, and dignified. There are plenty of recreational opportunities and excellent golf courses, especially in the island areas to the south. Overall cost of living is moderate.
Charleston is a peninsula city bounded by two rivers, opening onto a spacious harbor. The climate is humid subtropical, modified considerably by the ocean. Winter low temperatures may be l0 degrees to l5 degrees higher on the peninsula than inland. Summer is warm and humid, but temperatures exceeding l00 degrees are infrequent and sea breezes keep coastal temperatures lower. Fall is pleasant with sun, rare temperature extremes, and long Indian summers. The December to February winter is mild with periods of steady rain and chances of snow flurries, but accumulation is rare.