New Orleans has a multicultural heritage proud cultural history. Widely cited as the birthplace of jazz, this is a must for music and history-lovers. While the city is probably most famous for Mardi Gras, it has just as much – if not more – to offer the rest of the year According to a 2007 CNN poll, New Orleans is also the best U.S. City for live music, cocktail hours, flea markets, antique shopping, nightlife and cheap food. The city also ranked second for overall food and dining, gay friendliness, friendliness of residents, and people-watching.

The city is famous for its architecture and boasts seventeen historical landmark districts. Throughout the city, there are many historical housing style: American townhouses, Creole cottages, double-gallery houses and shotgun houses. St. Charles Avenue is particularly famous for its extravagant mansions. New Orleans’ skyline is also breathtaking, the World Trade Centre New Orleans, Plaza Tower and One Shell Square being particularly impressive. Most of the city’s high rises can be found along Canal and Pydras Street in the Central Business District.

Two of the best places to drop by for culture and nightlife and the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Notable tourist attractions in the Quarter include Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Market and Preservation Hall. Nearby you can also find the New Orleans Mint, now operating as a museum, as well as the National World War II Museum and the Confederate Memorial Hall. Magazine Street is always worth a visit, with its stunning boutiques and antique shops. For a tour about the port, hop on board the Natchez, an authentic steam boat, which cruises the length of the city twice daily.

If you fancy getting in touch with some local nature, why not stop by the Audubon Nature Institute, which includes the Audubon Park, Zoo, Aquarium and Insectarium, as well as stunning gardens. If you venture further outside the city, you will find a wealth of wetlands, including Honey Island Swamp. In the area you can also find Chalmette Battlefield and National Ceremony, location of the 1915 Battle of New Orleans.

New Orleans is also famed for its thriving music scheme. In July, the Essence Music Festival takes place. This year’s headliner is Beyonce. New Orleans was a hotbed ’60s and ’70s and and contributed greatly to both the development of rhythm and blues and rock and roll music. This remains the case and the streets are often buzzing with live music.

New Orleans is world-famous for its food, which was developed over centuries and was influenced by Creole, French and Hispanic cuisines. Unique specialties include beignets, square-shaped fried pastries served with cafĂ© au lait made with a blend of coffee and chicory; red beans and rice; Gulf oysters on the half-shell and other seafood and Creole dishes. New Orleans residents enjoy some of the best restaurants in the United States and visitors are encouraged to try the local establishments recommended by their hosts. Some recommended restaurants to try are the Red Fish Grill, the Besh Steakhouse, the Acme Oyster House and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro. Another New Orleans specialty is the Praline, a delicious candy made with brown sugar, cream, butter and pecans.

Accommodation and hotels in New Orleans are also particularly cheap, so what are you waiting for?

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