An old favorite is once again the top travel destination among U.S. cities.
With travel increasing as more Americans get vaccinated against Covid-19, Travel + Leisure released its 26th annual World's Best Awards readers' survey on Wednesday, highlighting the top destinations, hotels, cruise lines, airlines and more.
This year's survey also includes the top national parks, as Americans have flocked to the outdoors and places closer to home as a respite during the pandemic.
A southern city that has earned Travel + Leisure Hall of Fame status once again leads the way as the favorite U.S. city to visit for the magazine's readers.
Best U.S. Cities
1. Charleston, South Carolina
A regular at No. 1, the coastal city continues to be a magnet for travelers with its waterfront restaurants, historic downtown and scenic beaches. Travel + Leisure has designated it a Hall of Fame destination because it has been among the most popular for at least 10 consecutive years.
If you plan to visit, the John Rutledge House Inn jumped to the top spot from No. 2 as the best hotel in the city, according to the survey. The hotel right in the heart of Charleston dates back to 1763 and was once home to John Rutledge, the second Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the first governor in South Carolina's history.
South Carolina also is home to Hilton Head Island, which was voted the No. 1 island in the U.S. in the survey.
2. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Another Hall of Fame destination regularly in the top five among Travel + Leisure readers, the state capital is packed with historic sites as well as Pecos National Historical Park and the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. The city off the famed Route 66 has been among the top U.S. destinations for 10-plus years.
The city also is home to the Inn of the Five Graces, which was voted the No. 2 hotel in the entire country in the readers' survey.
3. Savannah, Georgia.
Yet another perennial favorite, Savannah is also a Hall of Fame destination that has been on the list for at least a decade straight.
The charming southern city is filled with historic architecture, the famed Spanish moss, a lively downtown and some spooky ghost stories that give it a Southern gothic feel. It also hosts a lively St. Patrick's Day celebration every year.
Rest of the top 10:
4. New Orleans
5. New York City
6. San Antonio
8. Bend, Oregon
9. Williamsburg, Virginia
The pandemic has confined most travel by Americans to inside the continental U.S., where the Viceroy Chicago was voted the top hotel and JetBlue as the top domestic airline.
In the new national park category, the iconic Yellowstone National Park, which is in parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, took the top spot.
"The 2021 standouts are as far-flung as ever, and suggest a renewed appreciation for places that offer unparalleled natural beauty and, in many places, fewer crowds," Travel + Leisure editor in chief Jacqui Gifford said in a news release. "Forced to think on their feet, the properties that made the cut in 2021 all found innovative ways to deliver exceptional hospitality to their guests. Our readers delighted in taking trips closer to home, a fact we’ve recognized with several new domestic resort lists to provide even more trip inspiration. With a continued interest in the great outdoors, we also asked readers to vote on their favorite U.S. national park.
"This year’s results are a testament to the travel industry’s resilience under enormous strain. Nearly two years into the pandemic, there is still much we don’t know about COVID-19. But we do know that some parts of the world have struggled more than others. I’m hopeful that the World’s Best Awards will continue to serve as inspiration to explore the world, and in doing so, support those places and companies that rely on tourism to thrive."
As far as the top cities in the world, Mexico's San Miguel de Allende took the No. 1 spot, followed by Udaipur in Indian and Istanbul, Turkey. San Miguel de Allende ascended to the No. 1 destination after finishing No. 2 behind Oaxaca, Mexico, last year.
The top two island destinations in the world, Milos and Folegandros, are both in Greece. You can see the full list of all the winners here.