The Best Charleston Suburbs In Charleston, South Carolina

The Best Charleston Suburbs In Charleston, South Carolina

Ravenel Bridge in a Charleston South Carolina suburb

Planning your move to Charleston, South Carolina? With shimmering beaches, revered school systems, and top-notch restaurants, it’s no surprise that Charleston, South Carolina is a resident’s dream. Full of southern hospitality, this city is a beacon for the movers and shakers of the world. For those looking for the advantages of city life but prefer a more residential experience, Charleston’s suburbs offer a blend of both worlds. Check out the finest that this city can offer, with four of the best suburbs in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mount Pleasant

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Starting off strong, we are flying over to one of the exciting Charleston suburbs, Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant’s reputation precedes itself, winning awards left and right for its dedication to pleasant living and job opportunities. It is ranked #1 for the best place to live in Charleston, SC as well as #2 for the best suburb for young professionals. It is clear to see how Mount Pleasant has charmed so many of its residents, and why it is such a hot spot tourist destination.

Location and Population

Mount Pleasant’s biggest draw is its location, a breezy ten-minute drive away from Charleston. Due to this closeness, Mount Pleasant provides all the charm of a suburb with all of the glitz of city living. Situated along the Carolina coastline, Mount Pleasant is a hot destination spot for fresh southern food and beach life. Mount Pleasant is a heavily populated suburb, with a population of 95,314. As a result, Mount Pleasant is ideal for those who don’t want to choose between city or coast. 

Family Focused

Mount Pleasant is renowned for its excellent school systems, with many of its public schools ranked in the top five best of the state. This makes Mount Pleasant a perfect place to start and raise a family. Parents will be able to enjoy romantic date nights away from the kids with Mount Pleasant’s bustling restaurant and nightlife experience. Try the freshest seafood along Mount Pleasant’s beachfront at restaurants like Red’s Icehouse, or wind down after a long day with a cocktail at Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails.

Price of Living

Due to the incredible location and school system, living in Mount Pleasant is on the higher end of median income. For those looking to move, rent in Mount Pleasant is typically around $1,629 a month. Most residents choose to own rather than rent, and the average annual income for homeowners is $103,232. This is the perfect place for those with established careers looking to settle down with their families.

James Island

James Island neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina

Next up on our stop is James Island. Founded in 1992, James Island offers a rustic oasis of marshy lands and bright blue waters. James Island boasts the shortest commute to Charleston, with a whopping five-minute drive to the city! Residents love the easy access to city resources, all while enjoying the rural charm of their beachfront living.

Coastal Charm

Of the Charleston suburbs, James Island draws in beach lovers of all ages. Known for its fishing and beach attractions, residents enjoy sailing and seasonal fishing tours at Knot Stressed Inshore Charters. For more adventurous folks, tours also include dolphin and shark viewing! Residents flock to the James Island County Park, where people of all ages can enjoy the lush forest location. Explore bike trails around open meadows, camp out with the family, and even try your hand at their Climbing Wall. The County Park also sports a dog park, so your furry friends can enjoy the beautiful nature as well.

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Rural Escape

James Island has a unique demographic, with attractions ideal for young professionals and retirees. The active sailing and nature attractions are perfect for those who are eager to enjoy the great outdoors! With a quaint population of 12,076, James Island is perfect for those wanting to take a break from fast traffic and the congestion of big city living.

Price of Living

James Island is more cost affordable than Mount Pleasant and geared towards residents with established careers. Household income is on average $80,000 a year. The average cost of rent is $1,374 a month.

Harleston Village

Harleston Village in Charleston South Carolina.

After dipping our toes in the sands of James Island, let’s wind down away from the tourist attractions. Harleston Village is a blast from the past and draws in residents with its remarkable architecture. Nestled in the heart of Charleston, Harleston Village also boasts the highest walkability ranking of any of the Charleston suburbs. On top of that, they are home to incredible educational opportunities.

Architecture Enthusiasts

Harleston Village boasts a quiet, residential experience. Founded in 1770, the town is named after John Harleston and his family. The Harleston’s loved horses and many stables are still active in the village. Along with horse lovers, Harleston Village draws in architecture enthusiasts. Many of the houses have been maintained since the 1770s, with graceful archways and tree-lined entrances. This classic antebellum architecture is mixed with modern townhouses, creating an exciting blend of past and present. Of the Charleston suburbs, Harleston Village is the smallest, with a population of 5,067. This smaller size means an easier time walking around, and the opportunity to build community within the suburb.

Calling all Students

Looking to study hard? Ready to snag a degree? Look no further than the College of Charleston. The College of Charleston is a public liberal art and science university. It is ranked as one of the top universities for education and affordability. Classes are small and intimate, in order to network connections between student and professor. Along with the university, residents can join the Charleston Library Society. Created in 1748, the society’s goal is to provide a place of learning for the community. They work to archive a vast collection of literature, and to inform the public on the importance of libraries. The Charleston Library Society also holds reading events, where authors can come and discuss their works. This community is perfect for students and postgraduates alike.

Price of Living

Nonstudents have a median yearly household income of $79,539, with housing on the pricier side. This is due to the old school architecture, with the median price selling at $652,500. Renting is cheaper and ideal for students wanting to live off-campus. For example, the average rent for a studio is $1,722 a month. Of the Charleston suburbs, Harleston Village is ideal for students and residents in search of a quiet escape.

West Ashley

The neighborhood of West Ashley in Charleston, South Carolina.

Last but certainly not least, we are rounding out our list with West Ashley. Predominately a residential community, West Ashley makes up most of Charleston’s residents. With a population of 82,341, West Ashley is a melting pot of families, singles, and retirees. One of the more affordable options on the list, West Ashley is the perfect place to settle down.

Real Estate Haven

For those looking to buy a home, West Ashley provides a wide range for all price points. The close proximity to downtown Charleston offers optimal access to the diverse restaurant experiences and opportunities of the city. Besides being close to downtown, West Ashley is near several public and private schools alike. These schools include the Carolina Voyager Charter School, West Ashley High School, and West Ashley Advanced Studies Magnet.


Speaking of location, West Ashley is close to a unique, South Carolina gem. The Animal Forest is a zoo experience unlike any other, replicating the natural habitats of animals local to the Carolinas. By entering the Animal Forest, one feels like an early English settler. You can walk among these habitats and see the animals roam free, instead of being in confined cages. Along with the animals, visitors are gifted a historical lesson. Along your trail, you are familiarized with the history of the English colony and what early settlement life would’ve entailed. Enter a magical world of wild bison, pumas, and pelicans- oh my!

Price of Living

The locale makes this a perfect spot for those looking for job opportunities within Charleston, and those looking to raise children without breaking the bank. With the median house price point around $300k, West Ashley is the most affordable of the Charelston suburbs within proximity of downtown.

It’s clear to see that Charleston, South Carolina has a home for everyone. From students to go-getters to families, thousands of people call Charleston home every year. Come explore Charleston’s lively suburbs, and grab some Charleston, SC movers to make your trip that much easier. Your movers at UniMovers are here for you!

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Rebekah Hallman, they/them, is a fourth-year at the University of Iowa studying English and creative writing on the publishing track, with a minor in gender and women's sexuality studies. They are also a writing tutor for the Hanson Center and a copy editor for Zenith Magazine. Previously, they have worked on the editorial boards of New Moon and Quarantine Magazine. In their free time, they can be found buying far too many house plants and doodling.