New Orleans: 5 Years After Katrina

Head down to the Big Easy to find out how New Orleans is faring five years after Hurricane Katrina.

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New Orleans Plantation Tour

New Orleans Plantation Tour

Explore New Orleans’ antebellum past on a plantation tour. More than 400 plantations once lined the banks of the Mississippi between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Today only a handful remain. Among them is The Houmas and the Destrehan Plantation, the closest plantation from New Orleans, located just 25 miles upriver. 960 1280

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NOLA Cocktail Crawl

NOLA Cocktail Crawl

Did you know America’s oldest known cocktail, the Sazerac, got its start in The Big Easy? Explore New Orleans’ rich cocktail history on a bar crawl, swinging by the French Quarter’s best bars, like Pat O’Brien’s, whose motto since 1933 has been, “Have Fun!” We’ll drink to that. 960 1280

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Big Easy Neighborhood Tours

Big Easy Neighborhood Tours

Get a feel for The Big Easy’s diverse communities on a New Orleans’ neighborhood tour. Top of our list is the Vieux Carré, the famed French Quarter and oldest neighborhood in the city. Right next to the Quarter is New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood, which was originally settled by “Free People of Color,” often referred to as Creoles. 960 1280

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New Orleans Garden Tour

New Orleans Garden Tour

Love gardens? You’ll find no shortage of plant and flower varieties at the New Orleans Botanical Garden. A city fixture since 1936, the grounds are home to more than 2,000 species of native and exotic plants, including the largest palm collection in Louisiana. Step inside the garden’s conservatory (pictured) for an exhibit on fossils of prehistoric plant life. 960 1280

Tom Bastin, flickr  

Big Easy Aerial Tour

Big Easy Aerial Tour

For a truly unique view of New Orleans, take an aerial tour of the famed city by the banks of the Mississippi, and prepare to go, “Wow.” From up high, get a whole new perspective of city landmarks such as St. Louis Cathedral and Chalmette Battlefield. 960 1280

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Culinary Tour, Big Easy Style

Culinary Tour, Big Easy Style

Crawfish etouffee, Southern oxtail soup, jambalaya … ah, worked up an appetite yet? Satisfy your taste buds for New Orleans’ dining best on a culinary tour. With more than 1,300 restaurants to choose from, you may have a hard time choosing -- we suggest including classic New Orleans restaurants like Arnaud’s on your tour. 960 1280

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Louisiana Swamp Tour

Louisiana Swamp Tour

Set foot in one of Louisiana’s wildest swamps. Just 50 minutes from New Orleans, the New Orleans Honey Island Swamp comprises nearly 70,000 acres of permanently protected wildlife area. The waters are home to fish such as bluegill, largemouth bass and warmouth, as well as alligators and … maybe even a Bigfoot-like creature. Ask your swamp tour guide about the Honey Island Swamp monster. 960 1280

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French Quarter Tour

French Quarter Tour

See where legend and history intersect on a tour of the French Quarter. New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood spans roughly 70 city blocks, home to some of the best-preserved architecture in the US, including the Pharmacy Museum (pictured), which was constructed in 1823 for the first licensed pharmacist in the US. Also check out Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, which, according to legend, was once owned by a pirate. You decide. 960 1280

Ryan Lackey, flickr  

Spooky New Orleans

Spooky New Orleans

Believe in ghosts? Explore The Big Easy’s spooky side on a tour of haunted New Orleans. Must-see stops include LaLaurie Mansion. Located on the corner of Royal Street, the 3-story property was where Louisiana-born socialite and serial killer Delphine LaLaurie tortured and murdered slaves, before an outraged mob intervened. 960 1280

LaLaurie House, Tom Bastin, flickr  

Mardi Gras Tour

Mardi Gras Tour

See where all the magic surrounding New Orleans’ biggest annual celebration happens. Take a tour of Mardi Gras World, the massive 400,000-square-foot warehouse where parade floats -- more than 500, each year -- are made for the grand event. Open 7 days a week, Mardi Gras World tours last about 1 hour. 960 1280

ScubaBear68, flickr  

Big Easy Sounds

Big Easy Sounds

Savor Big Easy sounds in the city where jazz was born. Top of any New Orleans jazz tour list should be Preservation Hall, a music venue in the heart of the French Quarter that features jazz concerts nightly. And just outside the French Quarter, tour the 2-block Frenchmen Street, home to some of New Orleans' most epic jazz. 960 1280

Richard Martin, flickr   

Mississippi Riverboat Tour

Mississippi Riverboat Tour

Board a paddlewheel steamboat to see the Mighty Mississippi. Up to a century ago, steamboats like this were the only way to reach New Orleans. Step into the past, as you board from the French Quarter to embark on a 2-hour riverboat cruise. New Orleans' only steamboat, Steamboat Natchez, provides tours with live jazz accompaniments for extra-smooth sailing. 960 1280

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Romantic NOLA

Romantic NOLA

Where there’s jazz and good food, romance isn’t far behind. Board a mule-drawn carriage for a view of New Orleans' romantic side. You’ll find local company Royal Carriages on Decatur Street at Jackson Square and on the corner of St. Louis and Royal streets. Bring the champagne. 960 1280

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Houmas House

Houmas House

An hour's drive west of New Orleans, enjoy a grand tour of the antebellum high life at Houmas House. This Louisiana plantation of yore, with a Greek Revival-style mansion at its center, unfolds across 38 verdant acres of gardens, ponds and one very picturesque live oak alley. Tour 16 rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork, such as a room-size mural featuring a sugar cane motif in the main hallway. 960 1280

