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Travel + Leisure Names Charleston the #1 City in the World & Kiawah the #2 Island in America
Each year, before bestowing its World’s Best Awards on the top cities and islands across the globe, Travel + Leisure magazine asks its readers to rank destinations on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and value.
T+L readers have ranked Charleston the #1 City in the US & Canada for the past four years… but this year our hometown made history when it became the first city in the US ever to be named the #1 City in the World, up from #2 last year.
“Antebellum charm, excellent boutiques, and the beautiful waterfronts … make this city one of the most beloved in the US, and now the world,” wrote the magazine on its website.
“Charleston is a remarkably dynamic place, so it’s no surprise it has achieved its highest ranking ever in our survey as this year’s best city in the world,” said T+L editor-in-chief Nathan Lump. “The city has managed to preserve all the qualities for which it is widely known—a prime coastal setting, historic architecture, friendly locals—while also nurturing a creative culture that is making it one of the most notable destinations for those who seek out interesting restaurants, bars, and shops that highlight a dedication to distinctive craft.”
CNN agreed: “Southern charm is a force to be reckoned with as far as Travel + Leisure readers are concerned.”
Kiawah Island shares top honors
Just down the coast from Charleston, top Southern travel & real estate destination Kiawah Island took home its own honors.
For the World’s Best Islands category, each year T+L readers rate islands based on their natural attractions, beaches, sights, activities, friendliness, food, and value. This year Kiawah took the #2 Island in America spot.
“The best islands in the continental US share an ability to slow down the hands of time, “wrote the magazine on its website, “to recall simpler times and slower, laid-back living.”