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Charleston, SC: Voted America's #1 Small City, 10 Years & Counting

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Charleston, SC: Voted America's #1 Small City, 10 Years & Counting

St. Michaels Church and Broad St.

“Come quickly, I have found heaven.” When American artist Alfred Hutty visited Charleston for the first time, he telegraphed that message to his wife.

Rich in history and culture; Charleston, South Carolina is known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, pastel Georgian row-houses, vibrant flowers, and some of the dreamiest architecture in the world. A far cry from the skyscrapers of New York, Charleston’s attractive skyline is dominated by church spires, giving it the nickname “The Holy City.”

Founded in 1670, Charleston is South Carolina’s oldest and largest city. Before the American Revolution, Charleston was the largest and wealthiest city south of Philly. It soon became the fourth largest colony and was a focal point during the revolution, and latterly in the civil war. Named for a civil-war coastal defense artillery battery, the Battery promenade and Waterfront Park both overlook the Charleston Harbor. Just across the water lies Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the civil war were fired.

Not just for history buffs; Charleston has a diverse mix of attractions for families, partygoers, fishing fans, and more. The pastel rowhouses on East Bay Street captivate the imagination - it has been said they were painted that way so drunken sailors could find the right house when returning home! Magnolia Plantation is one of the oldest Estates in South Carolina, showcasing ancient oak trees hanging with Spanish moss, alligator-infested swamps, and a bevy of birds, including peacocks and blue herons. The Isle of Palms is known for luxury beach homes, sable palms, dolphin tours, and sea turtles.

Charleston is an excellent place to experience the South Carolina take on American southern cuisine, dishes like crab cakes, catfish stew, and shrimp kedgeree that are infused with the strong Caribbean and African influences.

When it comes to nightlife, Charleston packs a healthy number of bars, clubs, and live entertainment venues into its relatively compact city center. There are a wealth of options here, whether you fancy a night of classy cocktails or a casual drink. Enjoy an evening out by heading to a “speakeasy, and experience the thrill of a night out in the prohibition era.

Brimming with southern hospitality and charm, the city is continually reinventing itself. Palm trees line the sidewalks and shake their shaggy heads as the salty gusts roll in from the harbor. Church steeples glint in the sun. Take a historic tour or discover the architecture. Meander Rainbow Row; peek through wrought-iron gates, past tendrils of trailing ivy, catch glimpses of hidden gardens; take a blustery walk along with the Battery under blue skies, or sidle up to an oyster bar for a half-shell slurp. Whatever way you choose to spend your time here, the most universally recommended experiences can become your own.