Charleston Named World's Best City in 2016 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards



Charleston has done it! For the first time ever, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have voted the Holy City the World’s Best City in the 2016 World’s Best Awards. Charleston is the first American city to win the World’s Best City ranking, and for the fourth consecutive year, it was also chosen as the No. 1 City in the U.S. and Canada.

Chiang Mai, Thailand placed second on the list, while last year's winner, Kyoto, Japan, ranked sixth. Meanwhile, the only other American cities in the top ten were New Orleans (7) and nearby Savannah (9).

The awards are based on readers' votes in categories like sights/landmarks culture/arts, restaurants, food, people/friendliness, and value.

As usual, the awards for Charleston didn’t stop there as downtown's Spectator Hotel was recognized as the No. 1 Top City Hotel in the U.S. - and second best in the WORLD.

Other recognitions include:

Best Islands in Continental U.S.

2. Kiawah Island (Hilton Head was No. 1)

Best City Hotels in the Continental U.S.

15.  French Quarter Inn

Best Hotels in the South

10. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The news was so big, Charleston's favorite son, Stephen Colbert, weighed in on the awards. You can see his video here.

Not in Charleston? Take a virtual here.

You can view the full Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards here and in the August issue of the magazine (on newsstands July 15th).


  1. Josh 6 July, 2016 at 22:42 Reply

    Hey HCS,

    Just wanted to give you a heads up that the link at the bottom of the article that points back to Travel’s article is broken (the URL is entered twice).

    – Josh

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