Signs of the City: New Orleans

House of Voodoo, Bourbon Street, a jazz funeral and bottomless daiquiris are just a few signs that you're in New Orleans. Take a look at some funny signs that you may see when visiting the Big Easy.

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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

  

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Have Some Beads

Have Some Beads

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Krewe of Zulu

Krewe of Zulu

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

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Marching Club

Marching Club

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

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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

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French Quarter

French Quarter

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

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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

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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

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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

Thinkstock   

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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