Travel to New Orleans?
Hurricane Katrina did terrible damage to the city in Sept '05. They
are - unbelievably - still rebuilding but it's now usable and enjoyable again.
This culturally intriguing city is unique in North America, offering
a cocktail of Africa, Caribbean and France with a dash of voodoo
and big dollop of the blues guitar.
For jazz fans, it all started here and the beat is still going strong
in a plethora of live music venues.
New Orleans has some pretty, traditional, southern architecture, tasty, unusual cuisine and the wildest Mardi Gras party
in the country.
- New Orleans has a reputation for violent crime and ripping off outsiders.
- It's very hot and humid in the summer.
- With the leaning towards street crime and night action, this is not the best place to take children.
Best: Feb-April good weather, great
Worst: June-August (Sticky, hot, storms)
French Quarter: the most historic part of the city dates from the 18th C tho' most surviving old houses are of Spanish design.
Voodoo Spiritual Temple: and the Historic Voodoo Museum are cultural offerings of a different
Central Business District:the
World Trade Centre will give excellent views of the city from a
rooftop restaurant, the ferry on the river will do likewise, or
to see what's in the river try the Aquarium of the Americas.
Garden District: Audobon Zoological
Gardens is particularly good for swampy creatures.
Cycling - This flat city is an easy
Swamp Tour (Cajun Wetlands) - for wildlife
at Kraemer, 50 miles southwest of the city.
Live Music - if New Orleans has a raison d'être,
it's to get your feet tapping and your brain bopping. There are
dozens of bars, lounges, clubs, discos and impromptu rave ups, many
of which feature a wide variety (often traditional rather then modern)
of live music.
State Museum, French Quarter; New Orleans Museum of Art, City Park;
Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Confederate Museum, Warehouse District.
Festivals and Events
The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, February/March, Mardi Gras, locals
start celebrating up to 2 weeks before,
dressed bizarrely, intent on mayhem and well oiled good times. Some kind of costume is vital.
April-May, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival,
forget Mardi Gras if you just want to relax and enjoy some of the
best live music in the country.
June, last weekend, Carnaval Latino,
another big party - this on the riverfront.
July 4, Independence Day celebrations
October, Halloween, any excuse to dress
up is relished, this time with
some Black Magic thrown in.
New Orleans is a
great place for a varied range of exotic foods, but especially Creole and
Cajun. This is one of the best places to eat in the country - it
must be the French influence, or the Italian, Spanish, Mexican,
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