We have fallen head over heels in love with the atmosphere, scenery, cuisine and culture of New Orleans. If you are planning a trip to the Big Easy, here are the top five Global Goose recommended experiences:
This magical wonderland in the French Quarter is like Disneyland for drunken adults. It’s an absolute sensory overload that is euphoric, bewildering and incredibly fun and a big part of the culture of New Orleans.
In only a few short blocks you will see a drag queen directing traffic, a group of elderly ladies sipping hand grenades from novelty cups, a couple spontaneously waltzing in the street and handfuls of beaded necklaces raining down through the air from the overhanging balconies. The bright neon signs advertise pizza, daiquiris, and GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS and every few metres you are caught by the pounding rhythms coming from a different nightclub.
Bourbon Street is a bit crazy, crowded, smelly and somewhat trashy, but isn’t that kind of what you crave in a night out on the town? If you’re up for it, throw yourself into the mix and have a night to remember! (Be careful with those hand grenades, they are a lot stronger than they look!)
2. Live Music
New Orleans is thought of as one of the most influential hotspots for jazz music in the world, so during your visit be sure to enjoy the musical culture of New Orleans by watching a live performance.
You won’t have to go far to find great live music in the city, as there are several great jazz clubs and any music-loving local you ask will fill you in on who is performing that night.
In fact, we didn’t even have to look to find the great music and culture of New Orleans; it found us in the form of a random brass band that marched up behind us as we were walking through the French Quarter. The street immediately came alive in a toe-tapping party atmosphere and we followed the band to Louis Armstrong Park where we found an open air jazz concert. Pretty groovy, eh?
3. Food, Food, Food!
The day we arrived in New Orleans and tried our first Big Easy delicacy, the Italian inspired “muffaletta” sandwich, our waiter told us that we would each put on at least ten pounds by the end of our stay.
We laughed, but we soon realized that he wasn’t kidding.
The culture of New Orleans is all about food and this city is an absolute culinary heaven. We tried jambalaya, gumbo, po boys, catfish, beignets, debris roast beef, beans and rice and plenty of different types of spicy Louisiana hot sauce. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about the best meals we ate in New Orleans!
4. Cruise the Mississippi River
One of the nicest days that we had in New Orleans was the day that we took a Natchez Steamboat cruise down the Mississippi River and I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting the city. We ate a delicious lunch on board and got to hear all about the history and culture of New Orleans as we slowly floated down this famous waterway. There was a jazz band on the boat and they served beer, so it was the perfect recipe for a relaxing summer afternoon.
5. Swamp Tours
While you are in New Orleans, be sure to get out of the city and into the fascinating world of the Louisiana swamps and bayous. There are many different swamp tours that will take you up close and personal with the alligators and we went with Cajun Pride Swamp Tours.
The swamp was amazing, with scaly alligators slipping silently through the water, lizards in the trees changing colour right before our eyes, racoons that stared at us from the shore and a guide who knew the swamp with his eyes closed and called the gators over like dogs to catch pieces of meat he threw from his hands. What an amazing experience.
While there is so much more you can do in this great city, these are the top five experiences that really showcase the culture of New Orleans.