Charleston No. 2 in national tourist poll

Travel + Leisure readers have always thought highly of Charleston when asked about their favorite cities to visit. But never this highly.

An annual poll by the monthly vacation magazine proclaimed Charleston for the first time to be the second-best city in the United States and Canada, unseating San Francisco from the No. 2 position.

New York remained in the top spot in that category, according the newly released 2011 "World's Best Awards," which are based on an yearly survey of Travel + Leisure readers.

Charleston claimed a third-place finish in 2010, and it has been bouncing around the Top 10 for much of the survey's 16-year existence.