New Orleans, the largest city of Louisiana, located on a Mississippi River bend near the Gulf, the so-named Crescent City offers a mixture of American, African, Caribbean and European architecture, culture and cuisine.
The heart and soul of the city is the French Quarter that has many shops, elegant art galleries, restaurants, bars, jazz club, so a terribly good nightlife. If you walk through Bourbon Street, the French Quarter’s liveliest and wildest thoroughfare, you’ll hear the rhythmic sounds of jazz, country western, Dixieland and sultry blues permeate the air.
On the corner of Rue Bourbon and Rue Bienville, you’ll find the Old Absinthe House bar. The cooper-topped wooden bar captivates patrons as they sip their favorite beverages and the sights and sounds of the French Quarter trickle into this comfy bar.
Jackson Square, located on the Mississippi River, on Decatur Street, is a must-see place. It is full of street painters, musicians, jugglers, historical buildings and the Moon Walk, providing a breath-taking view of the Mississippi River.
The French Quarter is a National Historic District. Most of the city’s museums and historic homes are found here. The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), has just opened an exciting exhibition -Femme, femme, femme: Paintings of Women in French Society by such artists as Renoir, Degas, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.
Founded in 1963, the Musée Conti Historical Wax Museum is another highlight in New Orleans. It contains wonderfully realistic wax sculptures that chronicle the history of New Orleans. There are also other famous figures: musicians, film stars. Visitors can experience the Haunted Dungeon, occupied by ‘Masters of the Macabre,’ such as Edgar Allen Poe and Victor Hugo. You can also host parties and receptions here.
New Orleans is famous for its festivals, all year round. There are more than 400 festivals each year, including Mardi Gras, Woodoo Fest, and Jazz Fest. Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, a carnival with thousands of sensational sculptured props, and super giant figures. On Mardi Gras Day the city is shut down, people go to the street and have party.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a 10 day cultural and music festival consisting of two main components: the Louisiana Heritage Fair and the Evening Concerts. The Louisiana Heritage Fair showcases over 600 musicians on 12 stages, an amazing array of authentic Louisiana cuisine, crafts and art displaying the talents of artisans from around the state and world. The Evening Concerts take place at different venues around New Orleans.
New Orleans is alive again and worth a visit. February through April is the best time to visit, when the weather is good and when you can enjoy the city’s two most spectacular events, Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest..