Today we read in the Post and Courier that international Conde Nast Travel readers have voted Charleston the top destination IN THE WORLD! Readers judge cities on a five point scale; their composite scores determine the outcome. Thank you to all who hold Charleston, the Holy City, in that sacred place of your hearts. Thank you to my friends in Charleston who allow me to bring you, my guests, into their old and historic private properties, to gain a glimpse behind the scenes, behind the gates and piazza doors, into a world that can be entered only by invited guests. Where else in the world is there such hospitality? God preserve us from that suffocating fear of liability, which is death to our renowned Southern hospitality.
We are humbled by this designation of top in America and top in the world. Cape Town South Africa is second to Charleston. Florence, Italy is third. In the United States, San Francisco is second, Chicago is third, Santa Fe, New Mexico is fourth, New York City is fifth, and Savannah, Georgia is tenth. “It’s the history, the restaurants, the historical churches, and the graveyards. We always find something we have never seen before.” “It’s like heaven.” These are some of the quotes in today’s paper. The Holy City of Charleston is working her way into people’s hearts across the world. As the world changes, Charleston matures like an old wine, getting more and more full bodied. Our Judea-Christian family values make this city the place of depth and heritage it is. To experience the restaurants and bars and shops is to know only the superficial surface.
The view of Charleston I try to give on my tour is the view we have who have been born and raised here. I cannot give you any other view than that of a native Charlestonian. What you get on my tour is the real Laura Wichmann Hipp. I do not try to be someone I am not; everybody else is already taken. As an ambassador of Charleston to the world, I try to give you that bird’s eye view of history as it relates to American and European history and to where we are today and where we are going. If we do not learn the lessons from history, we will be doomed to repeat them. Our LIBERTY was bought at a price by the sacrifice and patient toil of many individuals. To understand who and where we are today, we must look back at the patterns of history. Thank God for Charleston’s creation and preservation, and for all the blessings of this life, but above all for that inestimable love that sets Charleston apart as the Holy City in our hearts.