Discover the #1 Vacation Destination in America
One again, Charleston, South Carolina, has been named the #1 American City in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards. Legendary for its rich past and Southern hospitality, Charleston offers so much for visitors to see and do (we’ll give you insider tips in this article.).
Another key reason to move this charming destination with its quaint, pastel-hued cityscape to the top of your vacation bucket list is nearby Kiawah Island. Just minutes away from Charleston, this unspoiled barrier island was ranked by Conde Nast Traveler’s readers as the #1 Island in North America (coming in behind only Palawan, Philippines worldwide.).
Add it all up and South Carolina’s Lowcountry equals the #1 vacation in America. To help you plan your getaway, below is a handy list of the destination’s must-sees:
1. Historic District | Gracious antebellum homes. Cobblestone streets. Lush gardens. Take one of Charleston’s many walking or carriage tours to explore the city’s amazing architecture and 350-year history. More can’t-miss downtown highlights include the South Carolina Aquarium, featuring fascinating marine animals and views of the harbor, and the Charleston Museum, where you can learn more about the cultural and natural history of South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
2. Charleston Harbor | Another memorable way to explore the city is by water. You can book a tour with Spirit Line Cruises or a privately chartered boat to sail into Charleston’s protected harbor to see and hear about Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. You’ll also see additional forts, the impressive Ravenel Bridge, historic architecture – and plenty of dolphins!
3. Art, Culture & More | Performing arts fans will want to visit the historic Dock Street Theater, which presents a variety of performances all year. Charleston’s shopping choices include King Street’s antique stores, clothing boutiques and jewelry shops. There’s also Charleston City Market, with seagrass basket makers demonstrating this time-honored Lowcountry craft for visitors.
4. Top Rated Beach | Once you’ve satisfied your taste for the city, head for the sea! It’s just 21 miles to Kiawah Island, known for its stretch of golden sand, rolling dunes and gently swaying sea oats along the Atlantic Ocean. (Kiawah makes regular appearances on Dr. Beach’s list of “Top Ten” beaches across the country.) This ten-mile ribbon of quiet and pristine oceanfront is a great place to observe sea birds, dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat. The waters are perfect for canoes and kayaks, and the beach sand is firm enough to ride bicycles, too.
5. Nature & Recreation | Kiawah Island retains its natural beauty beyond the beach, where the lush Lowcountry setting is graced with magnificent old oak trees draped in Spanish moss. It’s the perfect backdrop for play and exploration. There’s legendary golf on five championship courses – including the Ocean Course, which will host the 2021 PGA Championship, plus tennis, biking on miles of trails, paddle sports, nature activities and, in warm months (which is most of the year in South Carolina), driving into three refreshing pool complexes.
6. Places to Stay, Dine & Unwind | Kiawah Island has many choices for accommodations, from The Sanctuary, a five-star oceanfront retreat, to spacious resort villas with a full kitchen and all the comforts of home. The Island’s restaurant scene is fresh and lively, with more than a dozen casual to fine dining spots serving seasonally inspired menus in a wide choice of settings. There’s also a serene five-star spa offering a comprehensive variety of body treatments and salon services.
It’s easy to enjoy both Charleston and the coast with Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s City and Sea Package, featuring two nights’ accommodations at The Wentworth Mansion in Charleston and two nights at The Sanctuary hotel, plus select meals. To discover more about this package and how to make the most of city and sea in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, call 1-800-654-2924 or visit KiawahResort.com. Be sure to join Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s e-Club as well for your chance to win the trip of a lifetime.