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Charleston is the oldest and second-largest city in South Carolina. Known for rich history, well-preserved architecture, a celebrated restaurant community and mannerly people, in October 2012 the Charleston area was named both "Top U.S. City" and "Top Destination in the World" by Conde Nast Travelers "2012 Readers' Choice Awards", the second consecutive year the city has received the No. 1 U.S. City ranking.
Charleston is well known for its unique culture, which blends traditional Southern American, English, French, and West African elements. The downtown peninsula is well known for its art, music, local cuisine, and fashion. Spoleto Festival USA, held annually in late spring, is one of the world's major performing arts festivals. Charleston's oldest community theater group, the Footlight Players, has provided theatrical productions since 1931. A variety of performing arts venues includes the historic Dock Street Theatre. The annual Charleston Fashion Week held each Spring in Marion Square brings in designers, journalists, and clients from across the nation.
Charleston is well known for its local seafood, which plays a key role in the city's renowned cuisine, comprising staple dishes such as gumbo, she-crab soup, fried oysters, lowcountry boil, deviled crab cakes, red rice, and shrimp and grits. The culture in Charleston differs greatly even from the rest of South Carolina, with British and French elements heavily prevalent.
Kiawah is a sea island, or barrier island, on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Located 15 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, it is operated today largely as a gated beach and golf resort - the Kiawah Island Golf Resort - with spacious villas, vacation rentals, beaches, large and acclaimed golf courses, and other attractions.