CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston may be a small city, but it holds a lot of weight as it has been named the #1 Best Small City.

Condé Nast Traveler named Charleston the #1 small city on their 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards in their The Best Cities in the U.S. list.

Its gorgeous views, topnotch restaurants, and southern hospitality are just a few reasons thousands of Conde Nast readers voted for Charleston.

“It’s really a testament to the people in our city,” said Linn Lesesne, a member of Explore Charleston’s Board of Governors Executive Committee. “We have tens of thousands of people in the industry.”

Both the tourism and hospitality industries, which the city relies on, have been treading water for months in the midst of the pandemic.

“Our summer occupancy in Charleston County averaged around 47% this summer and typically we range between 80% in June and 69% in August,” said Lesesne.

Lesesne says, fortunately, September brought an uptick in occupancy and things are looking up. This award will keep Charleston on the minds of readers looking to take a trip.

“It strengthens our region’s legacy as a real premiere destination and we remain relevant with awards like this,” said Lesesne.

Voters take into account a city’s arts and culture, friendliness, restaurants, and shopping, among other criteria, and choose a city from an extensive database of cities around the world.

“Everybody loves to share our city so it’s out friendliness. Our history. We have great history here and this year being our 350th anniversary of the founding of charleston makes this an even more special award.”

This year, 715,000 votes were counted in total for the Best Small Cities category.

There are two list to separate the Best Small Cities and Best Big Cities based on the populations.

Charleston was able to rank over a few popular cities you may know. The Best Small Cities in the U.S. are:

  1. Charleston, SC
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  4. Laguna Beach, CA
  5. Alexandria, VA
  6. Greenville, SC
  7. Aspen, CO
  8. Savannah, GA
  9. Jackson Hole, WY
  10. Key West, FL