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New Orleans

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new orleansNew Orleans may be the most unique and intriguing tourist destination in all of North America. With historic architecture, exciting attractions, a vibrant atmosphere and some world-class cuisine, there’s really a lot to love about this little corner of Louisiana. New Orleans tourism took a big hit after the city was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but after a mammoth rebuilding effort – which continues to this day – visitor levels are higher than ever. The city now welcomes some nine million visitors a year. new orleansThe city is served by Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), which can be found in Parish, La., just west of downtown New Orleans. Named for the world-renowned jazz performer, the airport offers connections with much of the United States but is limited in terms of international flights. Overseas visitors will need to find a connecting flight. Upon arrival in the city, travelers will find that New Orleans is a treasure trove of delights. The Vieux Carre (French Quarter) region of the city is a must-see for all visitors to the city. A stroll through The Quarter offers a host of restaurants, cafés, bars and other amenities, all contained within some of the city’s oldest architecture. World-famous Bourbon Street is home to the best bars in the city. new orleansThe Quarter is also home to Jackson Square and the awe-inspiring St. Louis Cathedral. Spend an afternoon to look around one of the oldest cathedrals in America and enjoy the historic park it sits within. Spare some time for a trip to Saint Louis Cemetery too. Audubon Park is home to some of the city’s most popular family attractions, including a zoo, butterfly garden, nature institute, and the Aquarium of the Americas. Other scenic parks in the area include New Orleans Botanical Gardens, the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, and City Park. All offer a fine way to spend a morning or afternoon. Other popular attractions in the city include The Cabildo museum, the National World War II Museum, and the Historic New Orleans Collection. For a touch of the different, take a guided tour of haunted New Orleans or head out of the city for a swamp tour. Keep your eyes peeled for gators among the mangroves. new orleansA streetcar ride through the city is also heartily recommended. For something truly special, book a place on a riverboat tour (preferably a paddlewheel steamboat) and see what the Mighty Mississippi has to offer. Perhaps more than any other city in North America, food truly rules the roost in New Orleans. During a stay, every visitor should indulge their palate with the city’s trademark Creole and Cajun cuisine. For visitors that fall in love with their first bite, try one of the city’s cuisine tours. New Orleans serves as a year round tourist destination, although numbers are understandably higher during school holidays. That being said, New Orleans’ busiest period comes during Mardi Gras, when the city becomes one big party. Held around Fat Tuesday (normally in February or March), Mardi Gras really has to be seen to be believed.

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