Charleston, S.C., as second best city in the world? Travel + Leisure says yes

Travel + Leisure magazine readers selected Charleston, S.C., as the second-best city in the world to visit in 2015.

The reader survey was conducted before a mass shooting June 17 that killed nine at a historic black church.

Dylann Roof, a suspected white supremacist, is accused of having entered Emanuel AME church in Charleston, sat with a prayer group for more than an hour, and opened fire, killing nine, including the pastor. Roof was arrested the next day in North Carolina. He was indicted Tuesday on suspicion of the killings.

Charleston is the only U.S. city to have made the 10 best cities in the world list in which Kyoto, Japan, took the No. 1 spot. Charleston also took the top spot among best cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Others on the best cities in the world to visit list:

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia, site of the Angkor Wat temple complex


4. Florence, Italy

5. Rome

6. Bangkok, Thailand

7. Krakow, Poland

8. Barcelona, Spain

9. Cape Town, South Africa

10. Jerusalem

The Galápagos Islands off Ecuador were deemed the world’s best islands. Vancouver Island, British Columbia, took the top honors for the U.S. and Canada, and Maui ranked tops among the Hawaiian islands.

T+L readers also voted in a list of the world’s top 100 hotels, for those who want to start planning a dream trip.

India’s Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur and Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur were in the top 10 -- and have been receiving high marks from T+L readers for a decade.

Some U.S. hotels that ranked high: Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Mont. (tied for third place); the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, Calif.; and the Sunset Key Cottages, a Luxury Collection Resort, in Key West, Fla. (both tied for eighth place).

Some other interesting rankings:

--Singapore Changi Airport was selected as top international airport.

--For ocean cruises, Disney Cruise Line was named top mega-ship line, Crystal Cruises was named top large-ship line, and Seabourn named top small-ship line.

--The Golden Door in San Marcos, Calif., was named best destination spa in the world.

Readers were asked to rate airlines, hotels, cities, cruise ship operators and other travel services between Nov. 3 and March 2. The scores given to each entity represent an index of responses that were based on rating specific characteristics. (See a list of criteria and categories here.)

Info: Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2015


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