Charleston is one of the country's oldest cities, its historic significance made palpable by Civil War landmarks and immaculately preserved properties, hundreds of which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The French Quarter's cobblestone pathways wend past gothic churches and graveyards where signers of the Declaration of Independence were laid to rest. On the Battery, a short walk from the hotel, mansions commingle with Confederate cannons and oak trees along the seawall facing Fort Sumter in the Battery. More recently, Charleston has merged its Old South identity with a strong arts-and-culture scene. The streets once overrun with aristocrats and their diamond-studded butlers are now lined with top-tier art galleries and fashion boutiques. The city's reputation as a major culinary destination has been reaffirmed by the James Beard Foundation, which has named a different Charleston chef the best in the southeast three out of the past four years.