Best Road Trip Destinations: New Orleans
If you’re looking for a town with rich history and wild night life, New Orleans might be the destination for you. Nicknamed “The Big Easy,” New Orleans is famous for its night-life, incredible Cajun cuisine, and one-of-a-kind culture.
No matter where you’re driving from, it’s worth the trip. The city is beautiful year-round, but be careful around hurricane season. As we are all painfully aware, New Orleans can sometimes find itself in the path of a hurricane.
What you’ll See
It’s a crime to go to New Orleans and not take a walk down Bourbon Street. Even if drinking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of unusual shops, cafes ripe for people-watching, and architecture worth seeing. If drinking is your thing, you’re in luck. Bourbon Street has open container laws, meaning you can drink on the street as you meander from bars to restaurants to clubs.
If you’re looking for a party, hit the road in time to arrive for the giant and world-famous Mardi Gras parade and celebration on Bourbon Street. Be prepared to pay higher-than-normal prices and battle massive crowds, but the epic party won’t be something you soon forget.
New Orleans is also famous for its ghost tours. Old buildings dating back to the 1700s make for creepy and interesting haunted tours. Find out about an old hospital and plenty of haunted houses along the way, and check out some of the beautiful cemeteries and above-ground tombs.
Where to Stop
Besides the famous Bourbon Street, other notable sites include Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Market, and Preservation Hall. In the French quarter you’ll also find the New Orleans Mint (now a museum) the National World War II Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, and New Orleans Museum of Art. If you’ve brought the family along, or are looking for nature-inspired sight-seeing, check out the Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, and the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
The city’s French history dates back to 1718, and is the inspiration for the beautiful architecture seen throughout the French quarter and the seemingly endless variety of food. Founded by the French Mississippi Company, the French colony was taken over by the Spanish Empire in 1763, remaining under Spanish control until 1801, when it reverted back to French control. These roots contribute to such a diverse and inspiring culture.