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Head on down to New Orleans and let the good times roll. As one of America’s oldest cities, a unique blend of French, Spanish and Creole influences creates an unforgettable vibe like no other city. Tour historic mansions and landmarks in the Garden District and the French Quarter, browse antique shops on Magazine Street, or sip a chicory coffee at a café along Canal Street. Whether you see New Orleans by ferry, carriage or streetcar, on nearly every street corner you’ll find rich history, unbeatable southern fare, and some of the best live street performances anywhere.
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The oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter is a place where you will want to explore and linger. Live jazz carries you through the many antique stores and historic buildings that chronical the history of this southern town. Start your exploration in Jackson Square - a beautiful park that is home to the Cabildo Museum, Presbytère Museum, and St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest U.S. Catholic cathedral still in use. Of course, no trip to the French Quarter would be complete without a stop on the famous Bourbon Street. Every night is a party as visitors visit famous bars and enjoy live musicians performing most evenings.
A glimpse of life in New Orleans in the mid-1800s can be seen in the beautiful Garden District. Grand antebellum mansions line the streets where plantation owners once lived and their spirit lives on in the architectural detail and gardens that greet guests.
The area’s Third and Magazine Streets are filled with art galleries and local restaurants. Continue up Magazine Street to visit the National WWII Museum, Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo, home to rare white tigers.
Nearby, New Place de France boasts the impressive Joan of Arc statue, a gift to the city of New Orleans from France. Stroll down Royal Street for world class antiquing or head to the French Market, America's oldest public market featuring public art and scenic riverside walks.
Sports fans, music aficionados, and foodies will all be right at home in New Orleans. Root for the NFL’s 2009 Super Bowl Champions, The New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Groove to live jams at Tipitina's, featuring a walk of fame for local music icons like Irma Thomas, the “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” and definitely bring your appetite when visiting New Orleans.
Add some spice to your plate with traditional fare like red beans and rice, gumbo, Andouille sausage, and jambalaya. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try these local desert favorites: creole pralines, beignets "French doughnuts," and Bananas Foster, a decadent banana, ice cream and rum dessert invented at New Orleans’ own Brennan's Restaurant, celebrating 70 years.
Want some outdoor excursions? Cruise down the Mississippi River aboard the Creole Queen or Steamboat Natchez, or kayak along the Bayou on one of the area’s swamp tours.
You’ll feel the colorful colonial history all over New Orleans, but if you’re seeking the city’s supernatural side, visit the Voodoo Museum or wander century old buildings, narrow alleyways, and historic graveyards while on ghost and vampire tours.
Whether you’re looking to sip some bourbon, explore the Bayou, see a live show or NFL game, stay at one of Best Western’s New Orleans hotels located in the heart of this amazing city.
Things to do in New Orleans