81 of 100
BACK NEXT
81. Charleston, S.C.
Population: 103,756
Pro: Lively startup climate
Con: Long drive from large metro areas

A travel destination that enjoys top billing from taste-makers, Charleston attracts a well-educated and wealthy crowd from all over the country. As a result, entrepreneurs catering to them - such as those in financial planning, interior decorating, and catering - thrive.

But the city has also been seeking to grow in industries such as aerospace, biosciences, and digital media. Business advisory programs such as ThinkTEC facilitate networking for IT-based firms network. FastTracSC assists small businesses through several phases of their growth, from drawing up a business plan to securing real estate and hiring; its "new ideas" competition awards $100 to $5,000 to the best startup concepts. In addition, the Tate Center for Entrepreneurship, operating out of the College of Charleston, runs an incubator to nurture new businesses with the South Carolina Research Authority. That's a lot of resources for a mid-sized city - and the numbers show it. New businesses grew from 15,442 in 2004 to 16,092 in 2005, an increase of 4.2%, according to census figures.

Golf, tennis, and water sports are favorite pastimes here. Food lovers can choose from plenty of restaurants serving up great Low Country cuisine, and design enthusiasts will love viewing the architectural gems south of Broad Street downtown. -Peter Galuszka.

Interactive map: Charleston, S.C.
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Charleston, S.C.


NEXT: 82. Fayetteville, Ark.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.