New Orleans Travel Guide
The jazz capital long enjoyed a reputation as a carnival city, packed with parties and good humour. It’s now recovering from its hurricane heartbreak - proving that the spirit of the south is as strong as ever, and ready to welcome back visitors to get a flavour of the Mardi Gras all year round.
South USA, on Gulf of Mexico
In the summer months temperatures regularly rise to over 30 degrees C, and even the winter months are a temperate 15 degrees C. Although dramatic weather conditions have made international news in recent years, New Orleans usually enjoys hot, humid summers.
The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is 10 miles west of the city. An express bus, which takes around half an hour, runs from the airport to the Downtown, while shuttle bus services are available to a number of hotels in the business district of the city.
Whether you’re looking for flashy and contemporary or historical and grand, New Orleans has a hotel to suit. Head to the French Quarter for turn-of-the-century style with the Prince Conti Hotel or the elegant Hotel St. Marie. If you’re looking for something more spacious and modern, try the Homewood Suites or the Loews New Orleans Hotel, both situated on Poydras Street.
New Orleans is a city to be savoured. The heart of the city is still in Bourbon Street, which comes alive every Mardi Gras, to be held in 2009 on February 24. Visitors to the city on Fat Tuesday will be treated to carnivals, costumes and celebrations to rival the best new year festivities in the world. The city is also an art lover’s dream, with the Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Centre and the enchanting Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
Canal Street is a fantastic place to start a shopping spree, as a home to designers from around the world. More local goods, including unique fashion pieces, can be found on Magazine Street and in the cosy boutiques of the French Quarter. It is also worth noting, for visitors who are so inclined, that New Orleans is home to several shops specialising in Voodoo.
Golf lovers are well catered for in the area surrounding NO, with courses such as the Audubon Park, Bretchel Memorial Park and the English Turn. Alternatively, take a trip on an old-time paddlewheel steam boat on the Mississippi river to experience the area 19th century style.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum is a hands-on interactive museum, including the chance to step inside a giant eye, and a must-see for those accompanied by younger travellers. Other attractions include the city’s Audubon Zoo and Aquarium, which is home to 15,000 different sea creatures.
A lot of New Orleans can be accessed on foot - which is also the best way to soak up the atmosphere and architecture. However, at least on trip on the streetcars is a must - the old-fashioned, mahogany seated old treasure is still a regular source of transportation for locals and tourists alike. Take the streetcar from the French Markets to the old cemeteries for the full experience. Cars and taxis are also available for hire, while rented bikes are a great way to navigate the area.