Houmas House  

Chalmette Battlefield

Chalmette Battlefield

Fewer than 10 miles from the French Quarter, historic Chalmette Battlefield offers visitors a moment of quiet peace. This 17.5-acre site is so much more than a local treasure: It’s where the last land battle ever fought on American soil occurred between the US and a foreign power, back in 1815. Today, the grounds are the final resting place for more than 15,300 veterans, from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. 960 1280

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Degas House

Degas House

What does French Impressionist master Edgar Degas have to do with New Orleans? Turns out, Degas’ mother and grandmother were both born in the Big Easy; Degas spent a year with members of his family in the city from 1872 to 1873. Tour the historic 2-story Degas home, now a bed and breakfast, on Esplanade Avenue, just 11 blocks from the French Quarter. 960 1280

Shermian, flickr  

Superdome’s Champions Square

Superdome’s Champions Square

Give it up for the Saints at the Superdome! And once you’re hoarse from all the cheering, take time to explore the stadium’s Champion Square, a lively 121,000-square-foot outdoor festival and concert venue just steps from the stadium. The square opens 3 hours prior to each Saints home game to accommodate your needs -- think lots of food and cold drink options. 960 1280

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French Market

French Market

Cajun Café, anyone? Find this charming restaurant among the many cafes, bars and food stalls in New Orleans’ French Market. Spanning 6 blocks in the city’s French Quarter, this stretch of town is not only home to savory Creole and Cajun dishes, but also plenty of history. The area was founded in 1791 as a Native American trading post; it endures as one of the oldest markets of its kind anywhere in the US. 960 1280

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Rock N Bowl

Rock N Bowl

Loving bowling and music? Take in some great sounds, in between scoring a 300, at Rock 'n' Bowl. This live music venue, located on New Orleans’ bustling Carrollton Avenue, has been a city fixture since 1941, and in its current location, since 1989. Live musical performances include Cajun, rock, blues, R&B and jazz; today the venue is widely recognized by music lovers as a respected part of New Orleans music scene. 960 1280

fw_gadget, flickr  

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Find this colorful little critter at Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. This museum is the largest American museum dedicated to all things insects. Explore more than 50 live exhibits -- including the termite gallery, where Formosan termites nibble their way through a wooden skyline of New Orleans. Hungry, yourself? Enjoy some deep-fried crickets at the museum’s café … yum? 960 1280

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium   

St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral

The majestic St. Louis Cathedral -- the oldest continuously operating cathedral in North America -- stands in the center of spacious Jackson Square. The cathedral opened its doors in 1794 (and again in the 1800s, after a botched renovation). Take a self-guided or group tour of the grounds; you can also enjoy a free classical concert put on by the local Catholic Heritage Center. 960 1280

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Mardi Gras Exhibit

Mardi Gras Exhibit

Once you’ve seen St. Louis Cathedral, check out the Presbytere right next to it. Designed in 1791, this structure was originally called the Casa Curial (Ecclesiastical House). However, the residence never did end up housing clergy; instead, the building was mainly used for commercial purposes until 1834. Today, the museum houses an extensive collection of Mardi Gras artifacts and memorabilia -- check out the Crown Jewels Vault, home to dozens of tiaras, scepters, necklaces and other baubles. 960 1280

Louisiana State Museum   

America’s National WWII Museum

America’s National WWII Museum

Just why is the National WWII Museum located in The Big Easy? It goes back to one big contribution: The amphibious landing craft that proved so decisive on D-Day was designed by New Orleans’ own Andrew Jackson Higgins. Learn the story in exhibits like The Home Front (pictured), and a recreated WWII train depot, at America’s national museum dedicated to telling the story of the Greatest Generation. 960 1280

The National World War II Museum  

The Old Ursuline Convent

The Old Ursuline Convent

Tour the oldest building not only in New Orleans but in the entire Mississippi River Valley. The Old Ursuline Convent was designed in the French Neoclassical vein and opened in 1745; today, the stucco-covered brick building endures as the “finest surviving example of French colonial public architecture in the country,” according to the National Park Service. 960 1280

Wally Gobetz, flickr  

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

“To all whose desire is to be rich and to live a short life, but a merry one, I have no hesitation in recommending New Orleans.” The words of Henry Bradshaw Fearon, a 19th-century British scholar, came to pass for many laid to rest at Lafayette Cemetery. Established in 1833, the cemetery is one of the oldest in New Orleans, with many headstones a testament to lives cut short by a yellow fever epidemic that swept through the city in 1853. 960 1280

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Longue Vue House and Gardens

Longue Vue House and Gardens

Longue Vue House and Gardens has been a city landmark for decades. The Classical Revival mansion was built in 1939 for the married daughter of a millionaire. Tour the 8-acre grounds, home to landscaped gardens of Louisiana irises, tulips and more, and step inside the mansion itself for a tour of rooms adorned with modern art by the likes of Kandinsky and Picasso. 960 1280

Ryan Lips  

New Orleans Museum of Art

New Orleans Museum of Art

Enjoy a free audio tour of one of the most important sculpture installations in the entire US. In addition to the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which is home to more than 60 sculptures from artists from around the world, the New Orleans Museum of Art hosts a permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects, spanning French, American, African and Japanese works. 960 1280

Richard Sexton, courtesy of The New Orleans Museum of Art  

Historic New Orleans Collection

Historic New Orleans Collection

Ever wondered how New Orleans cuisine got started? What the Battle of New Orleans was all about? And how the city has bounced back since Hurricane Katrina? Learn these fascinating stories at the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum in New Orleans’ French Quarter, that’s home to drawings, paintings and other artifacts that tell the story of The Big Easy’s transformation over the centuries. 960 1280

The Historic New Orleans Collection  


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