Extreme Cajun Country

Travel 2 hours west of New Orleans and you end up in Cajun country--land of the crawfish boil, swamps, snakes and gators!

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Digging at Fort St. Philip
Digging at Fort St. Philip

Digging at Fort St. Philip

The relic hunters of Dig Wars head down the Mississippi River to Fort Saint Philip, where they hope to dig up treasures from as early as the 18th century. Teammates Mark and Ron quickly duck out of sight in an attempt to distance themselves from the others. 960 1280

  

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Mark Slinkman and Ron Guinazzo head for the beach where they believe Hurricane Katrina has unearthed fresh ground. 960 1280

  

Fort St. Philip, Louisiana

Fort St. Philip, Louisiana

Fort Saint Philip hasn’t been open to the public since Hurricane Katrina. The powerful storm altered the landscape of the fort, and the hunters hope it also uncovered rare relics from the past. 960 1280

  

War of 1812 and the Civil War at Fort St. Philip

War of 1812 and the Civil War at Fort St. Philip

Home to important battles in both the War of 1812 and the Civil War, Fort Saint Phillip is loaded with history. It was initially developed by the French in the mid-1700s and was later controlled by the Spanish. Here, Larry puts a find in his apron. 960 1280

  

Finding artifacts at Fort St. Philip

Finding artifacts at Fort St. Philip

Mark Slinkman inspects a find. 960 1280

  

Searching for artifacts at Fort St. Philip

Searching for artifacts at Fort St. Philip

Larry and Mike head north where they hope to find souvenirs from the time of the French and Spanish. 960 1280

  

Fort St. Philip, Louisiana

Fort St. Philip, Louisiana

The relic hunters stumble upon an animal skull at Fort Saint Philip. 960 1280

  

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Josh and Abby Silva decide to head directly into the fort and dig along the walls. 960 1280

  

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Josh and Abby inspect one of their finds. 960 1280

  

Digging at Fort St. Philip

Digging at Fort St. Philip

The husband-and-wife duo celebrates a great find. 960 1280

  

Casell Gallery New Orleans

Casell Gallery New Orleans

Ron Guinazzo and Mark Slinkman show their discoveries to appraiser Joe Wyman at Casell Gallery in New Orleans. 960 1280

  

Appraising an artifact

Appraising an artifact

How much will Abby and Josh’s artifact be worth? Tune in to find out! 960 1280

  

Photos

18 Photos
Here Comes Alice

Here Comes Alice

Partygoers and parade bystanders get excited as a float -- paying homage to the fairytale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland -- rolls down Canal Street for the Rex parade. New Orleans lights up with excitement every year for Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Mardi Gras started in Louisiana in the late 17th century when the area was under French colonial rule. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Rex, the King of Carnival

Rex, the King of Carnival

Rex, the King of Carnival, parades down St. Charles Avenue during the Mardi Gras parade. 960 1280

Reuters  

Rex Parade

Rex Parade

The Rex parade, pictured here, is one of New Orleans’ most celebrated Mardi Gras parades. It’s led by an organization (The School of Design), which chooses one member every year to wear the honorary title “Rex.” The distinction is one of the highest honors a person can receive in New Orleans. 960 1280

Getty  

Have Some Beads

Have Some Beads

Members of the Rex organization toss beads from a float to revelers. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Zulu Parade

Zulu Parade

Catch the beads! A large crowd reaches up for beads as a Zulu parade float -- one of the more controversial parade participants, because of their exaggerated blackface -- rolls down New Orleans’ Canal Street on Mardi Gras. 960 1280

Getty  

Mardi Gras Colors

Mardi Gras Colors

Two revelers pass by a home before a Mardi Gras parade. Those decorations you see -- beads, ribbons, masks and streamers -- come in traditional Mardi Gras colors: green (symbolizing faith), gold (power) and purple (justice). 960 1280

Getty  

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street

Crowds flock to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras Day. The annual Mardi Gras celebration ends at midnight, when the Catholic Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. 960 1280

Getty Images   

St. Charles Avenue

St. Charles Avenue

Joe Perez with the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club parades down St. Charles Avenue in the French Quarter. 960 1280

Reuters   

Mardi Gras Faces

Mardi Gras Faces

Members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club ride on a float during the Mardi Gras parade. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Krewe of Zulu

Krewe of Zulu

A reveler with the Krewe of Zulu parades down St. Charles Avenue. 960 1280

Reuters   

Marching Club

Marching Club

Members of the Mondo Kayo Marching Club dance down St. Charles Avenue. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Go, Saints!

Go, Saints!

