Charleston, South Carolina is not “everyone’s” #1 Travel Destination

By Mark A. Leon

There has been social chatter, word on the street and much much self proclamation that Charleston, SC is the #1 travel destination in the United States and the World.  I think we need to take a moment to clarify this.

This distinction has come from a single publication, which the city of Charleston pays to be a part of.  When major publications compile data and provide lists, there is often a fee to participate in the ranking analysis.  Cities are not just randomly picked, analyzed and rated.  There is a process of participation.  That is a key piece of information that is relevant to the Travel & Leisure annual list of Top Vacation Destination Cities.

Next, we look at some other lists to see where Charleston falls.

  1.  Travel Channel Top 10 Vacation Spots – #1 Paris, Italy, #2 New York City, New York, #3 Rome, Italy, #4 Cancun, Mexico, #5 London, England, #6 Miami, Florida, #7 Orlando, Florida, #8 San Francisco, California, #9 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, #10 Branson, Missouri
  2. 25 Best Places to Visit / Worlds Best Vacations – US News and Worlds Report – US Cities to make the list:  #9 New York City, New York, #10 Maui, Hawaii, #15 Yellowstone, Wyoming, #19 Washington, D.C., #20 Grand Canyon, #23 San Francisco, CA
  3. Top 25 World Destinations – Raters Choice – Trip Advisor – US Cities to make the list:  #5 New York City, New York
  4. Best in Travel 2017 – US Destinations – Lonely Planet – #1 Asheville, North Carolina.  Charleston did not make the top 10
  5. 21 Best Budget Destinations for 2017 – Forbes – US Cities to make the list: #16 Moab, Utah
  6. 15 Best Places to Take a Big Trip in 2017 – Thrilllist – US Destinations:  #8 Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
  7. 50 Best Vacation Destinations – VacationIdea – US Destinations on the list:  Las Vegas, New York, Florida, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Texas and National Parks
  8. Top 10 Places to Travel in 2017 – Vogue – US Destinations on the list:  #7 Idaho
  9. Summer in the US:  20 Best Vacation Destinations – Frommer’s –  Charleston, South Carolina was not on the list
  10. Ten Most Affordable Vacation Destinations – Mercury News – Charleston, South Carolina was not on the list
  11. 29 of the Best Vacation Destinations for Couples – Buzzfeed – #17 Charleston, South Carolina
  12. 10 Best Places to Visit in the United States for Young Couples – InsiderMonkey – #1 New York City, New York.  Charleston, South Carolina was not on the list
  13. Best Vacation Spots for Couples Trying to Conceive – The Bump – Charleston, South Carolina not on the list
  14. 13 Best Family Vacations in the US – US News – #1 Grand Canyon, #9 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Charleston, South Carolina did not make the list.
  15. Top 10 Fall Travel Destinations for 2017 – Clark.com – #1 Orlando, FL, #2 Rome, Italy, #3 Anaheim, CA, #4 Honolulu, HI, #5 New York City, #6 Las Vegas, NV, #7 London, England, #8 Dublin, Ireland, #9 Boston, MA, #10 Cancun, Mexico
  16. Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2018 – Lonely Planet – #1 Seville, Spain, #2 Detroit, MI, #3 Canberra, Australia, #4 Hamburg, Germany, #5 Kaohsiung, Taiwan, #6 Antwerp, Belguim, #7 Matera, Italy, #8 San Juan, Puerto Rico, #9 Guanajuato, Mexico, #10 Oslo, Norway
  17. World’s Happiest Places – National Geographic – #1 US Destination – Boulder, Colorado.  Charleston did not make final list.

It is nice to praise one self.  There is a sense of accomplishment, value and prestige to be honored.  There is also a certain nobility to humbleness.  It is an acquired taste and one that is not often enough used.

Enjoy the annual Travel & Leisure honor, but let us not assume, we are on everyone’s top list.

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