New Orleans is without doubt, the most unique and interesting city in the USA (and perhaps in the world too). Different from any other American city, there are simply no comparisons to be made here, no superlatives to attach to its beauty. New Orleans does not believe in all of that. What it does believe in, is doing things its own way! So instead of organizing horse races, New Orleanians like to race ostriches! Instead of only coasting along on its rock-solid reputation of being the birthplace of Jazz, it very casually produces rap legends (Lil Wayne) and R&B stars (Frank Ocean) and does not even brag about it .
In fact, this aversion to the routine, led to the city legalizing the rights of slaves much before it became a reality in the rest of the country which in turn led to a windfall effect on its music, food, culture and architectural scene. All of these factors have come together to make ‘The Big Easy’, one of the top cities for tourism in USA, renowned for its live music, concerts, restaurants, and vintage stores.
For a city whose motto is Laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll), it’s difficult to jot down reasons to go and experience the zest for life exhibited by its inhabitants. Nevertheless, here’s our attempt at explaining why New Orleans is the most interesting city in the USA!
Music is the heart beat of New Orleans
It is literally a moral sin to talk about New Orleans without talking about music. Even though the city is the birthplace of Jazz, you’ll find musicians of every shape, colour, genre and style performing at music clubs, restaurants, bars and every other the street corner here. The city is home to legends like Louis Armstrong, Frank Ocean, Lil Wayne and endless other talented musicians. World-class jazz, blues, funk, soul, rap or bounce – whatever gets you swinging, you’ll get it here.
The food here is eclectic yet soulful
They say the people here don’t eat to live but live to eat. This genuine love for food reflects in the sheer variety on offer. New Orleanian food is world-class and a delightful melting pot of different cultures that include French, African, Creole, Cajun influences, resulting in a unique New Orleanian cuisine which is now world-renowned
The only way to understand the hype around NOLA’s food, is to taste it. We recommend you try the famous ‘Po’boy Sandwich’, Beignets from Cafe Du Monde, red beans and rice (a personal favourite of Louis Armstrong), and the famous gumbo.
New Orleans celebrate death as much as they celebrate life!
Funerals in New Orleans come with a jazzy twist. You might not recognize a funeral procession if you ever come across one, because of the music and dancing involved! A tradition that started in 19th century, continues till date, where sombre tunes are played before burial followed by upbeat music once the ceremony is over. Completely unusual, right?
While we’re talking about deaths and funerals, we suggest you also check out the numerous cemeteries dotting the city that are striking because of the tombs built above the ground! While you’re at it, head to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (the oldest and most famous) that has the tomb of a Voodoo priestess – a major tourist attraction!. The famous dead priestess performed exorcisms among other spooky voodoo rituals back in her day. New Orleans also enjoys a dubious reputation of being one of America’s most haunted cities.
Every neighborhood is a living architectural museum!
People who visit New Orleans often come back saying that the city looks unlike any other in America. And there is a good reason behind that, the city resembles a refined European city in terms of architecture. And what’s more, this architectural paradise has been heavily influenced by the cities Caribbean, Spanish and French roots. This makes it an ideal town for walking and discovering new things.
New Orleans is peppered with iconic buildings, so if you don’t have enough time for all. you can visit these star attractions: –
The Super Dome – The largest fixed-dome stadium in the world, widely accepted as an engineering marvel , is home to the beloved NFL team New Orleans Saints.
The National WWII Museum – Considered among the best museums in the world.
New Orleans Public Library – The building was awarded the Progressive Architecture Award in 1957 and can still give the most modern buildings in the world a run for their money.
Endless sights to behold
The most famous tourist attraction of New Orleans is its oldest & historic neighborhood, the French Quarter which boasts of New Orleans Mint – a former branch of US treasury and the Historic New Orleans Collection – a museum which displays historic art from the surrounding region.
If you get tired of exploring all the pretty neighbourhood buildings, and want to get away from it all, head out to the ginormous (1,300-acre wide) City Park, that has something for everyone – walking and biking trails, 12 soccer fields, two football stadiums, an 18-hole golf course, an amusement park, a botanical garden, an art museum, a grove of oak trees (some almost 800 years old!) and so much more!
New Orleans provides a wide variety of places to visit for nature lovers. Right from Audobon Nature Institute, which has a park, zoo, aquarium and Insectarium, all inside its premises, to exquisite gardens like Longue Vue House and Gardens and the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
Countless festivals to experience!
Apart from the ultra-famous, Mardi Gras – a festival that redefines the word ‘fun’ for the world, there are many notable festivals held round-the-year that attract visitors from all over the world to New Orleans. The following two are simply unmissable –
NOLA Jazz & Heritage Festival – April 27-May 6, 2018 – Some of the biggest names in music perform here every year along with hundreds of upcoming artists.
Essence Festival – July 5-8, 2018 – the best names in R&B, hip-hop, jazz, blues, pop and more blaze the stage, in the festival made even more famous by the comedy movie ‘Girls Trip’.
And because this is New Orleans, every festival goer is presented with an immense variety of signature local dishes.
Friendliest locals you’ll ever meet!
“We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large, and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t,” local author Chris Rose writes about New Orleanians.
Not only is NOLA different from any other American city – offbeat, unusual and on its own trip, but its people are unique as well. The people of New Orleans are known for their kindness, especially after the tragedy of New Orleans. There is a distinct southern charm here that people express freely by routinely calling everyone, “Dawlin” or “Baby” with affection. This is one of the few places in the US where the famed “Southern Hospitality” is still alive and kickin’. People here are outgoing, super-friendly and always ready for a conversation!
This eclectic city that offers limitless opportunities for entertainment has been luring more than 10 million tourists every year! So, what are you waiting for? Visit New Orleans with us and “let the good times roll!”