Charming (and Livable) Historic Districts of the Southeast

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Since moving to the southeastern U.S., we’ve spent some time exploring our new home town and some surrounding areas. We purchased a home in the historic district of Wilmington, North Carolina and absolutely love the brick streets, historic homes, old churches and synagogues, mansions, and central business district. Our town offers historic walking tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, ghost tours, and even a Hollywood walking tour (Wilmington has been featured in many films, including Blue Velvet, and TV shows including Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill of WB fame). Wilmington gets many visitors to the area for its vibrant historic district along the Cape Fear River and it’s proximity to the beaches of Pleasure Island and Wrightsville Beach.

We’ve traveled up and down the coast a bit and discovered other historic districts in the southeastern U.S. that are worth mentioning:

Charleston, S.C.

OK, Charleston is more than worth mentioning. With a history dating back to the 1700’s and the first European settlers to America, Charleston is a city awash in history which you can see in its streets, its buildings, its homes, and its waterfront. A familiar site in Charleston are the horse drawn carriage tours carting visitors around with inspired and captivating tour guides. This is a great way to learn about the history of the city and catch glimpses of the town you may not have discovered on your own. Guidebooks with walking tour guides are another great way to explore the city and find some hidden gems. In Charleston, you’ll find history, culture, high society, college, art, and design students and sensibilities, amazing restaurants, unique shops and a completely engaging atmosphere.

Here’s a little video showing some of the homes and architecture in Charleston’s historic district:


Georgetown, S.C.

This is a town we discovered while driving down to Charleston from Wilmington. From 17, it offers very little appeal and can even be off-putting with the huge paper mills at work on the waterfront. However, follow the signs to the historic district from 17, and you’ll discover a quaint downtown area with shops, restaurants, and a really great boardwalk along the river. This was a surprising gem of a town and we now stop there every time we pass through the area.

Some footage of downtown Georgetown:

Charlottesville, V.A.

Best known as the hometown of the University of Virginia (UVA) as well as Thomas Jefferson’s home of Monticello and James Madison’s home of Montpelier, Charlottesville has a wonderful history and a beautiful location at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It has a wonderful arts community with lots of festivals and museums to showcase their beautiful location and their historically-rooted, forward-thinking attitudes. We came here for a concert at John Paul Jones Arena on the campus of UVA and were excited to explore the town and it’s history.

We’re excited to do more exploring throughout our area as time goes on. One thing we know for certain is that there’s no shortage of historic districts in the southeastern U.S. and most of them offer their own unique blend of charm involving history, arts, and people.

Anna Platz is an Editor at, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at My Google Profile+

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