If you’re thinking about taking a trip down to this iconic city, and you are not going there to party, you will not be the least bit disappointed.
Who Dat: The Heart of the City
After taking the train in from Birmingham, a scenic 7 hour journey culminating with the approach into New Orleans, past the swampy Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, along the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and into this beautiful city, it was no surprise why this great city attracts so many tourists each year.
Built along what is essentially the intersection of the Mighty Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, two historically important passages of water, this city reflects a melange of culture stemming from its Spanish, French, and African American roots.
Although New Orleans is known for its party atmosphere, it is mainly concentrated to one small section of the French Quarter, along Bourbon Street, so it is quite common for families to stay in a different section of the Quarter or of the city, and have no trouble at all avoiding the more ‘openly expressive’ party-goers of the city.
However, for those who to come to this city to party, this city is more than happy to oblige! Similar to Las Vegas, refillable drink containers are sold throughout the city, with Margarita Bars aplenty, and beers sold in takeaway plastic cups. For those of us who are used to the restrictions of liquor licensing in our home cities this is a welcome relief, and a great way to help you relax, unwind, and enjoy your holiday.
Bourbon Street comes alive at night and stays alive! With no mandatory closing hour, many of the venues stay open all night. There are bars, night clubs, strip clubs, of all different sorts and sizes, to pretty much cater to every type of party- goer. It’s worth trying a Hurricane, a local rum-infused cocktail with a lot of kick.
Worth a Visit, Just For The Food!
As for the food, Bourbon Street has some decent restaurants, but the best food is most likely to be found further down the French Quarter closer toward the River. If you happen to be on a diet when you visit, leave your diet at the door! All of the famous New Orleans cuisine can be found here — from poboys and muffoletta for lunch to seafood gumbo, jumbalaya, and crawfish for dinner. There are no healthy choice options here, just hearty, Southern traditional food! Don’t forget to try a beignet (a powdered sugar donut) with your coffee, and if you have time, be sure to visit the iconic Cafe du Monde (pictured below), located on Decatur Street, for a true New Orleans style coffee.
Lastly, no visit to New Orleans would be complete without a cruise down the Mississippi River on an old fashioned Steamboat. There are two different cruise companies, each offering either lunch or dinner-time cruises (with or without food served onboard), and a live Jazz band playing, with a beautiful view of New Orleans in the background. I recommend the night-time cruise, as the view coming back into New Orelans aboard the boat is almost worth the price of the cruise itself!
Are you planning to visit New Orleans?
Contact one of our travel specialists and we will be happy to help!