New Orleans Travel Guide
The Vieux Carré ... French Quarter in New Orleans
New Orleans has long been the largest city in Louisiana, and one of the premier cities in the world to visit.
"The Big Easy" is situated on curves on the Mississippi River, and also called "The Crescent City".
It is the site of the famed French Quarter, or "Vieux Carre", the locale of many world-class hotels, historic buildings and attractions. The French Quarter includes all the land stretching along the Mississippi River from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue (13 blocks) and inland to North Rampart Street (seven to nine blocks). The Quarter totals an area of 78 square blocks.
Canal Street is a major thoroughfare in the city, forming the upriver boundary of the French Quarter or Vieux Carre, and the Central Business District. One end of Canal Street terminates at the Mississippi River at the riverfront, and the other at Mid-City at the cemeteries. Downtown, the street is three lanes wide in both directions, with a pair of streetcar tracks in the center.
Also located downtown is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the NFL New Orleans Saints, the annual Sugar Bowl, and the site of several Super Bowls.
Things to Do in New Orleans
From world-renowned festivals to the end of the Great River Road in Plaquemines Parish, the Greater New Orleans area offers a variety of experiences for visitors.
New Orleans has long been a harbor for the creative powers of artists, writers and musicians, and their influences can be seen throughout the city.
New Orleans offers visitors beautiful architecture, museums, historic streetcars, art galleries, shopping, world-class cuisine, nightclubs, authentic music and riverboat rides.
Popular attractions include:
- National World War II Museum
- St. Louis Cathedral
- The Cabildo
The Cabildo in the New Orleans French Quarter
- New Orleans Museum of Art
- French Market
- Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World
- Acquarium of the Americas
- Audubon Park
- Audubon Zoo
- Preservation Hall
- Garden District
- Streetcar rides
- Old U.S. Mint
- Historic cemetery tours
- Louisiana Children's Museum
- Chalmette National Historical Park
- Longue Vue House & Gardens
- Riverboat rides on the Mississippi River
- Port of New Orleans and cruise ship departures
- Louisiana Superdome
Popular annual events include:
- Mardi Gras
- Sugar Bowl
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
- Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival
- Essence Festival
- French Quarter Festival
- Sugar Bowl Classic
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
New Orleans has been known since 1857 for its Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, celebration before Lent each year.
The next Mardi Gras will fall on March 1, 2022.
This magnificent, costumed, beaded and feathered carnival is rich with tradition and is all about having a good time!
The traditional Mardi Gras colors, dating back to 1892, are purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power).
Mardi Gras is always on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The day before Mardi Gras is known as Shrove Monday or Lundi Gras.
We recommend you check with individual parade sponsors/krewes to determine the latest parade schedules, routes, times and other information.
Swamp Tours in the Greater New Orleans Area
Flat-bottom tour boat in the Honey Island swamp in Louisiana
One of the most popular things to do in Louisiana is touring the swamps!
In the greater New Orleans area, there are many swamp tour options in communities such as Marrero, Westwego, Braithwaite, Lafitte, Des Allemands and Laplace.
Swamp tour operators offer a variety of options, boats, tour length and cost. Some use flat bottom boats, others operate airboats. Kayak and canoe tours are also available.
If you are visiting the greater New Orleans area, many of the tour operators offer pickups at French Quarter and downtown hotels.
While some operators offer online reservations, others require phone reservations. Some accept credit cards and others require cash, so plan accordingly.
New Orleans Hotels and Restaurants
Gulf to Table New Orleans Style: Video from Louisiana Travel
A favorite attraction in New Orleans is its restaurants, variety of cuisines, and dishes from fresh seafood. In this video, New Orleans chefs John Besh, Brian Landry and Ben Thibodeaux, along with restauranteur Dickie Brennan, tell the story of Gulf to table cuisine in the Crescent City.
Attractions Around the New Orleans French Quarter
Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral in the New Orleans French Quarter
Bourbon Street at night in the New Orleans French Quarter
The New Orleans French Quarter on a rainy night
The famous Pat O'Brien's in the New Orleans French Quarter
Cafe du Monde at the French Market in New Orleans
A "don't miss" for visitors to New Orleans ... Cafe au Lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde
Other Attractions and Things to Do Around New Orleans
The famous New Orleans streetcars ... and Canal Street
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on the river front in New Orleans
Historic cemetery in New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans, home to Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and other cruise lines
National World War II Museum
The Museum broke ground in December of 2017 on the eight-story, $66.5 million Higgins Hotel and Conference Center, one of the final pieces of the sprawling educational complex dedicated to America's involvement in the Second World War.
National World War II Museum at 945 Magazine Street in New Orleans
The New Orleans Superdome, site of the annual Sugar Bowl, with the downtown skyline and Crescent City Connection in the distance.
St. Charles streetcar in the New Orleans Garden District. It is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world, in operation since 1835.
The Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine Street in New Orleans
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