- Travel + Leisure released its World’s Best Awards for 2019.
- Charleston, South Carolina, was voted the best city in the US for the fourth consecutive time.
- Its beautiful architecture, walkable waterfront park, and proximity to beaches all make it so appealing to visitors.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Travel + Leisure released its World’s Best Awards for 2019.
The awards are based on a survey that includes responses from thousands of experienced travelers.
Charleston, South Carolina, was voted the best city in the US – for the fourth time since 2016. In fact, it was even voted the best city in the world in 2016, and snagged the No. 2 world spot the following year, beating out major travel destinations like Florence, Kyoto, and Barcelona.
With Charleston’s stunning waterfront views, walkable waterfront park, and seafood-heavy cuisine, it’s no wonder travelers love the city so much.
Sarah Schmalbruch contributed to an earlier version of this story.
Charleston’s location along the water makes for beautiful views. Waterfront Park stretches along the Cooper River and is filled with fountains and incredible scenery.
The park is around 10 acres big, covers around 1,000 feet of coastline, and overlooks Charleston Harbor and the Cooper River.
Kids love playing in the fountains and sprinklers here on hot days.
The park also features picnic tables, benches, and porch swings.
It’s a great park for leisurely strolls.
There’s even Wi-Fi in some areas so people can stay and do work in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Though the city can also be explored by carriage.
A trip through the historic downtown area in a horse-drawn carriage is one of the most iconic Charleston activities tourists can undertake. Multiple companies offer tours.
Charleston’s history is evident everywhere. Battery & White Point Gardens still has mortars and cannons that were used to defend the city during the Civil War.
The city dates back to 1670, when it was settled by English colonists. It was named Charles Town after King Charles II of England.
The stunning mansions in the Battery are also historic.
The largest Charleston Battery home reportedly boasts around 20,0000 square feet.
Tours of the homes are popular among tourists.
Much of the architecture dates back to the early 1800s — before the US Civil War.
The survival of these beautiful mansions is especially impressive considering that Charleston was under near constant attack for over 18 months during the Civil War.
The John Rutledge House Inn was once the home of John Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
It is now a quaint bed and breakfast, called the John Rutledge House Inn.
The antebellum buildings are truly gorgeous.
The historic architecture predates the Civil War. According to the tourism board, after the war Charleston was low on funds, meaning it had to repair damaged buildings rather than replace them, leaving much of the city’s original architecture intact.
Charleston may be historic, but it’s still very lively. It’s a college town that’s home to the College of Charleston, a public school of about 10,000 undergrads.
Charleston’s population in general is around 787,643.
Rooftop bars are huge in Charleston, where the weather is nice year-round.
The Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel is a local favorite.
The small city is also world famous for its incredible restaurant scene.
Foodies should head to the north part of the city. According to Travel + Leisure, “Upper King,” the stretch of King Street above Calhoun Street, “swarms with an ever-growing number of craft eateries, creative cocktail venues, thriving restaurants, and new hotels.”
The local fare is known as “Lowcountry cuisine,” which is reminiscent of New Orleans’ Cajun cuisine.
It is generally heavy on seafood – specifically fried seafood, such as breaded soft-shell crab and fried shrimp and catfish.
As a port city, Charleston has a rich naval history as well.
Today it features several retired naval ships and submarines, which are open to the public for tours.
Its proximity to beaches is also a huge draw for visitors.
There are several nearby, like Sullivan’s Island, which is a roughly 20-minute drive from downtown Charleston.