Charleston is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. as well as being a great town for following the boating lifestyle. There is water just about everywhere, much of it protected. Today the city has a population of just over 112,000, with 600,000 people living in the Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area. The College of Charleston and The Citadel are just two of the institutions of higher education that are located here. Charleston's popularity as a tourist destination is based on its long and colorful history as well as its streets lined with majestic and Spanish moss draped live oaks. Historic pastel-colored homes look out over the waterfront. The city is also an important port, boasting the second largest container seaport on the East Coast.