Checking out the Lowcountry

Lowcountry South Carolina has a truly unique culture. The people identify very distinctly with the lowcountry and the Charleston area, while at the same time representing the largest percentage of non “born and raised” transplants. Charleston is definitely a melting pot in the Southern US while maintaining a distinct culture around food, hospitality, and more recently, industry.

Charleston has long been a center of culinary excellence in the South. Some would consider it a bold statement, but Charleston is very similar to New Orleans when it comes to food culture. Another common comparison city to the Charleston area tends to be Savannah. Both of these cities are coastal southern cities. Both are port cities and both share hospitality/tourism as a major industry. Those that have lived in both or have visited them often would tell you that there are many similarities between Charleston and Savannah, but that each has its own unique culture.

Charleston’s geography is one of intersecting coastal rivers and the associated tidal marshes. This carves up the city into sections and smaller cities. Across the Cooper River sits Mount Pleasant, a sister city to Charleston. Mount Pleasant boasts the beautiful Sullivan’s Island, Patriot’s Point Golf Course, near infinite shopping opportunities, and neighborhoods full of old style Charleston homes.

Right across the Ashley River from downtown sits West Ashley. This area of Charleston puts older, mid century homes within walking distance of many local shops and restaurants. The Avondale neighborhood has been highlighted by local publications as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the lowcountry due to its beautiful homes and convenient proximity to local shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

James Island also sits across the Ashley River/Harbor from downtown Charleston and has a very “beach town” feel. James Island, and by extension, Folly Beach are a relaxed, laid back beach town with neighborhoods that range from small beach style bungalows to large multimillion dollar homes with deep water docks. There is a little bit of everything on James Island, and I would challenge anyone to find a more eccentric beach town on the East Coast than Folly.

As you travel north out of Charleston and up Interstate-26, you find North Charleston and Summerville. This area of the city is breaking out as a leading manufacturing growth center in the state of South Carolina. The upstate is typically knows as the manufacturing center of the state, but recently, Charleston has challenged that with the start of construction on the new Volvo assembly plant and Mercedes Sprinter Van production. The Boeing facility next to the city’s major airport is also a long time major industry player and job creator in town.

Further from downtown Charleston you can find the isolated and upscale beach/golf community of Kiawah Island, John’s Island and Wadmalaw Island (more rural extensions of James Island and West Ashley), and Daniel Island (upscale homes and shops extending north from Mount Pleasant). There are many options for where to live and work within the area and each provides their own personality within the overall culture of the city.

Thanks to our sponsors Isle of Palms Pool Service and Summerville Pool Service.