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Charleston is located near the middle of South Carolina’s coast at the point “where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form the Atlantic Ocean.” It is the state’s second largest city and the county seat of Charleston County. Charleston was originally called Charles Town (in honor of King Charles II of England), and its nickname is “The Holy City.”

    About Chareleston

    Charleston, South Carolina a city rich in history, tradition, and Southern culture. Charleston is made up of a main peninsula surrounded by numerous islands and barrier islands.  Charleston is known as “The Holy City” due to the prominence of churches on the low-rise cityscape, particularly the numerous steeples which dot the city’s skyline.

    With streets lined by grand oaks draped with Spanish moss Charleston is a beautiful place to live.  Along the waterfront in an area known as Rainbow Row are many beautiful and historic pastel-colored homes. The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge across the Cooper River opened on July 16, 2005, and is the largest cable-stayed bridge in the Americas.

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    The 17th century saw a mass migration of colonists and pilgrims from the west coast of Europe across the Atlantic to the North American continent. Along with Spain and France, Great Britain was a major force in carving out the new frontier that was Colonial America. With a large number of settlers sailing from England, it is not hard to understand why so many settlements were named after British aristocracy.

    King Charles II of England granted the Carolina territory to his eight loyal “Lord’s Proprietors.” They established themselves on the west bank of the Ashley River in what is now the state of South Carolina. They named the settlement “Charles Towne” after the monarch.

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    Fast Facts

    City Population: 549,033

    Male: 49.07%

    Female: 50.93%

    Median Age: 33.9

    Ethnic Make-up:

    African American: 30.10%

    Asian: 1.30%

    Hispanic: 2.40%

    Native American: 0.40%

    White/Caucasian: 65.10%

    Housing Units: 232,985

    Median Household Income: $66,162

    Cost of Living Index: 92.3

    Cultural Index: 107.0

    License & Registration

    Driver’s License

    (803) 896-5000

    New residents to Charleston may use a valid out of state driver’s license for 90 days. Military personnel may operate on their home state license as long as it is valid. To obtain a license, you must take a vision test and present your Social Security Card. Anyone obtaining a license for the first time must present a birth certificate and SS card and take pass the road, written and vision tests.

    License & Registration Information

    Public Transportation

    DASH Trolley Services


    Downtown Charleston City Transportation



    CARTA is Charleston’s Bus public transportation system.

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    Air Transportation

    Charleston International Airport (CHS)


    Airport Operator 767-1100

    Airport Information 767-7009

    Travelers can select from over 100 flights daily that provide connections around the world. Charleston International passengers can enjoy all the travel advantages combined with a unique and refreshing level of personal services and attention. Due to the modern facilities, state-of-the-art operations and proximity to Charleston, the Charleston International Airport is quickly becoming a principal transportation hub for the southeastern United States and a gateway to the world.


    Public Parking 767-7026

    Valet Parking 5 am – 1 am, 7 days a week 15.00 per day

    Cell Phone Waiting Area – Please wait in this area until your party has collected their baggage and has called you to let you know…

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    Voter Registration

    You will need to register to vote in the county where you reside. You must be 18 years of age and have legal proof of residence. You may register by US Mail with a 30-day wait prior to an election.

