With a colorful
history, a laid-back attitude, some of the country's best restaurants
and hottest jazz, you'll quickly discover why they still call
it the Big Easy ...
Even as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the city in 2005, New
Orlean's main tourist spots in large part survived the worst
of the storm.
The famous French
Quarter neighborhood, luckily, was built on a higher elevation than other parts of the
"gumbo bowl" around which much of the city arose. Therefore it was relatively
untouched by the fierce flooding that devastated the rest of the city.
Besides Mardi Gras and the French Quarter, more must-sees in New Orleans year-round include a Steamboat Natchez River Cruise down the Mississippi, a family friendly tour of the Audubon Park and Zoo, or a stroll around the Garden District encompassing what is still considered one of the best-preserved collections of historic southern mansions in the United States.
A colorful New Orleans Mardi Gras parade (pictured) is still a must-see, but the best time
to visit is from late March to May. That's when New Orleans weather is still cool, hotel
and there are less crowds as you take in the sights.
With those for a taste for the macabre, opportunities abound for delving into the city's deep, dark past with walks around eerily beautiful New Orleans' above-ground cemeteries("Cities of the Dead") or learning more about the town's ancient folkways with a tour of the New Orleans Voodoo Museum.
DID YOU KNOW? New Orleans Travel Fun Facts
"Cities of the dead"
• Say it right. It's New Or-luns, not New Or-leenz.
• In New Orleans, always feel free to ask for a "go cup" from the bartender and stroll the streets with your drink in hand.
• Due to the high water table, houses don't have basements. Even New Orleans cemeteries, known as "cities of the dead", are aboveground.
• Tours are available at Mardi Gras World which opened in 1947 as the sole manufacturer of New Orleans Mardi Gras floats.
• Famous people with homes in New Orleans incude Sandra Bullock, Nicholas Cage, John Goodman, and Super Bowl champ Drew Brees.
More about New Orleans tourist attractions around the Web:
Planet: New Orleans
- The premier travel guide takes on the Big Easy with engaging info on the city's
top attractions including the French Quarter and the Voodoo Museum, along with
local events, getting around, and things to do off the beaten track.
Experience New Orleans
- Even a brief visit will get you well-presented resources for New Orleans arts and culture, attractions,
food and hotels, maps, plantation tours and river cruises, and lots more.