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Millie Sims works on a painting at the Vault on King.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in the Boroughs

Millie Sims works on a painting at the Vault on King.
  • By Shani Gilchrist
  • Photos by Alice Keeney
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The Boroughs
Charleston, S.C.
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The Boroughs are the best of Charleston’s soul. The name indicates a grouping together of Cannonborough/Elliotborough, Radcliffeborough, Ansonborough and Mazyk-Wraggborough — each a small village with distinct personality. In these areas, it’s possible to find remnants of what life was really like in Charleston during the 18th and 19th centuries rather than the rosy, glossed-over versions found on the main tourist track that often discount unpleasant histories. Locals love living in the Boroughs for their walkability and ease of access to shopping, dining and green spaces.

Meet Shani Gilchrist

Shani has lived in Charleston at full- and part-time intervals since 2015. She was born in a Wisconsin town located exactly halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, but moved to rural South Carolina with her family at age 10. She’s been trying to find the balance between country girl and city girl ever since.

Want to get in touch?

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The Boroughs

Aiken-Rhett House
Located at the end of a residential, village-like street, the house is fascinating because it has been left just as it was found. The structure and contents have remained untouched since the 19th century, so tours provide a more accurate picture of life for urban residents and enslaved people of the time.
Aiken-Rhett House, 48 Elizabeth St. Charleston, S.C. 29403
Zero Restaurant and Bar
Dinners in this intimate space can be rather pricey but are a gastronomic treat. You can learn to make them yourself through one of Zero George’s popular cooking classes. The bar scene is sophisticated and lively — an ideal spot for before or after a show at the nearby Gaillard Center.
Zero Restaurant and Bar, 0 George St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
The Hidden Countship
This boutique is truly a hidden treasure. Located in an alley off the main drag of King Street, the store provides all sorts of European and Italian goods to dress the table, give as gifts or keep as a memento of your time in the Holy City.
The Hidden Countship, 21 Burns Lane Charleston, S.C. 29401
The Borough Houses
These are all that’s left of what was once a thriving and close-knit African American neighborhood. They’re a stone’s throw from what was once Gadsden’s Wharf — where slave ships came to port — and the future site of the International African American Museum, which is set to open in 2021.
The Borough Houses, 35 Calhoun St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
The Vault on King
A blend of an art gallery and design studio with 3,600 square feet of space, this all-female team of designers and curators has become known for its fresh eye for a range of artwork and interior products.
The Vault on King, 284 King St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
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Shani Gilchrist
Shani has lived in Charleston at full- and part-time intervals since 2015. She was born in a Wisconsin town located exactly halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago, but moved to rural South Carolina with her family at age 10. She’s been trying to find the balance between country girl and city girl ever since.
Alice Keeney
Alice is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post. She has called Charleston home for almost 20 years, loving its small-town, community feel in a city setting. When she’s not biking with her husband to restaurants, visiting parks with her daughters and seeing friendly, familiar faces along the way, Alice enjoys exploring her neighborhood, North Central/Hampton Park/Wagener Terrace.
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