Please take my advice, Dad told me that Nassau St. and America St. are one of the most
dangerous streets in Charleston. The things that might happen there are stabbings,
shootings, drug trafficking, and maybe forcible rape. If you see anything suspicious, call the
police and tell what is happening. Also, these streets are dangerous at nighttime, especially
around midnight. Here's a link to Google Map that shows where Nassau St. is.
Here's also one for America St.
READ: South Carolina is the only state left in the Union that uses mini bottles to serve drinks. Each mini bottle is equivlent to 1.5 oz. If you order a drink with two liquors in it, you will receive 3 oz's. And be charged for both. For example, If you get a white russian, you get both the full vodka bottle and full kaluha bottle. Your drink will reflect the price as well.
UPDATE: this is no longer the case. Most venues have moved to using big bottles, but some place still may be using the mini's.
One should show caution when planing a trip to the City of Charleston in coastal South Carolina. The boycott seems to be related to the deaths of 9 firemen and the City of Charlestons reluctance to change policy's that directly contributed to their deaths. The Mayor and Fire Chief stand accused by many as for having created unsafe conditions in the city. There are also rumors of national firefighter groups may want to protest in the City of Charleston.
Whatever you do, if you enter Charleston like most people via Interstate 26 proceed south toward downtown (right) and do not stop until you at least get to the visitors center. The area immediately off the interstate is absolutely horrible and littered with drugs and transients. When your downtown don't worry as the city does a great job of keeping the homeless and criminals out of the downtown area, but only during the day. At night (while still pretty safe) it can be a little sketchy, especially in areas where everything is closed. Charleston cops have a reputation for not being visible, and while some seem to think you can get arrested just for being liberal, I have trouble even seeing a police officer anywhere mostly. The battery is fairly safe late at night, but the cars parked there with fogged up windows aren't because of the high humidity. College of Charleston area is safer than anywhere else in my opinion because of the increased police presence and the increased late night goers. Just stay away from areas north of the Visitors center. No one reading this has any business there. Oh and N. Charleston is not always dangerous but why would anyone visiting Charleston want to go there??? Stay in the downtown area.
The City of Charleston is very expensive for Lodging, Meals and Transportation. It can be a very dangerous place for tourists, if you wander into the wrong areas late at night. You should be careful if booking rooms in downtown Charleston, to ensure they have a fire sprinkler system. Not all older or small places have them. Though required by law in the newer places. You can save a lot on lodging by selecting one of many newer National/International hotels conveniently located near and around the Charleston International Airport in the downtown section of the beautiful City of North Charleston. Also convenient if flying in and out of the airport in North Charleston. Parking in all places in North Charleston is free, as a courtesy to you our visitor. Well lit at night, with frequent police patrols.
the area of north charleston is probably not a tourist friendly part of town. as a person from out of town i would visit points east of the college of charleston, the visitor center, and the aquarium. central charleston is perfectly safe for the out of town tourist. as in any american city be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.
If you're not a fan of roaches, beware of the Palmetto Bugs. Palmetto Bugs are large roach-like beetles that live on the coast around here. Just because you see them doesn't mean the city isn't sanitary..... they are just a common pest that Charlestonians have learned to live with. They like damp areas, and will most likely be found downtown, near the beach or pools, or near the rivers. Beware, they can fly!!!!!!!
And beware, if you ever see me near a Palmetto Bug, I may knock people down to get away from them. They're worse than snakes and spiders to me..... :-)
If you are from out of town and you have no reason to go to North Charleston...Don't. North Charleston is a seperate city from Charleston similar to the relation of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Some parts are very dangerous. North Charleston was voted one of the most dangerous cities in America. I believe it was 4th and Detroit was 5th so that should give you an idea of why not to go. If you want to explore the suburbs check out any of the islands, Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley. West Ashley is where the plantation and gardens are....basically anywhere except N. Charleston. Note: NOT ALL areas of N. Charleston are bad, but if you are a tourist and don't know your way around I wouldn't recommend taking a chance.
Charleston is well covered by the police so you don't want to get out of hand or you may wind up getting in a lot of trouble. They roll the streets up in this shopping area pretty early on King Street. So be good.
This was a business trip for me so I had to get up and work all day and some nights while Terry got to play and enjoy the town. I did get some time to play on Satuarday and Sunday but come Monday-Tuesday & Wednesday it was all about the job and setting up a new location. We did have some fun after work and did get a chance to go out to dinner and try some local food. This was a great time for me even though I had to work. We will go back for a longer visit on vacation some day soon.
Terry took this picture of me and Ernie on our way to work one morning.
I'm moving from Ireland to North Charleston soon. I've visited the place a number of times. Walked the streets, drove, shopped. Nothing ever , ever happened to me. All I saw were people trying to live their everyday lives. All cities have places where it's wise not to venture after dark. Use common sense. I'm not naive. I was uneasy in a few locations. I consider myself streetwise and having lived in a city all my life, you know the rules.Furthermore coming from a city of 1.4 million (Dublin,Ireland) where EVERY house is alarmed and you basically have to nail everything down to stop it being robbed, it amazes me that in North Charleston most people seem so relaxed about the whole security thing....so stop scaring me. ok!
Charleston is a bible belt state ruled by southern white rednecks and doing anything liberal will cause you trouble.
When I was 14, I had a man tried to rape me and the high school principal stopped it but the police made the comment that 14 yr old girls look very mature w/ the makeup and puberty so the male couldn't help himself.
I had a girlfriend who dated a cop and he hit her and I convinced her to go and file charges. We were told to leave the police station or they would find something to charge us with.
Another female, a stripper, showed up at a hotel for a bachlor's party (there was none there) and was gang raped. The police laughed and told her "that is what you get if you show your *** for a living"
and lastly, several females that I know used to go to college at night b/c they were married and had children or jobs during the day and they were sexually assaulted or stalked at a community college in the parking lot. The police told me (I asked about the incidents since I went to college there) that all a woman had to do was shower and the rape would go away and that if a woman didn't want to be raped, she shouldn't be out at night.
I grew up in N. Charleston and just recently moved to a small town in upstate SC. There are both good and bad places to go. There are some streets I don't go down in the daytime. Others no problem. Keep your doors locked and use common sense. The first thing I asked when I moved was what part of town do I need to stay away from. Find a local and ask them. They will tell you! If you didn't get a map get one mark where you intend on going and the best way to get there. If you are going somewhere after dark. It doesn't hurt to drive your route in the daytime. (There are a lot of one way streets downtown!) These can cause you to go where you didn't intend. Also, be careful of what information you give out in general conversation even to people you are with. The not so nice guys/gals are listening and you talking about where you parked the car and what time you are meeting back there isn't the best idea. Get my drift?! ? The battery is nice at night but the high school kids get a little rowdy sometimes. Stay in groups and be aware of your surroundings. DON'T Get someone to take a picture of you with your camera!!! You will out a camera before you know what hit you. If you go to either of the malls in West Ashley or North Charleston BE CAREFUL inside and in the parking lot. There is repeated incidents there.
This doesn't happen that often, but Charleston does feel the brunt of the hurricane season sometimes. Charleston was hit head on by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Charleston has also been brushed by many hurricanes. Dennis, Irene, and Floyd all brushed up against Charleston in 1999, within months of each other.
As anyone who has been to Charleston knows...cheap parking is nearly impossible to find. There is one place that usually is open because tourists do not know about it. When driving down King ST, look for Saks Fifth Ave. After you pass Saks, there is a one way alley to the right. Drive straight o the end. Right in front of you is a large metered parking lot that usually has spaces. Most of the meters dont work anyway, but on Sundays it's free.