From the moss draped oaks lining the College of Charleston campus to the sailboats anchored in the Ashley River, Harleston Village is a slice of the good life in Charleston, South Carolina. Spanning from Calhoun Street down to Broad Street, Harleston Village occupies half of the peninsula that defines the historic Holy City.
History of Harleston Village
Named for John Harleston who once owned this land, the area was developed starting in 1770. The Harleston’s were active in government during the colonial period and were also known for the race horses they bred – racing at the local track now known as Hampton Park. Flanked by The College of Charleston (itself founded in 1770) and the Medical University of South Carolina (founded in 1824), Harleston Village is immersed in Charleston’s history.
While Harleston Village retains the architecture and beauty of a bygone era, the area is vibrant. An eclectic mix of homeowners, visitors, college students and families stroll the streets and may even find themselves walking upon the lushly renovated grounds of Colonial Lake. This lake and it’s park are home to several events throughout the year, including the lighting of the Christmas tree erected in the center of the lake each year. Harleston Village is also home to Cannon Park, a large green space where residents let their dogs play around and people sit on park benches to enjoy a lunch or packed picnic. A series of columns even mark one side of the park: an ode to the history of the former Thompson Auditorium.
One of the largest homes in the Village is the Wentworth Mansion. Originally built for the Rodgers family, the mansion is now a hotel and one of the most sought after reservations in town. The former carriage house boasts a spa and an award winning restaurant, Circa 1886. The mansion was tastefully preserved, and offers a look into history for those who visit it’s halls.
As Charleton is already known for, there are a variety of eateries dotting the streets of Harleston Village for locals to choose from. Most notable is Caviar and Bananas, a cafe and gourmet grocery that brews locally roasted King Bean coffee and stocks other local items. If you’re a pure coffee aficionado seeking to get some work done on your laptop or to catch up on a great book, Black Tap Coffee is a great place to check out. If you’re paw-ndering a great cafe to spend time with a furry loved one on a sunny day, you will find a pup friendly location in Sixty Bull Cafe with it’s tables lined outside (as well as delicious Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches). Other places to grab a bite include the newly renovated Smith Street Pizza, Cafe Framboise and Queen Street Grocery. Worth crossing the street for is Persimmon Cafe, just across Calhoun Street -be sure to try the basil limeade!
If you find yourself appealing for a slight change of pace, the Charleston City Marina is just steps away from Harleston Village. Should a delicious breakfast (or dinner) and a great view of the water with the ocean breeze on your face be what you’re after, the Variety Store is a great restaurant that will help you get your fix. If you’re just seeking to grab something quick to drink for a guest (or yourself), the Wine Shop offers wines you won’t find elsewhere at great price points.
Charleston is already known for great food. The vast amount of great options in Harleston Village are literally just steps away from your home.
Harleston Village is an ideal Charleston location, with its proximity to the bustle and shopping on King street, as well as the placid tranquility of the Ashley river running along the Village’s border. The things that Charleston is known for – parks, flourishing window boxes on tall Single-houses, sailboats and delightful bites – can all be found in Harleston Village.