Annual Meeting > About New Orleans
About New Orleans
Few American cities have as much character as New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a Southern city that is a melting pot of cultural influences from France, Spain, and African cultures. Even the architecture is reminiscent of European cities. Over 80 percent of the buildings in New Orleans’ historic Uptown district were built before 1935. The Garden District is one of the best-preserved collections of 19th century mansions in the American South. The St. Charles Avenue streetcar line is the nation’s only surviving historic streetcar system, and dates back to the early 1920s. Even the horse-drawn carriage rides—clearly a tourist attraction in other American cities—look completely natural in the streets of New Orleans.
There are plenty of must-do and must-see experiences in this unique American city. The spirit of the annual Mardi Gras celebration (which takes place in February of 2018) lingers all year long on Bourbon Street, which extends for 13 blocks from Canal to Esplanade Avenue through the heart of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to accommodate the throngs of visitors to the Big Easy, and New Orleans Jazz is an essential element of the party atmosphere. There are also quieter adventures to be had in this neighborhood, like fresh beignets (square, French-style donuts) and chicory coffee at Café du Monde.
Clearly, New Orleans is a food-lover’s paradise, with several dishes and drinks that are distinctly associated with this city: gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, red beans and rice, muffulettas, po’ boys, praline candies and the ubiquitous, syrupy red drink in the oversized glass—the hurricane, originally concocted at Pat O’Brien’s. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse also owns four restaurants in the city.
For anyone who has ever traveled to New Orleans, this city has already earned a special place in their heart. After recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans tourism enjoyed a record-breaking 10.45 million visitors in 2016. International travelers should also be happy to learn that British Airways has recently launched direct flights between London and New Orleans. The Big Easy invites everyone to abide by the Cajun expression: Laissez les bons temps rouler–“Let the good times roll.”