New Orleans Saints fans dance to the beat of the famous song "When the Saints Go Marching In" at a bar on Bourbon Street. 960 1280

Getty Images  

French Quarter

French Quarter

Mardi Gras participants beg for beads to be tossed from a balcony in the French Quarter. 960 1280

Getty Images   

March Down St. Charles

March Down St. Charles

One of the main Mardi Gras parade routes, St. Charles Avenue is also home to an active business district. Here, members of the Krewe of Zulu ditch the corporate look for a vibrant march down the avenue. 960 1280

Reuters  

Grab a Mask

Grab a Mask

A little drizzle can’t keep these revelers from celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans’ French Quarter. 960 1280

Reuters  

Mardi Gras Dance

Mardi Gras Dance

A reveler dances in his festive tent dress and elaborate costume during Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans. 960 1280

Reuters  

'80s Flashback

'80s Flashback

NOLA’s Mardi Gras attracts hundreds of people, including celebrities like '80s singer Cyndi Lauper, caught on camera heading to her float for the Krewe of Orpheus parade. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Krewe of Proteus

Krewe of Proteus

At the Krewe of Proteus parade, an excited crowd waits for people -- on top of this illuminated float -- to throw more beads to bystanders. 960 1280

Getty Images  

14 Photos
Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

New Orleans native Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong (1900 - 1971) was a great jazz trumpeter and 'scat' vocalist who was one of the first popular African-American entertainers to 'cross-over' -- skin-color was secondary to his amazing talent during a time when America was severely racially divided. 960 1280

Keystone/Getty Images  

Cajun Music

Cajun Music

Cajun music, rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada, started in New Orleans. Popular groups including Hadley J. Castille Family & the Sharecroppers Cajun Band, seen performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, keep this unique style of music alive. 960 1280

Rick Diamond/Getty Images  

NOLA Native Harry Connick, Jr.

NOLA Native Harry Connick, Jr.

Musician and actor Harry Connick Jr., performs on the piano at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The New Orleans native has 7 top-20 US albums, and 10 number-1 US jazz albums, earning more number-1 albums than any other artist in the US jazz chart history. 960 1280

REUTERS/Lee Celano  

Bourbon Street's Live Music Venues

Bourbon Street's Live Music Venues

Revelers walk along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter during New Orleans annual Mardi Gras, which features numerous bands and singers at popular establishments, including Bourbon Street Blues Company, The Eagle Saloon, Club 300 Jazz Restaurant, Funky Pirate, Old Opera House and House of Blues. 960 1280

Patrick Semansky/Getty Images  

Zydeco Music

Zydeco Music

A Zydeco band plays in a bar along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA. Zydeco music was originally created at house dances, where families and friends gathered for socializing. It evolved from forms of Creole music, and it is usually characterized as fast-tempo music, dominated by the piano accordion and a form of washboard. 960 1280

Joe Raedle/Getty Images  

Birthplace of Jazz

Birthplace of Jazz

New Orleans is also home to many notable musicians who played pivotal role jazz music, including Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe aka Jelly Roll Morton (1885 - 1941), an American ragtime jazz musician and songwriter. There are numerous claims that Morton invented jazz in 1902. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

Voodoo Music Experience

Voodoo Music Experience

Trent Reznor, frontman for the music group Nine Inch Nails, performs at the annual Voodoo Music Experience concert held at Riverview Park in New Orleans. New Orleans plays host to numerous music festivals each year, including the Rock `n' Roll Marathon, Mardi Gras, Bayou Boogaloo, Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, Soul Fest, Southern Decadence, Words & Music and the Essence Festival. 960 1280

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson  

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Buckwheat Zydeco (on the right) performs at the Fair Grounds during the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. The festival features hundreds of musical acts on more than ten stages. 960 1280

REUTERS/David Rae Morris  

The Queen of Gospel

The Queen of Gospel

American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1911 - 1972) was born in the Carrollton neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans. She was referred to as 'The Queen of Gospel,' and she became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world. 960 1280

Keystone/Getty Images  

Mickey's Next Club

Mickey's Next Club

Mickey's Next Club is a popular hangout among residents during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Rock `n' Bowl and Margaritaville, owned by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, are couple places music lovers can go to hear all types of music, including jazz, blues, Zydeco, southern rock and Cajun. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Better than Ezra lead singer Kevin Griffin performs during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. New Orleans has been the breeding ground for new talent and artists from different genres, including rap artists Lil' Wayne and Master P, and alternative rock band Better Than Ezra, who all hail from the Crescent City. 960 1280

