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Nine is Divine: Charleston Again Tops Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. City List

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For the ninth straight year, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have named Charleston the Best U.S. City in the publication’s annual World’s Best Awards. In addition, the Holy City was slotted in as the 18th best city in the world.

The magazine had the following to say about Charleston’s top ranking:

“With its charming architecture and powerhouse culinary scene, Charleston has reigned as T+L readers’ favorite U.S. city for an impressive nine years running.

‘How could you not love those cobblestoned streets? The beautiful, colorful houses and gas lanterns. Take a carriage ride…or catch a boat,’ wrote one reader. ‘Charleston is such a historic treasure with beauty at every corner. Also heaven for foodies. King Street has excellent shops, bars, and restaurants and is great for nightlife.’

But there’s also plenty of all-ages appeal.

‘There is an abundance of activities to choose from for couples’, families’, and friends’ getaways,’ wrote one visitor turned local, who also touted the city as ‘one of the friendliest places I have visited.'”

Travel + Leisure‘s 2021 World’s Best Awards Survey is based on readers’ votes in categories like landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value. The Holy City topped No. 2 Santa Fe and No. 3 Savannah, Georgia on the U.S. list. The top 10 list can be seen below:

TRAVEL + LEISURE WORLD’S BEST AWARDS 2021:  TOP 10 U.S. CITIES

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  3. Savannah, Georgia
  4. New Orleans, Louisiana
  5. New York City
  6. San Antonio, Texas
  7. Chicago, Illinois
  8. Bend, Oregon
  9. Williamsburg, Virginia
  10. Honolulu, Hawaii

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico topped the World’s Best City list, besting Udaipur, India and Istanbul, Turkey. Charleston ranked first in the world back in 2016 and remains the only U.S. city to ever top the list.

Some other highlights:

  • John Rutledge House Inn was listed as the 12th Best Resort Hotels in the Continental U.S.
  • Hilton Head Island was named the Top Islands in the Continental U.S.
    • Kiawah Island was second
  • Hilton Head Health was tabbed as the 6th Best Domestic Spa
  • The publication also put together a list of Charleston’s Top 15 Hotels, which you can view here. The list was topped by John Rutledge House Inn.
  • Travel + Leisure also created a list of The Top 10 South Carolina Resort Hotels, which you can see here. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort topped the list.

You can view the full Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards here.

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