With a rich 300 year history, Charleston today is America's most beautifully preserved architectural and historical treasure. For the fifteenth consecutive year (2007), readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine honored Charleston as a Top 10 travel destination in the U.S. Charleston was honored with a No. 3 slot. Only San Francisco and New York City ranked higher. Last year, Charleston ranked No. 5 in the poll. Peter Greenberg, NBC's Travel Editor, is quoted as saying "Charleston is all about history, and the intersection of culture in America. You can still find grace and civility in abundance in Charleston, a remarkably well preserved peninsular city between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. I'll always remember the first time I traveled to Charleston."
Where you can get away. Turn off your cell phone and listen. Listen to waves rolling up on the beach Floorboards creaking as you rock in a chair on a piazza overlooking our lovely downtown gardens. Here you can get away without having to hide. Listen to birds sing as you hike through our nature preserves. Sit in a dock and soak up the ocean breeze. Sip a glass of sweet tea. Enjoy a slow drive under a canopy of ancient oak trees. Curl up with a good book. Listen. And you'll hear historic church bells ring. You'll hear your heart beat a little slower.
Where you can indulge. What a wonderful feeling it is when you discover something like no other such as the tales that come with cherished antiques and artwork. Indulge in so many flavors that are unique to the area. Festive oyster roasts, shrimp and grits served with an ocean view. Breakfast by an outdoor fountain. An entire menu of award-winning restaurants. See our famous sweetgrass baskets take shape. There are spas to relax in and shops and more shops to visit. So bring your walking shoes. Bring your appetite.
Where you can play. We Charlestonians love to play and we have a sandbox that'll have you grinning from ear to ear. Surrounded by water with waves to surf and fish to catch. Here in the Low Country, we have so many ways to play, no matter what your game is. Golf, tennis and kayaking for the grownups. Fountains, slides and castles for the little ones. Play hard. Play fast Play nice.
Where you can explore. Oh the stories they tell. Revolutionary battlegrounds like Fort Moultrie, Civil War fortresses like Fort Sumter and heroic World War II ships. You can almost feel the ground rumble beneath your feet. Step out of their shadows and there's more to explore - the softer side of our rich history. Sprawling parks, historic plantations, cobblestone streets that lead to quiet country gardens. Pack a picnic. Pack a map and pack your camera adventure is calling your name.
It's not just a conference. it's a vacation! So plan to join us in Charleston for SITE 2009 a great conference in one of America's greatest destinations.
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