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Need to Know About New Orleans
No matter if you know it for its hedonistic reputation, its Creole cuisine, its musical clout; New Orleans is a city like no other. The Big Easy, located in Louisiana, is widely accepted as the birthplace of American jazz. The city also has a strong link with rhythm and blues and funk. Jazz clubs and live music venues are a fixture of New Orleans’ nightlife scene and street performers in the French Quarter have been entertaining visitors for years. New Orleans is also loved for its distinctive local fare, which has been influenced by the city’s Creole and Cajun heritage. Think shrimp gumbo and rice, po’ boy, andouille sausage, boudin and sugar-dusted beignet.
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Getting Around New Orleans
New Orleans is an easy city for travellers to navigate. A network of streetcars operates 24 hours a day and covers five different lines: St. Charles, Canal Street City Park/Museum, Canal Street Cemeteries, the Riverfront, and Rampart-St. Claude . Fares can be paid with exact change and cost less than $2NZD. There are also options for 1-day, 3-day and 31-day unlimited travel Jazzy Passes. A maze of public bus lines and stops criss-crosses the city and fares are the same price as the streetcar; transfer tickets can also be purchased. Some busses have bike racks. To see some of New Orleans from the water, board one of the ferries. There are two routes: between Algiers Point and Canal Street, or from Lower Algiers Point to Chalmette. A one-way pedestrian ferry fare is approximately $3NZD.
The Best Time to Visit New Orleans?
New Orleans has a subtropical climate that features hot, humid summers and mild winters. The most popular time to travel to New Orleans is in the spring, between February and May. Not only is the weather pleasant, but this is also the time when the city’s major festivals are happening. As a result of this activity though, accommodation prices tend to be more expensive and some of the city’s major attractions can be closed. Thanks to locals and most tourists avoiding the steamy New Orleans summer, the city is fairly deserted between June and August. Accommodation is also cheaper, but rainfall averages are at its highest.
Travelling to New Orleans Airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport (MSY)
Located 18 kilometres west from downtown New Orleans, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport (MSY) is the only international airport in the city. It is one of the busiest airports in the country. Upon your arrival at in the Big Easy, the airport shuttle can ferry you to a handful of hotels or other city locations for about $36NZD per person, one-way. This fare includes three pieces of baggage per person. Purchase tickets at the Airport Shuttle booths. There is a Airport-Downtown Express (E2) that travels along Airline Drive. A number of Greyhound Busses also operate and the airport can be used as a pick-up with rideshare services.
What to do in New Orleans
Bourbon Street and the French Quarter
Possibly New Orleans’ most famous promenade, Bourbon Street is located in the heart of the French Quarter and is a magnet for first-time (and repeat) travellers to the city. It is lined with bars, live music venues and heritage buildings. It is also the centrepoint for many of the French Quarter’s festivals and celebrations. Once you’ve explore Bourbon Street, continue you discovery of the New Orleans by heading to some the surrounding streets or the (generally less crowded) Frenchmen Street.
Swaps the bars of Bourbon Street for the tree-lined paths of the Garden District. This area features gorgeous, graceful mansions and, as the name hints at, ample green spaces. The St. Charles Streetcar rolls into the district from the French Quarter, and visitors can take a guided or self-guided tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Make a pitstop at the turquoise-painted Commander’s Palace for a meal, or give your wallet a workout with the shopping opportunities on Magazine Street.
The National WWII Museum
History-buffs will love the National WWII Museum in New Orleans’ Central Business District. The impressive collection houses exhibits and interactive displays documenting the global scale of World War II. There are theatres dedicated to both the Pacific and European Theatres, plus in-depth looks at key events such as the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
St. Louis Cathedral
Located in the centre of the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. This cathedral was built at the beginning of the 18th century and is the oldest cathedral in the United States. In keeping with New Orleans’ paranormal reputation, the cathedral is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of Friar Antonio de Sedella.