But if you're of the opinion that New Orleans’ spirit might - understandably so - have been dented, think again. The music never stopped in New Orleans which continues to be a place of impromptu parties and parades – and not just during Mardi Gras.
Stir into the mix winter sun, fabulous food, friendly locals and live music 24/7 and you've got America's most dazzling destination. Decided to see the States' sexy southern city for yourself? Check out TNT's definitive guide below...
Louisiana’s favourite city is unmatched when it comes to diversity (the former French colony was given to the Spanish in 1763, until America took control in 1863) and its’ colourful history can be felt in the medley of architectural styles: expect to see trademark Creole townhouses, shuttered windows, Spanish courtyards and ironic ironwork balconies.
That said, the city’s real selling point isn't its architecture, but its street life - especially around Jackson Square which is positively teeming with magicians, miners, musicians and… mystics. We kid you not: voodoo is as much a part of New Orleans as Mardi Gras and, as such, the French Quarter is thriving with psychic readers. Even if you don’t believe in voodoo, a tarot reading makes for a great pub story on your return home!
Get the inside story on the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans – Marie Laveau – by booking a spot on Le Monde Creole’s ‘Insider’s French Quarter Courtyards & Cemetery Tour.’ (www.mondecreole.com). Charismatic guide, Bill Coble, brings the tour to life dispensing gossip and stories, while walking you through the heart of the postcard pretty French Quarter that literary greats – here's looking at Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder et al – once called home.
Next up go to the Garden District to gawp at Lafayette Cemetery (http://www.saveourcemeteries.org/lafayette-cemetery-no-1), aka the oldest burial grounds in the city. The family tombs – many made from marble – were built above ground because of the shallow water. This lovely, leafy district is also where Anne Rice, author of Interview With A Vampire resides, and visiting her stately home has become a rite of passage for fans of both the book and Tom Cruise film adaptation.