The birthplace of Jazz and everything funky is the one and only New Orleans in Louisiana. As an Aussie, I was quite unaware of this city and what it had to offer but also unaware that I had forever been pronouncing the name incorrectly (New-Aw-lens, not New Or-Leans). One of the most popular cities in ‘The South’, used as a location in films The Big Easy and my personal favourite, Disney’s The Princess and The Frog, New Orleans has something for everyone.
New Orleans has a culture unlike anywhere else in the USA, if that alone doesn’t convince you to visit this funky city then keep reading my favourite 7 attractions in New Orleans:-
Located in the oldest neighbourhood in New Orleans, Bourbon Street is the heart of the French Quarter and is famous for its nightlife, bars, strip clubs, souvenir stores and restaurants. It also plays host to the Mardi Gras parade (generally the first week of February), inviting tourists from all over the world to party and celebrate. New Orleans also allows people to drink openly in the streets, which makes this bar and club scene even bigger. It’s also common to hear local Jazz and street musicians playing throughout the night.
New Orleans City Park
One of the countries oldest urban parks, the city park has something to offer everyone. For those who want to see the beauty of nature the Botanical Gardens and the worlds largest mature oak trees are worth visiting or for those with children (or kids at heart) a ride on the antique wooden carousel in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is sure to please. Althogh badly flooded during the events of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans City Park has not only been restored, but has been made more of an attraction than before.
Jackson Square is named after Andrew Jackson, a hero from the Battle of New Orleans and is another major park in New Orleans. It features some of the cities most historic and famous buildings and landmarks such as St. Louis Cathedral, Presbytere and Cabildo (Louisiana State Museums), the Pontalba Apartments and a statue of Jackson and his horse. Jazz musicians, artists and horse and carriage tours can also be found here and creates a very laid-back, easy going atmosphere to enjoy.
Cafe Du Monde
Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, the Cafe Du Monde was established in 1862. Now it is famous and known for its coffee, chicory and most famously (and importantly) Beignets. A Beignet is a French inspired, square piece of dough, covered in powdered sugar and is one of the most delicious donut style treats you will find. You won’t find them any better than here!
One of the oldest public markets in the country, founded in 1791, the French Market offers shopping, farmer’s markets, live music, street food and dining. Find stalls of locally made jewellery, artwork, clothing and more whilst listening to local street musicians perform.
There are many plantations in and around New Orleans to visit, offering tours and an insight into the history of these sites. I personally chose to visit Laura Plantation and Oak Alley, both of which offered tours demonstrating the history of the plantations and fantastic photo opportunities to capture the historic homes and acreages beauty.
Ever wanted to see a live Alligator? This is one opportunity you definitely should not pass up. With murky swamps throughout the city, swamp boat tours are your best bet at getting up close (or as close as you’d want to be) to alligators. However, alligators aren’t the only thing you’ll see, you can also encounter snakes, eagles, birds, turtles and more whilst seeing up close the flowers, grasses and fauna that grow in and around swamplands.
I cannot express how unexpectedly amazing New Orleans was for me. I love that it is so different to other places in America, with its ‘southern’ culture and way of life. Having not known much about the city before visiting, I can honestly say this is one US city I will definitely revisit and highly recommend you check out!
Global Whispers and friends chose to stay at Four Points by Sheraton, in the French Quarter whilst visiting New Orleans.
All posts are by GlobalWhispers2014 and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.