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

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

Probably it is the cobblestone streets. Or the friendly locals. Or the outstanding food items, charming accommodations, and infinite drinking water sights. Regardless of what the purpose, our readers continue on to be completely charmed by Charleston, South Carolina. In reality, it was just voted the greatest small metropolis in the United States in our 2022 Readers’ Decision Awards.

Now in its 35th yr, our yearly Readers’ Choice Awards carries on to seize the travel encounters our visitors appreciate finest, from inns and airways to cruises and islands. The quantities confirm what we presently understood: Enthusiasm for journey has by no means been bigger, as demonstrated by the just about quarter of a million of you who stuffed out this year’s survey. The greatest metropolitan areas in the planet (significant and little) are a testomony to the being power of perennial favorites, by way of thick and thin—with some newcomers to take into account. 

Charleston is no stranger to accolades. Our audience named it the ideal modest town for an unbelievable 10 consecutive a long time right until it was edged out by Aspen in 2021—not stunning, with most vacationers seeking out huge open up spaces all through the pandemic. But the Holy Town took back its crown this yr, and anything feels rather standard after once more.

Although there are plainly numerous reasons to adore this Southern metropolis, you actually simply cannot speak about the destination without having promptly calling out its dining scene. “Excellent restaurants” and “delicious food” had been described in many survey responses, with certain attention paid out 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 city excels at Southern delicacies, of program, but don’t slumber on Charleston’s much more various eating choices. Be confident 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 wouldn’t dare inform you to skip the Southern classics, although: If you’re fortunate sufficient to obtain an vacant parking place at The Glass Onion, crack any mild website traffic laws to get it. The shrimp po’boys, fried grouper cheeks, and lemon meringue pie are the stuff of legends.

Thankfully for any calorie counters out there, Charleston also offers an exceptionally walkable downtown area and a plethora of out of doors pursuits. You can hop onboard one particular of the popular horse-drawn carriages (“carriage rides both equally working day and evening are a will have to,” writes just one reader), or consider a self-guided walking tour past Waterfront Park, the live oaks at White Stage Gardens, Legare’s stunning residences, and extra.

There are many great beach locations to choose from in the spring and summer, with “water as heat as a bathtub,” but we’re individual enthusiasts of the stretches of sand on Sullivan’s Island. These shorelines are wide sufficient to in good shape the crowds, have mild waves, and are surrounded by organic going for walks paths as a result of lush vegetation. Get out on the h2o with a kayaking tour—one of Charleston’s trademark outdoor activities—and you could possibly even place a pair of surfacing dolphins or an elusive summer months manatee.

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