Travel Guide to the South: New Orleans, Louisiana


In our "Travel Guide to the South" series, staff at Alliance partner hotels and others in-the-know give their recommendations on what to see, what to do and what to eat in the South.

New Orleans, Louisiana

St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana.“Every aspect of New Orleans is a reflection of the past.”

With the highest number of historic districts in the country and more registered historic landmarks than any other city, the Big Easy is steeped in history. “Every aspect of New Orleans is a reflection of the past,” says Thea Wall of Windsor Court Hotel.

And preservation and restoration of that history is a top priority, says Sarah Forman with the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Historic relevance has shaped the city because it’s really our most unique experience,” she says. “History is not only visible here—it’s alive.”

Culinary Experiences

The true cuisine of New Orleans is Creole, a result of Spanish, French and African influences, and should in no way be confused with Cajun, says Forman. For an authentic taste of the city’s French-Creole faire, Wall recommends visiting Antoine’s Restaurant, the country’s oldest family-owned restaurant and birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller.

History Lesson

The French Quarter burned to the ground in the late 1700s during Spanish rule, making the quarter’s architecture roughly 10 percent French and 90 percent Spanish.

If You Had to Pick Just One...

To fully immerse oneself in the layered history of the city, Wall suggests arranging a private tour with a real historian. “There are too many sights to see and tales to tell,” she says.

A sign reminds visitors of the Spanish influence on New Orleans.
Fresh seafood is a staple of Louisiana cooking.

5 Must-see Attractions

  1. The National World War II Museum: “The museum is a national monument and the only one of its kind,” says Wall.
  2. French Market: Founded in 1791 as a Native American trading post, it now encompasses six blocks and features open-air farmers and flea markets, as well as brick and mortar shops and restaurants.
  3. Historic Neighborhoods: The French Quarter, the city’s most historic neighborhood and home to Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral; and the Garden District, home to world’s largest collection of 19th-century mansions.
  4. Of the city’s 400 officially recognized festivals and events, Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage Festival are the city’s oldest and largest.
  5. Ghost and Cemetery Tours: “[These] tours will take you on an adventure through time with tales of unrequited love, tragically lost lives and spooky sightings,” says Forman.

This article was originally featured in the Traveler magazine.

By Hideaway Report Staff

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