by Sam Spence
For the second year in a row, Charleston was ranked by Travel+Leisure as the nation's top city in the U.S. and Canada, earning 2nd-place behind Kyoto, Japan in the magazine's world rankings.
A handful of Charleston hotels and resorts also appeared on T+L's rankings, including Planters Inn and French Quarter Inn earning top honors among small American city hotels. Wentworth Mansion, Market Pavilion Hotel, and The Sanctuary were also ranked among the nation's best.
Charleston hospitality leaders applauded the city's repeated appearance on the list, the second consecutive year as #1 by T+L readers, and the fourth time the Holy City has been named a top destination by a leading travel magazine, they say.
"We believe that Charleston encapsulates the authentic travel experience for which Travel + Leisure readers are looking," says Dan Blumenstock of Fennel Holdings and the CVB Board of Governors. "That readers ranked Charleston the best city in the U.S. and Canada is a testament to Charleston’s viability as a world class destination for travelers."
Charleston finished a fraction of a point behind Kyoto, as ranked by T+L readers in an online survey which considered local sights, cultural attractions, food, people and overall value.
New Orleans was the only other American city to appear on the Top 10 Overall list, which also includes Florence; Rome; Siem Reep, Cambodia; Istanbul; and Mexico City. New Orleans finished #3 in the magazine's U.S. and Canada rankings, with Savannah rounding out the top-three.
The magazine's publisher says the average Travel+Leisure reader is 50-years old and married, with a median household income of $98,400.
Cover photo by Flickr user nycarthur