New Orleans, Louisiana

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New Orleans, Louisiana

Festivity carries in the air as much as the sounds of saxophones and trumpets in New Orleans. Despite the damage inflicted by Katrina in 2005, NOLA hasn't lost any of its charm, spark, magic, and its people's inextinguishable joie-de-vivre–none of what makes it a unique city in the U.S. and the world. From the ever-lively Mardi Gras to the eclectic mix of cultures to the rich cuisine reflecting its Cajun, Creole, and French roots, New Orleans is a constant celebration of the human spirit.

The City

History leaks from every corner, brick, and building in New Orleans. The Crescent City has undergone transformation upon transformation to become the hub of tourism and culture it is today. With a history of Spanish and French dominance, European influence is still seen along most of the architecture in the French Quarter, from the courtyards to the multi-storied buildings. Historically, thousands of Americans, Germans, Sicilians, Irish and Haitians have made New Orleans their home, and this melting pot of cultural differences often reached boiling points. The Americans therefore settled in what is now known as the Central Business District, seeking reprieve from the tense proximity to the Creoles of the French Quarter. Interestingly, city medians are still referred to as "neutral grounds," referencing the Canal Street median that was used as a neutral business point for Americans and Creoles. It seems natural that "New Orleans" and "culture" are uttered in the same breath, as the city is awash with passion, verve, and history. Nicknamed "The Big Easy" possibly to contrast life in New Orleans against that of the hustle and bustle of "The Big Apple," New Orleans has not strayed from its tranquil persona. The multitudes of parks, preserves, bayous, and waterways make New Orleans a natural, relaxing escape for both locals and visitors. Cozy cafés and restaurants are always ready to serve a friendly beignet and café au lait, and live jazz is always the theme of the night.

Events

Immerse yourself in Louisiana’s musical, culinary and cultural heritage at one of more than 400 festivals celebrating everything from crawfish to cotton and Blues to barbecue. Don’t miss the biggest festival of all, Mardi Gras, with its spectacle of parades, music and food events, held in nearly every community in the state.

Excursions

In Louisiana, you’ll find a lively and unforgettable melting pot of cultures and cuisines. People around the world are drawn to Louisiana to enjoy flavorful Cajun and Creole dishes and then dance the night away in the birthplace of American Jazz, Cajun and Zydeco music. With countless opportunities for fishing, biking, birding, paddling and golfing, Louisiana is the ultimate playground for all who love the outdoors.

Do & See

New Orleans has the uncanny ability to combine fun and excitement with its endless historical elements. Mardi Gras attracts millions of people each year, and the city's famed streets and districts will fill your itinerary. The sounds of jazz seem to follow you everywhere, and so do the welcoming, wide smiles of the New Orleanians.

Dining

Much of Crescent City's appeal lies in its fantastic cuisine. Southern, Cajun, Creole, and French fares are the most common, and each restaurant puts its own spin on these traditional favourites, making the dining experience from one venue to another completely unique.

Cafes

Boasting of style, character, quality, and history, the cafes of New Orleans never cease to satiate even the most distinguished palates. Traditional French beignets are freshly baked at the famous Café du Monde, and chicory coffee is brewed daily. No matter where you go, you'll find delicious food around every corner.

Bars & Nightlife

Standing boldly against the vivacity of New Orleans' world-famous streets are its nightclubs and bars. New Orleans holds its own amongst the nation's most popular vacation destinations, and its nightlife venues are no different. The king of New Orleans nightlife, however, is undoubtedly jazz, which is heard it seems from every bar, cafe, restaurant or hole-in-the-wall. From grand orchestras to new young trios, jazz is the air this city breathes, so indulge and take a deep breath.

Shopping

Whether seeking familiar retail brands or hoping to browse through authentic New Orleans galleries, shopping options never fall short in this city. Independent boutiques, antique stores, souvenir shops, and outlet malls offer visitors a vast mix of selections. Some areas feature original artwork from local artists.

Tourist Information