As one of the oldest streets in Charleston , the east-west thoroughfare of Broad Street is not only a physical landmark, it’s a mental one as well. The first area of the Charleston peninsula to be settled, the area south of Broad Street—often shortened to the mischievous acronym “SOB” by local wags—features older homes, meandering streets (much of them built on “made land” filling in former wharfs), and a distinctly genteel, laid-back feel.
As you’d expect, it also features more affluent residents, sometimes irreverently referred to as “SOB Snobs.” This heavily residential area has no nightlife to speak of and gets almost eerily quiet after hours, but rest assured that plenty of people live here.
While I highly recommend just wandering among these narrow streets and marveling at the lovingly restored old homes, keep in mind that almost everything down here is in private hands. Don’t wander into a garden or take photos inside a window unless you’re invited to do so (and given Charleston ’s legendary hospitality, that can happen).