CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Charleston, South Carolina’s 147 square miles occupies portions of both Berkeley and Charleston counties. Renowned as one of the nation’s most romantic colonial cities, Charleston lies along the midsection of South Carolina’s scenic coast at the convergence point of the Ashley and the Cooper rivers. Originally called “Charles Town”, Charleston’s name honors King Charles II of England.
According to 2000 Census Data, a population of 96,650 resides within the city of Charleston, SC. This growing community ranks as the second largest city in South Carolina, behind Columbia, the state capital. Charleston, South Carolina also lies within the bounds of the Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses the counties of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester. Census estimates in 2005 report the total population of the metro area at approximately 600,000 people, nearly 80% of which reside within the city limits and the surrounding urbanized communities. Charleston, SC serves as the seat of Charleston County.
SC, a popular vacation destination, features scenic, tree-lined cobblestone streets and myriad historical homes and other buildings available for tours by foot or horse-drawn carriage. Notable sites of interest include Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon and several former plantations such as Drayton Hall. Charleston, SC is also home to the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Charleston Museum, which was the first museum in the Americas. Additional things to see and do in Charleston, SC include the Audubon Swamp Garden on Magnolia Plantation, pristine beaches, Cypress Gardens, Charles Towne Landing, the Ghosts and Legends of Charleston Tours and the South Carolina Aquarium. Charleston also plays host to several community celebrations such as the Moja Arts Festival, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Spoleto Festival USA.
Charleston, South Carolina is home to the world’s second most productive port (Hong Kong is first) and is North America’s fourth largest container seaport. A centralized location coupled with close proximity to numerous medical facilities and military based operations place Charleston, SC in a strategic position for exponential economic growth. Biotechnology and medical research based employment account for a significant portion of jobs in the area. Until recent years, the Medical University of South Carolina was the Charleston Metropolitan Area’s largest employer; however, in 2004 the US Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) took over that title.
Nicknamed the “Holy City”, Charleston, SC has more churches per capita than any other city in America and is home to two excellent public school systems that serve more than 48,000 students in the area. Those seeking higher learning have facilities such as the Charleston School of Law, Charleston Southern University and the Citadel from which to choose. Charleston residents and visitors enjoy four distinct seasons driven by a climate that ranges from temperate to subtropical. In addition, Travel and Leisure Magazine reported Charleston, SC as the 4th ‘Best City’ to live in America in 2006 (in 2005 Charleston placed 6 th). Clearly, Charleston offers its residents an enviable quality of life.
Charleston, South Carolina reflects a rich heritage that dates back to the settlers of 1670. This colonial gem, found along the stunning eastern coastline of the U.S., captures the spirit of a historic America, while affording all the amenities of a modern city.
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