There is no denying that the city of New Orleans is one of the most unique in the United States. With a vibrant mix of culture, fascinating history and a world-class music scene, New Orleans oozes appeal for a wide range of travellers. Those who call this wacky city home sure know how to have fun and there’s always something going on – hardly surprising seeing as New Orleans’ motto is: “Let the good times roll”! Whether it’s getting down to some local live music on Frenchmen Street, indulging in the soul-warming local cuisine, or just wandering the streets with an oversized cocktail: you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time!
Get Lost in the French Quarter
One of the biggest draws of boisterous New Orleans is its unique history, and one neighbourhood which is synonymous with the city’s mixed heritage is the French Quarter. Filled with buildings which date as far back as 1718, the fabulous French Quarter is the perfect place to get stuck into all that southern American history. Take a stroll around and you will find countless hotels, restaurants, shops, cafes and bars in which to while away an afternoon. There’s also a host of attractions to tick off your list, such as the St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square and the famous French Markets. This part of the city is made up of a labyrinth of laneways, so ditch Google Maps and lose yourself in the quirky streets where you can’t help but soak up the laid-back vibes! Oh, and don’t forget to bring your camera – there are plenty of amazing photo ops around this historic neighbourhood.
Spend a couple hours in the Everglades
Just a 40 minute drive outside the city itself, you will find the extraordinary Everglades: a unique swampy landscape with a certain air of mystery to it. Hop on an airboat tour, which are often run by families who have been living in and giving tours of this spectacular Louisiana landmark for generations. Designed to glide over the marshy terrain and at home in just a few inches of water, an airboat is a thrilling way to travel the smaller waterways inaccessible by larger boats, offering a whole new perspective on this truly special place. Be sure to keep those eyes peeled for some amazing American wildlife: from alligators to eagles, pelicans to racoons – there’s so much to see!
Give yourself the heebie-jeebies on a Ghost Tour
New Orleans is synonymous with spooky. Filled with tales of voodoo, vampires and a well-known stomping ground for ghosts and witches, it is widely regarded as America’s most haunted cities. Whether you believe in Casper and his cronies or think the paranormal is poppycock, we have to admit that there is something decidedly eerie about walking through the city’s famous cemeteries. There are lots of tour options to choose from which are bound to give your ‘sixth sense’ a workout: whether you like your scares over the top and theatrical or based in history and fact – there is something for you. Once you’ve had your fill of frights, some tours make stops at local watering holes for a drink or two – well, it’ll help take the edge off! Our fave hair-raising hot-spot has got to be St. Louis Cemetery #1, the final resting place of voodoo queen Marie Laveaux – or is it?
Head out for a night on Bourbon Street
If ghost tours aren’t your thing, then you can always get your fill of Big Easy thrills on Bourbon Street: a street which hosts live performances, where the toe-tapping, hip-shaking beats of jazz and the blues wafts through the air at all times and there’s always a party going on somewhere. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants too, from down-home eateries serving local favourites, to chic restaurants where you can sample refined takes on old classics. Pro tip: don’t miss out on the sinfully delicious Crawfish Étouffée! After dinner, why not make your way to one (or several) of the bars which line Bourbon Street – there are over 300 to choose from after all… See where a big night out in NOLA takes you!
Caught New Orleans FOMO? Give yourself the gift of travel this festive season with a hassle-free trip to North America. Merry Christmas to me??