New Orleans (a.k.a The Big Easy), the largest American city on the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana, was named after the French Duke Philippe d’Orléans. The city’s acknowledged as the birthplace of Jazz and its characterful French/Creole architecture, cuisine and cross-cultural heritage also make it rather unique. The highlight of the annual festive celebrations is the world famous New Orleans Mardi Gras. Nearby locations worth visiting include Lake Pontchartrain (within the city limits), Lake Borgne to the east and Jefferson to the south/west.
Reasons given for visiting this popular destination include live music, wonderful antique/vintage shops, stylish cafés, coffee bars, bars and hotels, a wonderful choice of ethnic food, people watching and gay friendliness. By contrast, safety and cleanliness are not New Orleans strong points, making it a poor family holiday destination.
Some “must visit” city of New Orleans locations include the totally unique French Quarter and Bourbon Street for nightlife and music, Magazine Street for unusual, stylish shopping, the characterful Tulane and Loyola Universities and the Central Business District (the “American Quarter” ) which includes Lafayette Square. Canal Street marks the contrasting division between the traditional “downtown” and “uptown” areas.
The uptown Warehouse, Lower Garden and Garden Districts are charming and the Irish Channel, Fontainebleaut and Carrollton areas are worth strolling around with a camera. Also, don’t miss out on the districts of Gentilly, Bayou St John and Algiers.
When visiting New Orleans, make time for the national protected areas of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. And of course for the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
A visit to Audubon Nature Institute, which includes the Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Park, Zoo and Insectarium, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Longue Vue House and Gardens and the City Park with its wonderful oaks, should give you at least one wonderful day out.
The nearby Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery (where the 1815 Battle of New Orleans took place) and Honey Island Swamp should also make for fascinating day trips.
Posted : Thursday, November 24th, 2011 at 11:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save