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Posted On 11/26/2018 17:52:48
Trip Date 12/28/2014
Destinations | Cruise | Louisiana | New Orleans | Mardi Gras World | New Orleans Points of Interest | Walking Tour of New Orleans | What to do in New Orleans
We planned a few extra pre-cruise days to see the sights when preparing to go on a New Years cruise
out of New Orleans. The true highlight of these days was our visit to Mardi Gras World.
Mardi Gras World is a museum, storage area and fabrication facility for the great Mardi Gras Parade
If you are headed to New Orleans for either a cruise or a land vacation, this post is for you.
With so many places to see, you'll need to choose your favorites or plan your time wisely to see and
do them all. It has taken us several trips to find the time to visit all of these great sights in New
Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras World is a colorful exhibition of many past and present as well as currently evolving floats. During a visit, you'll learn about the many customs and traditions of the Mardi Gras Parades as well as the krewes that are behind the balls and parades. The krewes are local organizations, each with unique history, traditions and themes. It is the krewes that are responsible for creating (or hiring professionals to create) the floats as well as choreograph the music and dance that accompany the floats during the parades. Together, the many themed parades and balls are celebrations in preparation for the Catholic tradition of Lent.
Mardi Gras World
Check out some of these floats that were on display during our visit. The floats either change or
are modified for the upcoming year, so that, in the eyes of the spectators, it is an always changing
surprise. Mardi Gras World is a great place for photo opportunities.
Wizard of Oz
Rosie the Riveter
14 More Great Sights to See in New Orleans
There are so many other interesting sights to see and things to do in this quirky, historical, mystical
and haunted city. Here are 14 more of our favorites, in no particular order:
1. Jackson Square, Pirates Alley, Cabildo and Cathedral
Jackson Square is located in the center of the French Quarter. The square is a park that is
home to a statue of Andrew Jackson standing in the center. New Orleans was founded by the
Spanish, was later taken over by the French and eventually became part of the United States.
There are many aspects of each culture that are brilliantly on display in the old town part of the
The square, which has a fenced central area that is locked at night, is surrounded by pedestrian
streets which, during the day are filled with artists, vendors and many tourists. Decatur
Street, on the south side of the square, is the starting area for the famous horse-drawn
carriage rides. If you have the time (either day or night) during your visit, I highly recommend
splurging on one of these enchanting and relaxing rides - plus you get a guided tour of the old town
Another prominent landmark in Jackson Square is the St. Louis Cathedral, another great
stop for photos both inside and out.
St Louis Cathedral
Along the west side of the cathedral is an alley called Pirate's Alley. In the old days, the
alley was frequented by many passing around the square from the river port to the entertainment
area known as Bourbon Street. Since New Orleans was an important sea port in the new
world, there were many sailors as well as Pirates of the Caribbean frequenting these streets. While
the alley name has been around for hundreds of years, specific verifiable history of piracy is hard to
find. The last few times I've visited the city, the sign has been missing, but I can say for certain
that it used to be there. (If you are interested in the history, check out More History of Pirate's Alley
and the French Quarter.)
To the west side of the cathedral is another imposing building, the Cabildo. Today it houses a
historical museum with many artifacts that tell the story of the settlers to this area. It is a very
interesting historical site for visitors.
2. Touch Down Jesus
Found in the courtyard just behind the St. Louis Cathedral is a quirky landmark. To fully appreciate
it, you will need see it at night time. Touchdown Jesus, known to locals, refers to the shadow of the
statue of Jesus located in the courtyard of the church. Jesus is depicted with his arms raised to
heaven, but the interesting thing is that there is a floodlight which casts a huge shadow on the back
of the church. It looks as though Jesus is ruling a touchdown - possibly during a New Orleans
Saints football game!
3. French Market
The French Market runs for several blocks from Jackson Square to the east starting at the
world famous Cafe Du Monde. Today, the French Market has a variety of shops, food
vendors and musical performers.
4. United States Mint
Beyond the French Market is the old US Mint where coins were formerly minted for the United States. It's an interesting historical point of interest for visitors including both coin collectors and historians.
5. Bourbon Street
Although already well known, this list would not be complete without mentioning Bourbon
Street. The street has many famous bars and music venues, but is now only a shadow of its
early fame where many Jazz greats performed.
By night, Bourbon Street offers a wide variety of entertainment geared at adults only. Of course
you can find modern country, jazz, rock and other music along the street today, but to hear the old
school jazz, you'll need to visit the next location on our list, Preservation Hall.
6. Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall is like a historical jazz venue that is run by a non-profit foundation. To get tickets just stand in line for one of several shows each evening and pay at the door. The shows are family friendly and showcase many jazz classics as well as traditional instruments, special guests and wonderful improvisation. To some degree, they also take song requests accompanied by a small tip!
7. Pat O'Brien's
Pat O'Brien's is a great stop to relax and perhaps cool off as New Orleans is warm and humid during the summer. The venue has food and drinks, and is most famous for "hurricanes" which are drinks served in large hurricane glasses. They have made great souveniers for travelers who sip here for decades.
8. Street Cars on St. Charles and Canal Streets
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a ride on the street cars. You can easily find one along
Canal Street or St. Charles Street, although there are a few others as well.
Street Car Named Desire
9. Segway Old New Orleans
Another way to get a great personalized tour around the old town is to take a Segway Tour. (If you have never ridden a Segway, they are actually very easy, and fun too!) The Segway tour includes historical information about different periods of New Orleans' past including Hurricane Katrina as well as many of the city's historical sites.
10. Cafe Du Monde
When near Jackson Square, you'll definitely want to make a stop at Cafe du Monde. Open for 24 hours a day every day except Christmas Day, this is the perfect place to enjoy some wonderful beignets and coffee, and do a little people watching too.
11. Steamboat Dinner Cruise
If you have a full evening free and want a fun experience, take a Riverboat Dinner Cruise. The
cruise takes you from the Jackson Square area down the river and back again while you enjoy a
wonderful buffet dinner and traditional jazz music. It's a tremendously enjoyable evening that you'll
certainly remember. (Make sure to check out the steam engine room to see how the river belle
12. Food, Food and More Food
The culinary choices in New Orleans are countless. Some of our favorite restaurants in the city
offer a variety of experiences that are uniquely N'Awlins including:
Cafe Pontalba, located on the west corner of Jackson Square, is a great spot for lunch as you explore the heart of the old town.
Johnny's Po-Boys at 511 St Louis St. offers some of the greatest poboys and
muffalettas that the city has to offer.
Deanie's Seafood, 841 Iberville St., offers reasonably priced and great tasting seafood.
Although a little more expensive, The Court of Two Sisters located at 613 Royal St. offers a beautiful traditional brunch in a courtyard setting where guests enjoy soft jazz music in the background while dining.
13. Voodoo Museum and Cemetery Tour
Once you've sampled the food and music of New Orleans, perhaps you'll want to learn more about
the mystical history of the city. The religious history of New Orleans is varied because it was a
melting pot of people from all over the world. Primarily, the Spanish and French were Catholic,
however, there were also many from Africa and the Caribbean who came to this area as slaves and
brought with them their own culture and religious traditions. Over time these traditions have
become integrated into today's New Orleans.
New Orleans is well known for Santaria and Voodoo. These are not the same and most people don't
fully understand them. To get a better understanding of what they are about and how they relate,
check out the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum located at 724 Dumaine. The museum offers guided walks through both the museum as well as other historical sites around the old town.
The tour includes the history of Marie LaVeau, a 19th century Creole Voodoo priestess who is said
to have had remarkable powers. You'll also visit Cemetery #1 (the location of Marie LaVeau's burial site) and Congo Square, a 19th century congregation area for musicians that was credited as the birthplace of jazz. During our tour, there was a modern day Voodoo priestess with an audience who was very entertaining, mysterious and surprisingly clairvoyent. The guide for our tour was very knowledgeable about these religious customs and the various historical sites that we passed.
14. New Orleans School of Cooking
If you enjoy Cajun or Creole cooking, perhaps you would enjoy hearing more about how and why it
has become such a popular style. A visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking will help you learn how the style of cooking has evolved from the staples of survival into a cultural experience. A "class" includes a full meal along with entertaining explanations of the history of the cooking styles, all while watching the meal being prepared in the traditional way. You can check out the New Orleans School of Cooking at 524 St. Louis St.
New Orleans Favorites
While this list includes some of our favorites, the list could go on and on as there are so many more
great stops in New Orleans. What are some of your favorites in this great historical city in the
Created On 11/09/2018 22:03:05
Updated On 11/20/2018 21:52:48
Scheduled On 11/20/2018 21:52:48
Posted On 11/26/2018 17:52:48
Last Editor Stacy
Location French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana