• Get away from Bourbon Street and the French Quarter and explore some other districts - the Garden District is really nice, and if you head north from there, you get into the neighborhoods and away from the tourists.
  • Go to Frenchman Street for some amazing live music 7 nights a week.
  • Head further outside of the city center to the Maple Leaf for some more great live music.
  • Music is a huge part of New Orleans - go to Bullet's to see local musician Kermit Ruffins. They even have a food truck outside some nights for some great New Orleans food at a cheap price.
  • Audubon Park is a great place to chill out outside of the city center.
  • Before going to Audubon Park, head to Cajun Seafood and get some steamed crawfish and shrimp for a truly authentic New Orleans picnic.

Why you should add New Orleans to your RTW travel list

  • Treat yourself to the good grub of the Big Easy
  • Speaking of... Blackened catfish, etouffe, jambalya and a New Orleans Hurricane, mmm-mmm!
  • Please your ears; this is the birthplace of jazz after all
  • Take in a wild assortment of cultures
  • Mardi Gras isn't America's biggest annual party for nothing
  • African rhythm, French taste, Cajun attitude and American personality

Why you should not add New Orleans to your RTW travel list

  • The only negative to adding New Orleans to your RTW itinerary is that it can be a bit pricey, but if you want to visit one of the most unique cities in the US, then budget for it.

Overview

In New Orleans, the subtle sauces of the south mix with the underbelly sass of French influence, creating a cajun creation unlike anywhere else in the United States. With a world-famous Marti Gras party and a rancous French Quarter, with the bars along Bourbon Street leading the way, New Orleans constantly has something cookin.

WHAT TO DO

Strolling the historic neighborhoods is a must for anyone visiting New Orleans. The ever popular French Quarter has a unique charm and is home to some extraordinary restaurants. If you are looking for a less touristy experience, make sure to stroll in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood and experience its nightlife.

Mardi Gras, also known as the biggest free party on earth, has its roots in the ancient European Carnival traditions. Each year tourists from all over the world come to New Orleans to watch the parades (and yes, during the festivities the city is jam packed with tourists).

Jazz is another major reason for tourists to head to New Orleans. When they are not listening to jazz in clubs, they'll most likely be at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (or Jazz Fest as it's commonly known). During the last week in April and first weekend in May, each year, the music can be heard all over the town. And make sure to taste the local cuisine either at the presentations during the festival or at the restaurants.

A riverboat cruise, short or long, might be just the perfect way to end your visit here. Nothing spells New Orleans better than a cruise down the Mississippi while listening to traditional music and eating cajun food.

GETTING THERE

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)is serving the city and is located about 11 miles form the business center. Although the airport is not hub for any airline, Southwest Airlines has a strong presence here, making it quite easy to find a flight to New Orleans. If you decide to drive to the airport, you can save some money and time by booking your New Orleans airport parking online. Another good alternative is to book a New Orleans airport shuttle to take you from home to the airport and back.

WHERE TO STAY

New Orleans is quite a bit city but only couple of areas are of high interest for the visitors. Make sure to book a New Orleans Hotel close to them , but you'll probably have to avoid the French Quarter if you are looking for cheaper alternatives. Another good option, especially for the backpackers is booking a bed in a New Orleans hostel.