The vibrant and colourful city of New Orleans, also known as the “Big Easy.” Located in the southern state of Louisiana, this city is famous for its rich cultural heritage, music, food, and nightlife.
One of the top attractions in New Orleans is the French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carre. The French Quarter is a historic district, famous for its beautiful architecture, lively music, and exquisite cuisine. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone visiting New Orleans. Take a stroll down Bourbon Street and soak in the vibrant energy of the city. You’ll find jazz bands playing on street corners and a variety of restaurants serving up classic Cajun and Creole dishes.
Another must-see attraction is Jackson Square, located in the heart of the French Quarter. This park features a statue of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, and is surrounded by historic buildings, museums, and art galleries. Be sure to check out the street performers and artists who line the square, displaying their works of art. It’s a bit gritty around there so prepare for that.
If you’re interested in history, then a visit to the National World War II Museum is a must. This museum is dedicated to the story of the American experience in World War II and features a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits, including personal stories from the men and women who served in the war.
New Orleans is also famous for its music scene. Whether you’re a fan of jazz, blues, or rock and roll, you’ll find something to suit your taste here. Check out the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has been playing traditional New Orleans jazz since 1961. Other popular music venues include the House of Blues and Tipitina’s.
New Orleans has a rich and vibrant music scene, with many famous and influential bands hailing from the city. Some notable examples include:
- The Neville Brothers – A family band that blends elements of R&B, funk, and soul.
- Trombone Shorty – A funk and jazz trombonist, singer, and bandleader who has been influential in bringing New Orleans music to a wider audience.
- Dr. John – A legendary pianist, singer, and songwriter who was known for his unique blend of blues, jazz, and R&B.
- The Meters – A funk band that was instrumental in developing the “New Orleans sound” of the 1960s and 1970s.
- Preservation Hall Jazz Band – A traditional New Orleans jazz band that has been performing for over 50 years.
- The Dirty Dozen Brass Band – A brass band that blends elements of jazz, funk, and R&B.
- Allen Toussaint – A pianist, songwriter, and producer who was influential in shaping the sound of New Orleans R&B and soul.
- Fats Domino – A pianist and singer who was one of the pioneers of rock and roll, and who had a string of hits in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Louis Armstrong – Although he was born in New Orleans, Armstrong is perhaps better known as a jazz musician who helped popularize the genre around the world.
These are just a few examples of the many great bands and musicians that have come out of New Orleans. But, the most famous band to originate in New Orleans is…
Of course, no visit to New Orleans would be complete without trying the famous local cuisine. From gumbo to jambalaya, crawfish to po’boys, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to try beignets, a famous New Orleans pastry made from deep-fried dough covered in powdered sugar. The most famous place to try them is at Cafe Du Monde, a 24-hour cafe located in the French Quarter. We tried to visit Cafe Du Monde to get their famous beignets but there was a crazy, mental line up all the time. So we went to Cafe Beignet instead which were much less busy and sold HUGE beignets. If you don’t want to wait in a long line up, skip Cafe Du Monde.
New Orleans is also famous for its festivals and celebrations. Mardi Gras, the biggest party of the year, is a must-see event that takes place in late February or early March. The city is also home to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a 10-day celebration of music, food, and culture that takes place every April.
Banksy is a world-renowned street artist known for his politically charged and thought-provoking works. In 2008, Banksy visited New Orleans and created a series of murals in response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city in 2005.
Banksy’s first piece in New Orleans was a stenciled image of a hooded figure holding a Molotov cocktail, which he titled “You Loot, We Shoot.” The mural, which was located on the side of an abandoned building, was meant to criticize the excessive force used by police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Another notable work created by Banksy in New Orleans was a stenciled image of a young girl with an umbrella, standing in a rain of pink flowers. The mural, which was titled “Umbrella Girl,” was located on the side of a building in the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. The image was meant to symbolize hope and resilience in the face of adversity.
Banksy’s works in New Orleans were not without controversy. Some locals saw his art as exploitative and criticized him for profiting off the city’s tragedy. Others, however, saw his works as a powerful commentary on the failure of the government to adequately respond to Hurricane Katrina.
Today, some of Banksy’s murals in New Orleans still exist, while others have been painted over or destroyed. We were able to find a couple of them around the city. However, his works continue to spark important conversations about the role of art in addressing social and political issues.
There’s also a really cool gallery, Mortal Machine, at 840 Royal Street. Super cool art and merch between the two locations. Make sure to check out both as they aren’t too far apart.
There are several record stores in New Orleans that music lovers can explore. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Euclid Records: Located in the Bywater neighborhood, Euclid Records is a well-known record store in New Orleans. They have an extensive collection of vinyl records, CDs, and DVDs covering a variety of genres, including jazz, blues, soul, rock, and more.
- Nola Mix Records: On the edge of the Garden District, this little shop has some cool finds and the owner is really nice. Lots of hip-hop in here.
- No Pulp Records: Located in the Central Business District and on the third floor above a bookstore, this shop has mostly used records. It’s great for some digging and you can grab some gems.
- Louisiana Music Factory: Situated in the French Quarter, the Louisiana Music Factory is another popular record store in New Orleans. They have a vast selection of music from Louisiana and beyond, including jazz, blues, zydeco, Cajun, and more. They also sell music-related merchandise and host live performances.
- Skullyz Recordz: Located in Mid-City, Skullyz Recordz is a cozy record store that specializes in punk, hardcore, and metal music. They also carry a selection of new and used vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes from other genres.
- Sisters in Christ Records: Situated in the Seventh Ward, Sisters in Christ Records is a unique record store that focuses on music made by women and non-binary artists. They carry a wide range of genres, including indie, punk, experimental, and more.
- Peaches Records: Located in the French Quarter, Peaches Records is a record store that has been around since the 1970s. They carry a diverse selection of vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and music-related merchandise.
These are just a few of the many record stores in New Orleans that music lovers can explore.
New Orleans is a city that offers a unique blend of history, music, food, and culture. From the historic French Quarter to the vibrant music scene and famous local cuisine, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re a history buff, music lover, or foodie, you’re sure to have a memorable experience in this unforgettable city.