September 26, 2013

Vacationing in New Orleans: What to See

New Orleans has a certain je ne sais quoi; it has such a cool feel to it, and such unique history and architecture. And despite being devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, its tourism industry is booming. If you’re planning on taking a vacation to see The Big Easy, make sure you get to see some of the most popular sights. There are a lot of tours that you can take to explore the city, the swamps, and even the creepy cemeteries, and tour info is available online.

The French Quarter

Probably the most famous area in New Orleans, the French Quarter is quite a sight. The beautiful, French-inspired buildings house all sorts of eclectic shops and restaurants. But the French Quarter is most famous for its variety of jazz clubs. New Orleans has a rich musical history and is the epicenter of all things jazz.

Mardi Gras

Although Mardi Gras has become infamous nowadays, it really is a wonderful tradition. Rather than partaking in the Bourbon St. version of Mardi Gras, you can head over to St. Charles and see all sorts of family-friendly festivities. There are a number of parades and other activities to provide hours of entertainment.

Cemeteries

Be sure to check out the spooky tombs and crypts that occupy the cemeteries in New Orleans. Because the city is below sea level, settlers discovered that they couldn’t bury their loved ones below ground. So instead they built these elaborate tombs; coffins that are surrounded by carved stone and sculptures. It is really quite interesting to walk through the crypts and see it all.

Plantations

A visit to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without checking out the amazing plantations. These plantations were home to wealthy Southerners who used slaves to work their fields. They built gorgeous, enormous homes that were basically castles of the South. Quite a few of these stately homes have been restored and are historic landmarks.

Swamps

New Orleans is basically a city in the middle of swampland. There are a few national parks that are very close to the city, most of which are just miles and miles of swamp. You can’t really explore these swamps without going by boat, so boat rentals and tour-boats are readily available. Tour info is often available at your hotel, or you can book a tour beforehand to guarantee your spot. On a swamp tour you can see all sorts of native wildlife like alligators, herons, and all sorts of fish. If you’re visiting in the summer though, you might want to prepare yourself for a muggy, hot ride. And bring plenty of bug repellent!





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