There is no other city in the United States quite like New Orleans. Its culture, food, and overall personality are unparalleled. For the more than one million cruise passengers who pass through the port each year, a few extra days in the Big Easy are a must.
What We Love
The French Quarter: The city’s oldest neighborhood is synonymous with New Orleans. Bourbon Street is the draw for partyers, of course, and everyone should admire the area’s old European architecture, shop for antiques on Royal Street, and peruse the French Market.
The Garden District: Hop on a streetcar and ride uptown along St. Charles Avenue. Historic mansions decorate the boulevard, lined with stately oaks. Hop off for Commander’s Palace, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and the Magazine Street shopping district.
Best Known For
Cocktails: Now-classics like the Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, and Hurricane were born here. Sample these and other inventive concoctions at both old and new additions to the bar scene. Some of our favorites: Cure, French 75, the Carousel Bar & Lounge, Cane & Table, and SoBou.
Live Music: Music is the heart and soul of the Big Easy. It flows out of the bars and onto the streets, from second line parades and street musicians to the packed nightspots of Frenchmen Street, Uptown, and Tremé.
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Who It's Best For
Foodies: Po’boys, gumbo, muffulettas, beignets … just like cocktails, the city’s classic dishes are alive and well. And the restaurant scene is evolving and is better than ever, with top chefs like John Besh, Donald Link, Sue Zemanick, Justin Devillier, and Alon Shaya making their marks.
The Adventurous: Take a cemetery or walking tour to get a taste of the town’s darker history. For a less spooky — but still exciting — experience, venture out aboard an airboat or pontoon swamp tour to see alligators and other wildlife.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Mother Nature Can Be Cruel: It’s no secret that it’s hot and humid. It also rains — a lot. Head inside to one of the city’s many museums when the weather goes sour.
Safety Is a Concern: The city’s overall crime rate may be on the decline, but robberies and violent incidents continue to dominate local headlines.
Kristen Boatright is the New York City-based senior video editor of ShermansCruise.com.