Charleston LGBTQ City Guide

Charleston is one of the oldest cities in South Carolina, and certainly among the most beautiful. This oceanside city is full of southern charm. It has a rich history and a forward-thinking future, and it’s known for being an artsy, friendly, eclectic coastal town with plenty to see and do. Even better, it has a thriving and welcoming LGBTQ community. If you’re thinking of finding your next home in Charleston, you’ll find plenty about it to love!

A Look at Charleston's History

Without question, Charleston is a city rich with history and deep roots – in fact, those roots stretch back to as long ago as 1670. In 1663, King Charles II of England awarded the Carolina territory to eight of his friends, who had helped him to regain the throne after being in exile. In 1670, the expedition sailed across the Atlantic and established the first settlement, “Charles Town,” today, “Charleston”. While it was founded as a very small town, it grew quickly, eventually becoming one of the five largest cities in the country. Although it is no longer one of the nation’s largest cities, it is still a thriving, diverse, and unique city with so much to offer for all who choose to call it home.

A Few Fun Facts About Charleston

  • Charleston was the fourth largest city in Colonia America, and also the wealthiest.
  • Charleston was home to the first public college, museum, and playhouse in the United States.
  • In its early days, Charleston was the frequent target of pirate attacks. In fact, the notorious pirate Blackbeard was known for attacking ships that tried to enter its harbor.

Read more fun facts about Charleston here.

Charleston’s LGBTQ Community                                  

Charleston is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

PFLAG Charleston

PFLAG Charleston is Charleston’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

We Are Family

We Are Family is an LGBTQ youth community center in Charleston dedicated to providing support, services, and resources to LGBTQ youth in the greater Charleston area up to the age of 24. The mission of the community center is to provide a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQ youth of Charleston and to provide encouragement, education, and opportunities for connection to the LGBTQ community living in the greater Charleston area.

What's the Weather Like in Charleston?

Those who live in Charleston can expect short and fairly mild winters, hot and humid summers, and very pleasant and mild fall and spring seasons. Highs in July typically reach to around 90ºF, while lows in January usually drop to around 39ºF. Charleston receives 48 inches of rain, on average, per year, and no snow.

Can’t-Miss Events in Charleston

Charleston Pride

Charleston Pride is Charleston’s annual LGBTQ pride celebration, and it’s one event that you won’t want to miss. This annual celebration includes family-friendly entertainment, plenty of vendors, speakers, excellent performances, delicious food, and plenty of opportunities to meet friends and have fun!

Low Country Oyster Festival

The Low Country Oyster Festival is a very popular Charleston tradition and one that you'll definitely want to put on your calendar if you want to literally taste some of Charleston's rich history and unique culinary traditions.

The Best Neighborhoods in Charleston

Unlike some larger cities that tend to have one specific “gayborhood,” the LGBTQ community in Charleston calls many wonderful neighborhoods home, although the Park Circle area is certainly one of the most popular. Park Circle is known for its beautiful, upscale, well-kept homes, many of which were built in the 1950s, making them old enough to have a unique historic feel, but not yet old enough to need major renovation.  The median sale price of homes over the last year in Park Circle was $364,500.

Riverland Terrace is another very popular LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood in Charleston. This neighborhood is characterized by charming older homes and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It is located only ten minutes west of the downtown area and boasts beautiful tree-lined streets. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Riverland Terrace is approximately $399,000.

Arts and Entertainment

Spoleto Festival

Charleston is a city that loves the arts. This is evident all year long, but especially when the city hosts the 17-day Spoleto Festival, an extremely popular art festival featuring more than a hundred performances by different artists in a variety of disciplines. It’s one event that every art lover will want to put on their calendar.

North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center

The North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center is a wonderful venue for enjoying all kinds of entertainment. Whether you enjoy sporting events, Broadway musicals, concerts, stand-up comedy, or all of the above, you’ll find it here.

Parks and Recreation

Folly Beach

Charleston is an oceanside city, and that means that residents and visitors alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to check out one of its most popular beaches, Folly Beach. Whether you enjoy looking for shells, splashing in the waves, relaxing in the sand, or all of the above, you can find plenty of opportunities for fun at Folly.

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is a very popular gathering place in the heart of the city. Offering beautiful views of Charleston Harbor, Charleston’s iconic Pineapple Fountain, plenty of beautiful flowers, and the nearby City Market for shopping and dining, it’s a great place to enjoy a beautiful Charleston day.

Charleston Nightlife

Dudley's on Ann

Dudley’s on Ann is a high-energy LGBTQ nightspot with a lively dance floor, friendly crowds, great music, and plenty of opportunities for having fun.


BLU is a gay-friendly restaurant with a beautiful location on Folly Beach. It specializes in fresh local seafood and offers plenty of options. It's definitely a must-try spot when out for a fun night in the city.

Contact a Charleston Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Charleston, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Charleston, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Charleston gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!