by Paul Bowers
Hold on to your sun hats, Charleston. Readers of Condé Nast Traveler have voted Charleston the No. 1 city in the United States for the fourth year in a row.
"The people of Charleston are honored to once again be named Condé Nast Traveler's Readers Choice No. 1 Top U.S. City," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said in a press release this morning from the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "To be recognized for the fourth consecutive year is truly a testament to Charleston's vibrant culture, genuine hospitality, and wonderful people who make it such a special place to both live and visit."
The CVB is taking a victory lap with this promotional video, which features Charleston Jazz Orchestra conductor Charlton Singleton playing the Gershwin classic "Summertime":
Charleston was also ranked No. 2 city in the world behind Florence, Italy, in the Condé Nast Readers' Choice Awards. Charleston earned a readers' rating of 83.792, just behind Florence's score of 83.870. Here's what the magazine had to say about our fair city:
For senior editor Lindsay Talbot, the ultimate Charleston itinerary starts with a walk along the waterfront: strolling under palm trees with the Atlantic glistening just beyond. Take time to wander the side streets, which boast beautiful homes, the best of which are found at Rainbow Row just by The Battery. "I love Charleston because the colors of the houses are just unreal," says Talbot. "It's just a dazzling array of pastels." And lest you think we're blinded by pretty colors, we never leave town without feasting. Charleston's known as a foodie city, but Talbot's favorite restaurant is Husk, with The Ordinary coming in a close second.
Kiawah Island was voted No. 1 island in the U.S. and No. 2 island in the world behind Palawan, Philippines. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort was ranked No. 17 among U.S. resorts.
The following Charleston-area hotels earned high marks in the Hotels/South category:
#5 Wentworth Mansion
#9 French Quarter inn
#16 Planters Inn
#17 Belmond Charleston Place
#19 John Rutledge House Inn
#22 Market Pavilion Hotel
#24 Restoration on King
#26 Harbor View Inn
#38 The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel