Friday, 13 January 2017

New Orleans

In this article, I’m writing about my four-day solo trip in early December to New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States. I had enough “frequent flyer” points to make a short-haul trip and was looking forward to a four-day getaway to satisfy my travel curiosity. After doing some research, I chose to visit New Orleans for its history, architecture, music, food, comparable costs (to Toronto), and walkability to the main sights.

My Favourite Experiences in New Orleans:

1. Beignets and Cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde - This coffee place opens 24 hours! For about 5 dollars, I got a seat looking out to Jackson Square. It was great to watch people, the horse carriages, and a live band playing music while sipping hot coffee and enjoying the warm French-style doughnuts.

Beignets and Cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde
2. A stroll through the French Quarter is a feast to the eyes and mind. Beautiful old houses with lace iron, plus numerous unique shops and art galleries. The famous Bourbon Street is here, too.

Lace iron home in the French Quarter, New Orleans
Bourbon Street, New Orleans
3. A ride on the historic St Charles Avenue streetcar to the Garden District. For $1.25, I got a window seat to see the neighbourhoods along the way.

St. Charles Avenue streetcar, New Orleans
4. A walking tour through the Garden District to admire the elegant houses and the beautiful oak trees.

5. Jazz at Preservation Hall and reading up on some of the famous musicians.

Statues of 3 musicians in New Orleans
Preservation Hall, New Orleans
Iron bench at Preservation Hall, New Orleans
6. A visit to Jackson Square and St Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the US.
St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans
7. Reading the street signs and their history.

New Orleans sign
Calle Real street history
Horse-shaped post
8. Listening to live band playing in the middle of Royal Street.

9. Browsing antique shops and visiting the Historic New Orleans Collection museum on Royal Street in the French Quarter.

10. Riding the Canal Street ferry from Canal Street to Algiers. For $2, this is a fabulous ride across the mighty Mississippi River!

Getting from Toronto to New Orleans was easy with a non-stop flight that took about 3 hours. For getting from and to the Louis Armstrong International Airport, I used the airport shuttle bus. The weather in New Orleans in early December was sunny and cool, just great for walking and exploring. The best way to explore the French Quarter and the Garden District is on foot. Public transit such as the streetcars, or ferry was inexpensive. I was very happy with my decision to visit New Orleans.

Have you been to New Orleans? If you have, what were your favourite experiences while you were there?

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