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Best Places to Visit: The Top 10 Cities in the United States

Charleston is the only American city included among the top 10 World's Best Cities as voted by Travel + Leisure readers

| BY Donald Liebenson




Timing is everything.

Charleston, S.C. was ranked the best city in the United States and Canada by the readers of Travel + Leisure in its annual World’s Best survey for 2015, The reader survey was conducted before the horrific and tragic mass shooting June 17 that killed nine at an historic black church.

Charleston was ranked the second-best city in the world (Kyoto, Japan took bragging rights as No. 1), the only U.S. city to crack the top 10.

The complete ranking of the 10 best North American cities as voted by 77,000 Travel + Leisure readers is:

  • Charleston
  • New Orleans
  • Savannah, GA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • San Francisco
  • Quebec City
  • Chicago
  • New York City
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Asheville

This year’s survey was conducted between Nov. 2, 2014 and March 2 of this year. Among the categories and characteristics on which readers were asked to consider included: sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, shopping, and value. Optional considerations included romance and bars.

Charleston has topped the list of the best North American city for the last three years. In a press release, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. said, “The people of Charleston are honored to once again be named…Top U.S. City. To be recognized for the fourth consecutive year is truly a testament to Charleston's vibrant culture, genuine hospitality and wonderful people, who make it such a special place to both live and visit.”

The world’s best cities for 2015 are:

  • Kyoto
  • Charleston
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Florence
  • Rome
  • Bangkok
  • Krakow
  • Barcelona
  • Cape Town
  • Jerusalem

Only three American hotels were ranked among the top 10 World’s Best Hotels, Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana (tied at No. 3) and the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, California and the Sunset Key Guest Cottages, a Luxury Collection Resort in Key West, Florida (both tied at No. 8)

The Golden Door in San Marcos, California, was ranked the world’s best destination spa. Three U.S. destination spas, Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas, the Miraval Resort & Spa and Mii Amo, in Sedona, Arizona, are designated Hall of Famers for being on the world’s best list for 10 consecutive years.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.