New Orleans Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Located 105 miles upriver from the Gulf of
Mexico, New Orleans is the largest city in the US
state of Louisiana. Straddling the lower reaches of the Mississippi
River, this port city has long been at the crossroads of exploration, trade and
commerce. New Orleans is a melting pot of cultures that has happily simmered away since 1718. So, what’s in the pot? Cultural influences from France, Africa, Brazil
and the Deep South mix with Catholicism, Voodoo, Cajun zydeco,
and Dixieland jazz to make New Orleans one of the most lively
and popular destinations in the USA. “Let the Good Times Roll”; that’s the motto
New Orleans lives by. And newcomers usually waste no time in heading to where the good times roll the
loudest, The French Quarter the birthplace of Jazz! Lined with bars, clubs and restaurants, “The Quarter” is home to one of the most party-friendly
streets in the world, Bourbon Street. But the French Quarter is more than just a
good time. It’s also where you’ll find many of the city’s
prime attractions. Start your day in “The Big Easy” with a Cafe
au Lait in Jackson Square. Riding tall in the saddle is Andrew Jackson, the General whose rag-tag army of locals humiliated
the British in the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson Square is lined with many of the city’s
grand old buildings, like St. Louis Cathedral. On either side of the Cathedral are the Cabildo
and the Presbytere, just two of several historic French Quarter
buildings which make up the Louisiana State Museum. Across the square is the 1850 House, which recreates life in a row-house from the
Antibellum era. Just around the corner, The Old U.S. Mint preserves the city’s mercantile
and musical treasures. While it’s tempting to spend your entire visit
in the French Quarter- and some folks never leave- New Orleans offers
plenty of other flavors too. Cross over Canal Street into the Warehouse
district, an area of renovated grain-stores and sugar
presses, now packed with galleries and chic boutiques. A little further Uptown in Memorial Hall, the faces and voices from the American Civil
War reach out across the cannon-smoke of time. Just nearby, discover why the National World
War Two Museum has been hailed as the most important Second
World War repository in America. Climb aboard a St Charles Streetcar bound
for the Garden District. Here, amid the Victorian cottages and stately
plantation homes, you’ll find Lafayette Cemetery. Join a tour run by local volunteers or explore
the crypts on your own. But be warned; the cemetery is regarded as one of the country’s
most haunted! When it’s time to rejoin the living, follow your nose across the road to another
New Orleans institution, Commanders Palace Restaurant. Ride the streetcar a few stops further west
to Audubon Park. The park is home to the charming Audubon Zoo which features a quaint southern touch, an
alligator-filled swamp. The zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute which includes the Insectarium and The Aquarium
of the Americas. While at the nearby New Orleans Museum of
Art, explore paintings, ceramics and sculptures from across the ages and from around the world. Visiting New Orleans outside the Carnival
Season? No problem. Just head across the river to the Mardi Gras
Museum which brings one of the worlds greatest festivals
to life all year round. New Orleans’ distinctive and sometimes fiery
cuisine will ensure you never miss a beat. Local specialties like gumbo, po’ boys, and
praline are available everywhere. But it’s the music here that truly feeds the
soul. So when the sun starts to set, head for one of the many jazz or blues clubs
on Frenchman Street, before heading back to Bourbon Street where the New Orleans good times roll on,
and on, and on.

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