Whether you are considering a lifestyle change, a new job offer or looking to escape the cold for your retirement, the Charleston area offers you a low-key, relaxed small city environment without sacrificing some of the "perks" of large-city living.
This beautiful historic city offers plenty of restaurants and art galleries to choose from, year-round access to boating, sailing, golf, tennis and many other outdoor activities, as well as major cultural events like the Spoleto Festival, world-class sporting events like the Cooper Bridge River Run and the Family Circle Cup, and many other events hosted in traditional Southern charm and hospitality.
In Charleston, you can "get away" from the hussle and bustle of the big city. With a population of only 600,000 in the Metro Area (see Charleston Area Statistics), traffic is not very heavy (you can get almost anywhere in less than 20 minutes during non-commute times), and most people take an easy, relaxed attitude to life.
The proximity to beaches, three rivers and the ocean (including the Intracoastal Waterway) make Charleston a great place for those who enjoy boating, sailing, fishing or watersports. The ocean is warm enough to swim in for about 9 months of the year.
Golf is very popular in the Charleston area. Most of the area golf courses are public or semi-private, although there are some private golf courses as well.
Property taxes are very reasonable (especially comparing them with property taxes in some of the Northern states!), and cost of living is low to medium in a national scale.
Since we do not get extreme cold temperatures in the winter (temperatures drop below freezing 2-3 weeks most years), most homes have electrical or gas powered HVAC systems and heating expenses are not a major cost concern for most families.
Health care is normally a major concern for most newcomers. The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has several major hospitals and research facilitied located Downtown Charleston and in other suburbs, and has attracted other companies to form a "health care cluster" in Charleston. Charleston has the best health care system in the state, and gets many visitors from adjacent cities and states who come to get treatment here. Trident Hospital, East Cooper Hospital and Roper St. Francis Hospital also have several facilities throughout the metro area.