New Orleans Travel Guide [y]

[y] New Orleans Visitors Guide

New Orleans is a Louisiana city known for its sensual delights. Travelers come from all over the world to experience the food, music, architecture, and people that make the city so unique. New Orleans has a rich history and a vibrant culture, with a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy.

New Orleans Fun Guide

Enjoy the historic St. Louis Cathedral and plan your culinary stops for the day. Make a stop at the open-air French Market for interesting shopping, music, and dining. Riding a riverboat on the Mississippi is one of the classic ways to enjoy the city or take a Voodoo Tour of the city and surrounding cemeteries. Stroll down Bourbon Street and enjoy the shops, music, and personalities in one of the most colorful parts of the city. A tour of the garden district shows you some of the historic homes of New Orleans. Take a class at the New Orleans Cooking School or stop by the New Orleans Jazz Historical Part to learn more about this unique musical form that is so much a part of the city.

Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street, New Orleans LA

New Orleans Attractions

If you haven’t been to New Orleans yet, you might reconsider your vacation destination for this year. New Orleans is probably the most attractive city in the United States. This superb city has many interesting and impressive tourist attractions that you must visit.

French Quarter

In the French Quarter, you’ll find that you can take a carriage ride through the streets with some of the most hospitable carriage tour guides. They’ll fill you with all that you need on the rich history of New Orleans. You’ll enjoy hearing about the legends as well as the facts. You’ll learn why many of the older 2 story buildings have ornamental iron on the poles holding up the 2nd-floor balconies and so much more. The French Quarter is the main attraction of the old New Orleans. This superb place is a mix between history, romance and of course the beauty of the past. Every building that you will see while you are walking through its streets is a mixture of French and Spanish architecture. This amazing architecture that will give you such a pleasant view is called Creole. You can explore its streets on foot, ride Streetcar, carriage rides or take the single tram.

French Quarter
French Quarter, New Orleans LA

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

This amazing bridge is known as the longest bridge in the world, with no less than 46 miles. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is also the safest bridge in the world. If you are in New Orleans don’t hesitate and take a ride with the car on this amazing bridge and admire the beautiful blue water, as far as the eye can see. It’s not a surprise that New Orleans is considered to be the most attractive city in the United States. With all these amazing attractions, it’s really a pity not to visit it. What do you think about the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway?

Louisiana Superdome

This amazing structure is actually an indoor stadium. Louisiana Superdome is designed for entertainment, sports, conventions, trade shows, and cultural events. The interesting part of it is that the indoor stadium is windowless. The Superdome has a cooling equipment computerized space. With its structures, the sound system, the lightings, and a seating area, it will give you a nice view and good sound accuracy, even if it is a football game or an opera show. On October 3, 2011, the Superdome has changed its name to Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

If you love the casino’s you’ll find plenty of casino action where you can enjoy playing the best slot games as well as your favorite video poker. You can enjoy a wonderful meal at one of the many restaurants located inside the casino.

Riverboat cruises

Perhaps a riverboat cruise with dinner is your idea of a great time; you can cruise down the mighty Mississippi River while you enjoy a Creole dinner. You’ll get the same feel as those that used the steamboats as transportation in the years gone by.

 Riverboat Cruise New Orleans
A Riverboat Cruise, New Orleans LA

Spend some time shopping at all of the great shops and stores. You’ll even find that there is a mall right there on the river that offers some of the best outlet stores and gift shops. You’ll be able to find all of the Louisiana souvenirs that you choose to take back home with you.

St. Theresa’s Cathedral

Visit St. Theresa’s Cathedral which you are sure to be in awe of. This old Catholic Church is stunning and worth the tour. From floor to ceiling, this church is nothing but beautiful. You may get lucky and catch a wedding there while you’re visiting the French Quarters which is so awesome as the bride and groom include everyone in the French Quarters in their celebration.

Cemetery tours

If you love the eerie things that life has to offer, take a tour of the cemetery where you’ll be scared out of your shoes. You might also choose to take a Vampire tour to make your trip the adrenaline rush that you hunger for.

