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Sheree Zielke
World Traveler, Writer & Photographer

A Baby Boomer who loves travel, travel writing, photography, teaching digital camera and photography, and sharing travel tips and stories.

Do You Want to Really Experience New Orleans? Then Get Off Bourbon Street!

Yes, it's true. Bourbon Street, with its wild night life and questionable moral environment, is part of the New Orleans experience; but it isn't a true representation of this old American city. "The Big Easy" is much more complex than that.

As one resident put it, "Bourbon Street is for the tourists, and the eighteen-year-old locals." The real New Orleans, the true character of the "Crescent City," lies in its crumbling cemeteries, its vintage green streetcars, its crawfish boils, its dilapidated jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street, its spicy Creole food, its unique Zydeco music, and its vine-covered weather-tempered brick buildings.

Oh, how I miss this quirky old city. Like the great foods it has become so famous for, New Orleans is a complex dish; the Louisiana city is the result of an intricate recipe filled with unique ingredients: the old wooden seats of the Riverfront trolley car, the colors of the goods in the French Market; the scent and sight of a hot beignet snowed over in powdered sugar; the charming horse-drawn carriages out front of Jackson Square; the lacy wrought iron Spanish railings surrounding balconies in the French Quarter; the deep boom of a paddle-wheel steamer's horn; and the laissez-faire attitude of the New Orleans people, an attitude that has held strong, even in the face of their most recent catastrophic events: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


When planning a trip to New Orleans, stay in the old French Quarter, if you must. You won't regret your decision, so long as you aren't trapped in the night-time racket of Bourbon Street. A cab from the airport will cost only $28, and you'll love the central location; you can get everywhere from the French Quarter by walking, driving, or riding in one of the city's charming streetcars. Buy a trolley pass at the Jax Brewery on Toulouse Street -- a 3-day pass is an affordable $12, and you can ride as often as you like.

Ride the streetcars, all the streetcars. You'll love the big open-air experience, and the sights. The trolleys run frequently, even on the weekends. It'll take some time getting used to boarding, however. Watch what other people do; you'll get the hang of boarding these wonderful cars quickly. The kids will love the adventure.

HINT: Take the Canal Street trolley to the end of Canal Street to see huge Irish cemeteries. They're not as old as the St. Louis cemeteries, but they make for a wonderful adventure.

HINT: Ride the Riverfront trolley line down to the French Market, and stay on. Now, push the back of your seat in the opposite direction, and re-seat yourself. You will now be facing in the right direction. Ride the car to the other end of the line.


To read this entire article, please use this link:  http://www.helium.com/items/999141-travel-destination-new-orleans-louisiana


Sheree Zielke
Edmonton, Alberta Canada



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