Best Neighborhoods in South Carolina to Stay In

Whether you’re looking to visit or move to South Carolina, it isn’t necessary to stay downtown in a major city to have the best experience. Some of the best neighborhoods in South Carolina are close enough to big cities to put all the urban perks within reach while also capturing a distinct small-town charm. Historic homes, local parks, and safe and welcoming green spaces make many of South Carolina’s smaller neighborhoods ideal places to stay while you’re in the state.

When choosing a neighborhood, travelers often focus on their specific needs. For example, travelers with pets choose places with walking trails and parks where their furry companions can get exercise and socialize. Families with children may choose places with parks and attractions appropriate for kids, and those traveling on a budget typically focus on inexpensive corners of the state. Perhaps the biggest factor that people take into account, however, is the desire to find a safe neighborhood in which they feel comfortable.

Neighborhoods

Mount Pleasant

Undoubtedly, the most popular of the Charleston SC suburbs is Mount Pleasant. Consistently rated as one of the most attractive neighborhoods in the region, Mount Pleasant is known for its abiding sense of history, endless opportunities for activity and family-friendliness.

Founded in the 1700s, the community is located on the water and was originally home to some of the city’s wealthiest families. Today, its population is a well-balanced mix of families, professionals and retirees. Many small businesses round out the area for a convenient combination of living, working and playing spaces.

Mount Pleasant Charleston SC boasts numerous parks, golf courses and even one of the city’s most famous museums. Memorial Waterfront Park is ideal for family outings or leisurely afternoons spent fishing in Charleston Harbor.  Laurel Hill County Park and Palmetto Islands County Park are vast expanses of nature and trails, perfect for residents of all ages who want to get out and enjoy the area’s gorgeous weather on foot, by bike or by boat, alone or with friends and family.

Despite being one of the safest neighborhoods in Charleston SC, Mount Pleasant is anything but dull.   Patriots Point, the famous Naval and Maritime museum is located there, as are other historic sites of note such as the Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens,  the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, two championship golf courses, several craft breweries, some nature outfitters, a water park and the Charleston Water Taxi.

A full slate of seasonal events, including free outdoor concerts, round out the many reasons by Mount Pleasant is considered one of the best neighborhoods in Charleston SC for visitors and new transplants alike.

Simpsonville

For several years now, Simpsonville has ranked as one of the best neighborhoods in Greenville SC. With a population just over 20,000, the area has an impressively low unemployment rate and excellent employment opportunities compliments of a range of large, successful employers in the region. Average salaries are generous and above-average education levels are common. Commute times are low, the schools are good and economic growth continues to be strong.  Plus, with an incredibly low crime rate, Simpsonville is one of safest neighborhoods in Greenville SC.

Ever-growing business and recreational opportunities continue to draw new residents to the area, which is already rich in arts and culture. In addition to resources and attractions located directly in Simpsonville SC, residents will find themselves conveniently located to tech hub Greenville.

While Simpsonville’s cost of living is slightly higher than average, its comfortable weather, clean, safe streets, conservative Southern charm and proximity to popular attractions more than make up for the minor increase in average costs.

Lexington

Of the many attractive Columbia SC neighborhoods from which to choose, Lexington takes the cake. Like the other top-rated communities on this list it has a thriving economy, low unemployment, respectable average income levels, highly rated schools and a modest population. As is true of the other neighborhoods as well, Lexington has a full range of attractions that can’t fail to draw the eye of prospective South Carolina residents.

Local parks and nature preserves such as Dreher Shoals Dam, Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve and Lake Murray provide abundant opportunities for visitors and residents to enjoy the great outdoors. Combined with the mild climate, they prompt health and happiness by ensuring families can get out and stay active all year round. Add in the area’s plentiful restaurants, museums, gardens and other attractions, and its easy to see why locals claim to have all the benefits of a big city in an atmosphere of small-town comfort.

All of these features and more make Lexington one of the best neighborhoods in Columbia SC for a wide cross-section of prospect transplants. From young families, to retirees and professionals looking to capitalize on the career options available from the capital’s major employers, the area has something for everyone.

Battery Point

Situated just a few miles from downtown Beaufort, Battery Point is a family-friendly community known as one of the safest neighborhoods in SC. Affordable and charming, Battery Point offers residents all the benefits associated with living in the state’s prettiest small town, including:

  • Excellent employment prospects.
  • High incomes.
  • Short commutes.
  • Historic beauty.
  • Highly rated public schools.

Close to Hilton Head Island, Battery Point allows families to live, work and play within easy reach of one of the state’s most coveted vacation spots. Even better, the neighborhood maintains a strong sense of community. Local activities and events suitable for all ages and family-oriented park and nature spaces create a relaxed, welcoming place for families with small children, retirees and others.

While every city on this list has much to endorse it, every family’s needs and preferences are different. While historic and beautiful might be perfect for some, others may find they thrive best in the bustle and hum of South Carolina’s busiest cities. If you can, consider visiting these and other top-ranked South Carolina towns in person to get a better feel for their ambiance and charms to help you make the best choice for you.