New Orleans is one of America’s most unique cities, with a vibe you simply can’t find anywhere else. Known the world over for jazz music, Cajun cuisine, and outrageous Mardi Gras celebrations, the city is a melting pot of cultures with a diversity that is reflected in everything from the music and food to the language and architecture.
The French Quarter of New Orleans is the most visited place of the city. Set along a bend on the Mississippi River, the main attraction here is the architecture, but it is also a great area for dining and entertainment. The old buildings, some of which date back 300 years, show French influences, with arcades, wrought iron balconies, red-tiled roofs, and picturesque courtyards.
National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum is an outstanding museum with engaging exhibits and documentary snippets that tell the history of WWII as it was fought in Europe and in the Pacific. The museum is divided into three sections, with one section devoted to the war in the Pacific, another devoted to the war in Europe, and a third building that houses WWII aircraft.
Preservation Hall is an unassuming old building that has long been an institution in New Orleans known for jazz music. The historic hall still features traditional jazz by local artists. The building is small, creating an intimate setting, and seating is limited.
Mardi Gras is New Orleans’ signature event, with celebrations that span a two-week period, ending with the finale on shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Celebrations include almost daily parades and all kinds of entertainment and festivities that increase in intensity as the event draws closer to the end. Onlookers crowd the balconies and sidewalks to watch the parades and catch strings of beaded necklaces tossed from the outrageously decorated floats. Bourbon Street is one of the main areas where people congregate, but the whole French Quarter is generally packed. The tradition was introduced to the city by French settlers and became particularly popular by the end of the 19th century.