Charleston feels a bit like New York City. (In geography, at least, Charleston resembles NYC, but in architecture, it feels like a small, Southern version of Boston.) The main city is on a narrow peninsula (it’s like a low-country Manhattan) and is surrounded by borough-like islands. Across the bay is Mt. Pleasant, a more affordable and slightly newer suburb to the east. It’s like Long Island (note: Mt. Pleasant isn’t an island). Then there’s Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms closer to the Atlantic, like the Hamptons.
To the west are James Island and Folly Beach — the hip, Brooklyn-like areas. To the north, it gets more working-class, more Queens. Every place has its own personality.
Folly Beach is where the kids hang out. It’s where people surf. It probably gets packed on the nice weekends in the summer. There are bars and surf shops. The beach is amazing.
Sullivan’s Island feels like yuppie central. We got a drink and a snack at Poe’s Tavern (named after Edgar Allen, who was stationed on the island in 1827, and is supposed to have great burgers) and then did the same across the street at Home Team BBQ (the sliders were awesome).
But if we had to pick a place to live in the area, and that’d be a great problem to have, we’d live in downtown Charleston. Sure, the islands are fun, but if we’re buying a million-dollar house downtown, we’d definitely get a boat to go with it to get our ocean fix. I wonder if any of the bars on Sullivan’s Island have piers for patrons? Hopefully.
And there are a lot of houses for sale in Charleston proper. Some blocks it seemed like every other was for sale. Maybe it’s the economy, but it surprised us. Who wouldn’t want to live here? Maybe people just don’t want to drop a million dollars on a house that’s already mostly rotten, termite-eaten, and falling over? Sure, they’re in an earthquake zone, but the homes are built loose enough to ride those out, right? Maybe my friend is right and there just aren’t jobs here. She also mentioned that Ted Turner’s son was a resident — maybe all the money comes from elsewhere now. Bummer. I wouldn’t mind living here. But we’ll have to win the lottery.