New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

The unique city of New Orleans is known for its party atmosphere, jazz and R&B music, warm mixture of cultures and old-fashioned debauchery. It boasts French, Spanish, Cajun and African flavors. Visit the city by rental car in New Orleans during Mardi Gras for the full New Orleans party experience.

Getting there

Located eighteen kilometers west of the city center, in Kenner, New Orleans International Airport receives connections from other major US cities. There is a reliable airport shuttle to downtown New Orleans, but those who choose car rental can also find several national travel deals. Amtrak trains arrive at the Union Passenger Terminal and there are three main services one from Memphis and Chicago, one from Washington and New York, and one from Los Angeles and Miami.

The nation's major east-west highway, I-10 runs along the southern boundary, linking Jacksonville with Los Angeles via New Orleans. The north-south routes, I-55 to Chicago and I-59 to Chattanooga, meet I-10 to the west and east of New Orleans on either side of Lake Pontchartrain.

Key attractions

The heart and soul of New Orleans is the French Quarter, where you can stroll down the famous Bourbon street and listen to the pianos, blues guitars and zydeco music. Jackson Square, the central courtyard of New Orleans, is filled with street musicians and artists. The Cabildo and the Presbytre museums are filled with history. Also in the area is St Louis Cathedral, which is the oldest continuously active cathedral in the United States.

Out and about

The distinctive cultural enclave of Cajun country is near New Orleans. The original inhabitants were French-Canadian refugees who settled in this swampy and wildlife rich region. Thibodaux, southwest of New Orleans, is a good place to learn about every aspect of Cajun culture. Visit the Wetlands Cajun Cultural Center, where Cajun musicians play every Monday evening. Kraemer is the best place to take a swamp tour and see alligators in their natural habitat. Lake Ponchartrain, on the northern border of New Orleans, is a pleasant daytrip by rental car to New Orleans and boasts the world's longest bridge а spanning 38.5kms.

Leisure options

Two kilometers south of the French Quarter is the Garden District, which is a good place for a stroll to explore the charming Spanish and French architecture. Lafayette Cemetery Number 1 has been the inspiration for several occult and voodoo related movies. Also in the area is Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas, which are well worth visiting.


Visitors should be careful when travelling to New Orleans by car rental, especially during Mardi Gras. The streets can be quite crowded with revellers and there are often fights or problems with pickpockets. It's best to take out travel insurance and search for national travel deals before heading here.


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