The Charlotte Observer today reported that
again was voted the No. 1 city in the United States to visit in the annual Readers' Choice Awards by Conde Nast Traveler
-- for the fourth year.
finished in second place in the Readers' Choice Awards for Top 25 Cities in the
But a closer look at the other cities in both lists may be informative.
Top 5 Cities in the
Top Cities in the World
5. San Miguel de Allende,
8. Siem Reap,
12. Luang Prabang,
Why is "Top Cities in the
United States" limited to only
five destinations? While a good bit of the contents of the magazine (these and
other best-of lists are in the November issue, on the shelves Oct. 26) is usually geared toward luxury and exotic travel, the five-city limit seems restrictive for a
magazine based in America
and written for American readers.
With the exception of
N.M., the other winners in the United States
list also appear on the world list.
And with the exception of
Santa Fe, the domestic destinations chosen are
not surprising. In fact, they could qualify for been-there-done-that honors for
But look at some of the international selections, like exotic Luang Prabang,
-- a fascinating place that was a jet-set destination before decades of civil
war. Who would have imagined those places (or even rustic Beirut, Lebanon )
on the top 25 list? Siena, Italy
Think it through: Could fabled
Italy -- shown at the top of
this post -- really be the only city in the world more worth visiting than Charleston?
Be aware that anyone could take any of the Conde Nast Traveler's online polls.
It' ain't just readers, folks.
Maybe Conde Nast Traveler poll-takers aren't overly curious about trying different or unusual destinations in the
-- or are poll-takers on a mission. Or just don't get out much. And perhaps poll-takers' international choices are more of a wish list than anything.