Situated between the bustling South Windermere Center and busy Highway 17, South Windermere—also called Old Windermere—is a charming nook of West Ashley filled mostly with ranch-style family homes built in the mid-1900s. Grand live oaks, quiet streets, and a select few marsh-front lots make the neighborhood highly desirable by couples and families of any age. And as one of the Holy City’s first suburbs, it’s one of the most historic areas outside of the Charleston peninsula.
WHO LIVES HERE: Rife with single-family homes and located in a favorable school district, the area is sought after by families looking for a safe, quiet, historic neighborhood outside of downtown. While most properties are modest—in keeping with midcentury architecture—some waterfront homes are more spacious and grand, and a few newer-built townhouses pepper the area, as well.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK: Part of Old Windermere’s appeal is its walkability to the many restaurants and shops of South Windermere Center. Built in the 1950s on land that was once a cabbage farm, the shopping center was one of Charleston’s first, and remains thriving today. Earth Fare—an organic grocery store—offers yummy grab-and-go pizzas, salads, and hot plates, and Normandy Farms serves up tasty breakfast and lunch, as well. Osaka Asian Bistro and Yo Bo Cantina Fresca are noteworthy; our favorite eatery in the area though is Three Little Birds Cafe, a breakfast hotspot that’s perfect for a long, lazy weekend brunch. (Paper-covered tables and crayons keep the kiddos busy throughout the whole meal!)
WHAT TO DO: Another chief highlight of the neighborhood is its proximity to the West Ashley Greenway—a 8.25-mile running and biking trail that begins at South Windermere Center and runs southbound parallel to Highway 17. As you move, you’ll spot marsh-scapes and wildlife; the further you go, the more wild the environs. The exercise options continue at South Windermere Center: there’s Holy Cow Yoga and Barre Evolution (plus Urban Nirvana spa and hair salon for another form of self care). If shopping is more your style, South Windermere Center has you covered, too. From a boutique pet shop (Dolittle’s) and shoe store (Phillips Shoes) to women’s and men’s clothing shops aplenty and antique home decor (Antiques of S. Windermere), there’s something for everyone. The West Ashley Library is a favorite destination for families, as well.