It’s official  –  Charleston is the #1 U.S. city to visit.  This marks the 7th year in a row for the accolade, as determined by the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine.  It’s part of their World’s Best Awards.

Charleston is certainly no stranger to best of lists.  In fact, the past decade or so has seen a slew of them.

It’s no surprise, since Charleston basically checks all of the boxes.  History?  Check.  Culture and arts?  Check.  Great cuisine?  Check.  Awesome shopping?  Check.  The ocean and other waters to play in?  Check.  The beach?  Major check.  Nice people?  You bet.

This is what Travel + Leisure had to say about the #1 U.S. city:

“There are endless reasons to love Charleston: The dreamy Spanish-moss-draped oaks. The candy-colored row houses. The punches-above-its-weight food scene. The history. ‘Southern charm at its best!’ declared one fan. Its magic, perhaps, lies in an alchemy of old and new, genteel and unpretentious, city glamour and nature at your fingertips. ‘Rainbow Row is an absolute Instagram dream, and the Zero George Hotel oozes charm,’ wrote one architecture enthusiast. ‘And the homes on Legare Street are so special. I think about them often.’ If you’re a skeptic, raising eyebrows at the hype, the only thing to do is plan a visit for yourself. (Don’t worry, we won’t say we told you so.)”

In a nutshell, here’s the list.  You can check out the full list here, including what they have to say about each one.

Travel + Leisure’s Best Cities in the U.S.


  1. Charleston
  2. Santa Fe
  3. New Orleans
  4. Savannah
  5. New York City
  6. Chicago
  7. Nashville
  8. Asheville
  9. Austin
  10. Honolulu
  11. San Antonio
  12. Taos, N.M.
  13. Williamsburg, Va.
  14. San Francisco
  15. Washington, D.C.


Condé Nast also taps Charleston as #1 U.S. City


Travel + Leisure is not the only entity to think the Holy City is tops in the country.  Condé Nast also voted Charleston the #1 U.S. city for travelers.  They’ve done it not seven but EIGHT years in a row now.  It’s part of their Readers’ Choice Awards 31st annual ranking.

They base the winners on these categories:  arts & culture, sights & scenery, restaurants, friendliness, hotels & resorts and public transportation.

Condé Nast had this to say about Charleston: “The city’s roots may be its rich Southern history, but Charleston stands fully in the now.”

Check out their most recent ranking of the best cities to visit.  Here’s the story from the Post & Courier.


So check out the #1 U.S. city to visit.  And call EP for a Charleston beach house, the very best home base for your stay here.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger