Each year, Travel + Leisure magazine asks its readers to rate 35 American cities in eight categories, including Shopping, Quality of Life and Visitor Experience, People, Nightlife, Culture, Food/Drink/Restaurants, Best Times to Visit and Type of Trip. Charleston beat out big Southern cities like Orlando and Atlanta, but failed to win over readers in all categories when compared to similar cities, such as Savannah and New Orleans, both also port cities that exude history and culture.
One thing readers do agree on: Charleston is the No. 1 choice, out of 35 cities across the country, for fine dining. It was also voted the No. 1 Romantic Escape in the country. The Holy City received top 10 rankings in other categories as well. In the People category, Charleston’s residents received high scores in attractiveness (No. 4 in the country), driving ability (No. 6), friendliness (No. 3), intelligence (No. 8), and stylishness (No. 6).
In addition to its No. 1 ranking as a romantic escape, T+L readers also gave Charleston high marks as a cultural getaway (No. 3), family vacation destination (No. 6), and a top girlfriend getaway (No. 4). Our nightlife, however failed to impress, with no rankings in the top 10. As for the Quality of Life category, the architecture (No. 3), cleanliness (No. 6), peace and quiet (No. 3), public parks (No. 7), safety (No. 4), and weather (No. 9) were cited as Charleston’s strong points. And of course, the city’s shopping got high marks: Charleston was cited as the No. 2 antique destination in the country and the No. 5 destination for both home decor and design stores and independent boutiques.
Admittedly, if you’re considering purchasing real estate in the area, these rankings may seem a little silly to you. Obviously, you shouldn’t purchase property here just because the people are friendly and attractive. But factor in all the national (Mayor Riley was recently a featured guest on NPR) and international attention the city gets, the strength of its real estate market of late, and the fact that a magazine with 4.8 million readers likes the Holy City, and you can start to see that this is a good time to be a Charlestonian. The 300-year-old city has staying power. Right now, we might be in boom mode, but it is a sustainable boom that’s likely to resist a bust.
As always, if you have any questions about the Charleston real estate market, please give Bob Brennaman a call at 843-345-6074 or leave a comment here.