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I’On was developed in 1995 as a model of New Urbanism, an urban planning movement that emphasized walkability, shared public spaces, and mixed-used neighborhoods. It's part of Mount Pleasant and gets its unusual name from Jacob Bond I’On, the first mayor of nearby Sullivan’s Island. In all, I’On has about 800 single-family houses, built in a distinct style inspired by Charleston's historic architecture. The residences are densely situated to encourage a sense of community, and all the houses have wide porches (or piazzas, in the local vernacular) that are designed for impromptu gatherings. Details like double chimneys, stately columns, and wooden shutters emphasize the houses’ uniquely Charlestonian aesthetic. Two lakes, meandering canals, a dozen small parks, an outdoor amphitheater, miles of hiking trails, and a town square with shops and dining complete the neighborhood. Many residents also belong to the I’On Club, which has tennis and pickleball courts and three saltwater pools.

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Living in Charleston

Greater Charleston, which includes the city’s suburban neighbor of Mount Pleasant as well as the nearby barrier islands, is the epitome of southern charm. Charleston has a place for every mood, with relaxed beach towns just across the water from historic neighborhoods boasting cobblestone streets and colorful row houses. The subtropical climate of the South Carolina Lowcountry is a heaven for plant lovers, with a distinct fragrance perfumed by the abundant jasmine and gardenia shrubs as well as the smell of the surrounding marshes’ pluff mud. To outsiders, the latter might seem like an odd thing to love—it’s made of decomposing swamp grass and sea life—but Charlestonians know that the oozy goo and its scent is as central to the city’s identity as the famously delicious oysters that live in it. That’s Charleston for you—a city where the locals are passionate about their idiosyncratic and layered history.