New Orleans is going to provide you with so many wonderful and exciting things to make your trip so much more than you expected.

New Orleans Dining

Dining rises to an art form in New Orleans with a variety of specialties to suit every taste. Try traditional Creole and Cajun dishes, seafood, gumbo, po’ boy sandwiches and a variety of pastries and treats. Well-known restaurants may be crowded during peak tourist seasons and reservations are recommended for dinner.

Red Fish Grill

The Red Fish Grill at 115 Bourbon Street in the French Quarters will provide you with an excellent menu from which you can dine. You may choose to have the BB-Q Blue Crab Claws that are going to be full of meat that is tender and juicy. You can also choose Alligator, Sausage and Seafood Gumbo for a Creole dish that is to die for. For dessert, have the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding or the Southern Fried Peach Pie served with Praline Ice Cream.

724 Iberville Street

At 724 Iberville Street is the Acme Oyster House where you can enjoy of course Oysters however you like them. You can choose the raw, charbroiled and fried to create a great meal. You can also choose from fried fish, fried shrimp or your favorite Po-Boy sandwich. Burgers are also on the menu there as well as Pecan Pie Cobbler or a Root Beer Float for Dessert.

Brennan’s

Brennan’s at 417 Royal Street is a long-standing wonderful place to dine. The menu will offer you many options from Trout Pecan to Shrimp Creole. You might also choose to have Red Fish with Lump Crab Meat Jaime which is redfish stuffed with shrimp and covered with a creamy sauce. For dessert, they offer Bananas Foster and Chocolate Pecan Pie along with other rich delicious choices. They also have the perfect wine to go with the meal that you select.

Tejagues

Tejagues is another great place to dine which can be found at 823 Decatur, their menu offers tender Beef Brisket with Creole Sauce and you can enjoy Shrimp Remoulade. You can also enjoy your favorite bar drink, beer or a glass of wine with your meal.

Back to the Garden

At 833 Howard Avenue is Back to the Garden where you can dine on an avocado stuffed with tuna or more like smothered in tuna, the best chicken salad and even a wonderful egg salad. The salads are made of nothing but the freshest veggies making them crisp and tasty.

Dining in New Orleans is going to be the perfect way to gift your taste buds with the best food choices that the south has to offer. You’ll find nothing but the freshest seafood that are caught daily to make your meal choice exceed your expectations.

New Orleans Events

New Orleans offers many exciting events throughout the year. From Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest, plus several food and music festivals, there are plenty of opportunities to let the good times roll in The Big Easy.

New Orleans Music
Street Musician, New Orleans, LA

Festival Flings

After the excitement of Mardi Gras dies down, visitors to New Orleans still have plenty of chances to revel. There are several exciting festivals held in New Orleans each spring. Look out for food-themed festivals, like the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, and the French Market Creole Tomato Festival. Many festivals in New Orleans are held outside in warm weather, so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreens and cool water to make the most of your day.

You can also look forward to hearing plenty of live music in New Orleans. The most popular music festival is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This two-week-long extravaganza features local, national, and international musicians, plus dozens of delicious food stands and artisan vendors. The event has grown in popularity since its humble beginnings in 1970 and now draws up to 450,000 revelers annually. For a slightly more low-key fest, try the French Quarter Festival, which fills the historic streets of the French Quarter with stages, food stands, and street performers for one busy spring weekend each year. A newer festival, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, is held on the banks of Bayou St. John near New Orleans City Park. There’s nothing quite like floating down the bayou in a rented canoe listening to the sweet sounds of New Orleans jazz on a sunny spring afternoon! The Boogaloo, like several of the other annual festivals, also features plenty of local crafts, gifts, and tasty treats for sale.

