If it gets lonely at the top, Charlestonians sure don’t seem to mind.
Charleston is no stranger to the varied magazine lists of the country and world.
Here are a few of the last designations we’ve held in the last few months:
No. 1 U.S. city, Travel + Leisure 2013 rankings
No. 7 best city in the world, Travel + Leisure 2013 rankings
No. 10 snobbiest U.S. city, Travel + Leisure 2013 rankings
No. 1 world destination, Conde Nast 2012 rankings
No. 1 friendliest U.S. city, Conde Nast 2012 rankings
No. 5 friendliest city in the world, Conde Nast 2012 rankings
Conde Nast magazine and its readers have voted Charleston the friendliest city in America, according to the mag’s annual Readers’ Choice Survey.
2. Galena, Ill.
3. Savannah, Ga.
4. Asheville, N.C.
5. Austin, Texas
7. Jackson, Miss.
7. Natchez, Miss.
8. Telluride, Colo.
9. Sonoma, Calif.
10. Branson, Mo.
Sourse: Conde Nast
And while residents were unanimous in their “no duh” comments, at least two out-of-towners didn’t quite see it that way.
The selection was no surprise to local Carole Bridges, who has lived here for more than 30 years. As soon as she saw the College of Charleston campus, she knew she was in the right place.
“Oh my gosh, I have to go here,” Bridges said on seeing the college.
Other Lowcountry longtimers echoed Bridges’ comments.
Living in Summerville for more than 30 years, Susan Gamble said she thinks the city does deserve the ranking, but it all depends on the perception of visitors.
“If people don’t think it’s a friendly place, they won’t come to Charleston,” Gamble said.
For more than a century, relatives of John Parrott, 56, have called Charleston home, a place unrivaled for them in the region.
“It’s the nicest of Southern towns,” Parrott said. “It’s the quintessential Southern town.”
Close to Charleston, Savannah and Asheville, N.C., ranked third and fourth, respectively. Texas had one representative with a fifth-place showing for Austin, while two Mississippi cities, Jackson and Natchez, tied for seventh.
Although they said most of their trip has been pleasant, Aiken residents Lavette and Henry Toole said their visit to Charleston has left them at times feeling unwelcomed.
“Where I live at, if you walk down the street and you speak to them, they speak back,” Lavette said.
The Tooles, having walked up and down King Street and encountering 10 people, said they had only one such response.
William Fowler, a resident since 1981 originally from Alabama, knows this is the place to be in the Palmetto State.
“We are some of the friendliest people in South Carolina,” Fowler said.
A characteristic of the Charleston charm, Fowler said, is how people in the area will give directions to tourists and go out of their way to help.
“I go out all over the world, and when I tell people I’m from Charleston, people get excited,” he said.
Reach Nick Watson at 937-4810.
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