The French Quarter is New Orlean’s vibrant, beating heart. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, this large square (13 blocks long by six wide) is where you’ll find the city’s street performers, night clubs and live music haunts that have gained fame (and sometimes notoriety) the world over.
Those who like to party hard head straight to Bourbon Street, an eight block stretch given over to bars and clubs of all descriptions. It’s a raucous part of town where people party on the streets, but you’ll discover a number of fine dining options and relaxed bars in among the gaudy and sometimes-sleazy drinking holes.
For a more cultural insight, visit Royal Street during the day. This upmarket stretch of antique stores, galleries and speciality stores highlights the town’s sophistication and heritage – and is in stark contrast to Bourbon Street.
Nearby Jackson Square is another must-see destination. When the sun is shining, locals pour into this picturesque city square to listen to live music, watch the street artists and celebrate life. The elegant colonial building at the edge of the square is the Cabildo, a museum containing many fascinating relics from American history.
It’s a little macabre, but the city’s cemeteries are also popular with tourists. Located in the Garden District, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest of the city’s seven historic burial grounds. Take a guided tour to learn all the secrets hidden in the elaborate marble tombs.
Of course, to see New Orleans’ French Quarter at its most exciting, you must visit during the Mardi Gras, held every year in the lead up to Easter. Everything steps up a notch during this city-wide festival. Masked and bejewelled revellers spill onto the streets to dance, play with the bands, join in one of the many elaborate parades, and generally have a good time.
Visit the home of jazz, New Orleans, on a 13-night Jazz Fest & Caribbean Cruise Holiday from $4954pp twin share. Visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.