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26 Jul 2022
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Well, it’s official… What we locals, visitors, and Charleston-lovers have known for quite some time, has been voted on, decided, and declared.

Charleston is THE best city in the whole United States to visit.

And  -  get this  -  it’s the tenth straight year for the Holy City to win the honor. 

Travel + Leisure has spoken

Travel + Leisure Magazine is a trusted authority on all things travel.  Each year, their editors work carefully with research firm M&RR to come up with a poll for their very savvy readers.  Those readers weigh in and rank their favorites in a myriad of different categories. 

In addition to the coveted “Cities” category, readers vote on these segments of the travel industry: airlines, airports, car rental agencies, cruise ships, destination spas, hotels, hotel brands, islands, tour operators and safari outfitters, and U.S. national parks. 

Under each of these categories, several aspects are evaluated.  For example, under national parks, readers assess natural attractions, activities, lodging in the parks, wildlife, accessibility and cleanliness.  Each one is to be rated either excellent, above average, average, below average or poor, with points given for each answer. 

As for cities, here are the characteristics on which they base their decision: 

  • Sights/landmarks
  • Culture
  • Food
  • Friendliness
  • Shopping
  • Value.

World’s Best Awards 2022

Each year, starting in October, Travel + Leisure releases their World’s Best Awards Survey questions to the public in a variety of ways  -  through the magazine itself, via tablet editions, their newsletter, their website, and via social media.  The survey is open through the month of February. 

Then, the votes are tallied, with the World Best Award winners announced in July.  And sure enough, the 2022 winners were just announced.

2022 marks a pivotal and exciting year, as travel finally bounces back after two years of pandemic and disruption. 

Travel + Leisure’s Editor-in-Chief Jacqui Gifford had this to say as she released the World’s Best Award Winners list:  “As travel continues to rebound and people look for new trip ideas and inspiration, I’m thrilled to share this incredible resource of our readers’ favorite places and companies. You’ll find destinations that are transporting and offer a distinct sense of place -  whether your focus is on reconnecting with nature or immersing yourself in local cultures. Congratulations to this year’s honorees for their excellence in hospitality and for creating standout experiences that appeal to all types of travelers.”

Best Cities in the U.S.

One of the most anticipated categories is the 15 Best Cities in the United States.  And for the tenth year in a row, Charleston comes out on top.

Here’s what Travel + Leisure had to say about our fair city:  “There's a reason people keep going back to Charleston: the city expresses the perfect balance of Southern charm, knockout food and drinks, and walkability.  Many readers also found the city's history to be a draw.  Others appreciated the simple pleasures of strolling the side streets of downtown.”

The winners are, in order:

1.   Charleston, SC

2.   New Orleans, LA

3.   Santa Fe, NM

4.   Savannah, GA

5.   Honolulu, HI

6.   New York, NY

7.   Chicago, IL

8.   Alexandria, VA

9.   San Antonio, TX

10. Boston, MA

11.  Austin, TX

12. Williamsburg, VA

13.  Asheville, NC

14.  San Diego, CA

15.  Nashville, TN

Charleston: now in the Hall of Fame

 A whole decade of awesomeness and being the #1 travel destination in America is no small feat. 

 In fact, the honor officially launches Charleston into the “World’s Best Awards Hall of Fame.” 

Daniel Guttentag is a hospitality professor at the College of Charleston, as well as Director of CofC’s Office of Tourism Analysis.  He had this to say about Charleston’s  latest accolade:  “It’s something to get on the list one time, but to be on the list for a whole decade and be No. 1 each time and have a pandemic happen and still remain on top, it’s really an achievement to be proud of.” 

And three cheers for Breeze…

Interestingly, newcomer Breeze Airways was voted as the #2 domestic airline in America.  Pretty impressive for such a new company.  As I covered in this blog, Breeze has been offering more and more direct flights to and from Charleston, making it into a primary hub.

So when you’re planning your next trip, you might as well take the advice of people in the know, and come visit the #1 place in America. Make your next trip to Charleston, and browse our Isle of Palms vacation rentals today!


All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger