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Frankie811

Charleston, Safe city?

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I'm currently planning a trip to Charleston, SC in the Fall and I've been searching the internet for information about the city. I went to eopinions.com and read what visitors to the city had to say. Most of the reviews were positive, but one disturbed me. One female visitor described Charleston as a dangerous city surrounded by ghettos. Is this true? She further says that the downtown area is lined by bars frequented by rowdy drunken college students. True/false? She goes on to say that outsiders/northerners are not welcome. Well, after reading this I began to re-think my visit and started looking at other cities like Virginia Beach. Your responses will make my mind up.

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I'm currently planning a trip to Charleston, SC in the Fall and I've been searching the internet for information about the city. I went to eopinions.com and read what visitors to the city had to say. Most of the reviews were positive, but one disturbed me. One female visitor described Charleston as a dangerous city surrounded by ghettos. Is this true? She further says that the downtown area is lined by bars frequented by rowdy drunken college students. True/false? She goes on to say that outsiders/northerners are not welcome. Well, after reading this I began to re-think my visit and started looking at other cities like Virginia Beach. Your responses will make my mind up.

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LOL Yes I saw that reply on the internet too. You'll be fine. Charleston lives off of its tourism, and you should have no problems when you come to the city. There are ghetto neighborhoods that surround the city, but they're only more visible because of the size and shape of downtown Charleston. There can be drunk college students, but for the most part its not rowdy, or an interference for the tourists, she must have just had a bad experience. But all in all its pretty much a safe area.

Charleston has its crime, but its limited for the most part to other areas, and the tourist part of Downtown, where you will be, is about as safe as youre gonna get in any city. Its probably a little more safe than your average city. Outsiders and Northerners are very welcomed. You'll have a great time, enjoy yourself and you'll be fine.

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Charleston has often been ranked as the most hospitable city in the country. Don't let one opinion sway you, it is much safer than most cities. Unless you socialize with drug dealers and seek them out, you won't have any problems. I'm sure someone somewhere has had a bad experience in Virginia Beach too.

As long as you don't verbally put down Southerners, no one will care if you are from the North.

The ghettos that the person refers too are present in any big city. They are more visible in Charleston than a lot of cities because you pass through them to get to the core of downtown. However, 90% of that is on an elevated interstate. You will mostly see only the rooftops of such areas as you wiz by.

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This reminds me of another example of a city who's reputation preceeds it. Washington DC is known as a high crime area, and the murder capitol of the US. However the tourist areas, (mall, monuments, etc) seem very safe to me. Other than a proflieration of homeless those areas are practically utopian.

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Just to be fair to reality, Charleston has been ranked for 12 years in a row the most friendly/hospitable city in America.

BUT, at the same time, it has also been consistently ranked in the Top 25 Most Dangerous Cities in America. Now just like the person above me said, that has little to nothing at ALL to do with the area that you will be in.

The tourist part of Charleston, which is practically everything North Of Calhoun Street is about as safe an area you will get in any city, like Donny James said. You wouldnt want to miss out on the chance to visit Charleston because of one bad experience someone else may have had. As long as you dont go actively seeking out trouble, and stay mainly North of Calhoun Street, you will never even see this element that the young lady on eopinions mentioned. The city of Charleston is very separated when it comes to these areas. You should have no problems at all.

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I think you mean SOUTH of Calhoun.

I have never heard of Charleston making that Top 25 listing, myself. Do you have a website or something that refers to that? Also, is that for the whole metro area or Charleston proper?

I have some figures from the mid-90's that show Charleston's crime level to be quite low, lower than Greenville and way below Columbia, particularly for violent crimes. If Charleston has such a high crime rate, why have so many cities tried to hire it's police chief? Prior to Chief Greenberg being hired, the crime rate there was high from what I've read.

One other thing to keep in mind, Southern cities tend to dominate crime ratings, due in part to the hotter climate.

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Another thing Ive noticed regarding the crime statistics, is that Charleston declines to be included in the rankings alot also. Thats why you dont see it on many of the previous year rankings.

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Not to offend anyone, but isnt Charleston one of the biggest reasons why SC was the 5th dangerous state in the U.S.?

as of 2004 http://www.morganquitno.com/dang04.htm

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I do not have the numbers on me, but as I recall, virtually all of SC's cities have high crime rates well above the national average--that includes Columbia and Greenville along with Charleston. For property crime, Myrtle Beach is literally one of the worst in the country. It is not a Charleston problem. It is a statewide problem.

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Charleston's Chief of Police is nationally known, and they have an excellent police department, even though it may be understaffed.

I have gone to Charleston numerous times, and I have never felt unsafe. Like everyone else has said, if you stay in the tourist areas below Calhoun, you will be fine. Even above Calhoun isnt that bad until you get more towards Cannon and Spring Streets.

