Photo by Tyrone Sanders on Unsplash

Readers of Southern Living voted Charleston the South’s Best City during the magazine’s 2023 South’s Best awards.

This is the sixth year Charleston has taken the title of Best City, and Southern Living praised the area’s many attractions in its winners announcement article: “Almost everyone who visits Charleston these days is tempted to unpack their bags and move right in. That’s because of the wonderfully walkable downtown, picturesque sidewalks, and distinctive architecture studded with Charleston single houses.

“It’s no shock that The Holy City stays at the top of this list year after year,” Southern Living staff wrote.

With tourism as one of Charleston’s most prominent economic drivers — contributing to over 23% of area sales in 2021, according to the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis — this year’s accolade further bolsters the city’s reputation as an ideal spot for travelers.

“We remain mindful and appreciative that readers determine prestigious accolades like the South’s Best City,” said John LaVerne, Explore Charleston’s board chair and founder of Bulldog Tours. “The exposure from the award reinforces to travelers the attributes that make our region a premier destination, from our vibrant urban core to our beautiful island communities.

“Being honored for the sixth year demonstrates our ability to remain relevant and to consistently provide high-quality, engaging and authentic visitor experiences in a highly competitive industry.” 

In addition receiving the title of Best City, the Charleston area was also recognized in a number of other categories including Best Small Towns in the South (awarded to Folly Beach), the South’s Best BBQ Joint in South Carolina (Rodney Scott’s BBQ) and the South’s Best Locally Owned Restaurant In South Carolina (Page’s Okra Grill).

To view the full list of categories and winners in the 2023 South’s Best Awards, visit

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