Conde Nast Traveler magazine has named Charleston the top city in the world to visit. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
By Nick Johnson
Published Oct. 17, 2012
For the second year in a row, Charleston was bestowed the title of best tourist destination in America by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. The publication also named it the top city in the world to visit.
The award is broken down into six different categories: ambience, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, culture/sites and shopping. Charleston’s highest score was for ambiance at 93.5, and the city’s lowest score was shopping at 72.4.
Charleston was named No. 3 in the world in 2011 behind Sydney and Florence, Italy. This year, Charleston’s overall score of 86.7 topped all cities, including Florence, No. 3; Sydney, No. 6; and Bangkok, No. 4, among others.
“Personally I think that it is outstanding recognition for the area. Last year we were ranked the No. 1 city in the country and this year we are the No. 1 travel destination in the world,” said Dan Blumenstock, vice chairman of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It speaks volumes about not only the hospitality and tourism industries but the community as a whole. Charleston County not just the city deserves this accolade.”
One reader told Conde Nast that Charleston was a “bucket list” city.
“With the best beaches in the Southeast, it’s no wonder Charleston took first place in our list of top 10 cities in the United States,” said the travel magazine. “The seaside proximity doesn’t just allow for some picturesque views, but for some one-of-a-kind seafood as well.”
How Charleston got the top score of 86.7
Best cities in the world
2. Cape Town, South Africa
3. Florence, Italy
5. Vancouver, Canada
8. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
9. Buenos Aires, Argentina
10. Gustavia, St. Barthelemy
Source: Conde Nast Traveler