Well, the cat’s out of the bag, y’all — Travel + Leisure magazine has named Charleston the “Best City in the World.” To be honest, though, it’s been out of the bag for awhile now, wouldn’t you say? Everyone has clearly caught on to what those of us who call the Holy City home have long known: there’s just no place like our little corner of the globe.
Although Charleston has consistently landed among the top five best cities in the world with Travel + Leisure readers, this is the first time it has been voted the No. 1 city on the planet in the magazine’s annual ranking. Adding to the designation’s significance is the fact that it’s also the first time a U.S city has earned top honors.
Travel + Leisure readers likewise voted Charleston as the best city in the country (for the fourth consecutive year, no less). In addition to the mag announcing its findings on their website Wednesday, NBC’s “Today Show” picked up the news and celebrity Holy City native Stephen Colbert weighed in on the win, too.
Chalk one up for Charleston! We may not be the biggest city on the map, but we’ve got spirit in spades. We’re busting at the seams with character and history and hospitality. And, as the Travel + Leisure write-up crowning this as the No. 1 city in the world pointed out, we’ve got Folly Beach.
“Charleston moved up from the No. 2 city in the world last year to No. 1. The city has shown incredible resilience and, as one reader wrote, there is still ‘no place quite like it.’ In addition to historic battlegrounds and jasmine-scented streets, Charleston is home to award-winning hotels (including the Spectator, No. 2 in the world this year) and restaurants. Antebellum charm, excellent boutiques, and the beautiful waterfronts at Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach make this city one of the most beloved in the U.S.—and now, the world.”
That’s right… our beloved beach town is one of the many reasons people all over the world are buzzing about Charleston. But that doesn’t come as a surprise to us, does it? Folly is colorful and fun. It is laid-back, yet breathtaking. It is inherently memorable, which undoubtedly contributes to Charleston’s charm.
This isn’t the first time Folly has received recognition for being a major part of our city’s appeal either. Southern Living has called it “the perfect beach town.” It’s landed on “best of” lists for everything from the fresh seafood to the iconic pier. Bloggers have blogged about it, and novelists have written about it.
And as for those of us who live at Folly or keep getting called back by its siren song of eclectic people and places, we loudly and proudly extol our favorite beach town’s virtues to anyone who’ll listen.