Charleston tops another prestigious list; how to combat “Top 10 List Fatigue”

  • Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 9:59 a.m., Updated: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 8:15 a.m.
A horse-drawn carriage tour travels downtown in this 2011 file photo. Charleston was named the No. 1 city in the United States on Tuesday by Travel + Leisure magazine. Buy this photo

A bout of “Top 10 List Fatigue” has set in this summer.

Travel + Leisure World's Best Cities

Top 10 in the world

1. Bangkok

2. Istanbul

3. Florence, Italy

4. Cape Town

5. Kyoto, Japan

6. Rome

7. Charleston

8. Barcelona

9. Paris

10. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Top 10 in the U.S. and Canada

1. Charleston

2. San Francisco

3. New York City

4. Chicago

5. Santa Fe

6. New Orleans

7. Savannah

8. Quebec City

9. Vancouver

10. Washington, D.C.

Source: Travel + Leisure

Epidemiologists anticipate known cases to escalate this week as Travel + Leisure just named Charleston the No. 1 city in the U.S. and Canada, edging out San Francisco for the top spot.

Symptoms of “Top 10 List Fatigue” include, but aren't limited to, indifference to new accolades heaped on the Holy City and anxiety about getting restaurant reservations during high tourist season.

“Tired of people from 'off' telling us how great we are,” Kevin Williams wrote on The Post and Courier's Facebook page.

Kitty Bird, who lives in Lebanon, Tenn., but calls Charleston her “hometown,” wrote “tired of lists!”

Matt Webb of Summerville said he's just tired of people from Ohio.

There's lots of fatigue going around.

If you or a loved one suffer from “Top 10 List Fatigue,” consult the closest Charlestonian you can find — just make sure it's not Helen Hill. She's immune to it.

“The Travel + Leisure poll is really important to us as visitor's destination,” said Hill, executive director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You're starting to see Charleston listed alongside the greatest vacation cities in the world. That's the kind of exposure that we court.”

In addition to being named the No. 1 U.S. city, Charleston was also ranked No. 7 in the whole world by Travel + Leisure, wedged right between Rome and Barcelona. The announcement was made on NBC's “Today Show” Tuesday morning.

Previously, Charleston ranked No. 1 in the 2011 and 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. It also has one of the best waterfronts, some of the best underrated historical destinations and the fourth best farmers' market in the country. Charlestonians routinely get kudos for their friendliness. The city only ranked No. 138 in Luminosity's recent Smartest Cities poll. You win some. You lose some.

But if residents here are suffering from “list fatigue,” magazine editors are similarly exposed to “list schizophrenia.”

Just last month, Travel + Leisure named Charleston the 10th snobbiest city in the country.

“Being the snobbiest city and the friendliest city don't really go together,” said Rachel Chesser, events coordinator for the Charleston Museum.

Like it or not, though, these lists matter, Hill said.

“People see this as a very positive thing. Because I grew up here, the reality is 30 years ago, we didn't have the options we have today and that's how Charleston has changed for the better,” she said. “List fatigue — funny.”

Unfortunately, there is no known cure. If your symptoms persist more than a few hours, take a nap. Or maybe a trip to the mountains. That's where Hill is this week.

Zach Fox contributed to this article.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.

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