Top 10 Reasons to Retire in Charleston South Carolina
Magnificent waterways twisting through Lowcountry marshland, accompanied by unspoiled beaches and wildlife are just some things that come to mind while thinking of Charleston South Carolina. Conde’ Nast Traveler, an honor that encompasses many facets to be considered, was awarded twice to Charleston for being the Top US City to Live for two consecutive years. Then, in the same latter year of 2012, Charleston SC received international attention as the Top World Destination to Live with an overall rating of 86.7, surpassing the #2 location Cape Town, South Africa (84.8) and the #3 spot, Florence, Italy (83.3).
Spectacular Charleston SC weather to vast history and unique traditional cuisine, Charleston SC is a breathtaking destination to call home and is divided into 5 main locations:
- THE PENINSULAR is located in the middle with the Ashley River running down the west side, the Cooper River running down the east; and home to the historically kept downtown area.
- EAST OF THE COOPER where the town of Mt Pleasant sits. Charleston SC homes available at the beautifully apropos communities like River Towne Country Club and Dunes West Golf & River Club feature Signature Golf Courses and deepwater homes.
- WEST OF THE ASHLEY, a boater’s paradise that shares the water way with native wildlife such as the Blue Heron, spot-tail bass and alligator.
- NORTH CHARLESTON is located toward the top of the Peninsular branching out beyond the Ashley River.
- THE BARRIER ISLANDS include Kiawah; known for exclusive gated golf communities including Seabrook Island; one of the few beach communities with an equestrian center, Wadmallow; vegetable stands, Charleston’s Tea plantation and Firefly Distillery, Sullivan’s; water sports, and Isle of Palms; Wild Dune Resort.
Rich in American history, Boone Hall, a must see according to NBC’s Daytime television maintains, is a still working plantation and America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Take a detour to Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and engage in what life was like for the first English settlers’ in 1670. Four centuries later and plantation homes like Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place preserve history incandescent to the American Revolution and Civil War. History buffs have plenty to do and with the moderate Charleston SC weather and close proximity of each historical site, Charleston residents can have a walk through history every day.
As your Charleston SC real estate guide, here’s what we believe are the top 10 reasons to live in Charleston South Carolina:
Cuisine is paramount in Charleston SC. A smorgasbord of local delights featuring pairs that dare and culinary genius that cannot compare. Knowledgeable, professional and friendly wait staff seems to transcend through all the Charleston restaurants. Food picks can be deep in the pockets but do not have to be; most well worth the investment. According to Yelp.com, the top 10 places to dine in Charleston SC:
- PERSIMMON CAFE- crafted sandwiches, gourmet soups, and frozen custards; delicate flavors like that of the persimmon tree’s fruit. Try the curry chicken salad and basil lemon tea.
- FIG- American fare dropping names like Roasted Peking Duck Breast, Strube Ranch Wagyu Bistro Steak and Tomato Tarte Tatin,
- HALLS CHOPHOUSE- lovely brunch selection: prime rib and eggs benedict, Salmon Salad, lobster mac n cheese and truffle fries. And for dessert Bread Pudding with Sundried Cherries and Whiskey Sauce speaks volumes for southern specialties.
- PENINSULA GRILL- American seafood cuisine, known for their succulent scallops, lobster and corn chowder and elegant coconut layered cake that will have you wanting seconds.
- HUSK- Southern cuisine and balanced cocktails. Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps or Pork belly over Cornmeal Cakes keeps with southern tradition, adding in a unique spin of modern flare.
- TRATORRIA LUCCA- a gap filled in well crafted international favorites, not commonly found outside cosmopolitan areas. Enjoy decadent appetizers categorized as Verdure, Formaggi and Salumi!
- SLIGHTLY NORTH OF BROAD- shrimp, sausage and grits, Swordfish fresh from the coast, and BBQ Tuna. Need I, say more.
- McCRADY’S- Sunchoke Soup, Poached Pear, Grilled Duck served with husk cherries and fermented corn, Manhattan copa with cured vermouth. A refined palate’s dream.
- CHARLESTON GRILL- Beef Tenderloin that melts in your mouth or journey to the sea for a flounder with shrimp.
- CYPRESS RESTAURANT-extensive wine selection, interesting combination of flavors, more simple selections with an upscale twist like wood grilled burger with fried macaroni and cheese.
The Charleston SC weather is even keeled and mild, and unlike most beachfront towns, the tranquil beaches of Charleston have virtually no high rise hotels or condominiums to crowd the view. National Geographic Traveler voted the world- renowned Kiawah Island as the second most romantic beach in the US. Touching the bottom of Kiawah Island is Seabrook Island; both gated communities featuring quintessential Charleston SC homes that range 200k to into the millions. Both provide residents private access to secluded beaches offering miles of beach and endless amount of activities in the water. Public access is only granted at Kiawah County Beachwalker Park. Developed much more than the two former, the Isle of Palms is home to Wild Dunes Resort and features six miles of private beach and enjoys a closer proximity to downtown Charleston. Folly Beach, north of Kiawah, is known as the “edge of America”, and is a busy vacation beach hot spot that charms beachgoers with its older Charleston-style homes. Head a bit down south and catch some waves or head to Center Street for souvenirs and eats at a casual bar.
