New Orleans: the beating heart of Louisiana and home to jazz music, creole cuisine and warm hospitality. Famous of course for its celebration of Mardi Gras, and the Po-Boy sandwich, a crusty creation stuffed with crawfish, it’s a vibrant city that has pulled together to recover from much of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. When planning a visit, as with any travel, always be sure to arrange holiday Insurance to give you added peace of mind.
The best way to learn about a new place is to explore it on foot with locals, so why not join up with one of the Free Tours by Foot for wonderfully informative walking tours? There are tours of the historic French Quarter, the photogenic necropolis of St Louis Cemetery, the Southern mansions of the Garden District and the architectural treasures of the Marigny district. There is even a Ghost Tour and a Foodies Tour! The volunteer local guides are fun and family friendly, and can advise on great places to eat and other activities you may enjoy during your stay in New Orleans. If you enjoy the tour you may wish to give the guide a small tip (around $20 is usual).
A Musical Interlude
If you’re looking for a peaceful interlude amongst all the art shops, galleries and music-making going on in Jackson Square in the heart of The French Quarter, step inside St Louis Cathedral, the earliest Catholic cathedral in the U.S. Standing between the levee of the Mississippi and Jackson Square Park, you can’t miss its striking white facade and three grey towers, and inside the stained glass just as dazzling.
Bugs and Beignets
New Orleans is an art lovers paradise and the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is an essential part of a visit to New Orleans for culture vultures. For a free treat, take in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in the middle of City Park, close to NOMA. The Sculpture Garden is beautifully planned to team nature with iconic modern sculptures from Henry Moore to the huge spindly spider poised in mid-scuttle. It’s a photographer’s dream. The cafe is recommended for a beignet stop-off! And in homage to the food-loving city, even the cafe at the Audubon Institute’s insectarium and Butterfly House features Bug Appetit – a menu featuring edible insects as some of the main ingredients in snacks that will really interest the kids or the adventurous adult!
Muses and Music
Enjoy the trademark New Orleans jazz scene
while you wander, or take in a club for the real buzz. The Spotted Cat is a famously no-frills authentic juke joint: however, the quality of the music is as unsurpassed as it is in the more sophisticated Three Muses, where you’ll need to reserve a table. Anywhere you wander along Frenchman Street, you’ll be sure to find plenty of establishments with a soulful vibe to draw you in.