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New Orleans, Louisiana is beautiful and beguiling, eccentric, exciting and enchanting. Sultry jazz clubs, blues bars and stripper clubs invite visitors inside. There’s always a party going on. After the party, the best way to imbibe the true history and flavor of the real New Orleans is by taking a walking tour or carriage ride through the streets of the historic Vieux Carre (French Quarter) and the Garden District. Visit secluded courtyards, haunted mansions and above-the-ground cemeteries, the “cities of the dead.” Learn the scandals and secrets of New Orleans colorful past and present. Mardi Gras is the biggest party of the year in New Orleans. Attend if you wish, but the rest of the year the city is just as relevant. If you miss Mardi Gras, catch its spirit year-round at the Louisiana State Museum Presbytere, located in Jackson Square. Marvel at galleries of splendid Mardi Gras memorabilia. Around mid-morning listen for the sounds of a steam calliope calling visitors for a Mississippi Steamboat Natchez Cruise, a unique view of life along the mighty Mississippi River. Scour the French Market for trinkets and treasures. Indulge in a cloud of powdered sugar with beignets and café au lait at Café de Monde. The atmosphere around Jackson Square is colorful and entertaining as dozens of artists, street performers, fortune tellers, and professed psychics, compete for attention and tourist dollars.
Activities are endless. Swamp boat and airboat tours take the adventurous into the boggy bayous for close-up views of Louisiana wildlife. Plantation tours attest to the glory days of the Old South.