Third time is a charm for Charleston

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013

South Carolina’s Historic Coastal Destination Named #1 U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for Third Consecutive Year


Condé Nast Traveler announced today the results of its 26th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, which recognizes the world’s leading travel brands and best cities. For the third consecutive year, Charleston has been named the #1 U.S. City with an overall score of 83.2 from the Culture, Friendliness, Atmosphere, Restaurants, Lodging, and Shopping categories.

“We have been tickled pink and on top of the world,” says Frank Fredericks, Managing Director of Wild Dunes Resort and Chair of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitor Bureau Board of Governors of the earlier top city wins. “Now, Charleston is completely charmed to have received such an honor for the third year in a row.”

To celebrate Charleston’s third consecutive Readers’ Choice #1 U.S. City Award, the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau commissioned an original song titled Charleston: Three Ways. Performed by Charleston resident and former American Idol contestant Elise Testone, the song pays musical homage to the Lowcountry with lyrics including: “How much do I love you? Let me tell you three ways. I could tell you three hundred, but that’d take all day. (Three) Steeples reaching for the sky. (Three) Beaches stretching far and wide. (Three) Shrimp boats flowing through the sea. (Three) Sweet teas by an ancient oak tree.”

The music video for Charleston: Three Ways features many recognizable Charleston area landmarks and may be viewed at www.explorecharleston.com.

This year, Condé Nast Traveler had a record-breaking nearly 80,000 readers participate in the survey, close to double the number of survey takers in 2012. These dedicated travelers cast 1.3 million votes for more than 16,000 properties around the world.

The results? The most geographically comprehensive “best of the best” travel survey ever produced by Condé Nast Traveler as well as the introduction of 15 new categories for popular destinations, including the Best Hotels in Charleston list.

Leading the 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards are three Charleston area properties recognized among the Top 100 highest-scoring winners from around the globe: The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island and Wentworth Mansion (tied at #75) as well as the John Rutledge House Inn (#99). Ranking #3 on the list of Top 10 Islands in the U.S. is Kiawah Island.

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Best Hotels in Charleston list includes:


1. Wentworth Mansion


2. John Rutledge House


3. French Quarter Inn


4. Planters Inn


5. HarbourView Inn


6. Restoration on King


7. Market Pavilion Hotel


8. Charleston Place


9. Elliott House Inn


10. Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

In addition to top ranked Charleston hotels, the three Charleston area resorts are recognized on the Top 20 Resorts in the South list: The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (#4), Wild Dunes Resort (#16), and Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina (#20).

Addressing “The Goliath Factor”—how a city with a moderate size population like Charleston can outrank major metropolitan destinations such as Paris, New York, and Sydney—Condé Nast Traveler writes, “Because great cities combine exceptional qualities, they do not have to be big to score big.”

The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands October 15, 2013.

For the complete list of 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards, visit http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards.

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