Second Lines and Sunshine

Throughout the year, you can catch a number of “second line” parades in New Orleans. These festive events take their name from an old tradition of funeral marches. According to tradition, the family of the deceased would hire a band and march behind the musicians to celebrate the life of the person they have just lost. Then, neighbors and friends would join in the parade, creating a “second line” of celebrants. Today, you’ll find these parades all across the city. Many of them are open to the public and attract a huge number of dancers, musicians, and spectators looking to have a unique, memorable time in New Orleans.

Though New Orleans has long been a draw for the bacchanalian festivities of Mardi Gras, you can find exciting events happening all year-round.

Family Fun near Downtown New Orleans

New Orleans, LA is a city typically known for adult-friendly pastimes, but families can also let the good times roll in this historic, unique destination.

French Quarter Family Fun

No trip to the Crescent City is complete without a stroll through the historic French Quarter. For a family-friendly experience, be sure to walk during the day before the bars get crowded, and avoid the adult-themed blocks of Bourbon Street altogether. Try stopping at the famous Cafe du Monde for a snack of sugary beignets and cafe au lait, then check out the sights along the Mississippi River levee. Jackson Square is home to many talented artists and street performers, and there are several delicious, kid-friendly restaurants in the blocks surrounding the famous square.

Get Outside!

From parks to zoos to beautiful bayous, New Orleans is a lush city with plenty of outdoor adventures the whole family will enjoy. If your family is staying near the French Quarter, consider riding the streetcar up Canal Street to City Park. This 1,300-acre park is a true jewel, offering plenty of memorable sightseeing and family activities. Start off with a stroll along the moss-covered bayous. Here, you can spot a number of water birds including Louisiana’s state bird, the pelican. If you’re traveling with smaller children or babies, you can also take in the sights from the kid-friendly trail that starts off in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. For older kids and adults, be sure to check out the New Orleans Botanical Garden, as well as the awe-inspiring Outdoor Sculpture Garden.

If you’ve got time for a short trip beyond the city limits, try a drive to Jean Lafitte State Park, just 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. Here, your family can get up close and personal with some of the most notorious Louisiana characters around – alligators! Visitors can explore the park and its reptilian residents by safely strolling the wooden boardwalks. For a more intense experience, try one of the several “Gator Tours” in the area. These tours typically involve a guided ride in an airboat through the most alligator dense portions of the swamp, so make sure to bring your camera!

For a more mellow animal experience, check out the Audubon Zoo, located in Uptown New Orleans. The Zoo features beautiful, well-organized exhibits, nearly 2,000 animal residents, plus a playground and snack bars for the kids.

No matter where you end up in “The Big Easy,” it’s easy to find great food, music, and sights to entertain the whole family!

History

Pierre Le Moyne and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River and established the first European settlement in the area. Here a mixture of Native American, French, African and Caribbean islanders created the unique blend of culture that became fundamental to the city. The area passed into the hands of Spain in the 1700s. It was then ceded back to the French who sold it to the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Over the years, New Orleans became an important port city with influences from around the world. It became an important center for food, music, literature, commerce, and history.

Getting There

New Orleans is located at the mouth of the Mississippi River at the southern end of the state of Louisiana. The city is served by Louis Armstrong International Airport, which lies 11 miles west of New Orleans. You can also get to New Orleans via Amtrak train. A number of lines are available. Greyhound buses also travel to New Orleans from Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia.

Lodging

New Orleans offers travelers a range of lodging options, from traditional brand name chain hotels to historic hotels with individual flavor. Bed and breakfast establishments are also available, offering personal service in charming surroundings.

About Downtown New Orleans

The great appeal of downtown New Orleans is its diversity. The nine neighborhoods that comprise downtown New Orleans have distinct characteristics and charm. Locals and visitors alike can find plenty of entertainment, shopping, and food options in every part of downtown New Orleans.

Arts District

Home to a number of museums and art galleries, the Arts District is a favorite with those who wish to explore the quiet charm of the city while remaining close to the action of nearby neighborhoods. Popular museums include the National World War II Museum, the Civil War Museum, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. On Julia Street, visitors can find no less than 18 art galleries, including L’entrepot, which features an ever-changing display of work by local artists.

