Area Focus: Mount Pleasant
Throughout our ongoing “Area Focus” series, we’re exploring the regions of Charleston that are growing, changing, and evolving the most. Read more about it here and below are links to the areas we’ve covered to date:
Plenty of Charleston’s surrounding areas are amid a resurgence or new development boom, but one of the city’s most desirable and more established suburbs is seeing tremendous growth – Mount Pleasant.
The Rundown: Originally founded in 1860, Mount Pleasant is Charleston’s oldest suburban town and the city’s original sleepy coastal village. Today, it is the fourth largest municipality and the largest town in South Carolina. A popular spot for young families, the area has become known for its manicured neighborhoods and beachy southern vibes. Its appeal is evident in its growth in residents. Despite efforts to slow growth, Mount Pleasant gained more new residents in 2018 than any other town or city in the state.
Many believe the growth is unstainable, and city officials are taking action through limited building permits and careful evaluation of the future. The town even put together a committee, which spent two years crafting a proposed development plan that will guide the town through the next decade. The most significant point of contention will be balancing environmental concerns with the necessary growth.
Why We Love It: Mount Pleasant is unique and boasts many personalities. In a weekend you can explore a sprawling plantation, watch for dolphins while sipping a cocktail on Shem Creek, or be at the beach or downtown Charleston in just a few minutes.
Significant Developments: As more people move to the area, real estate prices have experienced a steep increase and more shopping, restaurants, and amenities have popped up to cater to the growing population. There doesn’t seem to be a slowing down in the coming years.
- The $325 million Ferry Wharf mixed-use venture is the largest development project in the works.
- There are plans in place to expand Waterfront Park, amid some concerns.
- The $18.2 million Coleman Boulevard Improvement Projects will help traffic flow issues, add more bike and pedestrian friendly walkways, and beautify one of the main commerce areas.
Restaurant Recommendations: Downtown gets a lot of the restaurant attention, but Mount Pleasant is home to some standout local options. Enjoy shrimp & grits at Page’s Okra Grill. Rumor has it this is one of Darius Rucker’s favorite breakfast spots. Foodies will like Red Drum and NICO. There is a lively weekend brunch scene at Shem Creek and across Coleman Ave. You can’t go wrong with any choice, but The Shelter Kitchen + Bar is a local favorite and known for its fun patio and live music.
What To Do: Start the day by walking the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge then spend the day exploring Boone Hall Plantation.
Best Spot for a Drink: Head to Red’s Ice House. The food is decent, but we come more for the cold drinks and a spectacular view.
Favorite Spot: Memorial Waterfront Park – Pick a spot and enjoy the view of downtown Charleston across the water. Local tip – The gift shop sells ice cream and other treats.