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Visiting New Orleans in the Spring

Updated on February 5, 2014

The beauty of New Orleans can be overpowered by only one entity, nature. The landscape of southern Louisiana is blanketed by vegetation of all species and people must coexist in this land where pitcher plants can kill honeysuckles. Yet people thrive in this wild wetland. Mardi Gras takes places each year with joy and happiness displayed everywhere, especially in the French Quarter. Jazz bands and Krewes march to the happy tone of the saxophone. There are people everywhere. Even during the months when Mardi Gras is not as prevalent, the air, architecture, tours, and restaurants are still full of Jazz and that exciting New Orleans atmosphere. This scene lays the foundation for some things new comers to New Orleans may not know.

Near the French Market
Near the French Market

1. Watch out for Dangerous Sidewalks

I saw women walking around in 6-inch heels and the sidewalks are more than uneven. I stepped into a hole a half a foot deep. I nearly sprained my ankle and I was wearing tennis shoes. In fact, the sidewalks were so bad that I had to hold my husband's arm the whole time we were in the Quarter. I kept imagining how people managed walking around New Orleans when Mardi Gras was in full swing on Fat Tuesday and there are thousands of people who flock to the French Quarter.

2. Weather is Variable

My husband and I thought, "It's Louisiana. It must be warm all year like Florida." We were WRONG! On a parade night during February, we froze watching a parade downtown. I can only imagine how cold the cheerleaders marching in the parade were. There is even a ghost story we heard on a tour about a young woman freezing to death on a roof, or balcony (depending on your haunted tour guide), while proving her undying love for her husband. She is still seen lingering about on cold nights. So, be sure to check the local forecast before packing or take some light winter clothes, just in case.

Croissant D'Or- Best made-from-scratch French pastry place
Croissant D'Or- Best made-from-scratch French pastry place

3. Try the Food!

You did not go all the way to New Orleans in the southern United States to eat at McDonald's, Arby's, Denny's, or the Hard Rock Cafe. Try the Shrimp Bar-B-Que, Gumbo, Turtle Soup, or, dare I name it?, a Po' Boy! You must try these delectable delights at a local restaurant where culture and service are prevalent in the historic dining rooms and the very people who are privileged enough to know how to cook food the way it should be made.


Bathrooms in the Louisiana State Museum
Bathrooms in the Louisiana State Museum

4. Hurricane Katrina Still Lives

The population declined and many businesses did not come back. If you drive into New Orleans from the east you will still see the abandoned Six Flags Over Louisiana amusement park rides just off the interstate. The ghosts of the flood waters, the destruction caused, and the people who never returned are prevalent every where but for $40 you can tour the decimated Lower Ninth Ward. I learned that instead of riding in an air conditioned bus, people can volunteer to help rebuild New Orleans. There are many organizations that willingly allow volunteers to help for a few days, a day, a few hours, and they truly appreciate the gesture. I suggest using the website lowerninth.org. Tauck tours also gives part of its tour fee to the lowerninth.org. In the end, I would simply like to see more people helping out a community that lost everything; I hope you feel the same way too.

Jackson Square
Jackson Square

5. Have Fun!

Do you know when the next time you will be in New Orleans? There are many historical and interesting places to see while in New Orleans. Take a tour, try a cafe flambe or a signature hurricane, try a culinary tour or a cooking class, check out a museum, volunteer, go shopping, and take a lot of pictures. Have a conversation with some of the locals and hear their wonderfully soft accents. Your time in New Orleans will fly by and I can guarantee you will miss it later when you are remember how nice the southern hospitality you received was. So, you might as well have the time of your life while you are there.

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, Book 1)
Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, Book 1)

A little Anne Rice because everyone likes a good vampire story in New Orleans.

 

© 2012 morningstar18

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    • morningstar18 profile image
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      morningstar18 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Thank you again for commenting. Those are some excellent tips. My husband and I took a culinary tour by a local foodee while we were there and he let us into a lot of locally known facts about New Orleans cuisine. I seriously thought the food was supposed to be spicy and, since I am not a fan of spicy food, I was a bit upset about that prospect; however, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the hot stuff is not at all part of the traditional New Orleans food. The food we tried was absolutely great...I miss the food, among other things. I too thought it would take decades to get the city back to what it was before Katrina but it seems to be thriving and I hear it is getting better and better every year.

      You are lucky to live so close to New Orleans. I had the time of my life there and I probably will not be back for another year.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 5 years ago

      My wife is from New Orleans and we only live 70 miles away. I have only two warnings about New Orleans.

      Stay on the main streets at night. Those little allies in the French Quarter can be dangerous.

      The food is great. Avoid all chains and all the places where you heard you have to stand in line for two hours. Find the small restaurants and make sure they serve real gumbo and not tourist gumbo. Tourist gumbo is for those people who expect the food to be overly spicy, so the amount of hot sauce is excessive.

      You usually cannot go wrong with crawfish etoufee, fried oysters,or a hot roast been sandwich (they can be real messy). Be sure and visit Royal Sreet and Jackson Square. It is a great city and frankly it is coming back better that I thought it would following Katrina. It still has a long ways to go, but progress is being made.

    • morningstar18 profile image
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      morningstar18 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Thank you for commenting. I could not agree with you more. New Orleans had always been a travel destination for me but I was always scared to go after Hurricane Katrina. The locals say New Orleans is not at all the same, especially during Mardi Gras, but the French Quarter still held much allure for me because it was not very damaged during the hurricane and has since come back in full swing. The areas devastated by the hurricane are in northern New Orleans. I would not let them keep you from visiting. It truly is an amazing place.

    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 5 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Very effective short hub. Nicely done. I've always wanted to visit New Orleans, but the Hurricane Katrina bit has put me off quite a lot.