The mighty South Carolina Gamecocks are No. 7 in the Bowl Championship Series standings and No. 9 in The Associated Press poll. The not-as-mighty Clemson Tigers are No. 19 (BCS) and No. 14 (AP).
That’s impressive: The only two major college football teams in our state are both nationally ranked.
But here’s something much more impressive:
Our city of Charleston is ranked the No. 1 tourist city in the world in Conde Nast Traveler’s annual survey of readers.
As reported in Wednesday’s Post and Courier, the Holy City, aka the Port City, topped the international competition, including (from Nos. 2 through 5) Cape Town, South Africa; Florence, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; and Vancouver, Canada.
Of course, we were No. 1 in the U.S., too, with San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe and New York City rounding out the top 5 — and Savannah checking in at No. 10. We also were No. 1 in the U.S. in last year’s Conde Nast survey — but only No. 3 in the world, somehow falling behind No. 1 Sydney, Australia, and No. 2 Florence (Italy, not S.C.).
Yikes. When you’re on top, you’ve got nowhere to go but down.
Yet if you’re too broke for a trip to Florence (again, Italy, not S.C.), Paris (France, not Texas) or even Savannah, you can still go to the planet’s No. 1 tourist destination without leaving town.
You might even have more fun — and spend less money — than you would at a USC or Clemson football game.