Sean Gardner/Getty Images  

A family that plays together stays together. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis performs with his brothers, Delfeayo (L) and Branford, during a concert at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. The Marsalis family, well-renowned as solo jazz artists in their own rite, reaped the benefits of living in a city with a rich music history. 960 1280

Reuters/David Rae Morris  

New Orleans rhythm and blues legend Fats Domino performs at the 30th Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage. 960 1280

Reuters/Lee Celano  

We couldn't forget about jazz funerals in New Orleans. Derived from African spiritual practices, this cultural tradition is a funeral procession that includes the family and friends of the deceased person, who, in most cases, had some connection to the music industry. A brass band usually starts with somber hymns, but after the deceased is buried or the hearse leaves the procession, they transition to playing upbeat music. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Voodoo, a set of underground religious practices, originated from African traditions. It’s a major tourist attraction in New Orleans. Several shops sell charms, gris-gris, candles and powders. So enter at your own risk. 960 1280

Goldie, Flickr  

Visit Donna’s Brass Band Headquarters -- now called Donna’s on Rampart -- located across from the world famous Armstrong Park, The Mahalia Jackson Theater and the legendary Congo Square. It’s one of the best places to catch local musicians playing into the wee hours of the morning. 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr  

Make sure you stop if you’re at the intersection of Galvez and St. Louis Streets in New Orleans. It’s hard to miss the city’s infamous Stop Sign Grove. 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr  

Check out this funny sign located in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood. We’re just curious to know why there’s apparently a large number of old horses, blind dogs and unruly children in this area. What an odd combination. 960 1280

Chad Fennell  

In New Orleans, Some owners close their stores or shops to watch the Saints football game, but they don’t provide an approximate time for when they will return. It’s like an American siesta. Now that’s what we’re talking about. 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr  

This is an interesting sign at the Hard Rock Café in New Orleans, where apparently there’s been an issue with patrons concealing drugs and toting nuclear weapons. 960 1280

Chris Waits, Flickr   

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include the iconic Bourbon Street sign. The famous and historic street spans the length of the French in New Orleans. The street, founded in 1718, is home to many bars, restaurants, strip clubs as well as souvenir shops. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

It’s a strong warning that all tourists should pay attention to especially during Mardi Gras. So what do you do if you cross a loose woman who “picks pockets?” 960 1280

Larry Johnson, Flickr   

Just in case the locals aren’t sure what “winning a free ticket” means, this grocery store posted a clear explanation on the window for confused lottery ticket buyers. 960 1280

Cory Doctorow, Flickr   

Stop by Maple Street Books if you’re not into downloading a digital book onto an iPad or Kindle. Pick up a hardcover book or spend time looking through the large selection of old and new books available at the bookstore -- open since 1965. 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr   

Looking for things to do and places to go? You’re in the right spot if you see this sign. It’s signage for the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. 960 1280

Britt Reints, Flickr   

This guy obviously received a very big blessing during the Lundi Gras, a series of Shrove Monday events that occur during the New Orleans Mardi Gras. 960 1280

Beth Rankin  

Budget travelers will appreciate this sign. Head to Bourbon Street and keep the daiquiris coming for only $20. That’s a great deal! 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr  

After the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, several protestors took to the streets in New Orleans carrying unique signs, including this one. 960 1280

Derek Bridges, Flickr  

Jazz Funeral is a common name for a funeral tradition with music that developed in New Orleans. These musical funerals are usually held for musicians or people connected to the music industry. Family and friends march to the funeral home, church or cemetery while a band plays somber hymns. After the deceased is buried, the family says their final goodbyes and the music becomes more upbeat to celebrate the deceased person’s life. 960 1280

Timothy Tolle, Flickr   

The Howlin’ Wolf is one of New Orleans’ finest locally owned and operated venues, named after legendary bluesman Chester Burnett. Located in the Fat City’s Warehouse District, the club has played host to notable singers and bands, including Harry Connick Jr., Arturo Sandoval, the Foo Fighters, Dr. John, Jimmy Page and Jimmy Buffett. 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr   

This sign is a strict warning to enforce New Orleans’ leash law. We thought it was for dog owners, but it actually looks like it’s a warning for locals who own what appears to be a gatordog, a cross between a dog and crocodile. 960 1280

Infrogmation of New Orleans, Flickr  

Yo Mama's

Yo Mama's

Feeling a little homesick? Just head over to Yo Mama's! 960 1280

Allee Sangiolo  

Huge Ass Beer

Huge Ass Beer

A new kind of takeout! As advertised, grab your "huge ass beer" and go for a walk down Bourbon Street. 960 1280

  

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