Sometime during your visit to New Orleans, find a wrought-iron balcony, an oak-shaded courtyard, or a columned front porch and sit quietly, favourite beverage in hand, at 6 AM. At this hour, when the moist air sits most heavily on the streets, New Orleans is a city of mesmerizing tranquillity and beautiful attractions. By noon, early-morning calm confronts big-city chaos: with all there is to see and hear and eat and drink and do, the old, mystical, weighty spirit in the city's air can at times be frustrating, seeming to prevent you and everyone around you from accomplishing anything too quickly or efficiently. But when it also keeps you from really caring, then you have found the true secret of New Orleans.
Things to Do
New Orleans occupies an 8-mile stretch between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, covering roughly 365 square mi of flat, swamp-drained land. The heart of the city, downtown, includes the famous old area called the Vieux Carré (Old Square), or the French Quarter; the historic African-American district of Tremé; the Central Business District (CBD); and the Warehouse District.
Menu selections at New Orleans's restaurants easily reflect three centuries of multiple cultures gamely contributing to the never-quiet gumbo pot. What influences can you expect to taste? The list is long, but among the ethnic contributors are Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Africa, the Caribbean, and Croatia. Asian influences increasingly add to the mix, as do Latin flavors. The result is a city that can literally feed the masses and do it in a style that will remind them of their home base, or compel them to adopt New Orleans as their new home.
Shopping in New Orleans is like opening a treasure chest in which everything you want is at your fingertips, from rare antiques to novelty T-shirts, artwork, jewelry, and packaged foods that represent the city's flavors and culture. Many will accommodate shoppers' schedules by opening by appointment on days or during hours they otherwise would be closed. It's always a good idea, especially in the French Quarter and Warehouse District where foot traffic is slower, to call before you make a special trip to a shop.
(original information sourced from www.discoveramerica.com)