Travel and Leisure magazine says Charleston is number two on its list of “Best Cities in North America.” Joe Riley, the city’s mayor for the past 35 years, says, “It’s a feather in the cap of the citizens of our city. The citizens make the city and it’s just wonderful–the international recognition our city continues to receive. Citizens work hard to make it a beautiful, livable, exciting place.”
Riley says if citizens care, tourists will too, “I’ve always said that if you work hard to make a city a great place to live, people will want to visit. You don’t make it a great place to visit, you make it a great place to live. We go to places, if we go to other cities, we like to go to cities where the people who live there really love living in those cities.”
Riley says the Travel and Leisure magazine list gives a boost for the city’s tourism industry and economy. The mayor says when he comes home from trips and steps back on Charleston ground, “There’s nothing like coming home. When I fly back from wherever I am and when you get outside the airport and you just breathe the Lowcountry, and whatever the season is–there’s a scent, a softness and you’re just so thankful to be back home.”
The best U.S. city, according to Travel and Leisure, is New York City.