    Charleston County Board of Voter Registration

    (843) 744-8683

    4367 Headquarters Road

    Post Office Box 71419

    Charleston, SC 29405

    Berkeley County Board of Voter Registration

    (843) 719-4056

    PO Box 6122

    6 Belt Drive

    Moncks Corner, SC 29461

    Dorchester County Board of Voter Registration

    (843) 563-0132

    201 Johnston Street

    St. George, SC 29477

    Local Phone Numbers

    City Area Code
    The area code for Charleston 843
    Emergency (Fire, Police, EMS) 911
    Charleston County EMS 745-4000
    County Emergency Preparedness 202-7400
    County Hazardous Materials 958-4067
    Crisis Pregnancy Center (800) 395-4357
    Poison Control Center (800) 922-1117
    Charleston Police Department 577-7074
    Charleston Fire Department 720-1981
    Charleston County Sheriff’s Office 554-4700
    Dept. of Health & Env. Control 740-1590
    Afterhours (800) 555-1212
    South Carolina Highway Patrol 876-2610
    Financial Services
    Automatic Teller Information
    ATM Locator (800) 248-4286
    MasterCrd ATM (800) 424-7787
    VISA Plus System (800) 843-7587
    Lost or Stolen Credit Cards
    American Express (800) 233-5432
    AT&T Universal Card (800) 423-4343
    Diners Club (800) 234-6377
    Discover Card (800) 347-2683
    JCB (800) 736-8111
    MasterCard (800) 826-2181
    VISA (800) 336-8472
    Lost or Stolen Travelers Checks
    American Express (800) 221-7282
    Thomas Cook MasterCard (800) 223-7373
    Travelers Check Customer Service (800) 645-6556
    VISA (800) 227-6811
    Government Numbers
    Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-1040
    Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213
    Medical University of South Carolina (843) 792-2300
    171 Ashley Avenue
    Charleston SC 29425
    East Cooper Regional Medical Center (843)881-0100
    1200 Johnie Dodds Blvd
    Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
    Hospitals Continued
    Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (843) 577-5011
    109 Bee Street
    Charleston, SC 29401-5799
    (888) 878-6884
    Naval Hospital Charleston (843)743-7000
    3600 Rivers Avenue
    North Charleston, SC 29405-7769
    Directory Assistance 411
    Shipping & Postal Service
    Airborne Express (800) 247-2676
    DHL Airways (800) 225-5345
    Emery Worldwide (800) 443-6379
    Federal Express Corp. (800) 463-3339
    United Parcel Service (800) 742-5877
    Support Networks
    Alcohol & Drug 24-Hour Help Line (800) 562-1240
    Child Protective Services (800) 797-3260
    (to report abuse and neglect)
    Crisis Pregnancy Center (800) 395-4357
    Crisis Response (800) 820-6333
    National Runaway Switchboard (800) 621-4000
    24-hour hotline to link runaways to social service agencies or to their families.
    Runaway Hotline (800) 392-3352
    Rape Crisis Center (800) 820-6333
    Teen Link (Various Topics) (800) 235-9678
    Teen Health InfoLine (800) 998-3600
    Electric and Gas
    South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (843) 554-7234
    141 Meeting Street
    Charleston, SC 29401
    BellSouth (843) 780-2355
    Commissioners of Public Works (843) 727-6800
    103 St. Phillip Street
    Charleston, SC 29403
    Comcast Cable (843) 554-4100
    1816 Sam Rittenburg Blvd.
    Charleston, SC 29407


    2 WCBD NBC
    4 WCIV ABC
    5 WCSC CBS
    7 WITV PBS
    18 WJRB America’s Store
    21 W21BX TBN
    22 WTBD Azteca America US
    24 WTAT FOX
    34 WCIV-DT ABC
    35 WMMP-DT MyTV
    36 WMMP MyTV
    40 WTAT-DT FOX
    47 WCSC-DT CBS
    49 WCHD-LP MTV2
    49 WITV-DT PBS
    50 WCBD-DT NBC
    57 WJNI-LP FamilyNet


    AM Radio Stations
    1250 news, talk
    1390 gospel
    FM Radio Stations
    89.3 NPR News Station
    91.5 Christian
    92.5 80’s, 90’s and today
    93.3 hip hop, R&B
    94.3 News Talk
    95.1 contemporary rock
    96.1 alternative rock
    96.9 soft rock
    99.7 adult urban contemporary
    100.5 adult contemporary, alternative
    101.7 adult urban, R&B
    102.5 oldies
    103.5 country
    104.5 classic rock
    1055 classic hits
    107.5 country


    The Post and Courier

    (843) 577-7111

    134 Columbus Street

    Charleston, SC 29403

    The Post and Courier, the South’s oldest daily newspaper, traces its roots to The Courier, founded in 1803, and The Evening Post, founded in 1894. In 1926, the two newspapers were drawn closer together when The Courier, which had then become The News and Courier, was purchased by The Evening Post Publishing Company.

