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Overview of Charleston

Those searching for the perfect small town will find that Charleston, Illinois, is the ideal place to call home. With a charming downtown area, a great location, a large university and a business-friendly environment, Charleston is a great town to raise a family, attend college or settle down.

With a range of residents, from students and entrepreneurs to professionals, there is a place in this city for everyone. Charleston apartments for rent can be found all over the community, and there is a rental property to suit every budget.

Living in Charleston, IL

Charleston was established in 1826, and has exemplified simple Midwestern living since then. The city became the seat of county government shortly after it was founded, and railroad expansion in the area brought more people to the town through the 1850s. A small college, created in 1895, developed into Eastern Illinois University (EIU), a public school that helps Charleston compete as an economic force in the area. 

Today, Charleston cannot be dismissed as just another college town. With a population of 21,852, according to July 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data, it is a lively city with lots of opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. The city's economy is supported by the vast farms that surround it, and these farms produce millions of bushels of corn and soybeans every year.

Those looking for Charleston rentals will find that this community has a great deal to offer and its small size gives it a charming, small-town atmosphere.

Charleston Work and Study

Eastern Illinois University is one of state's largest public colleges. The school has a strong history in the Charleston community. With more than 11,000 students, EIU is full of diversity. A variety of degree programs, a range of student activities and multiple sports teams make this school a great addition to the community.

This large university also functions as Charleston's top employer. Other workers seeking employment in the education industry will find that Charleston Community School District 1 is also a large employer in the community. The businesses that employ the most Charleston residents are Vesuvius USA, Charleston Transitional Facility, J.J. Collins & Sons and Safety Storage.

Rentals in Charleston, IL, and Cost of Living

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the median gross monthly rent in Charleston is $579. Rents vary quite a bit, since the city is home to such a mix of residents. Rents in the area tend to range from $450 to $800 per month, but higher and lower rents are available based on size and amenities available.

Charleston Attractions and Special Events

Charleston is largely known for being home to the Lincoln Log Cabin Historic Site. This cabin was the childhood home of President Abraham Lincoln and his family in the 1840s. The attraction now features a functioning historic farm in the area around the cabin, to provide visitors with insight as to how Lincoln would have lived. This is not the only Lincoln-related attraction in the area, and the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum is just a few miles away. The museum features exhibits that educate visitors about the 1858 debates between Lincoln and Democratic Presidential nominee Stephan Douglas.

Outdoor lovers will find that Charleston provides an array of opportunities to experience nature. From Fox Ridge State Park and Lake Charleston to the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail, the opportunities for hiking, exploring and biking are endless.

The local university provides residents with cultural activities suited for families of all ages. The Doudna Fine Arts Center, Tarble Arts Center and EUI Symphony Orchestra and Musical Venues offer exhibitions and performances for residents to get involved in the arts and enjoy the culture the community has to offer.

To find a Charleston apartment or rental, check out our apartment listings.® is happy to help you find your next home.

View Guide To Charleston

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