Located on a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, Downtown Charleston is a bustling pedestrian city full of artists, businesspeople, students, and families. Cobblestone streets lined with live oaks lead to winding alleys full of charm. The famous Charleston gardens hide behind walls and iron gates, and magnificent parks such as White Point Gardens attract visitors from all over the US. Much of historic Charleston’s charm remains untouched by time and modernity thanks in large part to the Preservation Society. Founded in 1920, it is the oldest Community based historic preservation organization in America, and it strives to protect and keep the traditional historical character of peninsular Charleston. Downtown Charleston is made up of distinct neighborhoods, or boroughs, which tell the story of the city’s evolution over time. Today these boroughs define the streets of this fair city and offer a uniquely diverse selection of homes for sale.
Ansonborough is defined as the area between King and East Bay and George and Pinckney Streets just north of the historic market and Custom House. Rebuilt after the great fire of 1836, Ansonborough was the city’s first suburb and boasts some impressive historic homes which have undergone extensive restorations thanks to the work of the Historic Charleston Foundation. Not only is this area a beautiful gem of Charleston architecture, it is well located within walking distance of all the shopping of Downtown and the main supermarket on the Peninsula. In addition to historic homes, Ansonborough boasts many stunning new construction condominium projects, several with water views, for those who wish to benefit from the pedestrian convenience of the area without the burden of grounds and maintenance.
Cannonborough and Elliotborough are located above Morris and Bee Streets on the Peninsula and house a large portion of Charleston’s student population. Well located for walking access to the College of Charleston, Medical University and also to Upper King Street’s restaurants and bars, this area is a lively urban mix of age groups and has heavy pedestrian traffic much like Radcliffborough. With the high population of student residents, this area has many well priced homes and is a prime location to invest in a rental property.
The French Quarter is well known in downtown Charleston for its cobblestone streets, lovely alleys and unique historical homes. Originally named for the large concentration of French Huguenots living here, the French Quarter has no lack of charms with the famous Church Street, Queen Street and fabulous renovated warehouses and pre-Revolutionary buildings. Home to the nations only remaining French Huguenot Church, the area is an eclectic urban mix of homes, restaurants, and bars, churches, and art galleries and performing arts centers. The famous Dock Street Theatre is located here. Originally built as a hotel, it has a vibrant schedule of plays year round. Spoleto Festival USA, a comprehensive 17 day art festival every spring, has strong influence in the French Quarter due to the large concentration of arts and cultural activity.
Located to the southwest of Downtown, is a diverse and vibrant area of Charleston. Originally owned by the widow Harleston, who created today’s neighborhoods and streets from her husbands farm land. One of the larger downtown neighborhoods, Harleston Village boasts a number of large single homes and many multifamily dwellings as well. Minutes from The Battery and home to Colonial Lake, Cannon Park, Moultrie Park, and the City Marina, Harleston Village is a mecca for joggers, bikers, and walkers. The public tennis facilities at Moultrie Park are top of the line, and the Colonial Lake offers lovely views from prominent homes. Harleston Village is well located just north of Broad Street and south of Calhoun and between the Medical University and the College of Charleston. This prime location allows Harleston Village to offer its residents easy pedestrian access to some of the best restaurants, shopping, and bars Charleston has to offer.
Mazyk-Wraggboroughis an area north of Ansonborough which features lovely ancient oaks and parks alongside well constructed, historic homes in a variety of price ranges. Originally owned by the Wragg family and divided among the descendents, this area of Charleston offers great access to King Street’s bars and restaurants, and is home to the Charleston Museum which is the oldest museum in America. Located just west of the new Aquarium and shopping on East Bay Street, this area offers the best of urban living. The impressive Aiken-Rhett house, a historic home open to the public for tours is on Elizabeth Street in Wraggborough.
Radcliffeborough is an area north of Harleston Village and offers some of the hippest new restaurants and bars located on Upper King Street. St Phillip Street is the main hub of the College of Charleston, with its 10,000 undergrad students. Heavy with pedestrian traffic most weekdays, particularly when classes change, Radcliffeborough boasts eclectic dining and shopping. Radcliffeborough is also home to the Charleston Visitors Center and transportation hub.
This area is defined as the lower section of the peninsula located to the south of Broad Street, a main thoroughfare bisecting the oldest part of the city. Broad Street houses many businesses including banks and real estate offices, as well as a large collection of art galleries. Just past Broad Street heading south are some of the stateliest historical mansions in South Carolina. Some of these mansions have been segmented into condominiums, and still others historically had carriage houses and outbuildings, which have been finished as living space and rented as apartments or sold as separate homes. Alongside these larger homes were built smaller dwellings and duplexes in some areas, all of which speaks to the enormous variety of homes available in this desirable area. Recently names one of the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Neighborhoods in America” by BBC Travel, South of Broad is well located to enjoy the best Charleston has to offer. The many attractions South of Broad include White Point Gardens, a large park at the tip of the peninsula complete with ancient oaks, 18th and 19th century gunnery, and a lovely gazebo. The Battery is a large raised walkway along the edge of the peninsula which overlooks the harbor and Fort Sumter, and was a famous vantage point for some of the most influential sea battles of our history. Along The Battery runs Rainbow Row, remarkable for its brightly colored historical homes which are some of the most photographed buildings in the entire state.