23 pictures that show why travellers voted Charleston the best city in America

Travel + Leisure recently released its World’s Best Awards for 2015.

The awards are based on a survey that includes responses from thousands of experienced travellers.

Charleston, South Carolina, was voted the second-best city in the world and the best city in America and Canada. (Kyoto, Japan, was ranked the No. 1 city in the world.)

With its rich history, impeccably landscaped gardens, and stunning waterfront views, it’s no wonder travellers ranked this city so high up.

Charleston's location along the water makes for beautiful scenery. Waterfront Park stretches along the Cooper River and is a favourite for both locals and visitors.

There are also multiple walkways that are perfect for taking leisurely strolls.

Waterfront Park offers great views of the Charleston Harbour. If you're looking to take a boat tour of the city, the harbour has daily tours that showcase some of the city's most well-known landmarks.

Charleston is home to several stunning gardens, such as Middleton Place. These incredibly maintained gardens are both a national historic landmark and one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the country. Plants bloom year around at Middleton Place.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens also has a rich history. The plantation was founded in 1676, and the gardens opened to visitors in 1870.

Magnolia has a number of attractions for guests besides its gardens. There's the plantation house, a rice field, marshes and wetlands, and plenty of wildlife, such as birds and alligators.

Charleston's plantations have green manicured lawns and large oak trees with branches hanging with Spanish moss.

Battery and White Point Gardens is a public park that sits on the tip of Charleston's peninsula, where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers empty into the Atlantic. During the Civil War, the park was used as a fortification for the city; mortars and cannons used to defend the city during the war are still on display in the park today.

Along with the gardens, the Battery also features a promenade of stunning historic mansions.

The stately homes are known as antebellum mansions, meaning they were built before the war.

In fact, Charleston has an impressive amount of historic architecture. One way to see the city's well-preserved buildings is by carriage ride.

The John Rutledge House Inn was the former home of John Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. It now doubles as a historic landmark and a quaint bed and breakfast.

The rooms are welcoming.

And the breakfast looks delicious.

One of Charleston's most well-known churches is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The original structure dates back to 1854, and the present day church features colourful stain glass windows and Gothic architecture.

The city is also home to the College of Charleston, a public school of about 10,000 undergraduate students. The tree-covered campus is full of gorgeous historic buildings, making it worth a visit.

Charleston is famous for its food scene. Being in the south and on the water, the cuisine is heavy on seafood -- specifically fried seafood, like breaded soft shell crab.

And fried shrimp and catfish.

The city's downtown is lined with colourful storefronts and swaying palm trees.

There are also picturesque cobblestone streets.

And shuttered windows decorated with flowers.

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge opened in 2005. The cable-stayed, eight-lane bridge leads over the Cooper River from Charleston to Mount Pleasant. There's also a bike and pedestrian lane.

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