What Makes a 'Best City in the World'?

Best Cities In The World

The historic city of Charleston soars to the top of the list as a premiere location for vacationers. A quick glance at reviews on Trip Advisor is proof that there are lots of fun things to do in Charleston. Recently, Charlestonians learned their city is just as big of an attraction abroad as it is stateside. Travel+Leisure magazine has named Charleston ‘Best City in the World’ based on the number of votes from their readers. Way to go Holy City! 

The ‘Best City in the World’ distinction isn’t an honor to be taken lightly. It’s not just a title that is handed out to any ole city, and never before has a city in the United States received such recognition from the magazine and global travelers. 

So what is it that makes Charleston the best? Well, it’s pretty evident that there are lots of fun things to do in Charleston. The city’s architecture, social and food scene and beautiful beaches are attractive to baby boomers, families, couples and singles. It’s become a great place to those who are considering owning a second home or moving south at retirement. AARP found Charleston to have top-notch amenities for retirees such as mild year round weather and quality medical care, so if you’re thinking about where to retire, why not consider Charleston?

But there are plenty of other reasons why this charming southern city is so sought after.

The experts looked at several categories before choosing Charleston as a ‘Best City’:

  • Tourism
  • Arts & Culture
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Friendliness
  • Value 

Charleston South Carolina is jammed packed with history, so it is no surprise that tourism is one of its top industries. Tours exploring the city’s antebellum style architecture, museums, historical sites, maritime history and much more are offered year-round. 

The city is also a haven for arts and culture. Music, theater, dance, photography, and art exhibits are a few of the fun things to do in Charleston, see and experience here. The active social scene is good to keep in mind for those thinking of owning a second home.

When it comes to experiences, food is often a memorable part of it. Charleston is a Foodie town because there is lots of eclectic cuisine. This is the city for southern comfort foods like fried chicken and catfish, hoppin’ john and biscuits and gravy. But it doesn’t stop there. Charleston is a port city so fresh seafood is always on the menu. And no one should leave Charleston without sampling Gullah cuisine, which incorporates many African cultures into the dishes.

Attention shoppers! Charleston is the city for you. There are many boutiques and shops in the downtown area that carry antiques, clothing and specialty items. Bargain lovers are in luck too with nearby outlets and open air markets. 

Baby boomers searching for where to retire should take a look at Charleston for its friendliness and value. Southern hospitality goes a long way here. Conde Nast Traveler survey ranked Charleston friendliest city for two years in a row. Add in the beaches, the mild weather and natural beauty and it is clear why living in Charleston is a great value. While Charleston reigns supreme for Travel+Leisure readers, it’s not the only southern town with charming attractions.

Nearby Savannah, Georgia is another coastal city with rich history. It is America’s first planned city nicknamed the 'Hostess City'. Tour beautiful square-like parks, walk the cobblestone streets, and visit the many landmarks there. The riverfront is a popular hang out area and Tybee Island is where the local’s enjoy the beach. In the suburbs of Savannah, there are dozens of well designed master planned communities like Southbridge, Savannah Quarters and The Landings. If you’ll like more information about any of them, reach out and say hello.

Another popular coastal city is Wilmington, North Carolina. From the Historic River District on the Cape Fear River to the beautiful beaches on the barrier islands, it is understandable why people fall in love with this city. But the best part is folks will find a big bang for the buck when it comes to home purchases. It’s easy to find new starter homes in the $200k’s. 

Mention Knoxville, Tennessee and bright orange may come to mind in this collegiate spirited town. The University of Tennessee infuses college sports, lifelong learning opportunities and leading technologies to the Volunteer State. But there’s lots more there than that. This is the place for outdoor adventurists not far from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There’s hiking, biking, boating and so much more. People like living in Tennessee because of the low cost of living and genuine southern hospitality. People are super friendly in Tennessee.

Beautiful blue beaches, arts and cultural scene, fine dinning and no snow make Sarasota, Florida a favorite destination for baby-boomers and families. Torn about where to retire? Sarasota may be a good contender if we enjoy timeless sunsets, farmers markets and being around people young at heart. 

Whether it’s received a ‘Best City’ honor or not, all of these southern metropolises offer comfort, community, pride and plenty of perks. We know any of these locations would make for a great getaway or location for owning a second home. 

We’re happy to recommend a community to fit your specifications. Fill out of Community Matchmaker Questionnaire and we’ll promptly reply with places of interest. 

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