Catch some Southern sweetness down in New Orleans where good times, great food, and even better music are right around every corner.
Beating to the sound of trumpets, NOLA (as it’s affectionately known) is an eclectic city made up of European, Creole, and Cajun culture in a vibrant melting pot that’s sure to satisfy your inner excitement-seeker. Take a stroll through the historic French Quarter, chow down on some boiled crawfish with your New Orleans tour group, and soak up as much of the ‘Big Easy’s atmosphere as you can in what is guaranteed to be the adventure of a lifetime. From enjoying a drink (or 10) down New Orleans’ iconic Bourbon Street to immersing yourself within the rhythm of the best jazz performers going ‘round, this city has everything to offer. Why not ask your tour guide for directions to Café du Monde, New Orleans’ famous beignet café? Or seek further information about this city’s troubled past and its haunted history? However you choose to spend your time here, New Orleans will leave your head full of music and your stomach full of gumbo.
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New Orleans is fairly easy to get to depending on where you're traveling from. You can arrive in New Orleans by car from neighboring cities such as Baton Rouge and Lafayette or if you're located a bit further away, flying to New Orleans is another good option. The distance between New Orleans Airport and the French Quarter is only 15 miles, and will take you roughly 45 minutes.
If you're staying within the French Quarter then the best way to get around is definitely on foot. The streets in the French Quarter are sometimes narrow and there tends to be a bit of traffic during peak periods. If you want to travel outside the Quarter then either catching a ride on one of New Orleans' iconic streetcars, renting a vehicle, hopping in a taxi, or riding a bike are more suitable forms of transportation.
The weather in New Orleans can vary quite a bit depending on what time of the year you're traveling in. As New Orleans is located quite close to large bodies of water, the weather can get a bit wet, especially in the Winter and Fall seasons. Believe it or not, New Orleans is ranked as the city with the highest levels of humidity in all of the U.S. so make sure you check out the expected temperatures before you go which will give you a better understanding of what you should pack.
When traveling to New Orleans, it's important to read up on what kind of weather to expect during the time you'll be there as temperatures in New Orleans can often fluctuate throughout the day in some seasons. Regardless of when you're going, New Orleans is quite a humid place so it's best to pack hot weather clothes so you won't be too uncomfortable. We'd also recommend packing an umbrella if you're traveling during Winter or Fall as well as some appropriate wet weather shoes. You should always remember to pack sunscreen and apply it everytime you go outside, even if the day looks overcast.
There aren't any beaches within close distance of the French Quarter or the city of New Orleans itself. The closest area where you can tan, swim and play other beach-related sports is Coconut Beach, a manmade attraction that's located about a 15 minute drive out of the city in Kenner, Louisiana. If you have access to a car and a day to spare, traveling to Pass Christian Beach is also an option, located 1 hour from New Orleans' city limits.
New Orleans is a very popular city among both locals and tourists alike thanks to its fascinating history, beautiful architecture, and reputation for having fun. The City of New Orleans is located close to other states and is a popular destination for weekends away, as well as longer vacations. If you live in one of the surrounding states or cities, driving to New Orleans might be the best option. Below is how far New Orleans is from its neighboring regions by car:
- New Orleans is roughly 81 miles away from Baton Rouge, making the journey by car just over an hour.
- To travel from the town of Biloxi to New Orleans would take you roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes, as the journey is 91 miles.
- The city of Pensacola is just over 200 miles away from New Orleans. To travel there by car it would take you just under 3 hours.
- New Orleans is 205 miles away from Lake Charles so the journey by car would take you roughly 2 hours and 50 minutes.
- If you're road-trippin' your way from Houston to New Orleans, it will take you 4 hours, 47 minutes to reach your destination with the journey being 347 miles.
It's not known exactly where the nickname the 'Big Easy' came from or when it started circulating however, it's widely believed that it was introduced in the 1900's as a direct comparison to New York City's, the 'Big Apple'. New York was considered a bustling place where things were happening all the time and New Orleans was seen as the exact opposite; a city with a relaxed, laidback sort of lifestyle.
Historically, New Orleans is quite a haunted city thanks in part to its spooky and troubled past. The cemeteries in New Orleans make up some of the most haunted places in this city, with ghostly apparitions sighted and eerie noises heard among the tombstones. These are the most haunted cemeteries in New Orleans:
- St. Louis #1 Cemetery
- St. Roch Cemetery
- Lafayette #1 Cemetery
- Metairie Cemetery
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. New Orleans is working towards making all services, city programs, and facilities accessible to all persons. New Orleans is also quite a flat city so it's fairly easy to get around. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.