Possibly it is the cobblestone streets. Or the pleasant locals. Or the incredible foodstuff, charming hotels, and endless drinking water views. Regardless of what the rationale, our audience continue to be utterly charmed by Charleston, South Carolina. In point, it was just voted the very best compact town in the United States in our 2022 Readers’ Option Awards.
Now in its 35th calendar year, our yearly Readers’ Preference Awards proceeds to capture the vacation activities our audience like finest, from accommodations and airlines to cruises and islands. The quantities confirm what we previously knew: Enthusiasm for journey has by no means been larger, as demonstrated by the virtually quarter of a million of you who stuffed out this year’s survey. The most effective cities in the planet (huge and compact) are a testomony to the staying energy of perennial favorites, as a result of thick and thin—with some newcomers to contemplate.
Charleston is no stranger to accolades. Our visitors named it the greatest compact metropolis for an incredible 10 consecutive many years right up until it was edged out by Aspen in 2021—not shocking, with most vacationers trying to get out large open up areas throughout the pandemic. But the Holy Town took again its crown this calendar year, and every thing feels somewhat regular as soon as once again.
When there are evidently several motives to like this Southern city, you definitely just cannot chat about the spot without having promptly calling out its eating scene. “Excellent restaurants” and “delicious food” were pointed out in plenty of study responses, with individual focus compensated to seafood, sweet tea, and hearty breakfasts.
The city excels at Southern delicacies, of class, but don’t rest on Charleston’s extra assorted eating alternatives. Be confident to check out 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 inform you to skip the Southern classics, even though: If you are blessed ample to find an empty parking location at The Glass Onion, break any mild targeted traffic legislation 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 boasts an really walkable downtown place and a plethora of outdoor routines. You can hop onboard just one of the famed horse-drawn carriages (“carriage rides each day and evening are a will have to,” writes just one reader), or consider a self-guided going for walks tour past Waterfront Park, the dwell oaks at White Issue Gardens, Legare’s attractive households, and additional.
There are many terrific beaches to opt for from in the spring and summer months, with “water as heat as a tub,” but we’re particular fans of the stretches of sand on Sullivan’s Island. These beaches are huge enough to in shape the crowds, have gentle waves, and are surrounded by natural walking paths by means of lush vegetation. Get out on the drinking water with a kayaking tour—one of Charleston’s trademark outside activities—and you could even location a pair of surfacing dolphins or an elusive summer season manatee.