New Orleans is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind city that is quite unlike any other major city across the United States. Owing to its founding to the French, the city was established in 1718, trading hands a few times before finally joining the Americas with the rest of the Louisiana Purchase.
Because of the rich cultural history during its founding, as well as the numerous cultures that have influenced it as it grew to a Metropolis, the city has a distinct vibe and look that’s completely unmatched. When you inevitably come to visit this beautiful city, here are some essential hot spots for your trip.
Tour the French Quarter
It’s really impossible to go for a trip to New Orleans and leave this out of the itinerary! The French Quarter is what gives New Orleans its distinctive characteristics and is what is the most easily recognized landmark in the city. The French Quarter maintains a lot of the old French feel, with cobblestone streets and arched balconies overlooking the streets, all with their original French names!
Bourbon Street is one of the key draws of the French Quarter, being one of the party hubs of the city. It is thirteen sprawling blocks, with plenty to do, so if you ever find yourself looking for a slice of the nightlife, Bourbon Street is where to go.
Visit the Swampland
The swampland that surrounds New Orleans is a unique environment in the United States, with the only thing similar to it being in the Everglades in Southern Florida. However, while the Everglades is more remote, the swamps of New Orleans come right up to the city and can easily be visited without having to sacrifice a whole day to the endeavor (unless you want to, of course!).
The native diversity is incredible, with a trip to the swamps offering views of alligators, cranes, turtles, mosses, and trees unlike those on the mainland, and more! In addition, certain tours of the swampland would be sure to show some of the ways the Cajun culture lived in the swamp and how they thrived there!
Explore the Garden District
It is completely possible that during your trip you’ll need moments of calm and peace. When that happens, it is reasonable to seek out calmer haunts. In this case, the immaculate architecture of the Garden District proves to be a true blessing. The Garden District has some of the nicest homes, with gardens and parks offering an oasis of calm in a very busy city.
The intersection of Washington Street and Prytania Street is also a fantastic place to take a break for a nice luncheon or to go shopping during the daytime, too. It has many lovely businesses that can help you regain your energy and composure before or after a night of intense partying.
Take a Risk with a Macabre Evening
One of the main draws of New Orleans, besides Mardi Gras, is the culture of voodoo. Voodoo was initially brought to New Orleans when slaves fled Haiti in the late 1700s. Ever since then, it has been an iconic piece of culture within the city. To start the evening and get yourself in the mood, visit any of the beautiful but spooky cemeteries that dot the city. To protect against rising water levels, many of the crypts and tombs are raised above the ground and are artfully decorated.
Once you’ve gotten into the mood, now more than ever might be the time to look for a tarot reader near you while on your vacation. New Orleans has no shortage of options that you can choose from and this is a great way to learn a little bit more about yourself or even sneak a peek into your future… if you dare!
View the Art Behind the Mardi Gras Holiday
Even if you are not in town for the holiday itself, there are locations around the town where you can see artwork and items that would be used for the actual holiday. One such place is Mardi Gras World. It hosts a collection of previous items used during Mardi Gras, both as decoration and even some items used during the parades through town. If you missed the big day, this is a good way to get in on the action and snag some beads — with no one being the wiser!
There’s no doubt about it. New Orleans is a city that’s absolutely steeped in history, and it’s one that is quite unlike anywhere else in the entire United States. If you’re considering where to go this year, and you want somewhere different than what you’ve done before, consider the bustling beauty of New Orleans. You’ll love your stay here in the Big Easy!