Photo by Andrew Shelley on Unsplash

Toss another plaque on the pile, Charleston was once again named among Travel + Leisure readers’ top U.S. and worldwide destinations for 2021.

T+L‘s annual World’s Best list was announced Wednesday, with Charleston taking the top American spot and the only U.S. locale on the magazine’s worldwide destination list.

Charleston edged out Santa Fe, New Mexico and Savannah for the top U.S. spot. Stuck between Jaipur, India and Tokyo, Japan, Charleston snagged No. 19 in the magazine’s top world city destinations.

Hilton Head was also named among the world’s best islands, according to the magazine. Kiawah Island’s Sanctuary was named the state’s top resort hotel, with the John Rutledge House Inn taking the best hotel spot in Charleston.

While Charleston is topping tourism lists, South Carolina can also boast the nation’s second-highest COVID-19 rate, according to The New York Times.

Still, Travel + Leisure editor Jacqui Gifford credited destinations for managing “innovative ways” to accommodate guests amid a global pandemic.

“This year’s results are a testament to the travel industry’s resilience under enormous strain,” she said in a press release Wednesday.

Charleston International Airport reported more than 35,000 passengers passed through its doors over Labor Day Weekend, more than double its 2020 figures.

Complete Travel + Leisure reader survey results will be published in the magazine’s new issue, out Sept. 17.

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