Chucktown, an endearing nickname for our beloved city of Charleston. Aptly, it is the nickname for Charles…..I know y’all figured that out already! Truth be told, Chucktown is filled with history, character, and a southern sized portion of charm. It’s also paradise….to me anyway! If you’re thinking of settling down here in the Lowcountry there are a few things to familiarize yourself with before renting or buying……
Charleston was originally just the peninsula of Charleston….what we refer to as downtown and the crosstown. Since we have grown, we comprise about 6 different areas; Downtown/The Peninsula, James Island, Johns Island, Daniel Island, and West Ashley. Add in Sullivan’s Island, The Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant, Awandaw, Kiawah, and Seabrook Island and you have yourself a virtual island wonder world! If you plan to explore the area and maybe take in some tours, you will hear the terms “before Hugo” and “after Hugo”. Who is Hugo? Not a friendly fellow but was in fact Hurricane Hugo who devastated the city in 1989, causing over $5.9 billion in damage to South Carolina’s coast.
Nobody does oyster roasts like we do here. Chucktown turns into Shucktown during the oyster harvesting season. Lots of delicious fun and mess!
Charleston is a friendly city being awarded “America’s Most Friendly City” by Travel & Leisure Magazine in 2014, but locals can understandably be a bit defensive of “Yankees” intruding on their turf. Being a Yankee transplant myself, I found that minding your manners, throwing a “y’all” into a sentence here and there, and not mentioning the war of the states will be a sure fire way into the hearts of Charlestonians! Speaking of wars, college football is king in Charleston, and the University of South Carolina (the true USC, fans will say) vs. Clemson rivalry is as intense as they come.
It’s a marsh not a swamp! Charleston is surrounded by the salt marsh. So much activity to be had in and around our coastal waters……just be careful at low tide: the stinky “pluff mud” may look like a sturdy base for exploration, but will instantly suck you down into its grasp, even with the best of boots. The marsh is also abundant with the grasses that are made into baskets and such. They are hand crafted by the ancestors of West Africa and the Caribbean called Gullah and Geechee. Their cultural traditions are still preserved by their descendants in story-telling, food, art, and sweet grass baskets, which adorn the houses of nearly every local and whose culture is the lifeblood of the Charleston area. You will see many of their sweet grass roadside stands as you drive along the area.
Take part in the Arts year round! This city is chuck-full of culture! Charleston hosts the yearly “Piccolo-Spoleto Festival” a celebration of art, music, and theater, which brings in national headliners from all destinations. Downtown is also home to America’s first theater, The Dock Street Theater which opened in 1736. Art galleries abound downtown along East Bay Street and while you are at it, take a stroll down Rainbow Row for a real picture!
Chucktown is also known as the Holy City. Many church steeples line our beautiful skyline. There is an ordinance in place that no building can be erected higher than the tallest church steeple, giving the city its nickname. Religious and non-religious locals alike generally enjoy the rule, as it keeps Charleston’s skyline free of skyscrapers and full of historic charm.
There is so much more to our “heaven on earth”, but the fun part is coming here and exploring on your own. If you get lost or have questions, just ask anyone…..we will make you feel at home!