New Orleans, "La Nouvelle Orléans" as it is called in French, is the largest city in Louisiana, United States. It is famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of Jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The city is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage.
The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré or the Vieux Carre Historic District, is the oldest section of the city of New Orleans. Most of the extant historical buildings were constructed in either the late 18th century, during the city's period of Spanish rule, or during the first half of the 19th century, after U.S. annexation and statehood. The district as a whole has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, with numerous contributing buildings that are separately deemed significant. The area can be accessed by Streetcar 2 Riverfront Line at a few different stations.
Café du Monde ("Café of the World" or "the People's Café"), is a renowned open-air coffee shop located in the French Quarter. It is a New Orleans landmark and tourist destination, known for its café au lait and beignets. The French brought coffee with them as they began to settle along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River, circa 1700. During the American Civil War, the New Orleans Creoles developed the chicory-blended coffee (as there was a coffee shortage) — which has continued to be served at Café du Monde and other New Orleans restaurants. The Acadians (Cajuns) from Nova Scotia brought other French customs, such as the beignet, to Louisiana in the 18th century. Café du Monde is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, for its central role in the city's history, and as the site where in 1803 Louisiana was made United States territory pursuant to the Louisiana Purchase. Jackson Square was designed after the famous 17th-century Place des Vosges in Paris, France. The flagpole, symbolizing the 1803 ceremonial transfers from Spain to France and then from France to the United States, reflects Louisiana's rich colonial history.
The St. Louis Cathedral, also called Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, is the oldest cathedral in the United States. The first church on the site, which was a crude wooden structure in the early days of the colony, was built in 1718; the third, built in 1789, was raised to cathedral rank in 1793.
The Cabildo was the seat of Spanish colonial government in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is now a museum and a National Historic Landmark. The Cabildo was rebuilt between 1795–99 as the home of the Spanish municipal government in New Orleans after the Great Fire. It was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies late in 1803, and continued to be used by the New Orleans city council until the mid-1850s.
Preservation Hall was established in 1961 to preserve, perpetuate, and protect traditional New Orleans Jazz. Operating as a music venue, a touring band (the Preservation Hall Jazz Band), a record label, and a non-profit organization, Preservation Hall continues their mission today as a cornerstone of New Orleans music and culture. The story of Preservation Hall dates back to the 1950s. Today the Hall still presents intimate, acoustic New Orleans jazz concerts nightly featuring some of New Orleans' finest performers, showcasing a musical legacy dating back to the origins of jazz itself.
Originally developed between 1832 and 1900, the Garden District is a neighborhood that is considered one of the best-preserved collections of historic mansions in the Southern United States. The 19th-century origins of the Garden District illustrate wealthy newcomers building opulent structures based upon the prosperity of New Orleans in that era. This whole area was once a number of plantations, including the Livaudais Plantation. It was sold off in parcels to mainly wealthy Americans who did not want to live in the French Quarter with the Creoles. The area is served by Light Rail Streetcar at St Charles at Third Street.
The National WWII Museum, formerly known as the D-Day Museum, is a military history museum located in the Central Business District. The museum opened on June 6, 2000, the 56th anniversary of D-Day, and has since undertaken a large-scale expansion project.
Natchez has been the name of several steamboats, and four naval vessels, each named after the city of Natchez, Mississippi or the Natchez people. The previous Natchez were all operated in the nineteenth century, most by Captain Thomas P. Leathers. The ninth Natchez, the SS Natchez, is a sternwheel steamboat built in 1975, and is sometimes referred to as the Natchez IX. In 1982 the Natchez won the Great Steamboat Race, which is held every year as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Day trips include harbor and dinner cruises along the Mississippi River.
The New Orleans Mint operated as a branch mint of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. After it was decommissioned as a mint, the building has served a variety of purposes. Since 1981 it has served as a branch of the Louisiana State Museum and it is a National Historic Landmark. As of April 2015, the museum's music exhibits include instruments used by some of New Orleans' notable jazz musicians, photographs, and posters. The site is also a performance venue for jazz concerts. The Louisiana Historical Center is located on the third floor of the building.
Royal Street is one of the original streets of the city, dating from the early 18th century, and is known today for its antique shops, art galleries, and hotels. The finer antique stores display not simply items that are old, but such rare items as pieces of fine furniture owned by royalty of past centuries. The 700 block of Royal features the galleries of New Orleans-based artists Ally Burguieres and George Rodrigue. Each afternoon, numerous street performers set up. Outstanding, up-and-coming New Orleans jazz musicians can be heard in the vicinity, although performers vary widely.
The Mardi Gras World is an attraction located along the Mississippi River. Guests get to tour the 300,000 square foot working warehouse where floats are made for famous Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. In 1947, Blaine Kern, Sr., who came from a family of float builders, was hired to create floats for the Krewe of Alla. Kern's business expanded from there. Kern, who traveled to Europe to learn float building techniques, had gained an international reputation in float building. In 1984, Mardi Gras World was created as a tourist attraction to show visitors a behind-the-scenes look at float building.
Bourbon Street (French: Rue Bourbon) is a street in the French Quarter known for its bars and strip clubs. Bourbon Street's history provides a rich insight into New Orleans' past. The French claimed Louisiana as a colony in the 1690s. Bourbon Street paid homage to France's ruling family, the House of Bourbon. This street hosts many events and the most famous of these is the annual Mardi Gras celebration.
The Louis Armstrong Park is a 32-acre park located in the Tremé neighborhood. It was named after New Orleans-born Jazz legend Louis Armstrong and was home to the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1970. The footprint of the present-day park contains the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts and several buildings owned by the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
Saint Louis Cemetery is the name of three Roman Catholic cemeteries, No. 1 being the oldest and most famous. Most of the graves are above-ground vaults constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Cemeteries No. 1 and No. 2 are included on the National Register of Historic Places and the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. Famous New Orleanians buried here include Etienne de Boré, wealthy pioneer of the sugar industry and the first mayor of New Orleans; and Ernest N. "Dutch" Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans. The renowned Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt.
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is the oldest fine arts museum in the city. It was established in 1911 as the Delgado Museum of Art. Its permanent collection features over 40,000 objects, from the Italian Renaissance to the modern era. The museum is especially noted for its collection of European and American works. The museum also includes the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, a 5-acre landscaped area behind the main building. The gated garden features fifty modern sculptures set and a walking trail.
Founded in 1854 along the remains of Bayou Metairie (a former distributary of the Mississippi River), this public park is approximately 50% larger than Central Park in New York City. City Park holds the world's largest collection of mature live oak trees, some older than 600 years in age. Since 1999, City Park has been the venue for the Voodoo Experience, which has become the largest of the live music events held in the park. It also includes many attractions such as the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, the Storyland, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Celebration in the Oaks and so on.