When I want to spice up my life with great music and hot food, I head straight for the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans.
Taking a stroll in the neighborhood
Although the City was founded in 1718, it wasn’t until 1803 that it became part of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans is a beautiful city with its curve stretching around the Mississippi River. This is why it is sometimes called “The Crescent City.” It has hosted hundreds of feature-length films including the recent Captain Marvel
and Green Book
films. It is well known for its music, Cajun and creole cuisine and its most famous carnival celebration; Mardi Gras.
There is plenty to do year-round in this soulful city, here are my top suggestions:
The French Quarter – It was within the original confines of the city. It is a vibrant neighbourhood with colourful buildings and Victorian balconies that look over spirited streets including world-famous Bourbon Street.
Pro-Tip: For a slightly less crowded and inexpensive New Orleans experience, check out Frenchmen Street. It is a lively stretch of four blocks containing live jazz clubs, shops, and great bars and restaurants.
– This famous square is located in the French quarter and is named after Andrew Jackson, the president on the $20 bill and A Major General in the Battle of New Orleans. Within the square, you’ll find many attractions such as the WWII Museum
, and the St. Louis Cathedral
The French Market – Open 7 days a week, this market is the oldest of its kind in the United States. It was originally a Native American trading post and began right where the famous Café du Monde is today
The best beignet from Café du Monde
Swamp Tour – The Bayous of Louisiana were instrumental in setting its location because the waterways were used for trade. Tours are located just outside of the city itself.
City Park – This park is perfect for a day of outdoor activities such as boating, golfing or having a picnic. There are also attractions like the Museum of Art and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
Cemetery Tour – New Orleans is known to be the most haunted city in the United States. Tour the cemeteries where characters such as Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau rest…or don’t rest!
Enjoy firey Cajun delights!
New Orleans has some of the most notable food in the U.S. Its exciting flavours are influenced by French, West African and European cultures. Some famous dishes of the city include gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee, Jambalaya, and Po-boy sandwiches. For exceptional authentic Cajun food, I highly recommend Mulate’s. I suggest Antoine’s for phenomenal Oysters Rockefeller, their signature dish. Commander’s Palace offers a bit of history and delicious classic Creole cuisine.
After arriving at Louis Armstrong International Airport
, the best way to reach the city is by the Airport Shuttle. Follow the signs right outside of baggage claim. The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes and can take you to New Orleans hotels, The French Quarter, and ship terminals. Once in the city, the best way to get around is walking or biking. Otherwise, rideshares or the city bus are efficient options.
Some of the most unique and creative hotels can be found in New Orleans. Lafitte Guest House is a boutique hotel with an art gallery for guests. It is in a prominent location with balconies overlooking Bourbon Street. The more low-key Henry Howard Hotel is the epitome of Southern charm with its four-poster beds and plantation vibe. You can also find floating villas and houseboats to rent for a truly “swell” experience!
Walk or strut the city!
Jazz men on Frenchmen Street
The party isn’t over after Mardi Gras in New Orleans, in fact every night is a party! Live jazz music and Hurricanes (The city’s signature drink) are available all week, every week. The best way to enjoy the nightlife in the Big Easy is a bar crawl. The party sprawls out into the street and is even encouraged, as it is legal to takeaway your drink! The historic and legendary Bourbon Street is by far the most well-known party street in city, however, Freret Street and Frenchmen Street are also a great time.
New Orleans is one of a kind. Its renowned nightlife, cuisine and music are an exciting mix of cultures that continues to pass a good time. I know you’ll enjoy “Rolling on the River” in New Orleans!