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The Historic Echoes of New Orleans

Author: David Pettitt

An American city of history where the echoes of the past can be found on every street and thoroughfare, New Orleans is a bastion of Deep South culture. Whether planning a holiday to New Orleans or embarking on a Southern state fly-drive adventure incorporating the ‘Big Easy’, this explores the many treasures of this great city. From the beating heart of the French Quarter and the highlights of the surrounding region to the vibrant traditions of Mardi Gras here is our guide to wonderful New Orleans.

The French Quarter: The Heart of NOLA

The iconic French Quarter is the soul of New Orleans. With its charming architecture, lively street life and eclectic mix of cultures, this district is the heartbeat of the city. Stroll through the narrow alleys adorned with wrought-iron balconies and discover hidden courtyards bustling with life as jazz melodies and the aromas of Creole cuisine fill the air. Jackson Square stands as a testament to this historic area’s rich history and is the setting for the renowned St Louis Cathedral and fascinating Cabildo Museum. Antique shops, art galleries and charming boutiques line the streets, and it’s easy to uncover the different stories that have shaped this city’s unique character.

Mardi Gras: A Feast for the Senses

If visiting at the right time of year, no exploration of New Orleans is complete without a dive into the exuberant celebration of Mardi Gras, embodies the essence of New Orleans. This annual spectacle is a riot of colour, music and unbridled joy that sweeps through the city. With origins dating back centuries, Mardi Gras is a time of parades, costumes and camaraderie where elaborate floats adorned with intricate designs, catch beads and doubloons tossed by masked riders create an electrifying energy that fills the streets. If you are in the city during the festivities, experiencing Mardi Gras is an unforgettable opportunity to truly experience and understand the city's unique culture.

The Best Areas to Stay In

Finding the perfect base to explore New Orleans is important with three of the most popular areas being the French Quarter, Garden District and Marigny. The French Quarter, with its historic charm, is right at the heart of the action whilst the Garden District offers a more serene atmosphere, with stunning mansions and tree-lined streets. For a bohemian vibe, consider staying in the Marigny, with its diverse assortment of art galleries, jazz clubs and colourful street performers.

Exploring Nearby

Whilst, with its multitude of things to see and do, it is possible to spend days experiencing New Orleans, there are also a number of things to explore away from the main city centre and doing so is highly recommended. Some of the different places to visit include the Chalmette Battlefield, where the echoes of the Battle of New Orleans come to life, the peaceful serenity of Audubon Park with its lush well-tended gardens and Algiers Point, a charming neighbourhood of picturesque streets which has panoramic views of the New Orleans city skyline. These different places offer a well-rounded experience that complements your time in New Orleans.

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