Sweet Charleston, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. In July, Travel + Leisure magazine declared our beloved hometown the “Best City in the World” — citing incredible resilience, history, charm, shopping and, naturally, Folly Beach as a few examples of its appeal.
This week, the Holy City is on the receiving end of more praise as it has officially been dubbed the friendliest city in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler’s 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
“More and more people are going to Charleston. Europeans are heading to Charleston because they’ve heard about the food and the architecture. It’s getting great press, and it’s having a moment,” Conde Nast deputy digital editor Laura Redman explained to CNN.
And for the record, y’all, readers also voted Charleston the Friendliest City in the U.S., a title it has held for several years running. Said one reader, “It has the charm of the South, the sophistication of the city, and a warmth and friendliness that is unmatched.”
We can all be proud of that, right?
If you are a transplant from Charleston (or “from off,” as locals affectionately say), part of Charleston’s appeal as a potential place to plant roots was undoubtedly the vibe. And, if you’re a Charleston-born native like I am, you take great joy in helping to ensure Charleston’s reputation as the friendliest city in the world is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There’s no denying that our great city is growing by leaps and bounds, but as Conde Nast so astutely noted in Charleston’s winning write-up, “Even as the city grows, Southern hospitality lives.”
As fellow Folly lovers and locals, I don’t have to tell you there is a magical quality to the people who call this quirky beach town home — within the island’s colorful confines exist some of the most warm, welcoming, and wonderful people on the planet.
It’s that kind of inclusivity and open-arm atmosphere that makes the Holy City as a whole such a hospitable place to visit, which the readers of Conde Nast Traveler have clearly noticed.
With each passing day, it seems, people are realizing that Charleston is so much more than a city … it’s a state of mind.