South Carolina, USA
  • Charleston Voted "Top City in the U.S." for 2011 in the Conde Naste Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, Charleston is where history lives.  Charleston
    Voted "Top City in the U.S." for 2011 in the Conde Naste Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, Charleston is where history lives.

Voted in 2012 by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the world's top city to visit, Charleston is where history lives with the atmosphere of narrow tree-lined courtyards and ambiance of cozy restaurants, nearby beaches and "the good life." Overflowing with preserved treasures, historic forts, plantations and antebellum homes, Charleston routinely is named one of the nation's friendliest cities where hospitality and graciousness are a part of everyday life.

Southern hospitality

With scores of outstanding hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, Charleston offers a relaxed pace of life where residents and visitors enjoy a plethora of shopping opportunities and local festivals. Buttressed between the Ashley and Cooper rivers, Charleston is home to 120,000 people and part of a metropolitan area of more than 650,000 people. It's known as "The Holy City" for the prominence of its churches -- as well as the array of steeples on its low-rise cityscape. History buffs find themselves surrounded by a community that played key roles in the Revolutionary War and Civil War (still referred to by many as "The War Between the States.")

Silicon harbor

Major area employers include the military, hospitals, schools, Boeing, Robert Bosch, Blackbaud and BenefitFocus. The Port of Charleston, the economic engine of the state, has the deepest harbor in the south Atlantic, short transit times and efficient market access. The area's business-friendly climate, diversity and fast-growing talent pool are making so attractive to technology companies that Charleston is now referred to as the nation's "Silicon Harbor."


  • Humid subtropical

Physical Environment

  • Town under 75,000 with vibrant main street
  • Beaches within 25 miles



  • Leaning conservative


  • $$$ -- Prices seem reasonable


  • Public golf course
    Charleston Municipal Golf Course, James Island
  • Year-round fitness swimming center
    MUSC and St. Andrews PSD have centers for members; There are several public pools during summer.
  • Biking, hunting, running trails
  • Nearby surfing
    Best surfing is at Folly Beach, south of Charleston. More at Isle of Palms, north of the city.
  • Downtown yoga studio


  • Public squares
  • Mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods
  • International airport
  • Vibrant public transportation system
    Good bus system, but community is without light rail. Much travel is centered around personal automobiles, which can create traffic congestion.
  • Lots of downtown living space
  • Working farms within 25 miles