Make Your Next Trip New Orleans And Discover The Big Easy
New Orleans is arguably one of America’s most exotic and vibrant destinations. This port city is a dazzling blend of old and new as the chequered history of a bygone era sits side by side with luxury hotels and modern day commodities. A sultry and atmospheric hotbed of music, culture and sizzling cuisine, New Orleans just screams to me “Come visit!”
Lying on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the ‘Big Easy’ is a fascinating city to explore at any time of year and taking a holiday or short break in New Orleans should be firmly on your bucket list, especially if you’re a lover of after dark live music and exciting nightlife. Intrigue and hedonism hangs in the air with more than a hint of indulgence and reminders of the past are everywhere. It’s just all so seductive.
They say New York is the city that never sleeps but it feels like New Orleans doesn’t care much for bedtime either. This place is happening!
Some of America’s finest food, music and literary festivals take place down here and it’s little wonder given its cultural heritage and famous alumni. The Deep South gave us Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote to name but a few. One of Tennessee Williams’ best loved works, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ was set in New Orleans and the city honours his memory and literary genius in the annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival.
This is also the birthplace of jazz and there are many festivals on the go all year round and between April and May the annual New Orleans Jazz Festival takes place. This is one of Louisiana’s showpiece events, celebrating its rich musical heritage. However, you can also find some authentic and exciting venues hosting live music pretty much any day or night of the week (I told you this place never sleeps!) In bars and clubs all over the city, you can experience proper jazz and blues and even if these genres weren’t really on your playlist beforehand, you’d be foolish not to embrace it full on while you’re here. It’s an integral part of New Orleans culture and never has a city been prouder of its musical roots. Even the international airport is named after a musician… trumpeter, Louis Armstrong!
Magnificent blends of Spanish, French, Creole and American architecture create a truly unique and atmospheric setting. This area is jam packed with quirky shops, boutiques and galleries as well as amazing eateries where you can dine on mouth-watering Cajun and Creole dishes. Check out some of the legendary music venues along this neck of the woods and get set for a southern night to remember. Whereby Bourbon Street is the ‘go to’ spot for a textbook New Orleans experience, the party doesn’t stop here. Some of the other districts and neighbourhoods will also give you a taste of what this city is all about. Frenchmen Street is another hotbed of fun. This is the locals’ equivalent of Bourbon Street and this lively district is where they come out to play.
Now there’s no way we can talk about New Orleans and not mention another calendar highlight. Yes…the Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations. Carnival season begins in January and runs until “Fat Tuesday’ (Mardi Gras) the day before Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent.
Mardi Gras is when the revelry of the season reaches a crescendo before the solemn and reflective Lenten period. In other words, everyone really lets their hair down and parties hard while the city streets are ablaze with floats, decorations and colourful costumes. It’s quite a spectacle. If you can time it right, this might be a good time to visit New Orleans although it does get pretty busy. Hotels in New Orleans are often booked way in advance and some require a minimum length of stay so it’s worth checking out what rates and packages are available and plan your trip accordingly. Don’t worry if you think you’ve left it too late, there are always cancellations and some hotels are happy to open waiting lists so it’s worth persevering even if it’s last minute. Although it’s probably best to book a good few months in advance to get your pick of the hotels, especially if you want to be in town towards the end of carnival season, particularly on Mardi Gras day itself.
Check out the official website for tips on how to plan your trip and how to get the best from your Mardi Gras experience.
Festivals and frivolity aside, there are plenty of other great things to see and do. Check out some of the savings you can make on New Orleans attractions and activities such as:
For more information why not download talkholiday’s free New Orleans Travel guide.
There is also some good flight and hotel packages with some of their travel partners – have a look…
As the city motto states, Let The Good Times Roll…
I am from the UK and a massive travel addict but I also work full time, so trying to fit in those long-haul trips is what my holidays are used for. I love worldwide travel from Aruba to Thailand to Texas – the world is only as big as you make it. It’s all about culture when I travel afar.