Department of Radiation Oncology

Life in Charleston

Charleston is a city known for its enchantment and charm, as well as its fascinating beauty, history, and culture. Since its settlement in 1670 by English colonists, the charming historic seaport of Charleston has been a favorite vacation and relocation destination. Located on the coast of South Carolina, midway between Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, Charleston is recognized by Travel and Leisure as one the Top 10 Cities in the United States.

Steeped in history, Charleston is often called a "living museum." Its past and present are intertwined like no other city, and is evident in its culture, architecture, plantations, and famous gardens. With its lively and historical festivals and cultural events, there's never a dull moment in Charleston. The city is always bustling with seasonal events such as the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition every February, the Spoleto Festival USA held each May, to the annual 10K Cooper River Bridge Run held every April.

Charleston also boasts a wide array of other sources of entertainment. Take a guided kayak tour along the expansive Atlantic Coast or through the serene bends of the Ashley River. Take your friends and enjoy a midsummer night wine and art stroll through the town. Explore the supernatural world with a guided ghost tour of the city. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the performance of the Charleston Symphony. No matter what your interests, there is always something going on in the Greater Charleston area.

Charleston was chosen as a best destination in two categories by TripAdvisor® in the 2008 Travelers’ Choice® Destinations Awards. With an international airport and easy interstate access, getting around Charleston is no problem. The mild coastal climate makes Charleston's world-renowned golf courses and beautiful beaches fun to enjoy year-round. Certainly, there is never a dull moment here in Charleston.

More About Charleston:

  • Based on the latest census figures, the population of the Charleston area is 594,899.
  • Charleston's aquarium was ranked by Coastal as one the top 10 aquariums in North America.
  • Charleston's name is derived from Charles Towne, named after King Charles II of England.
  • The average yearly high is 73F and the average yearly low is 59F.
  • America's most-published etiquette expert, Marjabelle Young Stewart, has recognized the city since 1995 as the "best-mannered" city in the U.S.
  • Charleston boasts of many restaurants regularly featured on nationally televised shows on the Food Network as featured by the likes of Rachel Ray, Giada de Laurentiis, and Bobby Flay.
  • The Academic Magnet High School (ranked #7 by Newsweek and #27 by US News and World Report) is located in Charleston.
  • The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge across the Cooper River opened on July 16, 2005, and is the largest cable-stayed bridge in the Americas.
  • The racial/ethnic makeup of Charleston is 65.2% White Americans, 31.6% Black Americans, 1.6% Asian Americans, and 2.4% Hispanics or Latino.
  • Charleston hosts the annual Food + Wine Festival, Family Circle Tennis Cup, Cooper River Bridge Run, and the Maritime Festival.
  • Charleston is home to a number of professional minor league and amateur sports teams including The Charleston Battery (professional soccer team), The Charleston RiverDogs (Minor League Baseball team that is also an affiliate of the New York Yankees), and The South Carolina Stingrays (ice hockey team that are an affiliate of the Washington Capitals). Additionally, many of the Charleston-area communities and schools have regionally and state recognized sports teams.
  • Individuals such as Stephen Colbert (comedian), Vanessa Minnillo (correspondent), and Darius Rucker (band Hootie and the Blowfish) call Charleston home.
  • To get an idea of how the cost of living compares to where you live now, click here for's Cost of Living Calculator.

Learn more About Charleston: