Can you guess what city we’re describing? Named the best city in America five times in a row, the city features some of the best hotels in the world, world class dining, a distinct culture found nowhere else, and historical monuments. It is a city that is just as much of a pleasure to visit as it is to live in. For some people, they immediately think of places like New York or Los Angeles, but in reality, we’re talking about Charleston, and if you ask anyone who has visited, they probably knew what we were talking about. It’s not just us: reputable publications, like Travel & Leisure and Travel & Leisure consistently rank Charleston as one of the best if not the best places to live.

So what makes Charleston so special? What’s it like to live in the city? Our Greystar team has put together a guide for the lowdown on living in the Lowcountry. If you are planning on moving to the city, Greystar can also help you find the perfect apartment in Charleston.

Charleston Culture

Charleston, like America, is a melting pot of cultures, and over the years, its distinct style has attracted residents to its storied streets. The culture of Charleston blends together the American South with English and French sophistication and West African style. Nowhere is this perhaps better exemplified than in the downtown peninsula, where art, music, and food come together to showcase the very best of the city. Of particular note is the Spoleto Festival USA, a performing arts festival that was started to mirror the legendary Festival de Due Mondi in Italy. The 17-day festival features art from a number of disciplines and is recognized as one of America’s best. You should also catch a show at the historic Dock Street Theatre, where the Footlight Players perform favorites and new pieces alike.  The group has been performing since 1931 and is a beloved institution in Charleston.

Foodie Paradise

Just like the city itself, the food in Charleston is the product of numerous traditions that blend together like the perfect gumbo. At the pinnacle of Charleston dining is Lowcountry cuisine. This unique cooking tradition was born in the South Carolina Lowcountry and features hearty dishes, like shrimp and grits, crab soup, Lowcountry boils and more. Restaurants around Charleston proudly embrace the Lowcountry tradition, and you can dive into the best of the best meals at places like Poogan’s Porch, Husk, Leon’s Oyster Bar, Hall’s Chophouse and more.

A Historic City

Walking through Charleston is like stepping through history. Surrounded by water and greenery, Charleston has a leg up on other cities when it comes to its beauty. As you explore the city, you’ll come across park after park, but beyond the well-manicured spaces and picturesque spaces lies a deep history. Notable destinations include Waterfront Park, Battery Park and Hampton Park. Some locations let you explore Charleston’s local history, like the Pineapple Fountain, while others are a major part of American history, like Fort Sumter and Patriots Point. Wherever you go in Charleston, you will find something memorable and beautiful.

Getting Around Charleston

To experience all of this adventure, you will do best by having a car. Despite the city being very biker and pedestrian friendly, using a car is the most reliable way to get anywhere you want. This is due mostly to the unique geography of the city. However, once you get to your destination, Charleston is best experienced on foot, as the city itself is beautiful to look at and experience. Charleston residents also love heading to the nearby beaches, which you will want to drive to. If you want a truly unique way to explore the city, you can get around by boat, which can take you to historic landmarks. Charleston residents also love boating recreationally.

Charleston is a city unlike any other, blending beautiful architecture with natural scenery. Voted the South’s best city by Southern Living Magazine, Charleston is a great place to call home. If you’re ready to move to the city, start finding your perfect Greystar apartment today!