The city limits have expanded across the Ashley River from the peninsula, encompassing the majority of West Ashley as well as James Island and some of Johns Island.
The city limits also have expanded across the Cooper River, encompassing Daniel Island and the Cainhoy area.
North Charleston blocks any expansion up the peninsula, and Mount Pleasant occupies the land directly east of the Cooper River.
There is a submerged river delta off the mouth of the harbor, and the Cooper River is deep, affording a good location for a port.
Charleston has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with mild winters, hot, humid summers, and significant rainfall all year long.
Summer is the wettest season; almost half of the annual rainfall occurs from June to September in the form of thundershowers. Winter is short and mild, and is characterized by occasional rain.
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The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, or, as is locally expressed, "where the Cooper and Ashley Rivers come together to form the Atlantic Ocean." It moved to its present location on Oyster Point in 1680 from a location on the west bank of the Ashley River known as Albemarle Point.
By 1690, Charles Town was the fifth-largest city in North America, (and a 2014 estimate of 130,113).
The population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties, was counted by the 2015 estimate at 727,689 – the third-largest in the state – and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants and mannerly people, Charleston is a popular tourist destination and has received a large number of accolades, including "America's Most Friendly [City]" by Travel + Leisure in 2011 and in 20 by Condé Nast Traveler, The city proper consists of six distinct areas: the Peninsula/Downtown, West Ashley, Johns Island, James Island, Daniel Island, and the Cainhoy Peninsula.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 127.5 square miles (330.2 km The old city is located on a peninsula at the point where, as Charlestonians say, "The Ashley and the Cooper Rivers come together to form the Atlantic Ocean." The entire peninsula is very low, some is landfill material, and as such, frequently floods during heavy rains, storm surges, and unusually high tides.