Why Charleston is the Number One City in North America

The city’s resilience, strength, and beauty are just a few of the reasons.

World's Top 10 Cities: Charleston, South Carolina
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

Tragedy struck Charleston last month, but since then the city and its citizens have come together to support one another, demonstrating unshakeable resilience. Known as a welcoming place for all ages and demographics, Charleston has long been a haven for tourists, who in turn provide a vital boost to the local economy. At a time when this beautiful city has become a symbol of hope, Travel + Leisure is thrilled to announce that Charleston has won top honors in our 20th World's Best Awards. For the third year in a row, it has been voted the number one city in the United States and Canada.

Here are five must-not-miss experiences in this iconic Southern town.

Take a stroll along King Street, the three-mile shopping promenade that’s lined with independent boutiques, including the well-known Heirloom Books.

Ever since the bike-pedestrian lane opened with the new Arthur Ravenal Jr. Bridge in 2005, families have made it a tradition to walk the span together. You can park on either the Mount Pleasant or Charleston side, hike up, and snap photos in the sea breeze.

Head to Marion Square for the weekly farmers’ market, a 200-year-old tradition. Graze on snacks from food carts and have a picnic on the grass.

Make a dinner reservation at Husk, one of Charleston's hottest restaurants, run by chef Sean Brock.

For an affordable home base, try the Vendue (from $175), which is making its debut in the World’s Best Awards with a number four spot among top small-city hotels. This boutique property hosts an art reception in the afternoon, during which they serve wine and canapés while guests take in the hotel’s collection of more than 300 pieces.

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