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New Orleans
Travel Guide

New Orleans

New Orleans charmswith its energy and community spirit: Dixieland jazz, laid-back locals,cherished architecture and a distinctive French flair. 

Lashedby Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans continues to rebuild. Meanwhile, intrue Southern style, the city embraces the mantra “let the good times roll.”You’ll find the locals relaxed, and unhurried, always ready for a chat, andembodying the spirit of the city’s nickname, “The Big Easy.”

New Orleans sits onthe Mississippi River in southern Louisiana. It was founded in1718 by Phillippe d’Orleans, then the Regent of France. The city was underSpanish control for decades before it passed back into French hands, and thenwas sold to the United States in 1803.

A magnet forimmigrants, the city attracted sugar and cotton workers from France, Ireland,Germany and Africa. Today you’ll find it a multicultural blend of Creoles,African Americans and French-speaking locals.

Goto the FrenchQuarter to see the rattling streetcars made famous in TennesseeWilliams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire. This lively area is known for its ornate,Spanish Colonial architecture. Each year, leading up to Lent, theFrenchQuarter hosts the colorful Mardi Gras festivities, said to havestarted as early as 1743.

While in the quarter,stop by the famous Café du Monde, beloved for chicory-laced cafe au lait andFrench-style beignets. From here, cross the road to Jackson Square.This beautiful park has been a popular hangout for artists since the early1920s. Today, it’s home to painters, tarot readers, musicians, streetperformers and classic Creole cuisine. Sample traditional food, includingpo’boy sandwiches, fresh Louisiana crawfish, spicy gumbo, jambalaya stews andsugary pralines.Don'tmiss a night out on iconic Bourbon Street, known for itsnightspots, cafes, strip joints and jazz clubs. Venues here have hosted manyfamous musicians, including Louis Armstrong, a New Orleans native.

New Orleans also hasstrong ties to a strain of Voodoo religion that is still practiced by a handfulof locals. You can take a voodoo-themed tours of the infamous St. LouisCemetery, whileLafayette Cemetery is a popular location for movieshoots.

Getting around iseasy, though, as the city is flat and ideal for walking. Alternatively, jump ona streetcar for an inexpensive bit of fun. Several lines originate in Downtownand cover most of the areas you will want to visit. At night, find a cab at acab-stands and hotels, or telephone one and it will generally arrive fairlyquickly. Driving in New Orleans is not recommended. Parking spaces are scarceand expensive, and finding your way is sometimes difficult with many one-waystreets and a rather complicated layout.

For more details oninteresting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in New Orleans page.

Best time to visit New OrleansThe best time to visit is late winter, or early spring—you'll enjoy moderate weather (nights can be cool), blooming azaleas, and a busy, fun atmosphere filled with festivals and other special events. During the most popular festivals like Mardi Gras (February) and the Jazz and Heritage Festival (April–May), the city is bustling with excitement and activities, but hotel rooms are in short (and expensive!) supply. If you plan to visit the city during these events, it’s wise to book your room well in advance.

Peak season: February through May is the busiest time for travel to New Orleans. Temperatures are warm, but not hot, the azaleas are in full bloom, and the city is hopping with festivals and special events.

Value season: In December (before and during Christmas), tourists are scarce, so you can take advantage of dramatically lower hotel rates. The weather is mild and the city is decorated in seasonal glitter, making this a great time to visit the Big Easy. From June through August, the weather is hot and humid. During the summer months, the sun can shine for as long as 11 hours each day, providing little break from the heat.

New Orleans Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in New Orleans

New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans Marriott
4 out of 5
555 Canal St, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $141 per night from Jun 28 to Jun 28
Located in French Quarter, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canal Street and Jackson Square. Cafe Du Monde and French Market are also within 15 minutes. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,703 reviews)
"PROS: The location is convenient and made everything walk-able. CONS: The valet-only parking (I knew ahead of time that it was valet-only) was horrible. I needed to leave one of the days and their car lift had been down most of the day. I was the only person and it took 45 mins to get my car, making ..."

Reviewed on Jun. 12, 2021

New Orleans Marriott
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
4.5 out of 5
300 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $205 per night from Jun 15 to Jun 15
Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bourbon Street and Jackson Square. French Market and National World War II Museum ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,238 reviews)
"Location"

Reviewed on Jun. 12, 2021

Royal Sonesta New Orleans
The Westin New Orleans
The Westin New Orleans
4.5 out of 5
100 Rue Iberville, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $154 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps from The Shops at Canal Place and Canal Street. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Harrah's New Orleans ...
4.2/5Very Good! (1,438 reviews)
"The check in is on the 11th floor. The beds were soft and comfortable, and the room was very clean."

Reviewed on Jun. 12, 2021

The Westin New Orleans
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
The Brandywine by Sextant
The Brandywine by Sextant
4 out of 5
888 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $105 per night from Jun 16 to Jun 16
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of National World War II Museum, Smoothie King Center, and Canal ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (124 reviews)
"It was in a low key area accessible to some features of the city. Safe and clean for the most parts"

Reviewed on May 13, 2021

The Brandywine by Sextant
Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
3.5 out of 5
1111 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $109 per night from Jun 15 to Jun 15
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Street, Harrah's New Orleans Casino, and Mercedes-Benz ...
4.2/5Excellent! (313 reviews)
"This property is perfect, not too far and not too close to the French Quarter. Also, very spacious with a beautiful view of the city. The only issue was parking, we had to park in a structure nearby, that charges $20 a day."

Reviewed on May 12, 2021

Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
Sonder - Duncan Plaza
Sonder - Duncan Plaza
4 out of 5
925 Common Street, New Orleans, LA
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street, Bourbon Street, and Saenger Theatre. Royal Street ...
4.1/5Very Good! (101 reviews)
"Good location and very good facilities"

Reviewed on May 22, 2021

Sonder - Duncan Plaza
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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