ABOUT THE CITY
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.”
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.
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.
City Population: 549,033
Median Age: 33.9
African American: 30.10%
Native American: 0.40%
Housing Units: 232,985
Median Household Income: $66,162
Cost of Living Index: 92.3
Cultural Index: 107.0
License & Registration
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
DASH Trolley Services
Downtown Charleston City Transportation
CARTA is Charleston’s Bus public transportation system.
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…
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
4367 Headquarters Road
Post Office Box 71419
Charleston, SC 29405
Berkeley County Board of Voter Registration
PO Box 6122
6 Belt Drive
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Dorchester County Board of Voter Registration
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|
|South Carolina Highway Patrol||876-2610|
|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|
|Lost or Stolen Travelers Checks|
|American Express||(800) 221-7282|
|Thomas Cook MasterCard||(800) 223-7373|
|Travelers Check Customer Service||(800) 645-6556|
|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|
|Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center||(843) 577-5011|
|109 Bee Street|
|Charleston, SC 29401-5799|
|Naval Hospital Charleston||(843)743-7000|
|3600 Rivers Avenue|
|North Charleston, SC 29405-7769|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|22||WTBD||Azteca America US|
|AM Radio Stations|
|FM Radio Stations|
|89.3||NPR News Station|
|92.5||80’s, 90’s and today|
|93.3||hip hop, R&B|
|99.7||adult urban contemporary|
|100.5||adult contemporary, alternative|
|101.7||adult urban, R&B|
The Post and Courier
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (www.losrios.edu) 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.
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 (www.csus.edu) 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 (www.ucdavis.edu) has a campus, UC Davis, in Davis, 15 miles west of Sacramento.
McGeorge School of Law (www.mcgeorge.edu) in Oak Park is the University of the Pacific’s law school.
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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