Welcome to New Orleans, Louisiana, where the culture is so energizing that it will arouse every visitor’s spirit! From the French Quarter to the graceful Garden District, music fills the air. It truly is a magical place with a unique culture and an interesting way of life. Experience the latest attractions and incomparable nightlife. Also known as “The Big Easy,” “Nola,” and “City of New Orleans,” this lively city is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Central Business District is located north and west of the Mississippi River. Furthermore, New Orleans is infamous for its richness in architectural styles that represent the city’s roots and heritage.
Top Attractions in New Orleans
Looking to see some unique wildlife? Head out to Audubon Zoo and take a worldwide safari through Asia, Africa, the Australian Outback, and the Louisiana Swamp. On top of that, 1,500 animal species will keep visitors busy. With 58 acres of animals in their natural habitats, Audubon Zoo ranks among the best in the country. Here, animal lovers will see bears, monkeys, snakes, orangutans, elks, and other exotic animals. Some fan favorites include Jean and Panya (elephants), the Komodo dragon, and the Californian white tiger brothers, King Rex and King Zulu. A romantic spot to experience is the sea lion pool. Constructed in 1928, the elegant columns are beautiful to see. Additionally, zoo patrons can walk through a swamp exhibit including a Cajun houseboat on a lagoon full of 14-foot alligators. It truly is a unique experience for visitors of all ages.
Backstreet Cultural Museum
Pay a visit to this unique attraction that offers one of the best places to get a feel for the city’s special identity. Local photographer and history buff, Sylvester Francis, created the museum. Here, guests will find a diverse collection of costumes, memorabilia, photographs, films, and unique artifacts related to African American culture. What is really fascinating is that Francis gives tours of the grounds himself!
Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World
Go behind the scenes of the Mardi Gras festival for an up close look at some of the glitzy floats and vibrant costumes used during New Orleans’ famous party. It is a unique way to experience Mardi Gras if not traveling to New Orleans during this time. Mardi Gras World is a warehouse workshop where current floats are being completed and previously used floats are stored. Visitors can take a guided tour through the maze of props, and also view one of the multimedia presentations on the history of Mardi Gras. Guests can also try on authentic festival costumes! Do not forget to bring a camera to savor this fun experience!
Originally constructed in 1799, the Cabildo is home to a three-leveled branch of the Louisiana State Museum. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, it was originally built as the seat of the Spanish government. In years following, the Louisiana Purchase occurred in the building, and later it served as city hall and Supreme Court. Today, guests can actually see the room where the Louisiana Purchase was concluded. Additionally, an entire floor is devoted to Hurricane Katrina, which left New Orleans in turmoil in 2005. Visitors will be able to see multimedia displays and artifacts gathered during the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina. On a happier note, please take time to explore and view the building’s architecture. It is craftily designed and offers a beautiful sight.
There is no better way to experience the heart of New Orleans than visiting the French Quarter. Not only is it the soul of New Orleans, it is also a National Historic Landmark. All street names are still listed in French as coined by the French in 1718. Attractions such as Jackson Square, the Faulkner House, and the Cabildo are all worth visiting. While walking about the neighborhood, pay close attention to the architecture surrounding the area. Balconies contain baroque ironwork with hanging plants. Bubbling fountains and courtyards also comprise the area. The most popular reason people head to the French Quarter is for Bourbon Street. This is New Orleans’ well-known party area. Street performers, rowdy crowds, and late-night establishments keep this area rocking to the wee hours of the morning. Hotels are also in this area. Most people agree that the French Quarter is predominantly for adult eyes only.
3 miles southwest of the French Quarter lies a walking tour of some of the city’s most stunning homes. The Garden District is plush with trees, ivy, and of course, gardens. When needing an escape from the crowds and hoopla around the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, head out to this peaceful atmosphere full of southern charm and beauty. The Garden District also offers shopping, tasty restaurants, cocktail bars, and pubs. Additionally, bus, carriage, or walking tours of the neighborhood are offered daily. It is perfectly fine to tour and explore the charming Garden District.
Although a bit morbid, New Orleans’ above-ground cemeteries have been attracting visitors for over 100 years. Titled the “Cities of the Dead,” the unbelievable architecture and hauntingly gorgeous
New Orleans Museum of Art
Known as “NOMA,” the New Orleans Museum of Art is filled with more than 40,000 works of art. A massive range of collections range from early Asian pieces to European masterworks from the 16th to 20th centuries. Although small in size, the museum offers an intricate experience and great way to be the heat and humidity of a stifling New Orleans day. Be sure to swing by the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which neighbors the museum in City Park. Here, visitors will come across 64 sculptures designed by various artists from around the world.
Pick the time right!
Tourists visit Orlando between December and March
Mardi Gras mania is a popular time to visit New Orleans. This occurs between the months of February and March. The temperatures are comfortably cool and the spirit is alive. If looking to avoid large crowds, head to New Orleans during December or January. During these two months, the city is calm and hotel reservations can be made on a whim. Room rates are the lowest during the summer and fall months due to humid temperatures and peak hurricane season.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 11 miles west of downtown New Orleans. As a gateway to the history, food, culture, and exciting times to New Orleans, Armstrong International Airport offers a traveler-friendly, safe environment for each and every patron. Although the airport does serve international locations, they are limited. Most of the travel to and from MSY consists of domestic destinations. The airport has two terminals: East and West, which are connected by a centrally located ticketing alley. Four concourses, A, B, C, and D, are attached to the terminals. Ground transportation is available to and from MSY. Bus service is provided by Jefferson Transit bus E-2. Additionally, several taxicab services are on sight as well as an Airport Shuttle service offering rides to most hotels in the Central Business District of New Orleans for $20 per person (one-way), and $38 for a round trip ride.
It truly is easy to navigate around New Orleans by foot, ferry, carriage, or streetcar. Renting a car is not a must, especially if staying in the French Quarter or Garden District. Numerous attractions, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment are all within walking distance. A car rental really is not necessary.