Charleston | World’s Best Cities


A beguiling fusion of built environment and coastal transition landscapes—golden islands, channels and marshes—Charleston is one of North America’s most architecturally significant destinations. This easy yet kinetic seaside American treasure draws pilgrims from all over the world, propelled by global travel media and the promise of legendary Southern hospitality from an ideal, forgotten epoch. The city comes in at #2 for Place—just behind Honolulu—including a #2 ranking both for Neighborhoods and for Parks and Outdoors. A city rich in cultural, natural, and military heritage, Charleston nabs the top spot in our Museums category. Set to open next year, the International African American Museum will illuminate the influential, under-reported histories of Africans and their descendants in South Carolina, highlighting their diasporic connections throughout the nation and the world. The museum’s defining feature will be its location at the historic site of Gadsden’s Wharf. Nearly half of captive Africans forced to North America in the slavery era arrived through Charleston and today millions of Americans can trace their ancestors here.