Support Us Button Widget

7 things you may not know about King Street

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 4.52.03 PM

Photo by @donniewhitaker

We all know King Street, where parking is like trying to fit 10 pounds of grits into a five pound bag. On any given day, you can spot locals heading to a coffee date, dogs trotting happily by their owners, and visitors eyeing window displays. 🚶

But there’s much more to this bustling design + shopping district than meets the eye. We love learning about our city — especially the historic streets that get us from A to B in style — so we rounded up trivia about Charleston’s famous route.


The corner of King + Wentworth between 1880-1895. | Photo via the University of South Carolina

Here are seven fun facts about King Street:

  1. King Street was named after King Charles II of England. Charles Towne, established in 1670, was also named in honor of the king.
  2. There are sites from the National Register of Historic Places on King Street, including the Radcliffe-Aimar Building at 409 King St. and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 405 King St.
  3. King Street was previously known as The Broad Path, the High Way, and The Broad Road.
  4. It may be Charleston’s main corridor, but King Street is not the city’s actual Main Street — which crosses the West Ashley Bikeway. See it on the map.
  5. Its history spans over 300 years, and it is one of the most historically + architecturally important roads in the city.
  6. In the 1950s, Upper King became a one-way street due to the popularity of shopping in the area. In 1994, it was converted back into a two-way road.
  7. The street underwent a revival in the 1980s, including the construction of Charleston Place Hotel. Today, the hotel is owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro.

For more local expertise, read about the history of Broad Street and the origins of 15 street names in Charleston.

More from CHStoday
We want to know which stars you’ve seen out and about on our beaches and cobblestone streets + the spots you recommend them to check out.
This week — Monday, July 22-Friday, July 26, 2024 — we’re shining a spotlight on the vibrant drink scene in Charleston.
A downtown hotel and restaurant is offering The Flower Experience, for guests looking for a day of luxury + new adventures.
Swiftstay offers its members a place to stay for their weekend travel for the price of a cleaning fee.
Hank’s Seafood Restaurant has a fun spin on National Caviar Day
The Holy City is well represented on the world stage at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics — these are some locals to watch.
The annual 10-day celebration of mayo and tomatoes is the best way to kick off tomato season.
Two historic storehouses have been renovated for mixed-use.
At least a dozen celebrities have been spotted around Charleston, check out which A-Listers have come to see what makes Charleston so special.
We’ve got details and a map full of drink deals: We’ll be highlighting the vibrant beverage scene across Charleston, SC from July 22 to July 26, 2024.