By Siobhan Reid
July 10, 2019

Charleston has been voted the top city in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure readers a whopping seven years in a row. To celebrate, T+L's globe-trotting editor in chief, Jacqui Gifford, journeyed down to the Southern town to embark on a tour of her favorite haunts.

Charleston has its share of stylish, world-class hotels, from the 1920s-themed Spectator hotel to the historic Wentworth Mansion. One of Jacqui’s new favorites is Hotel Bennett, a private home turned boutique hotel whose Instagrammable amenities include a rooftop pool and blush-hued champagne bar.

Jonathan Ross/Getty Images

Readers love Charleston’s homegrown shopping scene, and Croghan’s Jewel Box, a family-owned jeweler that dates back to 1919 is one of Jacqui’s go-to’s for its “one-of-a-kind,” locally inspired pieces. She’ll also drop by Ibu, Charleston’s source for ethically-sourced clothing and accessories, for a “great statement scarf, dress, or necklace.” The shop’s founder, Susan Hull Walker, works with 101 female artisans in 40 countries to bring her bold, global vision to life.

When it comes to nightlife, Charleston has something for everyone: craft breweries, casual dive bars, red-hot cocktail spots, and more. When Jacqui’s in the mood for celebrating, she’ll take a seat at the Living Room bar at the Dewberry Hotel. The striking brass bar is the perfect spot to sip an old-fashioned while perusing books from the hotel’s library. “It’s like stepping back in time to another chicer era,” says Jacqui about the midcentury-mod spot.

For more on Jacqui’s trip to the sweet, soulful town, watch the whole video above.

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