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New Orleans back in Travel + Leisure top cities

/ Source: The Associated Press

New Orleans is back in Travel + Leisure magazine's top 10 cities list for the first time since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and its tourism industry in August 2005.

New Orleans took the No. 7 spot in the category of top cities in U.S. and Canada, part of the magazine's annual World's Best Awards. The 2010 awards were announced Thursday.

New Orleans was last named to the list, in the No. 10 spot, in July 2005. The city has steadily rebuilt and revitalized its tourism industry in the past few years.

New York took the No. 1 spot on the U.S. and Canada cities list, followed by San Francisco; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Santa Fe, N.M.; Vancouver, British Columbia; and after New Orleans, Quebec City, Quebec; Victoria, British Columbia, and Washington D.C.

Winners in the best islands category internationally include exotic locales like the Galapagos and Bali, but for the continental U.S. and Canada, the island winners are places mostly known for beautiful scenery and simple pleasures: Mount Desert Island, Maine; Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia; Vancouver Island, British Columbia; San Juan Islands, Wash., and Canada's Prince Edward Island.

The full World's Best Awards list will appear in Travel + Leisure's August issue, which is available on newsstands July 23. It can also be seen online at

Winners in other categories include Abercrombie & Kent for best river cruise, a new category on the list; Crystal Cruises as best large-ship cruise line; Singapore Airlines as best international airline; Virgin America as best domestic airline; and Hertz as best car-rental agency.

Best hotels in the continental U.S. included San Ysidro Ranch, A Rosewood Resort, in Santa Barbara, Calif., as top resort; Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago as best large city hotel; and Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Mont., as top inn.

Bangkok was rated as the best city internationally, but the magazine noted that data for the awards was mostly collected before the worst of the recent political upheaval in Thailand.

Winners for Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards were determined using results of a questionnaire made available to Travel + Leisure readers online, and through invitations in the January, February and March issues of the magazine. More than 16,000 readers participated.