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Mount Pleasant is separated from Charleston, South Carolina, by the Cooper River. For many years it was primarily populated seasonally by Charleston residents wealthy enough to afford summer homes across the river from the Charleston peninsula. The population of Mount Pleasant was centered in an area of the town now known as "The Old Village."

Mount Pleasant is connected to the Charleston peninsula by the iconic Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, which opened to pedestrian and automotive traffic on July 16, 2005.