North Charleston is the 3rd largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina with incorporated areas in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. On June 12, 1972 the city of North Charleston incorporated and was the 9th largest city in South Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, North Charleston has a population of 97,471 with a current area of more than 76.6 square miles (198 km2). As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, North Charleston is included within the Charleston – North Charleston – Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston urban area. The city is considered one of the state's major industrial cities and it is the state's major retail center.
Charleston International Airport and the Charleston Air Force Base provide commercial and military air service for the region. The airport currently serves more than 1.1 million passengers annually and 14.9 million pounds of freight with a total of 108,438 flights. Commercial airlines include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Express, and US Airways. Airtran previously provided service to the International Airport but ceased on December 3, 2009, citing concerns that the route was no longer "economically viable". Southwest Airlines began local service March 13, 2011.
Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, the CSX System and the South Carolina Railroad Commission provide passenger and freight rail service in North Charleston.
North Charleston is served by a bus system, operated by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). The majority of the city is served by regional fixed route buses which are also equipped with bike racks as part of the system's Rack & Ride program.
Rural parts of North Charleston and the Tri-County metropolitan area are served by a different bus system, operated by Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Rural Transportation Management Association (BCD-RTMA).
The South Carolina State Ports Authority has four intermodal facilities, one of which is located in North Charleston. A new intermodal facility is being built on the former Charleston Naval Base. Each facility handles container, bulk, and break bulk cargo. With more than 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of warehouse and storage space, the port terminals can accommodate more than 17 vessels at a time. Veterans Terminal is designed mainly for bulk/break bulk cargo.
Museums, historical sites, and other attractions:
- North Charleston Terminal
- Veterans Terminal
- The H.L. Hunley Museum is located at the old Naval Base in North Charleston. The Civil War era submarine, recovered from the ocean floor August 8, 2000, is undergoing restoration and examination. There are scores of artifacts that have been recovered from the submarine on display. The Hunley bears the distinction of being the first successful combat submarine in the World.
- The Greater Charleston Naval Memorial is located at Riverfront Park on the old Navy Yard. It features sculptures of the different types of ships built and serviced at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, and also features full-size replicas of the Lone Sailor and Homecoming sculptures.
- The American LaFrance Fire Museum & Educational Center is located between Tanger outlet mall and the North Charleston Coliseum. The museum is filled with one of a kind and antique vehicles and fire equipment (some from as early as the mid 18th century) and utilizes multiple interactive displays.