Why is Charleston the place to be?

Hmm. Well, that depends on what you mean by “be” (not to go all existential). Does it mean simply hunkered down somewhere? Is it a phrase cut short, where we are missing a verb? Or does it imply one’s very identity?

Before we all get the urge to put on a tweed sportcoat and smoke a pipe, let’s just take it one by one.

Charleston is not, in fact, a bad place to be hunkered down. Its landscape – from the steady roll of waves over the shore, to the breezes off the harbor, to the stillness of the marsh – provides stunning tranquility. The climate is nothing short of dreamy. And Lowcountry comfort food is the order of any day. But to be honest with you, to “be” in Charleston is often not an idle state. Because there’s always a gorgeous scene to take in, we get ourselves out there to witness it. Because we are pretty well spoiled by Mother Nature, we allow her to order us outdoors for some exercise. And because we are fed from a robust Southern kitchen, we are delightfully fueled for coastal recreation. 

So now that we find ourselves seeping into that verb territory, let’s consider: What is it you would “be doing” in Charleston? Working? Learning? Playing? Raising a family? Take your pick, as the region has a strong economy, exceptional places of higher education, boundless opportunities for fun from athletics to arts, and residential communities masterfully-planned around schools and parks. But the other, perhaps more peripheral, things you could be doing in Charleston are pretty darn great, too: boating, surfing, dancing, shopping, swimming, running, fishing… heck, even eating and driving are more fun here. 

However wonderful it is to find yourself physically situated in Charleston, and then engaging in all the activities of your life here, after a relatively short time you achieve that best form of “be:” to be a local. You will look around you, and perhaps wonder how you were lucky enough to make the kind of place people dream of visiting your home. Sure, you may have been born in the Midwest, raised in the Rockies, and educated in New England. But when you throw roots here, you become a new native. Your blood thins to accommodate the July heat. Despite your best efforts, you accept “y’all” into your vernacular. And you develop a taste for just about anything pulled from saltwater. You are a Charlestonian, and that is an enviable thing to be.