So you are thinking of moving to Charleston, SC? Making the move to this beautiful, award winning city can be the right lifestyle choice for many. If you are moving or considering a move to Charleston then you will want to read this first! In this guide you’ll learn all about what makes Charleston the ultimate lifestyle city.
Charleston is the second largest (and the oldest) city in South Carolina. The population is over 130,000 and is growing every day with an average of 34 people moving here each day. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area (which includes Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties) is around 787,000 residents.
Charleston weather is one of the most delightful parts of living in Charleston! Charleston features mild winters, hot & humid summers and is considered a subtropical climate. On average, Charleston has 230 days of sunshine each year.
SEASONS IN CHARLESTON
SPRING (March, April, May)
Average temperatures: 58°F to 72°F
Spring in Charleston is one of the most popular seasons. Lots of trees and flowers start blooming which makes outdoor walks so much fun! You can expect to see azaleas, daffodil, dogwoods, honeysuckle, jasmine & wisteria blooming around the city.
With an average ocean temperature of 67°F, the beaches start to fill up with visitors & residents in April.
SUMMER (June, July, August)
Average temperatures: 78°F to 89°F
Time to grab your sunscreen & bottled water because summers in Charleston can be pretty brutal. However, even with the high temperatures and humidity, the city gets quite busy with visitors who are looking for some summer vacation fun. August is also Charleston’s rainiest month.
In summer the crepe myrtle trees that line the streets of Charleston bloom and are considered a Southern staple.
AUTUMN (September, October, November)
Average temperatures: 58°F to 76°F
Fall in Charleston is a favorite season for many! While September is fairly wet, October rainfall declines and November is the driest month of the year. Autumn is a great time for golf in Charleston.
A favorite fall flower that you can expect to see blooming is the Blue Mist Flower.
WINTER (December, January, February)
Average temperatures: 47°F to 52°F
No need to pull out the heavy winter coats for the holidays because winter in Charleston is fairly mild. Only a few days between early December & late February get below freezing. It is rare that temperatures get below 20°F.
HURRICANES IN CHARLESTON
As a coastal city, hurricanes are a part of our weather system. The official hurricane ‘season’ begins June 1st and ends November 30th each year. The best way to handle hurricane season is to be prepared. Check out the Charleston Hurricane checklist & informational guide here.
COMPANIES IN CHARLESTON
If you are considering a move to Charleston, SC but don’t have employment yet, here are some of the largest employers in Charleston.
Joint Base Charleston
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Roper St. Francis Healthcare
Trident Health System
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
East Cooper Medical Center
Berkeley County School District
Charleston County School District
Dorchester County School District II
College of Charleston
Tident Technical College
Charleston Southern University
US Postal Service
City of Charleston
City of North Charleston
US Department of State CGFS
Town of Mount Pleasant
South Carolina Ports Authority
The Boeing Company
Booz Allen Hamilton
Robert Bosch LLC
KapStone Charleston Kraft LLC
Volvo Car US Operations, Inc.
IFA North America
Cummins Turbo Technologies
Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC
Kiawah Island Golf Resort/The Sanctuary
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
Wild Dunes Resort
JEM Restaurant Group
Harris Teeter Stores
Food Lion Stores
South State Bank
Wells Fargo & Co.
Scientific Research Corporation
JOBS IN CHARLESTON
When looking for jobs in Charleston, SC remember that tourism is booming. This creates a variety of jobs, especially in the hospitality and service industries. The technology industry is also growing in Charleston.
Charleston’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Overall, Charleston has a healthy job market, especially if you are looking for employment within the tourism, hospitality, technology or manufacturing industry.
The median salary in Charleston, SC is around $61,467 but can vary greatly depending on your field.
CHARLESTON AVERAGE COMMUTE TIMES
Ask any resident the one thing they would improve in Charleston if they were able to and 9 times out of 10 it would be traffic. With the growth of Charleston comes more cars on the road, resulting in more traffic & longer commute times.
