West Ashley is located across the Ashley River, to the west of Downtown Charleston. One of the early suburban developments in the area, West Ashley offers a number of historic neighborhoods built in the mid 20th century. Well located, being just minutes from downtown, West Ashley offers an array of moderately priced, often brick homes on ample sized lots, some on water with marsh views. The popular shopping centers in this area of town offer shopping for every appetite, and new areas are becoming more popular every day. The newly revamped Avondale area boasts a unique mix of bars and restaurants, and is to be found busy with diners most nights.
Some neighborhoods include Byrnes Down, a popular spot for first time home buyers, featuring small homes with large yards and ancient oaks. Old Windermere and South Windermere, just across the Ashley River bridge are historic neighborhoods with smaller homes as well. The Crescent, located just past Old Windermere, is a large neighborhood boasting large lots and a mixture of newer homes with ample square footage alongside more traditional one and two level homes, and is walking distance to one of Charleston’s most competitive private schools. The Cresent also offers river view and deep water properties, like many other neighborhoods in West Ashley.
West Ashley is home to the original Charles Towne Landing site, where the settlement in the late 17th century was first built prior to moving to the present site on the Charleston peninsula. A well protected riverfront on the Ashley River made it a great landing site, and also the home to some of the most well known plantations in the South. Magnolia Gardens is a magnificent site to visit in West Ashley, with its impressive collections of azaleas and camillias. Open to the public in the late 1860s, Magnolia Gardens is the oldest man-made attraction in the US. Another impressive site in West Ashley is Middleton Place, a carefully preserved 18th century plantation. Henry Middleton was the President of the First Continental Congress, and the Middleton family was prominent in Charleston throughout its history. Middleton Place has a number of activities and demonstrations such as pottery and carpentry.