It’s not just for Mardi Gras, or even the world famous Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans is the place to visit and party in just about any time of the year.
The icing on the cake – or should that be the sugar-dusted beignet (deep-fried choux pastry) for which the city is also famed – is that BeTheFirst has a listing for the newly opened Moxy hotel, in the heart of the French Quarter of downtown New Orleans.
So temptingly close to the heart of this city, which never seems to sleep, what might you want and expect to do during your stay?
Know where you are
One of the first things to get straight is the name of the place. New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA), is more affectionately known to locals as NOLA and its distinctive character is probably more north Caribbean than southern United States.
Know the music
If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that you’ll never be far from the sound of music – it’s everywhere you go, from clubs and bars to practically every street corner.
The Big Easy – as the city is also known – is the birthplace of jazz, which continues to take centre stage in every celebration from parties to funerals. Famous sons of the Big Easy include icons of jazz such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and Buddy Bolden.
Know the food
As iconic as the music, is the food you’ll get to taste. NOLA is known for its Creole and Cajun dishes and its hot and spicy seafood.
Just the names of some of these dishes are evocative of the whole flavour of the city – Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee, Jambalaya, or the humble Red Beans and Rice.
Know the French Quarter
The vibrant heart and soul of New Orleans, the French Quarter is also known simply as the Quarter or by the French Vieux Carré (Old Square) and is a designated National Historic Landmark.
The architecture here is immediately distinctive, much of it having been built during the period of Spanish rule in the late 18th century or immediately after the Louisiana purchase by the United States in the early 19th century.
Know the Garden District
Perhaps less well known than the French Quarter and certainly more opulent in its southern charm is the Garden District in the centre of New Orleans.
It was laid out in 1832 and retains a collection of imposing antebellum mansions, luscious gardens and an atmosphere that oozes the charm of the Deep South. It was developed with specific appeal to those southerners who wanted to keep a respectable distance from their European neighbours in the French Quarter.
Know the vibe
The city, the music and its people reflect the melting pot that is New Orleans.
Just the names of the streets and squares are etched in the mind – Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, Decatur Street, Canal Street, Esplanade Avenue and Rampart Street, to name just a few.
There’s an almost incredible range of music venues, restaurants and bars, boutique shopping and even voodoo temples.
A trip to New Orleans will be an experience you’ll likely never forget – so with accommodation starting from just £75 per night, you have no excuse not to indulge yourself!