July 20, 2024
Charleston Is the Best Small City in the U.S.

Charleston Is the Best Small City in the U.S.

Probably it is the cobblestone streets. Or the pleasant locals. Or the incredible foods, charming hotels, and limitless h2o sights. Whatsoever the rationale, our audience go on to be completely charmed by Charleston, South Carolina. In point, it was just voted the very best smaller city in the United States in our 2022 Readers’ Option Awards.

Now in its 35th 12 months, our annual Readers’ Preference Awards continues to seize the vacation activities our audience enjoy finest, from lodges and airways to cruises and islands. The quantities prove what we already understood: Enthusiasm for journey has in no way been increased, as demonstrated by the approximately quarter of a million of you who loaded out this year’s survey. The very best cities in the entire world (huge and small) are a testament to the remaining electricity of perennial favorites, via thick and thin—with some newcomers to take into consideration. 

Charleston is no stranger to accolades. Our audience named it the best little town for an unbelievable 10 consecutive several years right until it was edged out by Aspen in 2021—not astonishing, with most travelers seeking out huge open spaces during the pandemic. But the Holy Town took back its crown this calendar year, and everything feels rather typical as soon as once more.

Even though there are obviously numerous causes to appreciate this Southern city, you really just can’t converse about the spot without instantly calling out its dining scene. “Excellent restaurants” and “delicious food” were stated in a great number of survey responses, with individual interest compensated to seafood, sweet tea, and hearty breakfasts.

Wine and Spanish groceries at Malagón Mercado y Tapería

Picture by Olivia Rae James

Fried grouper cheeks at The Glass Onion

Photograph by Jonathan Boncek

The metropolis excels at Southern cuisine, of study course, but really do not slumber on Charleston’s a lot more assorted dining solutions. Be guaranteed to attempt the escargot at Maison, the tender agnolotti and veal scallopini at Wild Olive, the gazpacho at Malagón Mercado y Tapería, and the fried smelt with garlic skordalia sauce at Stella’s. We would not dare explain to you to skip the Southern classics, although: If you’re lucky adequate to uncover an vacant parking location at The Glass Onion, break any delicate visitors legal guidelines to get it. The shrimp po’boys, fried grouper cheeks, and lemon meringue pie are the stuff of legends.

Fortunately for any calorie counters out there, Charleston also boasts an particularly walkable downtown region and a myriad of outside actions. You can hop onboard a single of the popular horse-drawn carriages (“carriage rides the two working day and night are a ought to,” writes a single reader), or get a self-guided walking tour earlier Waterfront Park, the live oaks at White Issue Gardens, Legare’s stunning residences, and a lot more.

There are several fantastic beaches to choose from in the spring and summer months, with “water as heat as a bathtub,” but we’re distinct fans of the stretches of sand on Sullivan’s Island. These shorelines are large ample to match the crowds, have gentle waves, and are surrounded by natural strolling paths by way of lush vegetation. Get out on the h2o with a kayaking tour—one of Charleston’s trademark outdoor activities—and you may even place a pair of surfacing dolphins or an elusive summer season manatee.