Moving to South Carolina...tell me about it

Alright, so my boyfriends parents rent houses. They have one in S. Carolina. We’re thinking of moving there. But I’m wondering what to expect. I know it’d be more helpful if I knew exactly where in the state we were locating, but I forgot to ask.
I’m really excited. But everyone I talk to says there is a lot of racism. Will this affect me? I’m mexican and my boyfriend is white.
I would like to know how different it is from California (where I reside now). I’ve lived in California all my life.
So…dopers. Tell me all about South Carolina. Temperatures, people, lack of certain foods…etc.
I picture lots of more trees and colder weather.
But of course I’m very uneducated about this “new” state.



I live in Charleston which is on the Coast - I like it quite a bit here. I can’t speak for the ‘in-land’ part of the SC but generally it’s very nice here. The humidity is stifling, no matter what you may think you have now, it’s nothing like here. I can’t speak much of the racism issue, I’m white. When I go to lunch with a close friend (who is black) no one has ever given us an odd look or said anything… YMMV though. The Confederate Flag is still a sore spot to some people but most of us don’t feel impassioned about the debate. The food is great, good Southern, stick-to-your-bones food and there’s Gullah cuisine in the Charleston area too, along with the normal stuff. People here are a little more laid back, from my one visit to California anyway. Things are a bit slower paced but it’s also very relaxed here. Not too much in the way of drugs & gangs - we have small cities. Good Luck! Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions (e-mail in profile). We Dopers can tell you more once we know the area you’ll be moving to… there are 3 Dopers in the Charleston area: myself, skerri & sidle and stofsky in Columbia.

  • the :slight_smile:

I’m in SC. I live on the “Grand Strand”, which officially stretches along the coast from the NC/SC border down to Georgetown (about an hour/hour and a half drive). I moved here 5 years ago with my husband and have been wanting to move for about 4 1/2. My dislike of the area, though, is mostly that I grew up right outside of D.C. and have always lived in or near big metropolitan areas, which this area just isn’t. It has a very small-town, southern feel with about a gazillion tourists, which makes an odd mix. Also, I’m not much of a beach person, so this obviously isn’t my ideal location. My reasons for not wanting to be here are mostly things like that, but a lot of people love it here.

Things people like about this area of South Carolina:

  • excellent golf and over 100 courses in this area alone
  • “small-town” friendly atmosphere (although friendly to your face doesn’t necessarily mean really friendly)
  • decent beaches
  • weather: summer’s in the high 80’s (unless we get a heat wave), winters relatively mild. I’ve spent 75 degree Christmas days walking on the beach, but it does get chilly enough for sweaters

Things people (me) don’t like about this area of SC:

  • tourists (all the usual complaints - rude, can’t drive, etc.)
  • horrible infrastructure; we just don’t have enough big roads leading to interstates and ways to get out, especially in evacuations
  • hurricanes (I really don’t mind this too much, but some people do)
  • no decent shopping, unless you really like factory outlets
  • very little “culture”, unless you count the Ice Capades
  • little to choose from in the way of higher education. This is a big one for me, because I’ve always taken advantage of local universities for extended learning classes and there isn’t very much on offer here except for a local tech college and a small university, neither of which offers a good selection of non-degree classes.
  • it’s difficult to find a professional job; if you’re in the tourist industry, you’re set

You asked about racism. I’m a white American and my husband is a white Australian, so we haven’t encountered any direct racism (obviously), but believe me, it’s not something that’s hidden. I hear plenty of racist remarks and jokes at work and in social situations. For example, we have a state park nearby that a woman at work won’t go to because “all the black people go there.” I told here that they are allowed and she said, “Yeah, but they just hover there.” :rolleyes: The remarks I’ve heard have all been directed toward black people and people who are or look like Middle Easterners (after 9-11). I don’t think I’ve ever heard slurs against Hispanics and we have a fairly large Hispanic population here. I don’t at all buy the local theory that racism is worse up north because everyone “has” to keep it hidden and down here minorities know where they stand, so they’re somehow better off. What a load of crap.

All of this stuff will vary in different areas of South Carolina, which has a few large cities, mountains, cool weather and the gem that is Charleston, but this gives you an idea of the Grand Strand. Even if this isn’t where you move, if you live in SC, you’ll probably come visit at least once.

Good luck!!

Fire Ants!!! Run for your life!!!

Hmmm… Good thing you’re an arachnidlover. You’ll have lots to love in SC!

I think your experience of South Carolina depends greatly on where in the state you are. I moved from Massachusetts to Columbia, SC a few years ago, and only stayed for a year. Growing up in Louisiana, I was excited to move back to the south, but SC was so far removed from the south that I grew up in as to be almost unrecognizable.

Charleston is beautiful and much more interesting and diverse than Columbia. Columbia (Cola) is a very small city, that seems to be struggling with many issues, not the least of which is race relations and a very large class gap.

My husband is American, of Portugese descent, and encountered racism in Cola. He was a marketing professional for 9 years before we moved to Cola for my job, and he was unable to find work in his field. There were very few jobs to even apply to, and the ones he did go to interviews for were eventually filled by “someone who knew someone”. Again, it’s a small town. He ended up working at a couple of different blue collar jobs, including one that only paid $6 an hour and required throwing tires up to a second story in 115 degree heat.

Columbia tends to be hotter than many other parts of the state because it is inland. We were there for two summers, and both were consistently above 90 degrees. One plus is that my allergies got better while we were there because the pollen just can’t survive those temperatures.

There are a few cool places to go for nightlife in Cola, and some fantastic restaurants (I gained 20 lbs there), but we just had a very difficult time assimilating.

On the flip side, Charleston, which we visited several times, was fantastic. We would move there in a heartbeat.

Colder than Northern CA? It REALLY depends on what part of the state you are talking about. SC is vastly different from the Lowcountry to the Grand Strand to the Piedmont and other areas. Different weather patterns, demographics, dialects, and different levels of acceptance. Do you have a town in mind? Or an area? I grew up in Beaufort, in the Sea Islands of the Lowcountry. Gorgeous.

As of this Friday, you can add me to the list of Charleston Dopers (lurkers?). I’m moving there to go to grad school ot MUSC.

I’m so excited!

You can add me to the Charleston lurkers list also. I moved to Charleston 2 years ago and like it here very much. The weather is hot and humid in the summer and very mild the rest of the year. The food her is great especially the seafood. The people are generally friendly and helpful. This is part of the bible belt at least as far as I can tell and in someways religiously extreme to me.

Good Lord! Time for a ChuckDope!

More details later, as I have GOT to get back to orientation!

I lived in Greenville, SC for two years and really don’t have much nice to say about the place. Rather than risk being flamed from Dopers who live there and like it, suffice it to say, if you find out you’re moving to “The Upstate” e-mail me and I’ll spill my guts.

In general, and realize I came to SC from Ft. Lauderdale, I found most everyone I met to be small-minded, bigoted, homophobic and misogynist. With some exceptions, of course, but I was overwhelmed that the majority of people I knew were heinous in terms of lack of tolerance to anything that is “different.” I also understand it’s different at the coastal areas. YMMV

Well, what I’ve heard so far, its sound not too bad.

90 degree weather? HA! Right now this past week its been in the hundreds. But alas, its not HUMID.

When I think about the possible racism, I guess I’m expecting alot more than what I encounter everyday. Confederate flags don’t bother me. In fact I have a Confederate flag zippo that I got from a friend.

The only thing thats got my mind reeling are hurricanes. It never occured to me that they happen there. See how sheltered I am?

Anyway. When I find out more information I’ll be emailing a couple of ya!!

Yep! We need to get Becky & Panther down to AC’s!

Yay! More Dopers. :slight_smile: