12 Things You Only Understand If You Grew Up in Charleston, SC

Charleston is home to many things historic, beautiful, and picturesque. With our classic Southern cuisine, plethora of churches and gorgeous scenery, growing up here is quite the experience. Without further ado, here are twelve things that you only understand if you grew up in Charleston, SC!

The thought of driving downtown right after you get your license is terrifying.

With the endless number of one-way streets, skinny roads, impatient drivers and lack of inexpensive parking, the thought of tackling it on your own for the first time is enough to make you give up fantastic shopping opportunities and trendy cafes until you build up the confidence to face the monster that is driving downtown.

Having sand permanently in your car is inevitable.

Growing up here, beach days are a regular activity. No matter how many times you swear, “I’m going to deep clean this car” after you and your friends leave sand residue all over the floors, it never gets out every grain. And if somehow you do figure out how to make it look brand new, you’re just going to get more sand in it within the week, so it becomes a lost cause.

Fort Sumter was everyone’s favorite field trip in elementary school (including the ferry ride to the fort).

Fort Sumter is a sea fort in Charleston that was built after the War of 1812 and is best known for having been the setting of two battles in the American Civil War. This is a popular field trip in Charleston for elementary students, and includes a tour of the fort where you can see what’s left of the protective walls and visit the restored first-tier gun rooms. It is only accessible via a thirty-minute ferry ride, which allowed plenty of time to enjoy a fun boat ride with all of your classmates.

Towne Centre was the hot spot in middle school to meet up, walk around, and never buy anything.

Everyone would be promptly dropped off by their mom or dad, walk around aimlessly and undoubtedly annoy all of the employees. Every now and then you’d buy ice cream from Carvel or TCBY if you were feeling crazy.


You’re either a Clemson Tiger or a Carolina Gamecock.

And you better defend your team until the bitter end.

The smell of pluff mud means you’re home.

After living here for a while, pluff mud loses its harsh aroma. So, once you get home and haven’t been around it for a good amount of time, it’s a relaxing and reassuring reminder that you are home.

Nothing makes you feel more local than walking the Arthur Ravenel Bridge on a Sunday morning and then going to brunch afterwards.

Feeling the mid-morning sun on your face as you leisurely walk the bridge is indescribable. More often than not, it is promptly followed by brunch at Page’s Okra Grill, Mozzo’s Deli & Bakery, Collective Coffee, or another one of our famously tasty restaurants.

Prom pictures are always taken in front of some body of water.

Whether your prom house was right by the beach or you stopped at Pitt Street Bridge, The Battery or Waterfront Park, everyone has a body of water in their prom pictures. It’s basic, but it really does make for good pictures.

Every church claims to be the oldest in the country.

Known as “The Holy City,” Charleston makes it easy to find a church around every corner… and almost all of them think that they were first.

Most people who grow up in Charleston end up going to College of Charleston because it’s too hard to leave this city.

Growing up in this city really does make it hard to just up and leave right after high school. Located in Historic Downtown Charleston, the College of Charleston was named the most beautiful campus in America according to Travel + Leisure, which adds a layer of pride and desire to spend at least four more years enjoying its beauty.

College of Charleston

Summers are spent on the water. No exceptions.

If you don’t have a boat, you have no choice but to befriend someone who does. Summers are for tubing, cruising down the Intracoastal Waterway, and making a day out of going to Capers Island.

Even if you see them almost every night, a Charleston sunset still makes your jaw drop.

The gradual blend from a beautiful light blue to a gradient pink/orange is gorgeous enough to make anyone stop for a minute and just enjoy the sight.

While there are plenty more wonderful things that make growing up in Charleston, South Carolina a unique experience, those are my top twelve. I wouldn’t trade my childhood in this city for anything.

Know anyone else that grew up in Charleston, SC? Tag them in the comments!

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