New Orleans is well known for its eclectic Southern culture, shaped by French, Spanish and Creole influences. In addition to being the home of longstanding traditions like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, New Orleans is associated with the introduction of African slaves in the 18th century and before that, as the locale where American Indians shared their cultures and intermingled with early European settlers. Today, New Orleans is as rich as ever with art, architecture, culture, music and dining experiences that distinguish New Orleans from the other cities in the United States.
Though there are dozens of spectacular places in the city to experience what makes New Orleans unique, a few of my favorite areas included Magazine Street, the French Quarter, the Maple Leaf Bar,
For shopping, dining or a casual stroll, Magazine Street is a six-mile-long stretch of New Orleans’ Garden District and Uptown neighborhoods that offers some of the best antique stores, art galleries, shops and boutiques in the city. In the one afternoon I spent there, I noticed countless shops perfect for browsing or window shopping. Whenever I visit a new city, I love to chat with local residents to learn more about what French Quarter (Vieux Carré) and I managed to do that at the Belladonna Day Spa, where I stopped in for a quick manicure and Sucre, the perfect place to grab a coffee and cookie as an afternoon pick me up.
The French Quarter
The French Quarter, which I learned is also known as Vieux Carré, is a cultural hub and a destination for travelers to New Orleans to soak in the sights and sounds of the eclectic city. French Quarter architecture is a mix of Spanish, French, Creole and American styles. One of my favorite things about the Quarter is the beautiful garden lined courtyards, perfect for outdoor French Quarter parties, as well as the presence of music almost everyplace you go. Whether you’re walking down Bourbon street or around Jackson Square, the stunning architecture adds sophistication while in some areas, the cobblestone streets add a touch of small town charm.
Maple Leaf Bar
The Maple Leaf Bar is one of the longest continuing music clubs in New Orleans’ music clubs with live performances seven nights a week. Musical styles represented include blues, R&B, rock, jazz, jam bands and any combination of the above. The Rebirth Brass Band is one of the most frequent performers at The Leaf, as it is sometimes referred. The club has also been an important incubator for the city’s many up-and-coming bands formed from the ranks of local musicians and music students. Your feet might stick to the floor and you can expect a crowd, but Rebirth is definitely a local must-see.
To book your trip to New Orleans, visit VisitNewOrleans.com.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The opinions and text are all mine.