World's top 10 cities led by Charleston, Cape Town and of course, Gustavia
Gustavia? Where's Gustavia?
It's in the Caribbean, and readers of Condé Nast Traveler have voted it among the world's top 10 cities, according to one of the magazine's rankings. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico also made the grade.
The other 8 are cities that there's a better chance you've heard of, led by - no not San Francisco, Paris, London or any of those - but Charleston, South Carolina.
Yes Charleston, the city where George Gershwin composed Porgy and Bess, which fired the first shot in the American Civil War, which hosted the country's first golf game and which is rich and resplendent with varied architecture and gardens, trumped every other metropolis in the world in the eyes of those who thumb through the well known glossy periodical.
To clarify the Top 10: In a sort of "equal time" maneuver, Condé Nast pulled together the leader from each of the regions into which it divides the world: the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Caribbean and Atlantic, and Australia/Pacific. It highlights this list on it website announcing the polls results.
The absolute Top 10 would look different, as readers ranked many cities above the Gustavia's (it's in St. Barts) and the San Miguel Allende's. For instance, all of the leaders in the U.S. and in Europe topped both of those cities.
It also looks as though readers of the U.S. magazine have a U.S. bias as the top 3 U.S. cities - Charleston, San Francisco and Chicago - outrank any of Europe's gems. Perhaps that's why Condé Nast featured the "equal time" chart.
Below are a few of the slices and dices, showing the city followed by reader rankings based on the combined factors of ambience, culture/sites, friendliness, lodgings, restaurants and shopping. For the full standings of readers' take on cities, islands, resorts, hotels and more, by ALL regions, click here.
And of course, take it for what you will. I tend to think of these polls as "where to be impressed if you have plenty of money and don't mind riding a big CO2 machine to get there."
Without further ado....
Condé Nast's Highlighted Top 10 Cities - The Winner From Each Region:
- Charleston, South Carolina 86.7
- Cape Town 84.8
- Florence 83.3
- Bangkok 83.0
- Vancouver 81.9
- Sydney 81.7
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 79.7
- Buenos Aires 76.1
- Beirut 75.9
- Gustavia 71.1
Top 10 Europe:
- Florence 83.3
- Barcelona 81.0
- Rome 80.9
- Paris 80.2
- Vienna 79.9
- Venice 79.0
- Budapest 78,8
- Krakow 78.4
- Prague 78.4 (tied for 8th)
- Salzburg 78.3
Top 10 U.S.:
- Charleston 86.7
- San Francisco 83.8
- Chicago 83.6
- Santa Fe 82.0
- New York City 81.6
- Honolulu 80.4
- Napa, Calif. 79.1
- New Orleans 78.4
- Seattle 78.2
- Boston, Carmel, Savannah (tie) 77.6
For other regions, see links in story.
Photos: Gustavia from GoDifferent LLC/O2Cruise.com. Charleston from Billy Hathorn. Florence from Enne. All via Wikimedia.
— By Mark Halper on November 14, 2012, 4:00 PM