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6 Things that Make Charleston SC Best City in the World

August 1st, 2016

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It’s no mystery to us why Travel + Leisure magazine recently named our beloved Charleston SC Best City in the World. This city, whose population numbers 130,000, has a high quality of life that residents enjoy and happily share with visitors. The food and shopping is second to none, and there’s always something new to learn in this remarkable city.

So what exactly is it that makes Charleston SC Best City in the World? We could name a thousand things, but we’ll touch on the highlights below.

6 Things That Make Charleston SC Best City in the World

1. Traversing the Ravenel Bridge

Not only is the Ravenel Bridge spectacular to view, it’s an amazing engineering marvel. It’s one of the few cable-stayed bridges in the world that spans 13,200 feet. The bridge opened in 2005 and connects downtown Charleston with Mount Pleasant. Engineers designed it to withstand winds up to 300 miles per hour and a 7.4 earthquake.

The bridge has eight lanes for vehicle traffic as well as a 12-foot wide pedestrian and cycling path for an up-close view of the Cooper River, 186 feet below. USA Track and Field hosts their Cooper River Run on this bridge annually in early April.

2. Amazing Food

Whether you eat your meals in or out, food in Charleston is some of the best in the world. The city boasts five separate farmers’ markets. You’ll find local peaches, homegrown fresh tomatoes, strawberries, early springtime peas, and boiled peanuts at their freshest.

Many of the top restaurants in Charleston have won the Travelers’ Choice award and others have received the Certificate of Excellence from their patrons. Halls Chophouse received both honors in 2016, a fine-dining restaurant that serves American-style food. The Charleston Grill specializes in seafood and game, and focuses on locally-grown food, another contender for first place.

3. The Shopping Scene

Charleston exceeds the criteria established by Travel + Leisure’s requirements for exceptional shopping in the King Street area downtown. The area is an eclectic mix of galleries, designer apparel, interior design firms and gourmet food shops. You’ll also find a custom-bike shop, a two-story bead shop, and a bookstore to round out your shopping experience.

4. The History

If you like history, you’ll love exploring Charleston’s history downtown district. English colonist settled the city of Charleston in the 1670s, and it became a busy port city in the 1800s. Many of the city’s old buildings have been preserved, and horse drawn carriages still carry tourists up and down the city’s cobblestone streets to view the historical sites like the Battery, which was a defensive seawall during the Civil War.

5. Wildlife and Nature

Experience the fourth dimension at the South Carolina Aquarium by watching a 3-D movie complete with the actual movements that replicate the real worlds of undersea life, the world of dinosaurs and ancient sea monsters. The aquarium features more exhibits that take you through each of the life zones found in South Carolina, from its mountains to its beaches. They continually add exhibits and experiences that thrill, educate and delight.

Locals love Charleston sunsets as much as they love the food, nightlife, and beaches. Some of the best places to watch include Fort Moutrie Beach, Vendue Inn Rooftop Bar, Brittlebank Park, and the Pitt Street Bridge. Another perfect place to watch the sun go down is on a Charleston Harbor tour that Sandlapper Tours offers. Besides offering spectacular viewing, the harbor embodies much of Charleston’s rich history.

6. The People

Charleston, SC is known for its beauty and charm—and it’s not just the landscape we’re talking about. In 2014, Charleston was named the nation’s friendliest city by a Conde Nast Traveler survey, and we have to agree. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’ll be greeted with a warm smile, great conversation, and the best Southern hospitality around.

Looking for something fun to do in the area? Read Top 13 Things Charleston South Carolina ActivitiesTo Do This Summer.

Sandlapper Water Tours provides visitors and residents many Charleston Harbor tour options to help you explore all of the greatest things about our great city. See you on board soon!