New Orleans was officially founded in 1817 although its roots can be traced back for centuries earlier. Due to a mix of races such as African, Caribbean, Creole and French, this city may very well be one of the most interesting in the world. Known for its rich history of Jazz and Blues, countless visitors seek to visit New Orleans and partake in all that it has to offer.
The Best Time to Visit New Orleans
While there is no “wrong” time to visit this unique city, many will come here to witness the revelry of Mardi Gras first hand. Generally speaking, this celebration takes place during the last week of February each year. It should still be noted that the entire city can evolve into somewhat of an uproar before, during and after this massive event. For those who wish to experience a bit of peace and quiet, it is best to arrive during the late summer or early autumn.
Another excellent benefit in regards to New Orleans is that the flight times from New York to here are generally just over three hours. The primary airport serving flights is the Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY). As it is found within the suburban district of Kenner, arriving to and from the city center is very easy. There are numerous mass transit options and since the renovations after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, public transportation has become even more reliable. Some of the major airlines which service this route include Delta, American Airlines, Jet Blue, Southwest and Spirit Airlines.
New Orleans is famous for its hospitality and the ability for visitors to enjoy a variety of accommodations is one of the most striking features of this city. For many tourists, the primary locations to stay include the well-known French Quarter and the CBD (Central Business District). Many brand-name franchises are located within these urban areas. Properties near St. Charles Avenue are generally quite popular with visitors and smaller guest houses and rental villas located within districts such as Marigny and Mid-City are likewise choices worth considering.
Things to do in New Orleans
Besides the well-known attraction of Mardis Gras, one of the most respected festivals to experience is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This is held every year during the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. This extravaganza has been going strong since 1970 and is the second-largest in comparison to the annual Mardi Gras. Attendees can experience a true taste of New Orleans jazz and blues. Cajun, gospel music, folk rock and gospel are likewise all represented here. Boasting nearly 500,000 visitors each year, this festival should not be missed.
The history of this city also attracts countless visitors each and every year. While Hurricane Katrina unfortunately took its toll, there are still countless examples of classical architecture. Some of the most famous are to be found in the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, Treme and Bywater. Alongside older homes and buildings, a few notable cemeteries are also able to be visited. One of the largest can be found in the Uptown and Mid-City districts. While guided tours are certainly available, many will simply choose to experience these sights on foot. One important region that was somewhat spared from the hurricane is a location known as “Downriver”.
Echoing the spirit of Mark Twain, a final excursion to be experienced is a riverboat cruise. There are many vessels which depart from New Orleans. Some will last a few hours while the duration of others can be a full day or longer. Staying true to tradition, some boats will have a live jazz band on board during the trip. These are great options for anyone who wishes to partake in three of the most important attractions in New Orleans: food, drink and music. The sights to be seen along the way should still not be missed. These include the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas. Such cruises are excellent ways to escape the hustle and bustle of the city itself.