Biomedical District

In the northernmost part of downtown New Orleans lies the Biomedical District, or BioDistrict as it is known locally. This area contains a number of hospitals, clinics, and biomedical research institutions. The BioDistrict borders the Central Business District, the Canal Street Historic District, and Treme.

Canal Street Historic District

Shoppers delight on Canal Street. Free brings in those who are staying outside of the area while the pedestrian-friendly streets are perfect to tourists who choose downtown accommodations. Boutique shops, antique malls, art galleries, and family-friendly dining allow for a day or multiple days in this downtown neighborhood.

Central Business District

This neighborhood is a major employer in New Orleans. CBD is home to the headquarters of Entergy, Reily Foods Company, Pan American Life Insurance, Tidewater Marine, and International Coffee Corp., among others.

Riverfront

The New Orleans riverfront is a favorite of visitors to the Big Easy. A multitude of hotels allows tourists to stay within steps of the Mississippi River. By day they can enjoy the Riverwalk Marketplace, dine al fresco, or take a class at one of the area’s many cooking schools. By night, the Riverfront comes alive with dance club, jazz clubs, or a visit to Harrah’s Casino.

Sports & Entertainment

Sports enthusiasts flock to the Sports & Entertainment District in downtown New Orleans. Watch the New Orleans Saints or the Tulane Green Wave at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. See New Orleans Hornets basketball or the AFL’s New Orleans VooDoo at the New Orleans Arena. These venues also host special events ranging from world-class concert performances to WWE events.

Warehouse District

Hugging the Arts District is the Warehouse District. Once known as an industrial area, the Warehouse District is now the place to be for some of the best restaurants and most well-known clubs in the city.

New Orleans Downtown Hotels

Downtown New Orleans, also called the Central Business District, is packed with great shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, parks and other points of interest. For visitors to this historic and lively city, Downtown New Orleans is definitely a place to check out. The district is known for its wealth of museums, cultural attractions, and art galleries. Here, visitors can discover fascinating museums such as the National World War II Museum, one of the country’s largest and most comprehensive museums focused on World War II, as well as the Confederate Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center. Historic Lafayette Square is a great place to relax and unwind while outstanding galleries and boutique shops can be found along Julia Street. Other attractions in Downtown New Orleans include the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Insectarium and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, visitors can find excellent music and nightlife venues, top-notch restaurants and a wide array of shops to explore. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown New Orleans that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!

New Orleans Weather

When visiting New Orleans, be prepared for to dress for the weather. You will find that in the summer months that you can dress in clothing that is as light as possible. The summers are hot and can be really humid making you glad that you choose to bring your tank tops, shorts, and sundresses.

Sandals and flip flops are the norm in New Orleans in the summertime where the temperatures can reach up to near 100 degrees on any given day. Even with overcast skies the thermometer will easily be in the mid to upper 90’s in the summer months.

The winter months in the French Quarters can be quite chilly as the French Quarters are located right on the Mississippi River and have a tendency to draw a chilling breeze. You’ll want to dress warm and have your jacket if you plan on doing any walking in the area for dining and shopping. You’ll find that the winter temperatures can range anywhere from the low 30’s to the 60’s making some days quite hard to know just how to dress.

In the fall months you can get by with just wearing a long sleeve shirt most of the time and a jacket may not be needed until winter sets in good. The fall temps will usually be in the mid 60’s to the mid 80’s making it comfortable on the most part.

Spring temperatures are usually about the same as the fall temperatures making for days that are mild and comfortable. You’ll have no problem dressing comfortably and you may even choose shorts or a sundress as your attire for the day. Sandals and flip flops can be worn in the fall and spring months as well as the summer months unless there is an unexpected cool front.

You’ll very seldom have to worry about snow in the winter months in New Orleans; it’s just not that common. You may have to deal with rain showers though, some rain showers can quickly come and go and others may linger for a day or two. Having an umbrella handy is a smart way to stay on top of the unpredictable weather that New Orleans can sometime have.