    The Charleston City Paper

    (843) 577-5304

    1049 B Morrison Drive

    Charleston, SC 29403

    Arts Entertainment Weekly

    The Charleston Daily News

    #8 Fifth Avenue

    Isle of Palms, SC 29451

    Local and world news

    Charleston Regional Business Journal

    (843) 849-3100

    389 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite 200

    Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.

    The Charleston Regional Business Journal is published bi-weekly by Setcom Media, Inc.

    Dining & Nightlife

    Charleston’s eclectic character makes dining downtown a truly fascinating and memorable experience. With its historical charm and Southern grace as the backdrop, the city is home to a variety of eating establishments offering local and global fare. Choices abound for almost every taste. For a unique Southern flavor, you can order salmon and grits from Hyman’s Seafood Company or enjoy “imaginative American cuisine with a Southern flair” at The Library at Vendue Inn. Station 22, now 14 years old, is the oldest continuously operating restaurant on Sullivan’s Island. It offers a gallery of nostalgic black and white photographs of the island’s history.

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    Art & Museams

    The Karpeles Manuscript Library Charleston Museum is one of seven Karpeles museums in the country. Charleston’s low-country African-American heritage is preserved at the Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture. Papers, photographs, oral histories and other materials are maintained in the archives. The Jewish Heritage Collection of the College of Charleston’s Robert Scott Small Library recounts the Jewish experience in South Carolina from colonial times to the present. The United Daughters of the Confederacy display Charleston’s Southern Pride with a collection of Confederate artifacts.

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    Charleston Golf

    (800) 774-4444

    423 King St.

    Charleston, SC 29403

    Coosaw Creek Country Club

    (843) 767-9000

    4210 Club Course Drive

    North Charleston, SC 29420

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    The Harbor

    On The Water

    Fort Sumter Tours offers tours of Charleston Harbor from the deck of the Spirit of Columbia. The boat and the scenery provide a breathtaking experience as you see Charleston through a 90- minute tour of the Battery, Cooper River Bridges, Charleston Waterfront Park, Fort Moultrie National Monument and more.

    Alongside several vessels, the Yorktown is the main attraction of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. A keystone of America’s role in the Pacific during World War II, the aircraft carrier is a wonderful exhibit of the good and bad fortunes of life on the sea during wartime.

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    Music & Theater

    The Charleston Symphony Orchestra is conducted by music director David Stahl and is the largest year-round performing arts organization in South Carolina. The orchestra performs a wide spectrum of music for adults and children through its five concert series: Masterworks, Sotille Chamber Orchestra Series, Charleston Pops, Saturdays in Town and Small Fry. The Spoleto Festival U.S.A. is an annual event bringing together artists from all musical spectrums—from opera to spiritual. For the brave do-it-yourselfer, there is the Karaoke Lounge-tokyo bringing you all the singers who think they can (and some would be right). Close to the visitor’s center is Momma’s Blues Palace—the only blues club in town— featuring Momma and the Misfits five nights a week.

    Under the klieg lights, The Charleston Stage Company performs plays and musicals at the historic Dock Street Theatre.

    Plantations & Gardens

    Plantation Tours

    Gabriel Manigault studied architecture and designed the Joseph Manigault House home for his brother Joseph. Built in 1803, this estate almost failed to survive the onslaught of surrounding development to be enjoyed. The Charleston Museum maintains the home.

    Drayton Hall is the oldest preserved Plantation in the United States still open to the public. The house, relatively unchanged in over 250 years, sits on 630 acres and has seen seven generations of family ownership.

