Spotlight On...New Orleans!
I think this is the first time I've written two "Spotlight On..." articles in a row. Last week's South Africa article was inspired by a client's inquiry. The idea for this week's sparked in mind as I was looking through old pics from the time I spent working in Louisiana. So now I'll shine the spotlight for you on the Crescent City...NOLA...Nawlins....The Big Easy...and my favorite: The City that Care Forgot.
Visitors have returned to New Orleans! While numbers have not reached pre-Covid levels yet, they are growing fast. Why? Three reasons: the plethora of outdoor activities; it fulfils peoples' desire to travel but remain within stateside boundaries; and (unexpectedly) the appeal it holds for international travelers drawn to its European roots mixed with distinct Southern charm.
People who have been to New Orleans at least once never ask this question "What is there to do in New Orleans?" Lest you fear there is only drunken debauchery in that city, I will shine the light on some tried and true as well as the fairly new.
The tried and true
The World War II Museum offers tours through the history of the American experience in the war.
Mardi Gras World. Come to know the history of this tradition while touring a working warehouse where artisans create spectacular floats for the famous parades.
Swamp tours that highlight the city's unique ecosystem, history and ecology. Keep an eye out for wildlife: bald eagles, herons, turtles, nutria and alligators;
The French Quarter. Take a walking tour that features majestic St. Louis Cathedral, venerable Jackson Square, and the bustling French Market, where you’ll explore Pirates Alley and view the Pontalba buildings.
Café Du Monde for a taste of a true New Orleans favorite – beignets!
Oak Alley Plantation shows off rich history of the Antebellum South.
The Liberations Pavilion - expected to open this year, this three-story addition to the WWII Museum will explore themes of liberation, freedom and democracy through interactive experiences and thought-provoking exhibits.
The new Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, which opened in early 2021 in the city's Arts District, explores the unique history and culture of Southern Jews.
The recently-renovated New Orleans African American Museum, dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the African American communities of New Orleans and the wider African diaspora, the museum reopened just before the pandemic in 2019, following a six-year closure and a $2 million renovation.
Tour historically black neighborhoods like Treme, the oldest African American neighborhood in the U.S.; or Central City, a former hub for the Civil Rights Movement that now features stunning street murals. New Orleans has long been a capital of Black history and culture in the U.S., and now more than ever, travelers are interested in diving into this rich legacy.
What haven't I mentioned? Cemetery tours to learn about some questionably famous (or famously questionable) characters, and the city's unique above-ground gravesites; an evening meal or brunch on a Mississippi riverboat; private cooking classes in french, cajun and creole cuisine; enjoying a meal to the strains of New Orleans jazz; exploring iconic Canal Street on foot or street car (it's here I would do my early-morning - 4am! - runs before heading to work); the historic homes, boutiques and cafes of the Warehouse District, and the Mississippi River waterfront; jump in behind a festive 'second line'; discovering the French Quarter's fabled nightlife on Bourbon Street; and grandest of all...Mardi Gras!
New Orleans is alive and kicking once again. The Big Easy has recently welcomed multiple new hotels and next week we'll take a look at the top five to consider for your stay.
'til next week, laissez les bons temps rouler!
Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.
Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder