Move Over Michael Phelps
New Orleans racking up the awards too
In this season of Olympic fever, it feels like we are all competing for medals in some way. This week, New Orleans made it to the podium again, without having to wear a Speedo to make it there. While an honor, but no surprise, our music and food have been recognized as premier cultural advantages.
Travel + Leisure has once again named New Orleans to one of their prestigious lists, giving NOLA gold in their World’s Best Awards 2016 for “Best Cities for Food in the United States.” Its readers noted the ease in finding delicious dishes, from poor boys to culinary classics at our century-old establishments. Charleston took silver and New York City took bronze, although there are rumors the Big Apple has been using performance-enhancing drugs like umami and kale.
Representing the Stars and Stripes internationally, NOLA was ranked one of the Top 5 Holiday Destinations for Music Lovers by Elle UK. New Orleans is the only U.S. city that made the list and Elle UK described us as “synonymous with music.” Noting we are the birthplace of jazz, the magazine cites additional music to be found, including “live rock, brass bands, and zydeco beats emanating from fabled music clubs oozing characteristic southern charm.”
“New Orleans continues to create a rich, cultural experience for food and music enthusiasts unparalleled by other destinations,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are honored to be recognized on these prestigious lists, celebrating what we are lucky enough to experience every day by calling New Orleans home. This revalidates that we are one of the world’s most beloved cities and is a testament to our chefs and musicians who strive to preserve the culture that makes the Crescent City unique.”
“You can travel the world and you’ll never find food and music anywhere like we offer to visitors in New Orleans,” said Mark Romig, president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “We appreciate and are humbled by the ranking by Travel +Leisure and Elle UK. Our chefs and musicians, who bring the world such a gift, surely deserve it and represent our culinary creativity, unique musical composition and so much more.”
These two new accolades come on the heels of other awards and record-breaking news. Travel + Leisure also ranked NOLA the “No. 7 City in the World” and one of “America’s Favorite Cities,” and Conde Nast Traveler listed New Orleans as one of the “Best Big Cities in the U.S.” New Orleans’ international visitation increased 37% in 2015, and overall visitors hit nearly 10 million. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport topped one million passengers in a single month in May 2016.
Looking for food and music on a visit to New Orleans? The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has a restaurant directory on their website with more than 1,000 options to browse. The WWOZ Livewire is the best place to find “live, local music.”