The Big Easy aka New Orleans – Undoubtedly One of America’s Greatest Cities!
By Christine D.
Undoubtedly, when most people hear the city name “New Orleans”, the first thing that comes to mind is the Mardi Gras festival. While that is certainly a celebration to consider, I can assure you that the charms of this Louisiana town extend far beyond the yearly party held every February.
I had the opportunity to travel to NOLA a couple of years ago and will never forget my first visit. With it being such a short flight from Tampa or even Orlando (if that’s your choice airport), it is absolutely worth putting on your hot list of travel spots. Many people think of the food in New Orleans, and that is definitely a worthwhile reason alone to visit. Cajun food, coupled with vast amounts of seafood will satisfy most people’s eating desires. Po’Boys, different types of gumbo, oysters and shrimp galore can be had at many of the dining establishments all around the city.
Working up an appetite for your dinner is easy when there are so many options of things to do around the city. Visiting some historic and gorgeous plantations, seeing the Audubon Zoo and park (a MUST DO for animal lovers!) and taking a ghost tour are just a few of the amazing things available to entertain you. Anther absolute MUST DO is a visit to the National World War II Museum, located right in the heart of the city. The few hours I spent there were truly wonderful and is truly a great reminder of why this country is so great. I urge anyone visiting NOLA to check it out!
A short one hour flight from the Tampa Bay area makes it an accessible and rewarding choice of trips to take. Even a few days there is enough to see this charming southern city.
Even though just a short list, the following are some suggested “for sure” sites:
- French Quarter with Bourbon Street and Royal Street. There are many, many other streets to stroll in the “Quarter” but if you are short on time, be sure to at least check-out Bourbon and Royal.
- Saint Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square.
- Cafe Du Monde, home to the the world famous “beignets”. YUMMY!!!
- Mississippi River and Paddle Wheel Boats. You can enjoy a narrated Mississippi Cruise with lunch or dinner and listen to New Orleans Jazz.
- Harrahs Casino – full blown casino with numerous eateries. Great place to people watch.
- Audubon Zoo, as mentioned in the article is fabulous and an enjoyable place to relax.
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
- Mardi Gras World. Here you can learn ALL about the famous Mardi Gras celebration.
- 100’s of shops catering to all buyers. You can almost anything in the shops of the French Quarter, from delicious Pralines to clothing to Antiques to Voodoo items.
- Take a cemetery tour… They are fascinating and spooky, all at the same time.
- Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve French Quarter Visitor Center.
New Orleans – A Must See City – Only A Hour Flight From Tampa