Mardi Gras Marathon
New Orleans, LA USA
Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Orleans Attractions

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, Cajun cooking, Mardi Gras and Marie Laveau. When you start exploring the city remember to say noo aw-lins. It's the way locals say it and when you ask questions of them you want to get off on the right foot.

Hop on a streetcar to get a glimpse of the city on original streetcars that have been restored to perfection. Ride all three lines, the Canal Street Line into downtown, the St. Charles Avenue past antebellum mansions, and the Riverfront Line to the French Market.

Neighborhoods New Orleans is made up of several distinct neighborhoods that give insight into the history of the city. Here are three that you won't want to miss. The French Quarter is the city's oldest neighborhood and here you'll find lively Bourbon Street, Jackson Square where street musicians and artists can be found, St. Louis Cathedral, Cafe du Monde where beignets and café au lait have been served since 1852 and the lacy iron balconies famous to New Orleans. The Garden District has some of the best preserved mansions in the country with exceptionally beautiful gardens, some open to the public. Treme is the heart of Creole and African-American culture in New Orleans. Here you'll find Louis Armstrong Park, Congo Square and St. Augustine church, the country's oldest African- American Catholic Church.

Only in New Orleans Cities of the Dead are New Orleans distinct cemeteries, 42 of them. Elaborate crypts and mausoleums, many that are almost works of art, hold the deceased above ground because the city was built on swampy land that keeps buried objects from staying buried. Watch a jazz performance at Preservation Hall or check out any open doorway for the great musical sounds of New Orleans, Cajun, ragtime, zydeco or Dixieland. A brass band may be playing on any street corner just waiting for you to second line, meaning to follow behind and dance as you go.

Museums With more than 45 museums in the city, take your pick of history, children's, nature or multicultural. Preservation Resource Center will explain the different architectural styles in New Orleans unique neighborhoods. The National WWII Museum has been designated by Congress as America's official WWII museum so this is a must see for history buffs. The Backstreet Cultural Museum is filled with collectibles and traditions found only in New Orleans. The New Orleans African American Museum is dedicated to preserving the African American heritage of New Orleans. Three Audubon resources, zoo, aquarium and butterfly garden and insectarium are among the best of their kind in the country. If you can't make it to Mardi Gras, visit Mardi Gras World, The Presbytere or The Backstreet Cultural Museum for a look at past costumes and floats.

Festivals Every month offers festivals in New Orleans, art, music, food, cocktails and more. Tales of the Cocktail, Red Dress Run, Voodoo Music Experience, Po-Boy Preservation Fest, Swamp Fest, Bayou Boogaloo and Mardi Gras are just a few of the year long festivals that keep the party city going strong. Relaxed and fun, it's a city that never sleeps. A favorite saying in New Orleans is "Let the good times roll."