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Solo Travel Destinations New Orleans. Add it to your bucket list!
Solo Travel Destinations New Orleans:
New Orleans is both historic and cutting edge. It is popularly known as “The Big Easy”. If you, like me, have wondered how it received that nickname, you will be disappointed to learn the answer: No one exactly knows as explained by The Culture Trip.
- My first trip to New Orleans was at age twelve. I was intrigued by the “spooky” old cemeteries with their above ground tombs. It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie!
When I was a college student, I returned.
- I spent hours watching artists paint in the French Quarter in the Brulatour courtyard.
- Then I took frequent free rides on the Mississippi River ferryboat.
- I saw one of the world’s longest bridges. The 23+ mile Lake Pontchartrain Bridge. It even has a cloverleaf to turn around right in the middle of the bridge!
Solo Travel Destinations New Orleans: Its History:
It is one of the most “foreign” US cities. Its looks very little like other US cities.
- The city of New Orleans dates back to the 16th century with Hernando Cortez.
- The Spanish arrived first taking control of the area and then were followed by the French.
- In 1803, New Orleans became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. (For $15 million, the US acquired not just the future state of Louisiana but parts of 14 other states and two Canadian provinces.)
- New Orleans’s founder was a Frenchman from Montreal. He has the impressive name of Jean Baptist Le Moyne de Bienville.
- Cajun settlers from eastern Canada followed shortly thereafter.
- In a few years, New Orleans became famous during the War of 1812. Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British. Thereafter, his statue has stood in the French Quarter across from the fabled St. Louis Cathedral.
New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras. However, it has many attractions all year round.
New Orleans: Things to See and Do:
1. French Quarter or “Vieux Carre” (the “Old Square”). 2. Garden District, 3. Antebellum homes 4. Music 5. Bayous.
1. The French Quarter has two-sides.
It is the heart of historic New Orleans.
- It has great nightlife. You can start with a huge rum drink in a Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Glass.
- From Jackson Square, it is a short walk to the Café du Monde. This top French cafe is open 24/7. They offer a strong cup of coffee and famous donuts or “beignets”.
- As you stroll, you may catch a jazz funeral going by.
- For elegant shopping, try Royal Street. It is has top antique shops.
- See the Brulatour House and Courtyard at 520 Royal. It is artists’ favorite. It is being made into a museum. Its owner had a colorful life. Pierre Brulatour was one of the founders of Universal Pictures. He may have been Orson Welles’s inspiration for his classic film, Citizen Kane.
- At Royal Street’s end, pop into the Hotel Monteleone. This famous hotel has been family-owned since the 19th century. To check the rates, go to our booking engine.
- Tour the old cemeteries. They are above ground since the city was below sea level. Ornate tombs tell a story in French. The nearby St. Louis Cemetery is most famous. Because of crowds, check online. See if you need reservations or tickets.
2. Next is the Garden District.
It has elegant homes with wide porches and columns. One even had a real looking yellow “corn-cob” fence!
- It’s easy to get there on the St. Charles streetcar. Tennessee Williams’s “Streetcar Named Desire” is now the “bus named Desire”.
A famous site in the Garden District is the Commander’s Palace. This restaurant is owned by the Brennans, long-time local restauranteurs. As a child, I especially liked the huge toucan they had in the center. It was in a tall white Victorian birdcage. You could always hear it “greet” you before you saw it. Commander’s Palace has continued as a favorite. Other fabled New Orleans’s restaurants are Antoine’s, Arnaud’s and Galatoire’s. Seafood and Cajun dishes are top favorites. My own recommendation is Crayfish (say “Crawfish”) Etoufee.
3. Visit Plantations and Antebellum Homes.
Next you must see the elegant antebellum homes outside the city.
- You have many to choose from.
- The Ormond plantation is best known.
- However, there at least 10 others!
- These homes were built when New Orleans was very rich. The reason? The cotton trade and Mississippi River commerce brought wealth to the region.
“New Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying, I want to be a policeman, or I want to be a fireman, he says, I want to be a musician.” – Alan Jaffe, Jazz Musician and Founder of Preservation Hall”. Other New Orleans Quotes
- Go to Preservation Hall.
- Attend spring Jazz Fest.
5. Brave the Bayou:
Ready for adventure?
- New Orleans has famous bayous. Take a boat ride through these swamps.
- Once pirates stalked here.
- Now alligators prowl by.
- Colorful birds are there too.
Solo Travel Destinations New Orleans:
When to Go There:
- The best times are spring and fall to avoid summer’s humidity. (The winters can be cold and damp.)
- In winter, Mardi Gras is most popular.
- In spring, try Jazz Fest and the Annual Spring Fiesta and Historic Home Tour.
- Look at off-season specials for best prices for solo travelers.
- Plan now for next spring.
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