The economy might be in the dumps, but the travel industry is still throwing praises at Charleston as a don't-miss tourist destination.
Lonely Planet, one of the world's more popular global tourism guides, says the Holy City is one of its "Top Cities to go to in 2010."
The endorsement is particularly noteworthy, considering other destinations on the list include cities that pre-date Charleston by hundreds of years, including Kyoto, Japan; Istanbul, Turkey; and Cork, Ireland.
Even so, the description given by Lonely Planet writers goes heavy on the cliche.
"This South Carolina city is the United States' home of aristocracy," the listing reads. "Etiquette is something this historic town is proud of, together with its numerous churches and palm-tree-lined thoroughfares. The well-groomed locale has a thriving tourism business with notable luxury accommodations, historical sites and, recently, a food festival and a Fashion Week."
Mayor Joe Riley said the listing is a recognition reinforcing Charleston's reputation among the must-see cities of the United States, and a shot in the arm when the global economy is suffering.
"It's very important," he said. "We're involved in competition" with other tourism-based destinations.
The listing came as part of the company's widely read "Best in Travel" destinations issued this month and seen by millions worldwide.