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    Blink! is one of Charleston’s unique stores offering a selection of ceramics and jewelry from a variety of artists. Boomer’s Books and Collectibles is Charleston’s biggest used books store with over 35,000 pre-owned titles. Charleston Market downtown offers a wide selection of art, jewelry, clothing books and collectibles.

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    Recommended Tours

    The Original Charleston Walks provides a series of different tours for a myriad of tastes. It includes Charleston’s Pirates and Buccaneers. Subtitled “The War Against The Pirates,” it takes you back in time to the earliest decades of the 18th century, when the still-adolescent Charleston not only faced the specter of war with the Native Americans on the land, but also from fierce scavengers on the sea. The excursion introduces the tourist to Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Anne Bonny as you rediscover The Walled City, Pirate Tavern and buried treasure.

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    Charleston is home to several sports teams. The Charleston Battery is one of the best teams in A-league soccer. The South Carolina Sting Rays, a Buffalo Sabres affiliate, were in the playoffs each of their first eight years of existence beginning in 1993. The Charleston Swamp Foxes have seen less success in their young history, but provide the city with a local Arena League- 2 football team. The Charleston River Dogs baseball club is a Class- A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the South Atlantic League.

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    Community Colleges

    Community colleges exist for two major purposes. The first is to serve as a bridge from high school to college by providing courses for transfer toward a bachelor’s degree. Four out of 10 collegebound high-school graduates start their college education this way.

    The second function of community colleges is to prepare students for the job market by offering entry-level career training as well as courses for adult students who want to upgrade their skills for the workplace. They often offer programs that are not available at four-year schools, like fashion design.

    The Los Rios Community College District ( consists of several two year colleges—American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College, plus a large number of outreach centers for those colleges.

    Liberal Arts Colleges

    Liberal arts colleges offer a broad base of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Most are private and focus mainly on undergraduate students. Classes tend to be small and personal attention is available.

    Online Learning

    Recent years have witnessed the rise of online degree programs, to allow the busy professional a chance to work at their own pace from the comfort of their home on the path to getting a degree. The costs to students are typically the same as for traditional classes— and financial aid is equally available—while the cost to the institution can be much less.

    There are online universities ranging from legitimate distance learning systems to fly-by-night degree-mills. It’s important to research a particular institution before deciding to enroll in their system. Generally, brick-and-mortar schools that also offer online classes are the safest, though there are plenty of fully accredited online universities out there.

    Nearly 3 million students are believed to be taking online classes at institutions of higher education in the United States this year. That number has been growing about 25% a year recently. Now, virtually all public higher education institutions, as well as a vast majority of private, for-profit institutions, now offer online classes. By contrast, only about half of private, nonprofit schools offer them. Online schools offer everything from Associate’s degrees to Doctoral programs with available emphases in everything from Business Administration to Criminal Justice to Nursing. Some programs require students to attend some campus classes or orientations, but many are delivered completely online. Online courses generally require a computer with a broadband connection, but are now a serious option for the busy professional.

    Public vs. Private

    Public colleges are usually less expensive, particularly for in-state residents. They get most of their money from the state or local government. Private colleges rely on tuition, fees, endowments, and other private sources. Private colleges are usually smaller and can offer more personalized attention and often more prestige.


    Generally, a university is bigger than a college and offers more majors and research facilities. Class size often reflects institutional size and some classes may taught by graduate students.

    Sacramento State University ( was founded as Sacramento State College in 1947. In 2004, enrollment was 22,555 undergraduates and 5,417 graduate students in the university’s eight colleges. The 300 acre (1.2 km) campus is located along the American River Parkway a few miles east of downtown.

    The University of California ( has a campus, UC Davis, in Davis, 15 miles west of Sacramento.

    McGeorge School of Law ( in Oak Park is the University of the Pacific’s law school.

    Upper Division

    Upper-division schools offer the last two years of undergraduate study, usually in specialized programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. Students then generally transfer to an upper-division college after completing an associate degree or after finishing a second year of study at a four-year college.


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