Travel + Leisure's world's best cities - CNN.com
(CNN)Southern charm is a force to be reckoned with as far as Travel + Leisure readers are concerned.
Charleston, South Carolina, topped the publication's world's top cities awards, part of its annual reader-chosen World's Best Awards.Travel + Leisure revealed the award winners on Wednesday as part of the travel magazine's 21st annual reader survey of top travel destinations and companies around the world. Charleston wasn't South Carolina's only big winner. The state dominated the awards, with Hilton Head Island taking top honors as best continental U.S. island and Charleston's Spectator Hotel named best hotel in the continental United States."Charleston is a remarkably dynamic place, so it's no surprise that it has achieved its highest ranking ever in our survey as this year's best city in the world," said Nathan Lump, the magazine's editor. "The city has managed to preserve all the qualities for which it is widely known -- a prime coastal setting, historic architecture, friendly locals -- while also nurturing a creative culture that is making it one of the most notable destinations for those who seek out interesting restaurants, bars and shops," Lump said.It's also a city that has worked on recovering from last year's deadly mass shooting at the predominately African-American Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which shook the city to its core.