"Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" New Orleans by Rixie

New Orleans Travel Guide: 4,198 reviews and 7,269 photos

This page is printed in traditional Mardi Gras colors: Purple for Justice, Green for Faith, Gold for Power.

The flags of the United States, France, and Louisiana fly in front of St. Joan. Not shown is the Spanish flag, which represents another part of New Orleans history.

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"Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" is a catchy slogan, but it's not accurate, because the city's denizens pronounce its name more like "Noo Awlins."

Whichever way you say its name, New Orleans is a fun city. I've been there as an adult many times now, and I always feel very comfortable. It seems to combine elements from other places I've been: the red brick and cobbled streets of Georgetown, the big front lawns of Maryland, the humidity of Honolulu, the streetcars of San Francisco.

Canal Street in New Orleans is a ringer for San Francisco's Market Street -- a wide, busy thoroughfare, bordered with tall buildings and leading down to the water -- and the narrow streets and throngs of pedestrians in the French Quarter remind me of Chinatown. Bourbon Street, of course, is like SF's Broadway, which San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to call "Bawdway" for all the strip joints. Although I must admit that on Broadway you don't usually see scantily clad women hanging over wrought-iron balconies...

New Orleans offers delicious Southern cooking -- oyster and shrimp po'boys, muffalettas, gumbo, pralines, jambalaya, beignets and chicory coffee -- as well as Italian, Thai, and other types of ethnic cuisine. Be prepared to eat your way through this city.

And, oh, the music! Just standing outside some of the clubs on Bourbon Street, you can hear great blues and jazz. Even the street performers and the pianists who play background music at restaurants are top-notch. Jazz enthusiasts won't want to miss the famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

To get a true picture of The Big Easy, leave the drunks on Bourbon Street behind. Take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar out to Riverbend and browse through the thrift shops and bookstores. See a movie at the Prytania Theater, attend a concert at Tulane or Loyola University, go dancing at Rock 'n' Bowl. There's more to New Orleans than the French Quarter, and you won't be disappointed.

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I'm pleased to report that by 2.5 years after Hurricane Katrina and the levee break devastated New Orleans, the downtown area of the city had bounced back. By April 2008, French Quarter businesses were back to normal. The French Market and Cafe du Monde were bustling, music was pouring out of Bourbon Street bars, and there was once again a line at the Gumbo Shop.

In the areas surrounding the city where many business employees live -- Metairie and St. Bernard Parish -- some things may never be the same as they were before 2005. However, there is the same unquenchable spirit of hope and optimism that so impressed me when I volunteered there in 2006. You still see defiant bumper stickers and signs proclaiming as reflected in a bumper sticker reading “New Orleans – Proud to Call It Home,” and “We’re strong – we’re coming back – we will rebuild!”

This beautiful cosmopolitan city is doing its best to rise again. Please consider it as a future travel destination!

St. Louis Cathedral looms in the background. I've read that the gaily decorated horse-drawn carriages are actually pulled by mules. Horses can't take the heat and humidity in New Orleans, but mules can.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great food, great music
  • Cons:High humidity and changeable weather
  • In a nutshell:The Best of the American South
  • Last visit to New Orleans: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated Nov 25, 2012
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Reviews (38)

Comments (36)

  • ATLC's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Hmmm, what caution is there to be had with fried oysters and sweet fried potatoes? I accidentally rated one of your tips 2 stars instead of more (and it couldn't be corrected). But it was soup to die for and of course no one wants to die over a bowl of soup. Such a mess!

    • Rixie's Profile Photo
      Jul 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      LOL, Anke-Thea. It does make such a mess of the tablecloth. Are you planning a trip to New Orleans?

    • ATLC's Profile Photo
      Jul 8, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      I would like to, Laverne. I love the music.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Great memories Laverne :o) Enjoyed the read mate. Those restaurants sound fantastic! Hugs, Ann.

  • Jun 30, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    Thanks, We appreciate the good review. For traveler's information - the tour is French Quarter Phantoms 625 St. Philip Street and our website is www.frenchquarterphantoms.com

  • windoweb's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    We will be here in July and hope to catch the best sights of the French Quarter.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    New Orleans is really fascinating and we brought our twins there when they were only 1 year old (to actual Mardi Gras day, lol) - love th "man with horse" picture....I was looking for your daschund's pic...

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2009 at 3:40 AM

    Fantastic tips. I'm so ready for the ghost tour and tour of the City of the Dead. What a wonderful intro to New Orleans.

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2009 at 6:38 PM

    Ummm Ummmm. Those food tips are splendid. I love NO cookery. :) And, that's a great B&B tip, too.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    Great page. Like your restaurant tips. Bring back fond memories especially Burboun St.

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    there is some great stuff in here.

  • Razmataac's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    Fantastic tips... Especially the restaurant tips! mouth watering! Thanks! Hope to go in April.

Rixie

“Travel may be an addiction, but it's cheaper than drugs.”

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