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Charleston Ranks as The South’s Best City for Fifth Time



For the fifth time in six years, Charleston ranked No. 1 on Southern Living’s list of the South’s Best Cities. The magazine today announced the winners of its sixth annual South’s Best Awards, recognizing their readers’ favorite Southern destinations and experiences. The Holy City didn’t take home the top spot last year, but that’s because Southern Living did not have the Best City category in 2021.

This year’s survey results reveal the best Southern Cities, Small Towns, Family Getaways, Resorts, State Parks, Scenic Drives, BBQ Joints, Bakeries, Breweries, and Cities on the Rise.

“No one knows this region better than the Southern Living audience, and that’s why we tap into their experiences and solicit their opinions every year to determine the South’s Best,” said Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living. “This year’s deeply reported list is our most comprehensive yet, with some surprising new favorites as well as the classics that keep reinventing themselves.”

South Carolina received 21 mentions across all categories, including top wins for Charleston as the South’s Best City, Greenville as the South’s Best City on the Rise, Hilton Head as the South’s Best Beach Town, and Beaufort as the South’s Best Small Town.

Highlights of Southern Living’s 2022 South’s Best Awards survey results are as follows:

South’s Best Cities Overall

  1. Charleston, SC
  2. Savannah, GA
  3. Asheville, NC
  4. Nashville, TN
  5. New Orleans, LA
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Atlanta, GA
  8. Charlotte, NC
  9. Birmingham, AL
  10. Richmond, VA

Charleston’s rankings across categories

  • Best BBQ Joint in South Carolina: Rodney Scott’s

The South’s Best Resorts

  • No. 3 – Kiawah Island Golf Resort
  • No. 6 – Sweetgrass Inn at Wild Dunes Resort

The South’s Best Breweries

  • No. 1 – Palmetto Brewing Co.

The South’s Best Bakeries

  • No. 3 – The Harbinger Cafe and Bakery

The South’s Best Museums

  • No. 4 – Aiken-Rhett House Museum

To see the full results, visit: In-depth coverage of the winners appears in the April issue of Southern Living, on sale March 18th.

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