I am from Maryland but have vacationed in Charleston several times over the past 15 years. The area has an appeal and charm that keep you wanting to come back. Truth is, my experiences have all been good there. People are flawlessly polite and kind, unlike many other places. They are interested in who you are and take the time to talk. The city itself is beautiful as are the outlying areas and the cost of living isn't too bad. It's full of history if you like that and natural beauty - tons of flowers, trees, birds - it's a delight. On the flip side, there are some surprisingly ugly, run-down, dangerous areas, especially in North Charleston. Crime is shockingly high in those parts. There is also a very real conservative bent that is a bit too far right for my tastes. It's best to avoid politics around here if you don't see things that way. And finally, I think the oddest thing about this place is that, for all its charm, grace and well-mannered living, there's a surprising amount of "dirt" in people's personal lives that goes on behind the scenes that most of the world never sees but if you stick around long enough, you'll see and hear things about people that are shocking. Everything is kept under wraps though and appearances are always kept in place! I realize no place is perfect though, I've yet to find one, and overall, I like Charleston a little, quirky flaws and all. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone back so many times. I do recommend it as a great place to visit although I have to admit, I don't know what it is to actually live there, since I never did.