In a survey completed by nearly 50,000 readers of the highly respected Condé Nast Traveler magazine was awarded the honor of being voted the best city in the U.S, and if that was not enough, it also topped a poll that voted this historic city as their favorite city in the world.
When you come up against iconic destinations such as London, Paris or Rome and closer to home, New York San Francisco or Chicago, and still end up top of the pile as the most favored destination, that is an amazing feat by anyone’s standards. Charleston came out as number 1 for good reason, when you consider the diversity of attractions and facilities that it has to offer together with a rich cultural heritage which the residents are justifiably proud of.
All round world beater
The survey took in rankings that covered aspects such as atmosphere, friendliness, accommodation, restaurants, culture, attractions and shopping. Charleston scored heavily in all of these categories and when you stay in one of the excellent hotels in Charleston, either in the heart of the city or in any number of beautiful locations, you can soon understand why the area is such a big hit with tourists who come to visit from all over the world.
The oldest and second largest city in the state of South Carolina, Charleston has a rich history. Founded in 1670 and named as Charles Towne in honor of King Charles ll of England, it became Charleston in 1783, and one of the many features of this beautiful city is the large amount of well-preserved architecture that tourists can still appreciate as they wander around the different areas, in particular the old city, which has a charming old feel to it.
Charleston is particularly famous for its unique culture, which is a blend of influences originating from Southern U.S, English, French and West African elements. To immerse yourself in the cultural heart of the city you need to head to the downtown peninsula, which is well known for art, music, local cuisine and fashion. A highlight of the calendar is one of the world’s foremost performing arts festivals called Spoleto Festival USA, held annually in late spring. There is also the Charleston Fashion Week to look forward to which attracts contributors and visitors for all around the globe.
The city is always a place to celebrate culture and the locals know how to put on a party. In addition to the Spoleto Festival and the Fashion Week, you can also take in established annual events which include food festivals called Taste of Charleston, The Lowcountry Oyster Festival and the Charleston Food and Wine Festival. Culture lovers are well catered for in not just food and wine but also with other highlights in the calendar that include the impressive MOJA Arts Festival and also the Holiday Festival of Lights which is held at James Island County Park.
There are so many things to see and do in Charleston with countless museums, theaters and many live music events going on. With a friendly atmosphere and no shortage of events to entertain you, it is easy to see why Charleston was voted as the world’s top vacation destination.
Chris McMahon has extensive experience as a travel consultant. His articles mainly appear on travel blogs.