Share your love for the Holy City and vote in the Condé Nast Traveler 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards to name Charleston the No. 1 U.S. City for the sixth consecutive year! This year’s categories include Arts & Culture, Friendliness, Hotels & Resorts, Restaurants, Shopping, Sights & Scenery, and Transportation. Scroll on to see why Charleston scores at the top in each category!
The fine arts community has thrived in Charleston since 1736 with the opening of the Dock Street Theatre, the nation’s first structure to be built for theatrical use. Charleston is also home to the nation’s first museum, demonstrating the destination’s longstanding role as a center for the arts and culture. Today, fine arts take shape in the area’s many noted galleries, many of which participate in the during the Charleston Gallery Association ArtWalk, and exhibit during the internationally acclaimed Spoleto Festival USA, an annual 17-day celebration of performing arts that illuminates every established and nontraditional performance space in the region.
In recent years, Charleston has garnered top honors as the #1-ranked U.S. City according to readers of Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Southern Living, and other esteemed media outlets. While cuisine and hotels always merit mention in the reader polls, the warm hospitality extended by Charleston’s locals is a deciding factor in the destination’s enduring charms and widespread appeal.
As a guest at one of our many award-winning hotels and resorts, you may find yourself sipping pre-dinner cocktails on an open-air piazza, enjoying sweeping ocean views from the balcony of a grand seaside mansion, or savoring a heavenly slice of Ultimate Coconut Cake during evening turndown. Trust us; you wouldn’t be the first to ask for an extended checkout.
Is it the acclaimed restaurant scene? The pristine seafood? The passionate chefs and purveyors? The unique Lowcountry recipes? Whatever it is, Charleston exudes a gravitational pull for food lovers as the one Southern destination they absolutely, positively must visit.
Leave room in your suitcase! Charleston was recently named among the “Best Shopping Cities in the World” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. One characteristic that sets Charleston’s shopping scene apart from other destinations is the presence of multi-generation merchant families, including Charleston treasures Croghan’s Jewel Box and M. Dumas & Sons.
The charming streets of Charleston wear the polish of more than 330 years of history, an enchanting chronology that is evident at every turn. Earthquake bolts and ornate ironwork adorn handsome antebellum dwellings, while copper lanterns and hitching posts hint at a bygone era.
The Charleston peninsula is a fabulous example of intelligent urban planning, The early city was laid out on a grid, which resulted in scores of easy-to-navigate perpendicular streets that are pedestrian friendly. It is very easy to walk the entire peninsula. However, when you want to see all that Charleston has to offer at a pace a that’s a few steps quicker, hop on the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH), a cable car/trolley-replica bus that offers free hop-on, hop-off service or opt for a horse drawn carriage to learn about Charleston’s history and Colonial style.