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Also, you will find alot of people try to separate North Charleston as being a different place, because theyre technically two different cities. But realistically, any real Charlestonian will tell you, its all one big city. They just happen to have 2 different mayors.

The area of Charleston where most of the crime takes place is not where all of the tourist attractions are. Charleston is still pretty darn safe regarding that matter.

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All of your links listed North Charleston only, or the Charleston-North Charleston metro area. Apparently North Chas. has a high crime rate that brings the entire metro numbers up.

If you call North Charleston and Charleston one city, then you have to do the same for Newark/New York, Gary/Chicago, Minneapolis/St.Paul or any other pair of cities that lie within a mile of each other. You can live in Charleston and be miles from North Charleston, or you can be just a short drive away.

Also, North Chas. and Charleston not only have different mayors, they have different police forces, from the chief all the way down to the cop on the beat. They have different budgets, equipment, etc., they are entirely separate.

The figures that I referenced earlier were not just murder, but other violent crimes, such as rape too.

In short, these crime figures mean nothing. Your immediate surroundings are the area one needs to be aware of. I'm sure there are perfectly safe neighborhoods in North Chas (or any large city) and perfectly unsafe ones in Charleston (or any large city).

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Parts of what you said are right and parts of what you said are wrong. North Charleston and Charleston do have different police, mayors, etc...

But just like the guy said, any Charlestonian will tell you that theyre never viewed as two different cities. North Charleston is simply a section of Charleston further up. Its still Charleston, and in the general scheme of things its always seen that way. Every from Charleston will tell you that.

This is VERY different from Newark/New York, Gary/Chicago, etc. Extremely different.

Charleston is one city. Yes Mount Pleasant has its own mayor, so does North Charleston. At one time so did James Island. But still, nobody sees it as that, and if you live here, you'll know that when speaking of CHARLESTON, that includes all the separate parts like North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, the Islands, West Ashley etc...

When youre talking about Chicago, youre not talking about Gary, Indiana. When you talk about New York, youre not talking about Newark, New Jersey.

However, to give you a better example. When you talk about St. Louis, that DOES include East St. Louis, because East St. Louis is a part of the city. It just happens to be in Illinois, and a separate entity. But Charleston is the same way. North Charleston is simply a part of Charleston. Never considered a "different city".

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However, to give you a better example. When you talk about St. Louis, that DOES include East St. Louis, because East St. Louis is a part of the city. It just happens to be in Illinois, and a separate entity. But Charleston is the same way. North Charleston is simply a part of Charleston. Never considered a "different city".

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Different municipalities have different police forces, each with its own charateristics. Certaily crime may not be affected by city borders, but the response to it would be.

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I'm currently planning a trip to Charleston, SC in the Fall and I've been searching the internet for information about the city. I went to eopinions.com and read what visitors to the city had to say. Most of the reviews were positive, but one disturbed me. One female visitor described Charleston as a dangerous city surrounded by ghettos. Is this true? She further says that the downtown area is lined by bars frequented by rowdy drunken college students. True/false? She goes on to say that outsiders/northerners are not welcome. Well, after reading this I began to re-think my visit and started looking at other cities like Virginia Beach. Your responses will make my mind up.

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I just spent three days in Charleston with my wife and two small children. It was my very first visit to the city; however, I'd have to agree that everything seemed quite tourst-oriented.

We pretty much stuck to the area South of Calhoun Street and the South Carolina Aquarium/Aquarium Wharf area. Primarily, we stuck to the tourist areas of King Street, Meeting Street, Market Street, East Bay, the Battery, and the Aquarium.

The only word of warning I have is this: If you find heavy or constant rain, stay away from North and South Market Streets unless you're a strong swimmer :rofl:

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Ive been to both Virginia Beach and Charleston.

Charleston has the best hospitality, restaurants, bars and history out of all the east coast cities. A lot of what to do south of Calhoun Street is all walking distance. Only the beach requires driving out to Folly or Sullivans Island. If checking out the Plantations, most of them are easy drives to get to leaving the city.

Not to bash VA Beach by any means, most of the city is not touristy but just the immediate boardwalk area of where US 58 ends at the beach. Chances are, you will have to do a lot of driving to reach other destinations within the independant city whether its dining, museums, entertainment, etc. The area is also easy to get lost if the person driving has absolutely no sense of direction.

If possible, It would not hurt to try out both Chas. and VA Beach to come with a better consensus with the party you are with going to both places.

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the problem with charleston is that you have to go through the ghetto to get in to the touristy part. other than that Charleston is pretty neat.

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Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread. Your input has been welcome. And yes, I am still coming down in the Fall, where I hope it'll be cooler. :) I suppose if you were coming to my city, or to any other city, you'd have to be warned about area to avoid. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't traveling to Dodge City.

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