If you’re visiting New Orleans, don’t ever let the weather stop you, you’ll find as many fun things to do indoors as your will outdoors that will make your trip and enjoyable one.

New Orleans Transportation

Car

Unlike most cities in America, driving is not the best way to get around the city of New Orleans. This is one of the oldest towns in the country, and its roads were laid out well before the invention of the car. This means that there are many winding roads that make it difficult to navigate for visitors. There is also an abundance of one-way streets that give visitors lots of headaches. Parking is also difficult to come by in the tourist areas, making it necessary for people who rent cars during their visits to pay for expensive parking garages.

Walking

Many of the tourist spots in town are within easy walking distance of each other. Tourists who spend most of their time in the French Quarter may find that they can get around just fine with their own two feet. The weather can be quite muggy during the summer, so walkers should be sure to carry water to keep themselves hydrated.

Bicycling

There are many bicycle rental shops available in the French Quarter for visitors who want to get around by pedal power. The town is great to experience from the seat of a bicycle, but be sure to lock up bicycles very securely when they are not in use. New Orleans is known for its petty crime, so don’t leave bicycles unlocked even if they are just unattended for a few moments.

Streetcar

This is the most iconic form of transportation in New Orleans. It is also an extremely practical way for tourists to get around. The streetcars run between all the famous tourist stops, so visitors will find it a fun and useful way of getting to where they need to go.

Bus

For those who need to get outside of the more touristy areas, they can always rely on the bus service run by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. These buses will be slow and often take a roundabout way to get where they are going, but they do cover the entire city. Be sure to ask for a transfer immediately upon boarding to avoid having to pay extra for it.

Taxi

Cabs are plentiful in most of the tourist areas of the city any time of the day or night. Be careful to make sure the driver is using the meter to avoid having an argument about the fare at the end of the journey. There are many unlicensed cabs that will try to pick up passengers. Avoid these as they have been known to try to scam unsuspecting tourists.

 

Shopping near Downtown New Orleans

While visiting New Orleans you’ll certainly want to take advantage of the great shopping that is available there. You’ll be able to find all of the souvenirs that you want to take back home to friends and family as well as some items that you have never seen anywhere else before.

New Orleans offers the Riverwalk which is located right on the wall of the Mississippi River. You’ll find great stores that allow you to purchase men’s wear, cards and gifts, jewelry, shoes and so much more. The Riverwalk also offers some great places to eat as well as enjoy your favorite frozen drink.

Sak’s Fifth Avenue is located on Canal Street and you can buy clothes for the entire family, your favorite fragrance or your favorite piece of jewelry. Nothing but the best comes from Sak’s so you know that you’ll be getting a quality shopping experience when you visit.

At 400 North Peters is Urban Outfitters where you can not only get great clothing but you can also get great decorator items for your home. You’ll find great throw pillows as well as curtains, bedding, wall art, and furniture. You can find all that you need to decorate your home any way that you choose.

The Kitchen Witch at 631 Toulouse will provide you with any cookbook that you have been searching for but just couldn’t find. Whether you are looking for a cookbook from a famous chef or the cookbook from the teacher of the famous chef you’ll find a staff that is friendly and wants you to have the cookbook that you need.

The Trashy Diva at 829 Chartres will provide you with all of the fashionable things that you want and need to help you show your great sense of style. You’ll find the best and most unique high heels as well as that skimpy lingerie that you want. You’ll also find great selections for dresses that you will love.

In the French Quarter, you’ll find the French Antique shop that will have all of the beautiful collectibles that you want from your visit. You can choose from many crystal and bronze items that are sure to please you.

New Orleans offers many small shops that offer specialty items, antiques and so much more. You’ll find plenty of Mardi Gras items that you can take home and share with your friends and family as well as specialty clothing shops that are sure to win you over and make your trip so worthwhile.