New Orleans is a place packed full of activities, sights, and experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
This unique city offers unforgettable things to do and see - here’s a selection of our very favourite things you can only sample there.
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Although the celebrations do take place around America, New Orleans is so renowned for its Mardi Gras celebrations, it’s become the only place to properly mark the occasion. Celebrations take place over a two week period, ending on Shrove Tuesday (known as Fat Tuesday in New Orleans). Usually there’s one major parade each day, with several days containing a range of large parades. It’s the ultimate party, in the ultimate party town.
Experience authentic traditional jazz
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New Orleans is the only place to experience authentic traditional jazz, because it’s the only place where jazz was invented. Head to Preservation Hall for the full experience, then get yourself to the French Quarter for the best night of music of your life.
Drink a cocktail in the bar that invented the Grasshopper
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Tujague’s Restaurant’s Bar is one of the oldest in the country, dating all the way back to 1856.
It’s also the birthplace of the sweet, mint-flavored after-dinner cocktail, the Grasshopper - which was first mixed there in 1919.
Visit the Museum of the American Cocktail
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Once cocktail fans have downed their Grasshopper in Tujague’s Restaurant’s Bar, they have their pick of a host of incredible bars to chose from in the city.
But their first port of call should be the Museum of the American Cocktail, which is packed with intoxicating exhibits, dedicated to the history of the cocktail and the way it’s influenced music, theatre, art, film, and politics around the world during its two-hundred-year history.
Attend Gumbo Fest
Named after a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century, Gumbo Fest is New Orleans’ premier brass band showcase.
If you love brass bands and eating delicious gumbo (which mainly consists of strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and what Louisianians call the ‘Holy Trinity’ of vegetables; celery, bell peppers, and onions) get yourself to Gumbo Fest, which traditionally takes place in November in the city.
Visit The National WWII Museum
The New Orleans’ National WWII Museum opened on June 6, 2000, on the 56th anniversary of D-Day, with the main aim of emphasising the American experience in World War II.
Designated by the U.S. Congress as America’s official National World War II Museum in 2003, the Museum maintains an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.
It’s recommended that visitors allocate around three hours to properly tour the museum. Visiting the museum’s many unique tributes is said to be a powerful experience for residents and tourists alike.
Attend a jazz funeral
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Only a city as vibrant and exciting as New Orleans would come up with the concept of a ‘jazz funeral,’ turning what’s traditionally a solemn occasion into an excuse for a massive celebration of life.
Though jazz funerals (also known as musical funerals) are usually employed to mark the passing of a musician, notable figures (including Muppet creator Jim Henson) have also chosen to be sent off in this way. Once experienced, never forgotten, full of joy and life - like New Orleans itself, then.