The heaviest traffic times in the morning come between 7:30am-8:30am with an average of 24 minutes for a commute. Below are a few different average commute times depending on zip code.
West Ashley (outside 526)
West Ashley (inside 526)
AVERAGE HOME PRICE IN CHARLESTON
The median home value in Charleston is around $387k with the median list price per square foot in Charleston being $210.
COST OF LIVING IN CHARLESTON
Aside from knowing the average/median home cost in Charleston, there are other important considerations you need to think about when it comes to the affordability of living in Charleston. The cost of other things like food, utilities, transportation, etc. can play a roll in your decision to move to Charleston. Here are some of the average costs of basic items in Charleston.
Dozen eggs: $2.56
Chicken breast (boneless, skinless): $4.42
Bottle of wine (mid-range): $12.00
Tube of toothpaste: $2.18
Gas (per gallon): $2.42
Fitness club: $59
Dinner out for 2: $49
Cocktail in downtown club: $11
Depending on where you are moving from, these basics may cost more or less. While Charleston isn’t the most expensive city to live in, you’ll pay a bit more than average in order to live in this beautiful southern coastal city.
SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE CHARLESTON AREA
A.C. Corcoran | Angel Oak | Ashley River Creative Arts | Belle Hall | Buist | Edmund A. Burns | Carolina Park | Charleston Pinckney | Charleston Progressive Academy | Chicora | Drayton Hall | E.B. Ellington | Edith L. Frierson | Goodwin | Harborview | Hunley Park | James B. Edwards | James Island | James Simons | Jane Edwards | Jennie Moore School for the Creative Arts | Ladson | Lambs | Laurel Hill Primary | Malcom C. Hursey | Mary Ford | Matilda F. Dunston | Meeting Street @Brentwood | Memminger | Midland Park Primary | Minnie Hughes | Mitchell Math & Science | Montessori Community School | Mount Pleasant Academy | Mt. Zion | Murray-Lasaine | North Charleston Creative Arts | North Charleston | Oakland | Pepperhill | Pinehurst | Sanders-Clyde | Springfield | St. Andrews School of Math & Science | St. James-Santee | Stiles Point | Stono Park | Sullivan’s Island | Mami P. Whitesides
Baptist Hill Middle | Buist Academy | Camp Road Middle | C.E. Williams Middle | Deer Park Middle | Haut Gap Middle | Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science | Laing Middle School of Science & Technology | Liberty Academy | Military Magnet Academy | Montessori Middle | Morningside Middle | Moultrie Middle | Northwoods Middle | School of the Arts | Simmons-Pinckney Middle | Thomas C. Cario Middle | West Ashley Advanced Studies | St. James-Santee
Academic Magnet High School | Baptist Hill High | Burke High | Daniel Jenkins High | Early College High | Garrett Academy of Technology | Lucy G Beckham High | Military Magnet Academy | North Charleston High | School of the Arts | Septima P. Clark Academy | R.B. Stall High | St. Johns High | Wando High | West Ashley High
DORCHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 2
Dorchester 2 School District is consistently ranked as one of the best school districts in the Charleston area.
Alston-Bailey | Beech Hill | Dr. Eugene Sires | Eagle Nest | Flowertown | Joseph R. Pye | Knightsville | Newington | Oakbrook | Sand Hill | Spann | Summerville | William M. Reeves, Jr. | Windsor Hill Arts Infused
Alston Middle School | Dubose Middle School | Gregg Middle School | Oakbrook Middle School | River Oaks Middle School | Rollings Middle School of the Arts
Ashley Ridge High School | Fort Dorchester High School | Summerville High School
Berkeley | Berkeley Intermediate | Boulder Bluff | Bowen’s Corner | Cainhoy | Cane Bay | College Park | Cross | Daniel Island | Devan Forest | Foxbank | Goose Creek | H. E. Bonner | Hanahan | Howe Hall AIMS | J.K. Gourdin | Marrington | Mount Holly | Nexton | Philip Simmons | Sangaree | Sangaree Intermediate | St. Stephen | Westview | Westview Primary | Whitesville
Berkeley Middle School | Cane Bay Middle | College Park Middle | Daniel Island | Hanahan Middle | Macedonia Middle | Marrington Middle School of Arts | Philip Simmons Middle | Sangaree Middle | Sedgefield Middle | St. Stephen Middle | Westview Middle
Berkeley Alternative | Berkeley High | Berkeley Middle College | Cane Bay High | Cross High | Goose Creek High | Hanahan High | Philip Simmons High | Stratford High | Timberland High
HIGHEST RATED SCHOOLS IN CHARLESTON
When you are looking for your next home in Charleston, you likely won’t be thinking about resale value. But if you have children or plan to sell your home in the future, knowing the best public schools in the Charleston area can have an affect on the location you decide to move to.
