Five reasons to visit New Orleans
Written by: Julia Hammond
The city the Americans calls the Big Easy is a perfect fit for a vacation. This Louisiana gem is as laid back as its name suggests. Whether you’re planning a Deep South road trip or a city break that’s a little different from most other North American cities, NOLA should be on your wish list. Here are five reasons to visit New Orleans.
Bourbon Street might be party central but you’ll need to head to Frenchmen Street for the best live music the city has to offer. It’s the jewel in the crown of the Marigny, the district which borders the historic French Quarter. Authentic live music plays every single night. Seek out soulful blues and jazz or lively reggae and rock acts. Whether you choose to enjoy music with your dinner or hit the clubs late at night, there’s something to suit all tastes in this vibrant city.
In New Orleans, it’s customary for the dead to be buried above ground and so the city’s historic cemeteries are crammed full of wonderfully elaborate tombs. If you only make it to one cemetery, then make it St Louis #1, where you’ll find the final resting place of Marie Laveau, the city’s most famous voodoo queen. It’s only accessed with a tour guide but this is one tour you won’t want to miss. Lafayette Cemetery is also atmospheric and interesting, with many graves of Irish and German settlers.
The street life
Perhaps it’s because of the hot sultry summers, but life in New Orleans is lived outside. There’s always something happening in the French Quarter, be it live musicians, street entertainers or artists creating their latest masterpiece. Hop into a carriage for a ride around these historic streets, where you’ll pass colonial mansions with their distinctive wrought iron balconies and haunted houses whose past residents just couldn’t bear to leave. When you’re ready to people-watch, do so from a table at the Café du Monde while consuming a plate of their icing sugar dusted beignets.
The mighty Mississippi winds its way right through the heart of New Orleans and makes its presence felt in the riverfront promenades. But the best way to experience the USA’s longest river is to take a cruise. The Natchez is a steamboat that’s graced the water for over forty years. Its history stretches way further back. Her engines date from 1925; she bears an antique whistle and a copper bell which once rang on the SS JD Ayres. The huge wheel that churns behind her is a whopping 25 tons of white oak. Book a jazz cruise and enjoy a two-hour sojourn in style.
New Orleans doesn’t just have gardens, it has a Garden District. This delightful neighbourhood is easily reached by tram. A stroll with a guide or even with a downloadable map is a fine way to spend the afternoon. The diverse mix of homes comprise quaint bungalows flying the NOLA flag and grand historic mansions with garden statuary adorning paths and flowerbeds. Scattered throughout are boutiques and cafés that provide irresistible diversions.
Tempted? Why not give Mundana a call today and let us help you with your trip plans?