Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town honoring King Charles II of England. The first shots of the civil war were fired from Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor. It is a beautiful growing port city today. Though the 1840 census Charleston remained as one of the top 10 largest cities in the U.S. Today the Charleston metropolitan area of Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties has an estimated population of just over 750,000 as of 2016.
Charleston is one of the top tourist destinations in the world today. Travel & Leisure said it was “America’s Most Friendly City” in 2011 and 2013. Conde Nast Traveler said the same in 2014. Southern Living magazine said it was “the most polite and hospitable city in America” in 2014. Travel & Leisure ranked it as the “World’s Best City” in 2016. Charleston is known for its architecture in the peninsula as well as its great restaurants. Annually the Spoleto Festival is held that was founded by Gian Carlo Menotti. It is a 17 day festival full of art, music, performances and shows. There are other events held yearly such as the Taste of Charleston, The Low Country Oyster Festival, Cooper River Bridge Run, Southeastern Wildlife Expo, Charleston Food and Wine Festival, Charleston Fashion Week, The Holiday Festival of Lights, Charleston International Film Festival, The Historic Charleston Foundation’s Festival of Houses and Gardens, Charleston Antiques Show and the Charleston Conference, which is a major library industry event.
There are many historical sites and attractions such as Patriots Point where the USS Yorktown to the South Carolina Aquarium which is a great place for the family. With the many mansions, houses and museums downtown it makes Charleston a must see for everyone.
The city of Charleston is defined by 6 distinct districts which are Downtown Charleston (or the Peninsula), West Ashley, Johns Island, James Island, Daniel Island and Cainhoy Peninsula.
The other large and growing areas are Mt. Pleasant which is east of the Cooper River, North Charleston, Summerville and Moncks Corner.
The popular areas around the ocean are Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, Wild Dunes, Folly Beach, Edisto Beach, Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island.
Charleston is a big shipping port and the Harbor has been dredged to handle to largest container ships as well as the Cruise ships. Charleston Harbor is about 7 miles out to the Atlantic ocean with a width of about 2 miles.
The climate for the most part is humid. The winters are mild and the summers are hot. Most rainfall is between June through September. A snow may happen once every few years.
As far as the Charleston economy it is very robust. It is a major tourist destination. It has 2 shipping terminals owned by the South Carolina Ports Authority. It is the 13th largest container seaport in North America.
The Miliken Institute in 2013 ranked Charleston as the ninth best performing economy in the US. The growth of the IT sector has helped in that.
Charleston International Airport is 12 miles from downtown Charleston. The Charleston Executive Airport is located in John’s Island. They are both operated by the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
For 2017 the average home price was $350,000 and the median price was $260,000.