New Orleans

The "Big Easy" invites all to eat, drink and be merry, especially during Mardi Gras, its famous late-winter bacchanal. A combination of cultures distinguishes this city on the Mississippi, with French, Caribbean and African threads woven into an enchanting tapestry. The food and overall vibe here is unforgettable.

Key things to do in New Orleans (local tip: it's pronounced New Or-LUNS, not New Or-LEENS) include sipping a daquiri on Bourbon Street, seeing Jackson Square, visiting the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, taking a horse-drawn carriage, and getting a beignet and chicory coffee at Cafe Du Monde. A river cruise on the Steamboat Natchez provides another perspective on this wondrous city.

Learn More About New Orleans

Mardi Gras
Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)! Every year in February or March (check dates), New Orleans indulges in Fat Tuesday, a rowdy celebration with parades, costumes, masks and huge crowds.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Each year on the last weekend of April and first weekend of May, "Jazz Fest" celebrates the rich musical culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. Various musical genres besides jazz are represented, with hundreds of live performances at the Fair Grounds Race Course and at venues throughout the city. Plenty of local food and craft vendors are also part of the fun.