Spoleto Festival USA

Really, is there another honest-to-god, unironic candidate for this category? Spoleto Festival USA has consistently walked away with the plaques for these since year one, and for good reason. With the exception of any old-world pagan rites in the area, there’s hardly a Charleston festival that doesn’t owe its existence at least indirectly to Spoleto and the tourist-fueled arts and hospitality renaissance it jump-started when it was founded here three decades ago. Sure, that Southeastern Wildlife thing may pump more raw cash into local retailers’ registers — but which festival gets name-dropped in Condé Nast Traveler each year when Charleston lands (inevitably) in their readers’ top 10 places to visit?


Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.