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Charleston named top city in US and Canada by Travel + Leisure

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Carriage ride through downtown Charleston. (Source: Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau) Carriage ride through downtown Charleston. (Source: Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
The readers of Travel + Leisure have spoken. When it comes to the best city in the United States, it doesn't get any better than Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston has been named the top city in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine. This is the second straight year the Holy City has earned the top spot on the travel site's "World's Best Awards" list.

The World's Best Awards are decided by the readers of Travel + Leisure, who are asked to provide feedback based on a number of categories and characteristics, including sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, and value. There was also an optional category for romance.

"I really think that a lot of it has to do with how authentic we are here in Charleston," said Daniel Blumenstock, chairman of the Charleston Area Convention & Business Bureau.

Blumenstock says the historic downtown Charleston isn't the only reason the city is at the top of the list.

"We have plantations that are located West of the Ashley and in Mount Pleasant. As well as the North Charleston Convention Center in that retrospect," said Blumenstock.

Charleston edged out New Orleans for the top spot, with a score of 90.18 to 88.74. The score was high enough to earn Charleston the No. 2 spot overall, slightly behind Kyoto, Japan (90.21).

Charleston hotels dominated this year's "Top Small City Hotels in the Continental U.S." list. Planters Inn took the top spot (as well as No. 26 overall), with French Quarter Inn coming in at No. 2, Wentworth Mansion at No. 4, and Market Pavilion Hotel at No. 5.

Bradley Dickerson, manager of Planters Inn said, "We're very very proud. We've been recognized in Travel and Leisure for numerous years and been in the top five before but never number one."

Check out the 2014 World's Best Awards Top 10 Cities in the United States and Canada:
  1. Charleston, SC (90.18)
  2. New Orleans, LA (88.74)
  3. Savannah, GA (88.30)
  4. San Francisco, CA (87.53)
  5. Chicago, IL (87.21)
  6. Vancouver (86.71)
  7. Santa Fe, NM (86.68)
  8. Quebec City (86.51)
  9. New York City, NY (86.26)
  10. Boston, MA (85.69)
For the complete list of 2014 World's Best Awards winners, click here.

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