Guide to Historic Downtown Charleston Neighborhoods
Downtown Charleston is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes and historic architecture that the southeast has to offer. Similar to other U.S. cities, Charleston can be broken into several different areas each offering its own unique and rich history.
South of Broad
Located at the southern tip of Charleston’s peninsula, the iconic South of Broad neighborhood is best known for its stately mansions and Charleston single style homes. This residential neighborhood encompasses well-known sites like White Point Garden at the Battery, offering beautiful views of Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter, historic Rainbow Row, and the Nathaniel Russell House. A visit to Charleston is simply not complete without a trip to this part of town.
The French Quarter is a particularly history-rich downtown Charleston neighborhood, where you can find the remnants of the original walled city. Named after French merchants who originally occupied the area, the French Quarter is home to some of the most historic public buildings in the city, including the Dock Street Theater, several beautiful churches, and a variety of art galleries. Experience the old world charm as you stroll down the cobblestoned streets, or take a horse-drawn carriage tour (https://palmettocarriage.com/) to learn more about the goings on through the years.
One of Downtown Charleston’s most eclectic neighborhoods, Harleston Village features some of the city’s most picturesque spots. With Colonial Lake and Moultrie Park as the area’s focal point, Harleston Village lends itself as a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, and is now surrounded by businesses and schools like MUSC and the College of Charleston. At its western border are gorgeous views of the Ashley River that cannot be missed, especially as the sun sets.
One of the smallest of the historic districts in Downtown Charleston, Ansonborough dates all the way back to the Colonial days, and features gorgeous Charleston-single style homes stretching from King Street to the edge of the Cooper River on Charleston’s east side. The district houses Charleston’s oldest private home, the Col. William Rhett House, which was one of the first in Charleston to be historically restored back to its original 18th century grandeur. The neighborhood was conceived in 1696 as the first suburb of the original walled city of Charles Town, and stands proud today with the same look and feel of Charleston from long ago.
There are several ways to see and learn about all of the different hidden gems that Charleston has to offer. To book a guided horse and carriage tour through these historic streets, click here.