The tap, tap, tapping of the brush stick on the drum kit, the first notes from the trumpet or sax, start the night’s entertainment. New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, is opening for another night of entertainment. Welcome to the city that brought music to the world, welcome to the city where eating, drinking and merriment is a requirement, not an option.
New Orleans really is many things, a city that inspires, where having fun is a given, where the macabre meets the joyous. There is no city quite like it anywhere on the planet. Spend a day or two here and the sights and sounds will soon take you in. If you didn’t love jazz before coming here, you probably will when you leave.
What can you do here? Why do so many visit, and what is it about this city that gives it that spark other US cities simply cannot touch? We look at the best things of New Orleans and try to find the answers.
There’s no better place to get that New Orleans vibe than here. The Vieux Carre is the crown jewels of the city. It’s an historic neighbourhood where modern stores blend with antique shops and restaurants. You have Jackson Square and the St Louis cathedral. And at dusk this place comes alive with ghost tours, and the sound of music. What’s better than a walk down Bourbon Street and a dash into a nearby bar where the first notes have started playing. Once you’ve explored and experienced the French Quarter, you can truly say you are here.
Streetcars of Desire
If you are looking for something a little different in regards to your transport needs, then why not try out the streetcars? These colourful modes of transport take you around the city. It’s all very charming; quaint even. There are four lines with each originating in the downtown area. So take your pick and explore. Time to leave the taxi or bus behind for a while.
The New Orleans Cemeteries
It may not seem the most uplifting of activities, but a tour around New Orleans cemeteries is a must do. The problem with New Orleans is that its below sea level. So, the solution was to build, and bury above ground. Elaborate marble chambers create an interesting landscape. A guided tour will give you the inside story, but exploring them by yourself is also a cathartic way to enjoy them.
For a look at the city and regions past, you must visit the plantations. Cotton was once the king in this region and the plantations are a look into this past. They are a snapshot in the region’s history, and with the grand houses and surrounding trees it makes for a pleasant touring experience.
The world-class museums
Our exploration of the city concludes with a look at the museums. A fine example of this is the National World War II Museum. There are others, but this museum takes some beating. And it doesn’t end there. Viewing the historic houses or just going for a wander through the streets all add to the New Orleans vibe.
Which leads us to your evening outs. You’re in the birthplace of a genre of music that has influenced all others. Head into a jazz bar, listen to the live music and immerse yourself. It’s what makes this city tick.
So as the beats of the drum hit their last note, take a moment, look back on the evening you’ve just had and the attractions you’ve visited. New Orleans really is a very special place. Oh, and be sure to treasure those moments.