Even America has its enchanted kingdom. Through a tangle of ancient woods and swamplands, nestled where the mouth of the Mississippi kisses the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans hotels give you the ability to explore this mystical city. The Big Easy, in its hundreds of years of recorded history, has been a pirate port, a trading post, a battleground, a cutting-edge urban center, and the storied site of more than a few modern fairytales—and with so many things to do in New Orleans, you get to create a fairytale of your own. New Orleans—a magical mixture of dark and light, a city of voodoo and ghosts, of cobblestone streets and exquisite French Colonial architecture—also offers cutting-edge cuisine and exhilarating nightlife. Deep cultural roots weave together in New Orleans’ history, with French Canadian, Caribbean, European, African, and Native American traditions creating a rich soil for the growth of a unique way of life in this corner of the world. Smoky and sweet, tangy and rich—New Orleans’ flavor is as joyfully riotous as the flavor of its trademark gumbos and jambalayas; and with so many places to stay in New Orleans such as one of the French Quarter hotels, you’ll find that any time is the perfect time to laissez les bon temps rouler.
Where to Let The Good Times Roll
NOLA’s cultural hotspots are conveniently located near many of the hotels in New Orleans. Get coffee and a beignet at Café du Monde first thing in the morning. Spectacular architecture catches your eye everywhere, making afternoon perfect for a walking tour of the city’s quaint Creole cottages and elegant antebellum mansions. You notice how many historical dwellings, from the smallest Queen Anne to the stateliest Colonial, have front porches, perfect for socializing out-of-doors in the days before air conditioning, but no less inviting today. Dive into the past as you wend your way among the ancient mausoleums of Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, the oldest and, arguably, the most beautiful cemetery in the city. Head out from one of the many 3-star hotels in New Orleans and spend a dusky evening meandering the famous French Quarter—or, the Vieux Carré—and soak in the sound of jazz. Chicory-flavored coffee wafts through the air while the warm glow of porch lamps through wrought iron balcony railings cast lacy shadows on the ground. Let their intricate trail lead you onward to Bourbon Street, where the music never stops and longstanding drinking establishments—like Pat O’Brien’s and The Old Absinthe House—keep the revelry rollicking at a fever pitch until the wee hours.
With so many hotel rooms in New Orleans to choose from, where to stay in this exciting city is never a dilemma but choosing what to eat just might be. You may never again visit a city with such diverse culinary roots. Settlers, slaves, refugees and renegades who made a home in The City That Time Forgot over the centuries have all contributed to the delectable culinary landscape of this harbor town. While a cosmopolitan city that boasts every type of cuisine imaginable, its pride and joy is the flavor of Creole cooking. If you can’t decide between the earthy crunch of a shrimp po’boy from Parkway Tavern, the unstudied elegance of gumbo at Galatoire’s, or a simple bowl of seasoned red beans and rice at Mother’s Restaurant, fear not: Anything is a good choice in this gourmand’s utopia. From fine fare to street food, New Orleans offers an array of flavorful dining options that are anything but ordinary.
Under shady canopies of live oak and Spanish moss, you can keep cool plenty of places in this southern city. New Orleans hosts a number of parks and gardens that seem to bloom perpetually. You can spend an entire afternoon wandering the expansive Audubon Park, with its trees, trails, lawns, and lagoons. Survey the mighty Mississippi from Crescent Park, which stretches along the water’s edge in the French Market district and is one of the newest parks in the city. Generations of locals have fondly enjoyed City Park, a city oasis even larger than New York City’s Central Park and one of the oldest city parks in the nation. You understand its allure when you meander through the brilliant Botanical Garden or watch the little ones romp through whimsical Storyland theme park. City Park even houses the New Orleans Museum of Art, the oldest fine art museum in town.
Day Tripping in Cajun Country
Though Nawlins holds enough allure to last a lifetime, you’re forgiven for heeding the irresistible call into the otherworldly countryside outside the city. Here in Cajun country, just an hour or two southwest of the Big Easy, enchantment and excitement lie waiting in the fabled bayous and swamplands of Acadiana. A fascinating French Canadian culture still thrives from the refugees who left eastern Canada in the 18th century and settled here, with a local French patois still spoken regionally and a distinctive style of country cooking putting it on the map. Try some the pork and rice sausage specialty called boudin and some fried catfish. An airboat is perfect for a tour of the swampy bayou—alligators and water snakes may stir from the shadowy banks, and the mysterious sense of adventure that seems to hang in the murky air between the branches of bald cypress trees delights you. And make sure to catch some zydeco music. You’ll be on your feet dancing to the energetic sound of an accordion-led band as its melody wafts into the balmy black night.
Forgetting Your Cares in the City that Care Forgot
Once you’ve immersed yourself in the dazzling swirl of New Orleans’ history and tasted the best of what the Queen of the Mississippi has to offer, she tempts you to stay and become her loyal subject. It seems hard to believe that such an ancient melting pot (or is it a gumbo pot?) of culture exists in the United States, but the sights and scents of the city are so real that once you’ve experienced them, you have to believe it. With Travelocity as your trusty companion, you’ll never feel like a stranger and you’ll always know where to stay in New Orleans. Whenever you crave spicy seafood, a rum-heavy hurricane cocktail, the riotous musicality of jazz and a good ghost tour, you can return to Crescent City. Some magic spells needn’t be broken at midnight, least of all in a fairytale kingdom as mystical as New Orleans—and even without a fairy godmother as a guide, you’ll always find the way back. So start your search for cheap hotels in New Orleans now and begin your journey to this mystical city.