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New Orleans, Louisiana is a major U.S. port city and historically the largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in southeastern Louisiana along the Mississippi River, just south of Lake Pontchartrain, and is coextensive with Orleans Parish.

New Orleans remains a major port city due to its location near the Gulf of Mexico and along the Mississippi River, making it a hub for goods which travel to and from Latin America.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is proud of its well-known nickname, "Big Easy", because it so aptly describes the relaxed, hospitable attitude of this lovely city, steeped in history and intertwining cultures.

Today, New Orleans continues to flourish. It is one of the largest ports in the United States and in the world. Millions have been invested in development and renovation. Yet, with all its modern innovations, the city retains an Old World charm, carefully preserving its history, its reputation for world-famous jazz and outstanding cuisine, and its romantic Creole heritage

Most visitors to New Orleans, begin their sightseeing at the French Quarter (Vieux Carre. This is the oldest part of the city: a mix of clubs, souvenir shops, restaurants, voodoo vendors, and beautiful homes. Some of the most attractive cast-iron balconies can be seen along Royal Street. Royal Street is known for its antique shops and art galleries. Bourbon Street and its cross streets house most of the tourist bars and clubs, but the place where most peope head for music in the French Quarter is in teh area around North Peters, Decatur and North Rampart streets.

Another French Quarter center of activity near the river. is Jackson Square, the hub of that area. It was built as a parade ground for the French Army and was later used by the Spanish, the Confederate and the U.S. armies for the same purpose.

Take a break and climb aboard the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar (at the intersection of Carondelet and Canal), which passes by the Garden District. This area is home to beautiful 19th-century mansions that evoke the Old South. A stroll around the Garden District with its quiet, oak-shaded sidewalks is a welcome contrast to bustling Bourbon Street.

Among New Orleans' peculiarities, and unexpectedly popular tourist stops, are the cemeteries, which are aboveground because the city is well below sea level. The whitewashed tombs look like tiny houses, embellished with ornate ironwork and statues of lambs and angels.

The Belle of Orleans, Harrah's New Orleans, and the Treasure Coast Casino offer 24 hour gaming, live music, and live entertainment.

At Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World you can watch artists preparing floats for Mardi Gras at the workshops and warehouses of the world's largest float builder. Towering figures of Caesar, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Godzilla set the scene.. To get there, take the free ferry at the foot of Canal Street. A free shuttle meets the ferry across the river.

Two of the best places to bike or run are Audubon Park, which has a bike trail, and the peaceful streets of the Garden District. One of the residents' favorite places to jog is along the streetcar lines. If you do this, watch out for cars making quick turns on the short cross streets.

Golf is popular in New Orleans year-round. Visitors can play at a number of public courses, including those in Audubon Park and City Park. For boating and sailing, head over to Lake Pontchartrain.

From art galleries and museums to professional sports, from the high life on Bourbon Street to enchanting riverboat casinos, New Orleans offers every visitor hundreds of entertaining and enjoyable attractions. No wonder New Orleans is known throughout the world as a city where hospitality never ends!
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