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New Orleans Voted "Best American City to Visit"
Travel + Leisure Poll Ranks City #1 in 13 Other Categories

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As New Orleans prepares to host its 10th Super Bowl on February 3, 2013, travelers are finding more and more reasons to visit the city in the weeks leading up to the Big Game. In November 2012 the Crescent City was recently voted "Best American City to Visit" in a readership poll taken by Travel + Leisure magazine and #1 in thirteen other categories. Including New Year's Eve, placing it above even New York's world-renowned Times Square celebration!

New Orleans' major selling points – music, food and fun – all scored well in the T+L poll. The city ranked #1 in the following categories:

  • Offbeat people
  • People proud of their city
  • Girlfriend getaway
  • Wild weekend
  • Happy hour
  • Music scene
  • Singles scene
  • Street performers
  • Flea markets
  • Antiques stores
  • Cafes
  • People watching
  • New Year's Eve

In addition the city ranked second in "Free Attractions," "Cocktail Lounges," "Fine-dining restaurants," "Gay Friendly," "Charming Local Accent," and "Best Times to Visit - Fall." Other Top Five rankings include "Diverse People" (#3), Friendly People (#5), "Romantic Escape" (#5), "Independent Boutiques (#3), "Coffee" (#3), "Ethnic Food" (#4), "Architecture" (#4), "Hotel Options" (#3) and "Sports-crazed People" (#5).

In the "Best Times to Visit" category New Orleans ranked #4 for Spring Break and Valentine's Day, #5 for Christmas and #6 for Winter. For "Historical Sites/Monuments" the Crescent City was voted #7. In the category of "Sports Bars," a major consideration for those coming here for the Super Bowl, New Orleans ranked #8. As a "Cultural Getaway" the city ranked #9.

In all, New Orleans scored in the top five in more than half of the magazine's 66 categories. A total of 35 American cities/metropolitan areas were surveyed by Travel + Leisure readers in the recent poll. Among the cities New Orleans beat out for the top overall ranking were Santa Fe, Nashville, New York, Minneapolis, San Diego, Savannah, Charleston (West Virginia), San Francisco and Chicago.

This is the second major travel and tourism honor received by New Orleans in as many months. In October 2012 the city was ranked 8th in the top ten American cities by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

In summarizing the results of the poll, Travel + Leisure wrote, "The Crescent City is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. These high marks run the gamut from the quite civilized – fine dining, architecture and antiques – to the boisterously unpretentious, such as its top-rated music scene and the colorful people-watching."

In announcing its Readers' Choice Awards, Condé Nast Traveler wrote, "After a few years in flux, New Orleans is becoming 'a magical city.' It also doesn't hurt that our readers believe that they have 'the best food in the U.S., with live music around every corner.'"

With Christmas just weeks away, followed quickly by New Year's Eve, the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, you'll have plenty of reasons to visit New Orleans this winter. Browse our website,, to read more about the exciting events coming up in "The Most Fun City in America."

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