Put on your mask and start begging for beads -- it's time for Mardi Gras. Take a look at how New Orleans and hundreds of people celebrate this festive occasion every year.
It’s the heartbeat of Jackson Square and the Vieux Carre's most recognizable landmark. As the centerpiece of the original settlement (this particular building is the third on the site), the cathedral –-- the oldest in North America -- evokes the rich fabric of history that is New Orleans. Feel the vibe of former Big Easy residents who surely huddled here: pirates, plantation owners, French explorers, Spanish sea captains, Confederate duelers, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and more. Just steps from boozy Bourbon Street, iconic Cafe du Monde and antique shop-laden Rue Royale, the church remains one of the Crescent City's best loved attractions.
As you lean back, surrounded by the pale green hues of the Bourbon Orleans, sipping a Sazerac and pondering beignets and jambalaya, the infectious mayhem of Bourbon Street carries on only a few yards from your poolside lounger. No bother, it will wait for you. Stay and recline. That’s what the Crescent City is for-- its sultry charms ask you to linger and enjoy. And there are few better places in the city to linger than this freshly renovated iconic hotel in the heart of the French Quarter.
New Orleans, LA
The center of the Mardi Gras universe, New Orleans basks in revelry, as parades, parties and beads blanket the Big Easy in a big way.
Get jazzy with a wedding aboard the Steamboat Natchez, the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Board it near the French Market in New Orleans to a serenade of “Here Comes the Bride,” Big Easy style. Stand at the boat’s decorated stern and let the captain do the officiating. Not in the mood for nuptials? Daily jazz cruises recreate the grandeur of times past with a slow chug down the river. The Crescent City's skyline never looked so good.
The fact that New Orleans once had a streetcar named Desire says it all. That one has been retired. But the Canal Street line lives on to transport visitors and residents from the French Market, through the Central Business District and all the way to Midtown. Want to get to City Park? All you have to do is change lines. Romantic, charming, a symbol of the city's love for its roots, the streetcars cost only $1.25 one way.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Explore New Orleans' rich history, sights, culture and food on a budget.
Explore a mirror maze at Blaine Kern's Haunted Fun House in New Orleans.