Top experiences in New Orleans
About New Orleans
New Orleans is definitely the most unique and distinct city in the United States. But for all of those folks who are coming here for bad voodoo or Bourbon Street, New Orleans is sooo much more. It is an incredible combination of cultures - Spanish-French-African-Native American- and yes regular American- combined to make the most distinct city in the U.S. in terms of cuisine, music, architecture, heritage, and lifestyle. New Orleans is only a small city of 400,000 but it has one of the most vibrant music and food scenes in the country and a very rich history.
Most tourists start their journey in the French Quarter, which is one of the most distinct and entertaining neighborhood in all of the United States. It is the original old town (vieux carre) that burned in 1788, and was rebuilt under the Spanish so that the oldest parts looks like a village in southern Spain - lots of stucco, tile roofs, and long iron balconies. While many visitors only experience Bourbon Street, there is sooooo much more to the city. Jackson Square in the Quarter is the original plaza by the Mississippi River with the Cabildo and St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating church in the U.S.. There are numerous great restaurants and bars away from Bourbon too. So unless you are into jello shots and big a$$ beers, try venturing into other parts of the French Quarter and adjacent neighborhoods like the Marigny, Bywater, or Treme.
Beyond the French Quarter, one can take street cars (aka trolley or light rail) to the older parts of Uptown, where you can get off and walk the beautiful Garden District or Audubon Park, or to Mid City, where you can get off and see the Cities of the Dead (cemetaries), Bayou St. John, or City Park. Bayou St. John is one of the most picturesque parts of the city with its views and reflections. (BTW- bayou is the Choctaw word for creek/small river). And if one is really adventurous one can take a taxi or bike ride out to Lake Pontchartrain, where you can relax and hang with locals on this beautiful estuary that will make you think you are on the Florida Coast.
So please do yourself a huge favor and explore the rest of America's most amazing city, and get off of Bourbon Street. There are some amazing restaurants, bars, clubs, neighborhoods, natural sites to see, and they are super easy to get to. One of the greatest advantages of the city is that it is really easy to get around. Pleas enjoy, explore, and have fun!!!
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