The Story of New Orleans
It’s quite possible that no other place in America captivates visitors as completely as the beautiful city that lies along the Mississippi River just north of the Gulf of Mexico. During the nearly three centuries since its founding, New Orleans has inspired writers, artists, poets, musicians and a host of others who found this most-European of U.S. cities irresistible.
New Orleans’ charm stems from many sources, but most importantly, its cultural diversity. Since its beginnings, the city has embraced the heritage of others, from the French, Spanish, English and Irish, to African, Latin American and Caribbean people. The result is a depth of culture that marks everyday life. It’s what makes the food, music and character of New Orleans so distinctive: Think Oysters Bienville and Shrimp Creole; Bananas Foster and soft-shell crab po-boys; the Neville Brothers, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr.; Bourbon Street, Tipitina’s and Mardi Gras.
Architecture defines New Orleans, too. The famous French Quarter, with its graceful iron balconies, wooden shutters and hidden courtyards, is an icon among the country’s architectural landmarks, even as it remains a vibrant residential and commercial neighbourhood. The Quarter is famous for great live music and exquisite dining - and its proximity to one of America’s great rivers. Just steps away, the walkways of Woldenberg Riverfront Park afford great views of ships and barges plying the Mississippi River as they travel through the Port of New Orleans.
On the opposite side of the downtown area, the historic Garden District awaits. Visitors can walk or drive to see block after block of grand, plantation-style homes rich in the lacey ironwork and architectural detail that characterised 19th-century New Orleans.
Art lovers will find plenty to like in galleries from the French Quarter to the Magazine Street shopping corridor. The New Orleans Museum of Art stands in beautiful City Park. And in the trendy Warehouse District, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art presents one of the largest collections of Southern works in the country.