Highlights of the French Quarter

Picturesque buildings, brilliant architecture and the fresh river breezes fill the French Quarter neighborhood of lovely Charleston. Once located within the protective city walls, the French Quarter originated in 1680 as part of Charles Towne’s Grande Modell. Once brimming with French merchants, trading posts and shipping port activity, the historic quarter today bustles with theaters, bountiful galleries, delicious eateries, gorgeous homes and families who appreciate the area’s historic panache. Here are just a few of the neighborhoods gems:

Photo by Ron Cogswell
Photo by Ron Cogswell

Schools

Memminger Elementary School of Global Studies: A University Partnership School

  • 20 Beaufain Street
  • (843) 724-7778
  • Memminger Elementary experienced a recent renaissance as a partial magnet school devoted to 336 pre-Kindergarten to 6th grade students. Across the street from the College of Charleston, the school benefits from a partnership program with the college and offers an inquiry-based, “school without walls” program.

Charleston Progressive Academy

  • 382 Meeting St
  • (843) 720-2967
  • Serving more than 350 students in pre-Kindergarten to 6th grade, Charleston Progressive Academy is a countywide magnet school focusing on leadership and fitness. Its programs and achievements earned the school the 2011 and 2012 Palmetto Silver Awards and the designation as a Distinguished Reading School in 2011. In a unique blending of literacy and leadership, the students publish their own books each year.

Restaurants and Shopping

High Cotton

  • 199 East Bay Street
  • (843) 724-3815
  • Evoking a mannerly old Southern ambiance, broad, lackadaisical fans hover over a welcoming dining area in this popular restaurant near the waterfront. Diners savor Lowcountry classics like shrimp and grits, pecan pie and local favorites of fresh seafood while thrilling to the rousing live jazz music.

Kaminsky’s

  • 78 North Market Street
  • (843) 853-8270
  • Chocolate cake, coconut cream pie, toll house pie, cobbler and other signature treats are featured at this favorite dessert restaurant. Cakes, cookies, pies and sundaes are prepared using fresh ingredients and a little Southern flair.

Parks

Waterfront Park

  • 1 Vendue
  • Visitors to Waterfront Park are greeted with soft, river breezes, an impressive and enchanting pineapple fountain and incredible views of Ravenel Bridge, Castle Pinckney and Fort Sumter from the floating dock. Running alongside the Cooper River, the park presents a shady, oak tree-filled area with plenty of benches and a breathtaking palmetto esplanade winding along the waterfront.

Washington Square

  • 80 Broad St.
  • At the southwestern corner of the French Quarter, Washington Square is one of the neighborhood’s most beloved parks. Filled with mature live oak trees, beautiful ironwork, rich architecture and ample benches, the park is a favorite for enjoying the views of Charleston City Hall and other historic buildings.

Living the Lowcountry Life

With the area’s convenient downtown waterfront location, soothing river breezes and abundant entertainment, the French Quarter is an ideal neighborhood for families, young professionals and retirees to enjoy a refined, Lowcountry lifestyle. Here, homes range from charming cottages and engaging waterfront condominiums to grand, historic residences. Whatever your lifestyle, you can find a lovely home in the French Quarter.

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