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An ecocruise to the Morris Island lighthouse was one of the favorite activities for Charleston visitors using TripAdvisor. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

Charleston ranks among the top 10 American cities when it comes to travel experiences, according to those who booked vacations on TripAdvisor.

The Holy City was No. 7 on the list. The three favorite activities the TripAdvisor visitors listed were sightseeing bus tours, a walking tour of the city's alleys and hidden passages, and the Morris Island lighthouse ecocruise.

Outdoor and nature experiences were heavily favored among the top cities on the list. The top city was the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Jobs fair

Job seekers can check out opportunities at hotels and restaurants in downtown Charleston at a jobs fair next week.

It’s from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 11 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites at 181 Church St.

Representatives of DoubleTree, Le Farfalle, Belmond Charleston Place, Planters Inn and Peninsula Grill, The Restoration, Fleet Landing, King Charles Inn, Hospitality Management Group, The Grand Bohemian, Indigo Road, Charming Inns and Courtyard Historic Charleston Downtown will be on hand to discuss their openings.

The event is organized by Explore Charleston, the Charleston Area Hospitality Association and the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association.

More information is at

Design contest

Although Charleston is known for its historic architecture, a contest has been announced to promote the city’s new breed of designers.

A new group called Design in Great Spaces, aka DIGS, is taking submissions for a design award show. Explore Charleston, the group that promotes Charleston tourism, is publicizing it along with Traditional Home magazine. The winners will be announced at a Nov. 2 gala that's the same weekend as Traditional Home's Southern Style Now Festival and Showhouse in Charleston.

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"These events will elevate our community as the focal point for Southern architecture and design," Explore Charleston CEO Helen Hill said. "People from across the country will be drawn to the Lowcountry to celebrate our creative community and highlight current trends in Southern design."

The DIGS contest will have 11 categories that showcase "how the simple is made extraordinary," according to the announcement. Entries are being accepted through Sept. 10. Applicants don't have to live in the Lowcountry, nor do they have to be licensed professionals, but the projects must be in the Charleston area.

Winners will be announced Nov. 2 at a gala at the Cigar Factory. The "Best in Show" winner will get $10,000. There is a $150-$250 entry fee. More information and the entry form is at

Best historic hotels

Two Charleston hotels made USA Today's list of America's 10 Best Historic Hotels: The honors go to Zero George Street and the Wentworth Mansion. The top-ranked historic hotel of the group was The Peabody in Memphis.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.