Thanks to the aggressive actions of Governor Nikki Haley, employment opportunities for the state of South Carolina are plentiful. By adding a diverse range of jobs in the public and private sectors the past several years, she has created over 45,000 jobs for South Carolina with companies like Boeing aircraft manufacturing, which employs over 6,000 people and Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) employing over 13,000 people. Governor Haley has fought hard to protect small businesses by passing tax relief laws and tackling medical and pension reform earning her the name “Friend of the Taxpayer.” Great leadership that protects the jobs of everyday people is a necessity for economic growth and Governor Nikki Haley certainly takes that into account. Ask us for free Charleston relocation information to help you get to know the area.
Charleston is home to over 24 food and music festivals and each month of the year celebrates South Carolina tradition.
- JANUARY: In the largest mollusk celebration in the world shuck two tons of oysters and enjoy live music at the Annual Low Country Oyster Festival.
- FEBRUARY: Southeastern Wildlife Exposition brings on legend Jack Hanna.
- MARCH: Charleston International Antique Show features exhibitions of English, European and American timepieces.
- APRIL: Top tier female tennis players compete on Daniel Island at the Family Circle Tennis Tournament
- MAY: North Charleston Art Festival has nine days of performances alongside the Cooper River geared for family fun featuring an outdoor concert.
- JUNE: Spoleto Festival USA has enjoyed many venues as a traveling festival and brings an eclectic mix art, visual performances and music.
- JULY: Celebrate the countries independence at the USS Yorktown with fireworks and live music. Visit the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.
- AUGUST: Enjoy the beautiful summer weather at the beach
- SEPTEMBER: Located at the historic Boone Hall, 50 of the low country’s local casual and fine dining restaurants serve samples of their best meals with beer and wine.
- OCTOBER: Fall in love with historical homes and frolic through some of the longest kept gardens in the south at the Fall Tours of Homes & Garden.
- NOVEMBER: Experience life on a plantation recreating the harvest, cooking, weaving, pottery, candlestick making, cotton processing and blacksmithing demonstrations
- DECEMBER: Christmas in Charleston offers thousands of twinkling lights as decorated boats parade down the Ashley River
BEST COLLEGE TOWN
Quality education is sometimes hard to find but in a college town like Charleston it’s peaking around every corner. The college experience is one that should transform students into skilled adults by supplying the best education and the best preparation for the rest of what life has in store. Institutions like those at University of Charleston (UC), The College of Charleston (CofC), Charleston South University (CSU), and Medical University of Carolina (MUSC) are focusing less on core classes by gearing those core classes towards career- orientated goals.
The Center for Creative Retirement at CofC is a unique institution that focuses on students over age 50. Run with modest funding by those who participate creating a forum where Baby Boomers can be a part of lectures, trips to historical sites, access to CofC library and other amenities of the college. And of course, being such a hospitable community the Culinary Institute of Charleston is a fine place to develop your career in tourism, hospitality and cuisine.
ART, MUSEUMS & HISTORY
The French Quarter District offers over 30 galleries in the heart of downtown Charleston. Charleston’s Museum Mile is a walk that includes The Charleston Museum, The Confederate Museum, Gibb’s Museum of Art and many other historical sites along the way that share with us eras of the past. The countries oldest market place, Old City Market, built in 1841 showcases small shops, antiques, fresh produce and basket weaving that uses long- standing techniques of the old world.
THE GOLF COURSES OF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Kiawah Island, known for having the best courses in the country, has seven-signature golf courses; all oceanfront and the 2012 PGA Championship was held at the Ocean Golf Course, one of the toughest courses in the country! Daniel Island has the only private courses in Charleston featuring two Championship courses; The Beresford Creek designed by Tom Fazio and the Ralston Creek designed by Rees Jones. Seabrook Island’s signature courses are The Crooked Oats designed by Robert Trent and The Ocean Wind, designed by William Byrd. River Towne Country Club has the only 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course East of the Cooper with 13 holes waterside. The Dunes West Golf & River Club built along meandering waterways feature deep-water homes lined with towering Oak and a championship 18-hole golf course designed by Arthur Hills. All these golf communities have affordable Charleston SC homes, featuring resort style living with a plethora of amenities.
CHARLESTON BY BOAT
The Cooper River, the scenic river Ashley and the Atlantic along the barrier Islands provide an interesting mix of brackish water, tidal rivers, black water and ocean, creating an eclectic mix of natural settings. Explore all the diverse ecosystems of Charleston SC and gain unique learning experiences that translate to a wide variety of boating practices.
RELAXING STROLLS IN THE PARK
After a day of shopping, relax at the most visited park on the peninsula, Water Front Park and soak in the view of Charleston Harbor. Take a stroll down to the Market District with the pup and stop into North Charleston Riverfront Park and catch some fish at sunset. Once a Naval Base and now a memorial, Water Front Park is decorated in art designed by nationally known sculptors and offers a fishing pier, a playground and amphitheater. James Island County Park is another scenic area great for hikes and bike rides.
Antiques, boutiques, malls, outlets and galleries, if Charleston doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist! Third and Fourth generation antique shop owners are a common thing on the peninsula and boutiques line King’s Street with million dollar Antebellum style homes. James Island is also known for independent boutiques like those at Fresh Fields Village. No matter how extreme or budgeted your shopping maybe, Charleston has got you covered. Citadel Mall and Tanger Outlet offer name brand department store shopping at affordable prices, as well as, Northwoods Mall in North Charleston and Mt. Pleasant Towne Center.
Retiring in Charleston is the right choice for many reasons. Island waterways and hard sandy beaches, luxury gated Charleston golf communities, endless shopping, fantastic restaurants and so much more.
Ask us for free Charleston relocation information and be part of the adventures the coast of South Carolina has waiting for you!