Holidays to New Orleans
A Louisiana melting-pot of French chic and a Southern mystique, New Orleans is an alluring destination. Book one of our holidays in New Orleans and explore a city of mystery, music and muffulettas.
On one of the bends of the Mississippi River, lies the historic park of Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It's a hub of spectacle and commotion where you'll see and hear street performers, music and art. Overlooking the hubbub of the square is the distinctive Renaissance and Spanish Colonial St Louis Cathedral, clad in white stone and topped with black turrets and spires. Built in the late 18th century, the cathedral features delightful stained-glass windows and its interior is adorned with paintings.
New Orleans City Park is 1,300 acres of green space featuring a sculpture garden, botanical gardens, museum, lake, playgrounds and much more. So large is the park that it's easy to forget that you're actually in a busy city. Situated in historic uptown New Orleans, Audubon Park is ideal for play and relaxation. Enjoy a picnic by the lagoon or among ancient oak trees. It's a great place to play tennis or soccer or go for a run along the jogging path, which is nearly two miles long.
Culture and art
Anything that's worth knowing about New Orleans in particular and Louisiana in general can be gleaned at the Historic New Orleans Collection. The friendly, knowledgeable staff will help with any enquiries as you study the interactive exhibits. Here you'll discover the impact of the French on the area during the early 18th century. You could spend all day in the National WWII Museum and still not take everything in. The museum is located in New Orleans because the Higgins Boats, used to land soldiers straight onto beaches during the war, were manufactured in the city. You'll see a full-size replica of one of the boats and there's an immersive 4D movie that chronicles the Normandy Landings.
Magazine Street is a long and busy thoroughfare with plenty of independently owned stores selling t-shirts, antiques and much more. Royal Street is one of oldest with some fine antique shops and stores full of furniture, art and collectibles. For shopping under one roof, try Riverwalk, a large mall with over 100 retailers, big and small, and a large food court. French Market features a cornucopia of goods from CDs and clothes to artisan products and local cuisine. And the French Quarter is good for anything from hand-crafted copper lamps and cigars, to New Orleans food and even voodoo ephemera.
New Orleans is of course very famous for Jazz, and fans of this music genre should head over to Frenchmen Street, which is filled with music venues that include The Spotted Cat Music Club, and the Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro.
There is also the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which is held in April and May at the Fair Grounds Race Course, 10 minutes from the French Quarter. The homegrown music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana is performed and celebrated here, with the music covering every style associated with the city and the state: blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, bluegrass and everything in between. Plenty of jazz, both modern and traditional, is obviously played as well.
In the middle of French Market is Alberto's Cheese and Wine Bistro where you can buy delicious sandwiches, salads, muffulettas – a New Orleans sandwich – and a nice cold beer. You can also order gluten-free versions of local cuisine. And Meals from the Heart promises healthy, appetising food including crab cakes, pancakes and turkey burgers.
New Orleans is also featured in our guide to Where's Hot in April.