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

Probably it is the cobblestone streets. Or the welcoming locals. Or the amazing foodstuff, charming resorts, and limitless h2o sights. Whatever the motive, our audience carry on to be completely charmed by Charleston, South Carolina. In truth, it was just voted the ideal tiny metropolis in the United States in our 2022 Readers’ Decision Awards.

Now in its 35th year, our annual Readers’ Decision Awards continues to capture the journey encounters our viewers adore ideal, from motels and airlines to cruises and islands. The quantities establish what we by now knew: Enthusiasm for vacation has hardly ever been greater, as shown by the almost quarter of a million of you who loaded out this year’s survey. The greatest cities in the environment (large and modest) are a testament to the being energy of perennial favorites, through thick and thin—with some newcomers to look at. 

Charleston is no stranger to accolades. Our visitors named it the ideal small town for an incredible 10 consecutive a long time until it was edged out by Aspen in 2021—not stunning, with most travelers trying to get out broad open up spaces all through the pandemic. But the Holy City took again its crown this year, and all the things feels fairly standard when once again.

When there are clearly many explanations to appreciate this Southern metropolis, you truly just cannot discuss about the destination without promptly contacting out its eating scene. “Excellent restaurants” and “delicious food” had been described in numerous study responses, with distinct interest 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

Picture by Jonathan Boncek

The metropolis excels at Southern delicacies, of system, but do not slumber on Charleston’s far more various eating choices. Be positive to test 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 convey to you to skip the Southern classics, though: If you are lucky sufficient to locate an vacant parking place at The Glass Onion, break any delicate website traffic laws to get it. The shrimp po’boys, fried grouper cheeks, and lemon meringue pie are the things of legends.

Thankfully for any calorie counters out there, Charleston also features an incredibly walkable downtown place and a plethora of outdoor things to do. You can hop onboard one particular of the famed horse-drawn carriages (“carriage rides both of those working day and night are a need to,” writes just one reader), or acquire a self-guided going for walks tour previous Waterfront Park, the dwell oaks at White Level Gardens, Legare’s magnificent homes, and a lot more.

There are many terrific seashores to pick from in the spring and summer season, with “water as heat as a bath,” but we’re individual followers of the stretches of sand on Sullivan’s Island. These shorelines are vast plenty of to in shape the crowds, have light waves, and are surrounded by purely natural going for walks paths by lush vegetation. Get out on the drinking water with a kayaking tour—one of Charleston’s trademark outside activities—and you might even spot a pair of surfacing dolphins or an elusive summer time manatee.

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