Why Charleston Is the Best City for a Vacation in the U.S.

Travelers have voted the South Carolina destination as the top U.S. city in this year's World's Best Awards.

Charleston, South Carolina
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

South Carolina’s oldest city, Charleston, continues to impress visitors with its rich history and continuous reinvention, making it this year’s top U.S. city for our World’s Best Awards.

The city rankings are based on ratings from Travel + Leisure's readers on a variety of factors that include a destination's landmarks, culture, cuisine, value, and more.

Known as the “Holy City” thanks to the many church steeples across its skyline, Charleston continues to be a beloved destination amongst travelers. The city has ranked as T+L's top U.S. city since 2013, and in 2016 also ranked as the best city in the world.

A history lover’s dream come true with its cobblestone streets lined with 18th- and 19th-century homes, copper gas lanterns, and horse-drawn carriages, Charleston has become South Carolina's most popular destination. The city has something to offer everyone, from the beaches to the antebellum mansions. It's also home to the most beautiful college campus, the College of Charleston, according to our 2017 most beautiful college campus competition.

park in Charleston
Darrell Gulin/Getty Images

History buffs can stand on the site of the first shot fired in the Civil War (at the Fort Sumter National Monument), or climb aboard WWII aircraft carriers at Patriots Point, while foodies can sample the city’s rich culinary offerings from dockside oyster roasts to creekside shrimp and crab boils and barbecues.

charleston oysters
Brandon Rosenbaum/Getty Images

It’s also home to award-winning hotels like the Zero George, a boutique property in a restored building dating back to 1804, as well as other historic inns and beachside getaways.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles