New Orleans – ‘The Big Easy’

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans – ‘The Big Easy’

Welcome to New Orleans

Welcome to the enchanting city of New Orleans, nestled in the southeastern part of Louisiana, United States. Located along the mighty Mississippi River, this captivating destination offers a rich tapestry of history, music, and culinary delights.

As you step into the soulful melodies of jazz, which was born in this very city, allow yourself to be mesmerised by the rhythm and passion that fills the air. Explore the historic French Quarter, where time stands still amidst its charming architecture and bustling atmosphere. Wander along the narrow, cobblestone streets and let the beautifully preserved buildings’ intricate ironwork balconies tell stories of a bygone era.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Jackson Square, where artists and street performers captivate passersby with their talents. Feel the energy surge through your veins as you enter legendary jazz clubs like Preservation Hall and the Spotted Cat Music Club. Let the music embrace you, as it has embraced me, keeping the spirit of jazz alive and thriving.

If you are in New Orleans in February, take the opportunity to partake in the famous Mardi Gras, a carnival of colours and festivity, a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours and extravagant costumes. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit, dance to the rhythmic beats, and indulge in the infectious joie de vivre that fills the air during this annual extravaganza and become part of the grand celebration.

But beyond the festivities, the locals’ warmth and hospitality make this city unique. Prepare to be embraced by their genuine charm and Southern hospitality. Allow their stories to weave themselves into the fabric of your journey, leaving an indelible mark on your memories.

How To Get There

By Air: Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) is the primary airport serving New Orleans. It offers domestic and international flights, making it convenient for travellers worldwide. From the airport, you can take a taxi, ride-share service, or shuttle to your destination in the city.

By Car: New Orleans is well-connected by major highways if you prefer driving. Interstate 10 runs east-west through the city, while Interstate 55 and Interstate 59 provide access from the north. Remember that traffic can be heavy, especially during peak travel times or significant events, so plan your journey accordingly.

By Bus: Several bus companies operate routes to New Orleans, offering an affordable option for travellers. Greyhound and Megabus are popular choices for long-distance travel. At the same time, regional bus services like Jefferson Transit and the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority provide transportation within the city and surrounding areas.

By Train: Amtrak’s City of New Orleans train service connects New Orleans with various cities along the route, including Chicago, Memphis, and Jackson. The train station, located in the city’s heart, is conveniently situated near many attractions and accommodations.

By Cruise: New Orleans is a popular port for cruise ships, offering domestic and international itineraries. If you’re arriving by cruise, you’ll disembark at the Port of New Orleans, which is located near the French Quarter. From there, you can easily explore the city’s attractions.

Places Of Interest

French Quarter

French Quarter

The heart and soul of New Orleans, the French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré (Old Square) and Barrio Francés, is a historic neighbourhood known for its vibrant atmosphere, lively music venues, street performers, and iconic architecture. Don’t miss the lively Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and the charming Royal Street. Book tours here.

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street

This street is one of the city’s most famous and iconic streets, renowned for its lively atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and unique cultural experiences. The street’s bustling sidewalks, historic architecture, and colourful neon signs create a distinct ambience that adds to its charm. Bourbon Street is famous for the Mardi Gras. During this time, the street comes alive with parades, costumes, and a carnival-like atmosphere. Book tours here.

Frenchmen Street

Frenchmen Street

Experience the local music scene and vibrant nightlife of New Orleans at Frenchmen Street. This lively street has jazz clubs, bars, and live music venues, offering a more authentic and local experience than the bustling Bourbon Street. Book tours here.

Jackson Square

Nestled in the French Quarter, Jackson Square was known in the 18th century as “Place d’Armes,” and was later renamed in honour of the Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson. Explore the revered St. Louis Cathedral, the country’s oldest continuously active Roman Catholic cathedral, and peruse captivating artworks by local artisans within the square. Book tours here.

St. Louis Cathedral

The St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square is a historic landmark and the oldest active Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States. Its stunning architecture and spiritual significance make it a must-visit site. Book tours here.

Garden District

Garden District

Take a stroll through the charming Garden District, known for its stunning mansions, lush gardens and Victorian-style homes and is also the Mardi Gras parade route. Admire the historic architecture and oak-lined streets, and take advantage of a visit to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, one of New Orleans’ famous above-ground cemeteries. Book tours here.

National WWII Museum

National WWII Museum

Immerse yourself in history at the National WWII Museum, a world-class museum dedicated to the history and impact of World War II. Explore interactive exhibits, artefacts, and Book tickets here.

Preservation Hall

Preservation Hall

Experience the soulful sounds of jazz at Preservation Hall. This iconic venue has been a gathering place for jazz enthusiasts since the 1960s, featuring intimate performances by talented musicians that showcase the essence of New Orleans’ jazz heritage. Book tours here.

Steamboat Natchez

Cruise along the Mississippi River on the Steamboat Natchez, the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River, a steam-powered paddle wheeler. Enjoy live jazz music and breathtaking city skyline views, and indulge in a delicious Creole meal during this iconic New Orleans experience.

New Orleans Museum of Art

New Orleans Museum of Art

Delve into the city’s vibrant art scene at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). This comprehensive museum showcases a diverse fine art collection, including works from renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Georgia O’Keeffe. 

River Walk

River Walk

A scenic destination along the Mississippi River features a variety of stores and speciality shops, from fashion and accessories to unique local products. Additionally, the Riverwalk offers various dining options, including restaurants and cafes, while enjoying river views. Located adjacent to the Riverwalk is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, a popular attraction 

Canal Street

Canal Street

Canal Street is a major thoroughfare in the city, dividing the French Quarter from the Central Business District. It is home to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, one of the city’s iconic modes of transportation, providing a scenic journey through beautiful neighbourhoods and showcasing the city’s historic architecture. 

Canal Street by Day

Canal Street by Night

Christmas on Canal Street

Louis Armstrong, a legendary figure in the world of jazz, holds a special place in the history of New Orleans. Born in 1901 in the city’s heart, he is celebrated as one of the most renowned and influential musicians to have emerged from New Orleans. Known by endearing nicknames such as “Satchmo” or “Pops,” Louis Armstrong’s impact on jazz and popular music is truly immeasurable. One of his most beloved recordings, “What a Wonderful World,” continues to resonate with audiences worldwide, captivating listeners with its timeless message of hope and beauty.

New Orleans proudly embraces its status as the “Birthplace of Jazz,” with Louis Armstrong as one of its brightest stars. So, as you explore this captivating city, take a moment to immerse yourself in the legacy of Louis Armstrong, a man who shaped the world of music and embodied the spirit of resilience and creativity that defines New Orleans. 

Louis Armstrong Park

Louis Armstrong Park

Pay homage to this musical icon located in the historic Tremé neighbourhood. This park is a living tribute to his enduring legacy. Here, you can wander among statues that immortalise his image and be transported back in time as you explore the venue dedicated to preserving his spirit through live performances. 

Louis Armstrong Park, New Orleans

Where To Stay

Luxury Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans: 

Enjoy captivating cityscape vistas from this hotel, ideally situated near the French Quarter. Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambience of Bourbon Street, celebrated for its legendary nightlife, live music scene, and world-renowned gastronomy.

Mid-Range Hotels

The Drury Plaza Hotel New Orleans: 

This hotel boasts scenic city views and is conveniently situated near the French Quarter. Guests can explore the lively streets of Bourbon Street, renowned for its vibrant nightlife, live music, and diverse culinary scene.

Budget Hotels

Pelham Hotel:  

This budget-friendly hotel offers charming city views and is conveniently located near the French Quarter. Guests can explore the vibrant streets of Bourbon Street, famous for its lively atmosphere, music, and delectable cuisine.

We stayed at the New Orleans, Marriott a 4-star hotel on Canal Street with thoughtful amenities overlooking the French Quarter and the Mississippi River. Great place to stay!

Where To Eat

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise, renowned for its mouthwatering cuisine. Take a culinary journey through the city and savour iconic dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, and the beloved po’ boys.  

Café du Monde: A New Orleans institution, Café du Monde is famous for its beignets, powdered sugar-coated French doughnuts, and café au lait. Enjoy this classic combination at their open-air locations in the French Quarter or City Park.

Central Grocery: Head to Central Grocery for one of New Orleans’ signature sandwiches, the muffuletta. This hearty sandwich features Italian meats, cheese, and olive salad on a round sesame bread loaf.

Jacques-Imo’s Café: Jacques-Imo’s Café is a lively spot known for its Creole and Cajun cuisine. Enjoy dishes like shrimp and alligator cheesecake, jambalaya, and fried chicken in a fun and vibrant atmosphere.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern: Known for its po’boys, Parkway Bakery & Tavern offers various classic New Orleans sandwiches. From roast beef to fried shrimp, their po’boys are packed with delicious fillings at an affordable price.

Final Thoughts

New Orleans, Louisiana, is a destination that captures the hearts of all who visit. From the rich history and cultural heritage to the tantalising cuisine and soul-stirring music, this city leaves an indelible mark on every traveller. So, pack your bags, prepare your taste buds, and let the spirit of New Orleans guide you through an unforgettable journey into the heart of Southern charm.

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