Best Places to Live

Charleston, SC

Population: 127,694

Jamie Lewis-Lawson, 36, national corporate account manager for Novel Coworking

How Long I Lived in NYC: 15 years

Where I Moved: Charleston, South Carolina

Why I Left NYC: I visited Charleston once five years ago and fell in love with its charm. My now-husband and I started dating about a year ago and we were doing a long-distance relationship. He offered to move back to NYC after having spent 20+ years in the city, but I made the ultimate decision to start our life in Charleston. I loved the idea of being able to be on a beach or golf course in 10 minutes and still have access to a very active downtown city. 

Rent/Mortgage and Square Footage in NYC: $3,400 a month for a 550-square-foot studio 

Rent/Mortgage and Square Footage in Charleston: $2,450 a month for 1,053 square feet (with a pool, co-working area and gym) 

Most Pleasant Surprise About Relocating: That all of my ”stuff” showed up. I never moved like this before and I was putting everything I owned (with insurance of course) into the hands of a random moving company! Sure enough, it showed up.

Favorite Thing About Charleston: Where do I start? The beaches, the weather, the food scene, the culture, the friendly people (sometimes too friendly), and the fact that I can be in NYC in three hours door-to-door. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm not on vacation. There is just so much to do here.

Thing I Miss Most About NYC: Friends, SoulCycle, food delivery services, bodegas, doormen, good manicures, the fast pace and the convenience of waking everywhere. (But I can tell you this much … I don't miss the subway.) 

Advice I'd Give to Someone Else Thinking of Moving to Charleston: Rent before you buy. There is much more than just downtown Charleston — there is a lot to explore here! Always remember you can't compare anything to NYC. You are leaving NYC for a reason, and if you keep comparing the two cities, you may never be ready. (Besides, NYC will always be there.)  

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