Travel + Leisure does its annual best cities ranking


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Were No. 1! Well, mostly. At least where it counts.
  • We're No. 1! Well, mostly.
Well, hello, Travel + Leisure's annual ranking of "America's Favorite Cities"! T+L surveyed visitors and residents to 35 major destinations to get its rankings, and as usual, New Orleans acquitted itself well, coming in at No. 1 in some pretty significant categories: Neighborhood joints/cafes; singles/bar scene; cocktail hour; people-watching; and New Year's Eve. We also tied for "wild weekend" with Las Vegas.

Not so hot: Our rankings as a family vacation destination (No. 33 of 35); as "athletic/active" (No. 34, only beating Memphis, Tenn.) and — uh — cleanliness. Don't tell Sidney Torres, but residents rated us at No. 31, while visitors put us dead last in the nation when it came to cleanliness. (But we have giant wheeled trash cans now! And lemony-fresh scent to disguise the stench of rotting crawfish carcasses!) And we came in only at No. 4 in the category of "big-name restaurants" — New York was No. 1 (sure), Las Vegas was No. 2 (celebrity chef mania at work) and Chicago was No. 3 (huh?).

We did score No. 1 in overall food and dining among visitors, which is great, and No. 2 in "ethnic restaurants," just below New York ... which raises the question of whether America thinks Creole, Louisiana, and soul cuisine is "ethnic" food. (Probably.)

Read New Orleans' rankings here, or get the full report here.


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