Condé Nast Traveler

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

Perhaps it’s the cobblestone streets. Or the pleasant locals. Or the incredible meals, charming accommodations, and unlimited drinking water views. Whatever the cause, our audience continue on to be completely charmed by Charleston, South Carolina. In simple fact, it was just voted the greatest tiny town in the United States in our 2022 Readers’ Selection Awards.

Now in its 35th year, our once-a-year Readers’ Option Awards carries on to seize the vacation activities our visitors like greatest, from lodges and airways to cruises and islands. The figures confirm what we by now knew: Enthusiasm for vacation has by no means been increased, as demonstrated by the approximately quarter of a million of you who filled out this year’s survey. The best metropolitan areas in the earth (significant and tiny) are a testomony to the staying power of perennial favorites, by way of thick and thin—with some newcomers to look at. 

Charleston is no stranger to accolades. Our viewers named it the very best little city for an extraordinary 10 consecutive many years till it was edged out by Aspen in 2021—not surprising, with most tourists trying to find out wide open up spaces all through the pandemic. But the Holy City took back again its crown this year, and every little thing feels reasonably ordinary at the time all over again.

Although there are plainly several factors to enjoy this Southern city, you truly simply cannot chat about the spot without having immediately contacting out its dining scene. “Excellent restaurants” and “delicious food” ended up mentioned in countless study responses, with unique consideration paid 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

Photo by Jonathan Boncek

The metropolis excels at Southern delicacies, of study course, but never slumber on Charleston’s far more diverse eating solutions. Be absolutely sure to try 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 blessed sufficient to uncover an empty parking place at The Glass Onion, split any moderate traffic laws 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 offers an extremely walkable downtown place and a plethora of outdoor actions. You can hop onboard 1 of the well known horse-drawn carriages (“carriage rides both working day and night are a ought to,” writes one reader), or take a self-guided going for walks tour past Waterfront Park, the dwell oaks at White Issue Gardens, Legare’s magnificent residences, and additional.

There are quite a few fantastic beaches to pick out from in the spring and summer months, with “water as heat as a bathtub,” but we’re particular fans of the stretches of sand on Sullivan’s Island. These shorelines are broad plenty of to match the crowds, have mild waves, and are surrounded by organic going for walks paths via lush vegetation. Get out on the water with a kayaking tour—one of Charleston’s trademark outside activities—and you may even spot a pair of surfacing dolphins or an elusive summer season manatee.

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