Charleston Named #1 Top U.S. City Five Years in a Row

Best Places To Live In Charleston


Let’s hear it for Charleston.  For the 5th straight year in a row, readers of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine have voted Charleston as the top Best Small City in the U.S.

So what makes Charleston a five-time winner?  Readers looked at several categories, which included culture, friendliness, scenery, restaurants and accommodations, shopping and value to make their determination.  And Charleston scored high in every area. The area’s luxury beach homes and South Carolina beach communities certainly did not hurt.

Ask any resident and they will probably agree that this charming southern town deserves this honor thanks to its history, cultural diversity and proximity to several beautiful beaches.  In a nut shell, think of Charleston as a historic city, a sea town and suburbia all wrapped up into one.  

When it comes to seeing all that Charleston has to offer, there are so many wonderful modes of transportation to explore this port city steeped in history.  By bus, bicycle, water or walking, each tour, whether guided or self-guided, offers its own unique view of the city and South Carolina beach communities.  It is not uncommon to hear tourists raving about the fun they had and all they’ve learned about the city thanks to experienced tour guides that make each adventure memorable.  Some tourists have said they’ve gone on tours twice because they enjoyed it so much.  

Explore Charleston’s beautiful downtown area and it’s pretty clear why foodies love this town.  With an assortment of restaurants ranging from southern cuisine to seafood to fine dining, there is something for every palette.  And don’t even think of leaving Charleston without sampling a few of the city’s famous foods: boiled peanuts, fried green tomatoes and field peas just to name a few.

It’s also hard to miss the beautiful architecture that lines the landscaped of the downtown area.  It’s southern living with modern amenities.  It’s not surprising that downtown is one of the best places to live in Charleston. Although folks who live on the barrier islands like Kiawah Island, Sullivan Island and Daniel Island might beg to differ.

While downtown Charleston is definitely a treat for tourists, don’t pass up an opportunity to check out Charleston’s beaches, specifically the Barrier Islands. If wind, waves, surf and sand top your list, this is the place to find it.  South Carolina beach communities offer the best of both worlds.  City life is close by, and when the sights and sounds of the city become too much, an escapee back to the shore is just a short drive away.  

The Barrier Islands are becoming more and more popular with baby boomers and families looking to live 'the good life' by the sea.  As one of the best places to live in Charleston, the area offers many activities such as fishing, boating and a thriving social scene.  Boomers planning to retire can choose from luxury beach homes that will fit their individual needs.  

The suburban town of Mount Pleasant is another Charleston gem.  The town’s history dates back to the 1600s, so there’s lot to do here.  Among the town’s top attractions, the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, Charles Pinckney National Historic Park, several golf clubs and beaches.

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine readers know what a special place Charleston is. The fall is a wonderful time to visit Charleston to continue your home search.  Come see for yourself whether you prefer the city, the shore or the suburbs.  No matter what choose, you'll be a winner too.

If you're learning about the area for the first time, ask for our free Charleston relocation information to help you discover the best places to live in Charleston.

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