Public schools don’t involve applications or waiting lists – students are able to attend these schools by living in a neighborhood zoned for that particular school.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN CHARLESTON
Living in Charleston is every foodies dream come true. LowCountry cuisine, oyster roasts & southern staples make up the backbone of the restaurants here. You won’t have problem finding all types of foods from delicious Mexican restaurants to cheesy New York style pizza.
When the sun goes down in Charleston, it’s time to enjoy drinks, dancing & live music! Most bars are centered around Market Street and upper King Street, but local breweries also have their place in Charleston sprinkled around the city! Not into bars & clubs? There’s a nightlife for you too! Enjoy an evening at the comedy club, bowling alley or checking otu one of the many haunted tours!
FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN CHARLESTON
ENJOY THE BEACHES
With so many beautiful beaches, it’s easy to pack a cooler & spend the day soaking up the sun, shelling & splashing around.
THE SOUTH CAROLINA AQUARIUM
With Charleston’s love for all things coastal and water, you can see over 4,600 animals.
PATRIOTS POINT NAVAL & MARITIME MUSEUM
Only 5 minutes from downtown, the large aircraft carrier is jam packed with history & is interactive, making this a fun day for adults & kids alike!
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE LOWCOUNTRY
Spark creativity while enjoying the interactive exhibits at the Children’s Museum of the LowCountry.
THE CHARLESTON RIVERDOGS
The Charleston Riverdogs are a minor league baseball team in Charleston. For a family-friendly, fun & affordable event it doesn’t get any better than this!
COOL OFF AT ONE OF THE WATER PARKS
Charleston summers can get pretty hot & sticky so cooling off at one of the many waterparks can be a fun way to beat the heat.
CHARLESTON CITY MARKET
Enjoy the hustle & bustle of the City Market for an afternoon. Shop local artisans & hit up one of the many sweet shops along the way.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN CHARLESTON
With our subtropical weather, coastal waters & beautiful parks, finding activities to do outdoors is an easy task. Learn about some the most popular activities for outdoor enthusiasts in Charleston.
Fishing from one of the many piers, taking a charter out to sea, crabbing & flyfishing are all popular in the LowCountry.
With over 20 beautiful golf courses, Charleston offers a variety of courses that vary in coastal terrains. There’s a course for every level of golfer from beginner to pro.
Hit the courts at one of Charleston’s tennis courts. Players young & old enjoy grabbing their racket and playing a game in America’s Best Tennis Town!
KAYAKING & PADDLEBOARDING
Charleston’s waterways are ready for you to explore. Paddling with dolphins, wading birds, sea turtles and more allow you to see a side of the Lowcountry that is only seen from the water!
Perhaps one of the most popular ways to spend time is on our Charleston waters. Setting sail in Charleston is ideal due to our breezy harbor & gorgeous sunsets.
Charleston has been named a Bicycle Friendly City. Grab your own bike or rent one and explore the city on 2 wheels. With bike racks all over the city and bike lanes & trails, enjoying an afternoon bike ride has never been more enjoyable.
Some of the East Coast’s best surfing can be found at Folly Beach. Thile you can surf year round, the best time of year for surfing in Charleston is in the fall due to the water temperatures being in the 60’s to 80’s.
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