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10 reasons why New Orleans is a travel hot spot

New Orleans Skyline

New Orleans Skyline


By Nicole Karkic
Weather Broadcaster
@NicoleKarkic
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 12:34 PM

The Weather Network's Nicole Karkic went to New Orleans and found out why celebrities like Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock just can't get enough.

Here are ten experiences I enjoyed on my trip to the Big Easy.

10) The Garden District

This neighbourhood, which was originally developed between 1832 and 1900, is considered to have one of the most well-conserved historic southern mansions in the United States.  The houses have such a romantic feel, it’s no wonder that celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Nicolas Cage have spent time living in this beautiful district.

Clockwise From Top Left: John Goodman’s home, the gazebo on the property where Nicolas Cage had a home, and a traditional style staircase (back in the day men and women used different sides).

Clockwise From Top Left: John Goodman’s home, the gazebo on the property where Nicolas Cage had a home, and a traditional style staircase (back in the day men and women used different sides).

9) Oak Alley Plantation

One hour north of the city you will find Oak Alley plantation. Throughout the day there are tours through the home and grounds, which paints the picture of how things ran long ago on this estate. It’s not hard to see how the plantation got its name, as 300-year-old oak trees create a canopy that lines the front entrance of the house.

Top: View towards the house. Bottom: View from the house.

Top: View towards the house. Bottom: View from the house.

8) Mississippi River

The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and 10th largest river in the world, so naturally the mighty Mississippi is a must-see.

Karkic in front of the Mighty Mississippi

Karkic in front of the Mighty Mississippi

7) A classic jazz lunch

For an authentic experience it doesn't get any better than Arnaud’s. It’s been around since 1918 and is located in the French quarter, where it serves classic creole cuisine. While it’s a bit pricey, it’s worth it to get the experience of a jazz brunch on Sunday. But do note their very traditional main dining room dress code:

“Jackets are preferred for gentlemen. Collared shirts are required for gentlemen. No shorts, t-shirts or flip flops are permitted.”

6) Lafayette Cemetery

For film buff this landmark cemetery might look familiar. Double Jeopardy, Interview with The Vampire, Skeleton Key, and Dracula 2000 are just a few of the movies set here. Fun fact: the majority of cemeteries are above-ground tombs, the most common reason being that the city lies below sea level, and it's difficult to dig a hole without it filling with water because of the high water table.

5) Jackson Square

Jackson Square is beautiful to walk through, but it’s also symbolic. It was called the Place d'Armes by the French and was the site of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was renamed Jackson Square in the 1850s in honour of Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

4) Mardi Gras

Clearly there’s a little Mardi Gras all year round in this town, on the trees, in-between the cracks in the sidewalk and over the lamp posts.

3) Napoleon House Bar & Café

This is a neat little spot that has an old-world feel, serves Pimm’s cups, and only plays classical music. Story has it that the bar gets its name because it was meant to be the residence for Napoleon Bonaparte after his exile.

2) Food, food, and more food.

Gumbo, Jambalaya, Po-boys and beignets.

If you don’t walk away having eaten too much, perhaps you didn’t eat enough! It’s a city known for its grub.

1)The French Quarter

This is the oldest neighborhood in the city, and most of the French Quarter's architecture was built during the late 18th century. This was a period of Spanish rule over the city, which is reflected by the beautiful architecture of the neighborhood.

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