If rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants, and mannerly people are where you want to live, then the Charleston area is the place to be. The Charleston metropolitan area consisting of Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville is the third largest in the state.
- Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the state of South Carolina. As a popular tourist destination, it has received a large number of accolades, including “America’s Most Friendly City in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and was ranked the “World Best City” by Travel & Leisure. The two shipping terminals, owned and operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority, are part of the fourth-largest container seaport on the East Coast and the thirteenth largest in North America. Many major companies, including Boeing and Volvo, have chosen the Charleston area as well suited for expansion.
Institutions of higher education in the Charleston area include the College of Charleston (the nation’s 13th oldest university), The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and the Charleston School of Law and Trident Technical College.
- North Charleston is one of the state’s major industrial centers and is the state’s top city in gross retail sales. It is the home to Global Financial Services – Charleston (a section of the U.S. State Dept.), Boeing Aircraft, Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy, Venture Aerobearing, Daimler Vans Manufacturing, and several others.
- Hanahan is bordered on the west and south by the city of North Charleston. To the east is the old Naval Weapons Station, which was formerly a submarine base. Portions of the metropolitan area are home to branches of the United States Military. In 2010, the Airforce Base and naval Weapons Station merged to form Joint Base Charleston that today supports 53 Military Commands and Federal Agencies.
- Mount Pleasant is a fast growing area in South Carolina, almost doubling in population between 1990 and 2000. The Arthur Ravenel Bridge, an eight-lane highway completed in 2005, spans the Cooper River and links Mount Pleasant with the city of Charleston. At the foot of the bridge is Patriots Point, a naval and maritime museum, home to the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown museum ship.