- Created on Sunday, 03 June 2001 02:37
- Written by Susan Whitaker
There are plenty of reasons why the city known as “N’awlins” consistently ranks in the top five most popular destinations in the United States. So if you can manage some free time during the upcoming convention, we’ve compiled some tourist highlights for your enjoyment.The French Quarter
Let’s start with the most famous part of the city – the centuries old French Quarter. Bounded by Canal Street, Esplanade Avenue, Rampart Street and the Mississippi River, this vibrant 10-block square is a place like no other. Check out Jackson Square with its street painters, musicians and jugglers. Visit the French Market or do a little shopping on Royal Street. Stop in for a drink at the Napoleon House or just wander colorful streets and alleys like Pirate’s Alley or Pere Antonine’s Alley. And don’t forget to try out some famous local dishes like jambalaya, gumbo and red beans and rice.
St. Charles Streetcar
For a view of life beyond the French Quarter hop on the St. Charles Streetcar. The 13 mile, 90 minute round trip jaunt will cost you just one dollar each way and take you from Canal Street, through the Garden District, passing Tulane and Loyola Universities and Audubon Park, to Palmer Park in Carrollton.
Garden District Tour
Founded by Yankees as a separate city called Lafayette, the Garden District is so named because of the extensive gardens of magnolias, palms and oak planted by the original families. The houses boast graceful wrought iron balconies, wraparound porches and columns. The National Park Service offers an excellent free tour of this beautiful historic part of the city.
New Orleans is a place for kids
Thanks to attractions like the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo, to name just a few sites, New Orleans has in recent years become a popular family destination. Louisiana Children’s Museum has interactive exhibits, while a visit to the Aquarium of the Americas will reveal sea creatures from the Caribbean, Amazon, Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi river. The Audubon Zoo has a brand new, $3 million Louisiana swamp expansion where alligators, bobcats and snakes can go about their daily lives undisturbed.
Floating on the Mississippi
If you want to take a trip on the ole’ Mississippi herself there’s a zoo cruise which leaves the River view docks of the Audubon Park Zoo on a regular schedule and floats down river to the Aquarium of the Americas. Or catch the Algiers ferry that leaves from the Canal Street docks every half an hour starting at 6am.
Whether it’s jazz, blues or zydeco, music is a big part of the life of the city where jazz was born. A must see is Preservation Hall in the French Quarter, a showcase for traditional jazz. Tipitana’s is a red hot dance hall which features top local bands and is a regular stop for the Neville Brothers. For more music visit the 140 acre Jazzland Theme Park which offers spectacular entertainment, regional food, a variety of music, a lawn amphitheater, games, 31 thrilling rides and is located just 12 miles from downtown New Orleans.
The Storyville District
If jazz was born in New Orleans, it grew up in the Storyville District. The new Storyville District is a jazz and food complex on Bourbon Street which features multiple rooms with constant music from noon until approximately 1am.
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