NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - From food to festivals, music to Mardi Gras, New Orleans has plenty to offer. Now, a recent travel magazine poll agrees, ranking the city as one of the very best destinations for travelers.
Readers of Travel and Leisure magazine voted the Crescent City the second-best place to visit in North America and Canada for the second year in a row.
"There's also Savannah, New York, Chicago. Those cities came in behind New Orleans," said Kristian Sonnier with the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And again, the readers are interested in our authentic and historic neighborhoods and new attractions. Those other cities have those too, but ours are favored. So we're really excited about that."
Sonnier says the distinction highlights many of the features locals already know and love - the atmosphere, the cuisine, the festivals, the charm. Sonnier says the city's renaissance is gaining momentum, and the recognition is welcomed.
"There's something to do every weekend," he said. "We're having 129 festivals every weekend. Something in the range of 129, 130 festivals every weekend, and visitors want those kinds of authentic and organic experiences, and we have them in spades."
And in a city soon to turn 300 years old and 10 years after Katrina, Sonnier says signs of life are everywhere.
"The story we want to tell is where we've come and where we're going," Sonnier said. "It's a much better story. This is a different place, a better place. And that's the story we want to get out there so we can be in the top three in surveys like this one."
So what will it take to be number one?
"We have a Four Seasons coming in downtown, we're gonna have a brand new airport by 2018, extended lines on the street cars," Sonnier said. "We're making all the right moves. We're investing the money to make it an interesting and sought after travel experience."