New Orleans was established in 1718 by the French. It became part of the Spanish empire before returning to French control in 1801. Three years later, Napoleon’s sale of New Orleans made it officially part of the United States. While New Orleans’ beginnings were decidedly European, the city became its own melting pot, combining an intriguing mix of culture and cuisine.
Traveling in the Big Easy is just that. Around every corner there's something unique for you to take in, whether it's a historic site, mouth-watering food, or the sounds of Bourbon street. Spend an afternoon losing yourself on a historic street like St. Peter’s with the towering St. Louis Cathedral. Peruse art galleries and antique shops on Royal Street, or have a cocktail at Jim O’Brien’s. Step out into the French Quarter, a true tribute to the senses. Admire the wrought-iron architecture and cascading plants tucked into window boxes; and breathe in the aromas of French restaurants while you try not to clap along to the trumpets, tubas and other instruments that are the heartbeat of New Orleans.
At night, the city takes on a new energy and Bourbon Street comes alive. Many travel from all over the world specifically to meander up and down this popular street to explore the nightlife and restaurants. If you’ve never tried real seafood gumbo, jambalaya, a po-boy, the options here are vast and all delightful. You’ll might even find yourself speaking French or falling into the welcoming cajun drawl as you order a crawfish étouffée, a delicious Cajun dish served over rice.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, consider is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. You can walk through open markets or take a trolley along the river to get there. This family fun option offers a peek at beautiful sea creatures and houses a large exhibit for native marine life. At the right time of year, you can catch a music festival and parade down Bourbon Street. There are also year round haunted tours available for those of you who can brave them. No matter how you choose to spend your time in the Big Easy, you'll find a combination of music, history, and food that can't be found anywhere else.