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Famous for its French Quarter and notorious for its Mardi Gras celebration, New Orleans is a veritable carnival of sensory delights. From music to food to atmosphere, New Orleans has become a cultural staple of the United States. The historic French Quarter offers cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and hotels that redefine the word 'elegance.' A stay at the luxurious Astor Crowne Plaza, among others, ensures that your visit includes a healthy dose of refined pampering, and if you're going to make the most of this city, you're going to need your rest! It's hard to find better music than New Orleans jazz, and the city makes sure that visitors have every opportunity to experience live concerts by renowned musical talents from across the land.

Preservation Hall, Donna's and the world-famous House of Blues showcase both local favorites and world famous bands on a regular basis. If the kids are along, they'll thrill to the Batman ride at Six Flags New Orleans, Storyland Children's Fairy Tale Park, or just strolling through the Haunted Tour of the French Quarter. Adults can revel in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, including The Cat's Meow karaoke bar, and the awe-inspiring Pat O'Brien's where one can enjoy their celebrated Hurricane drink, and watch water shoot out of the ground and burst into flame in the back courtyard. For those who are looking for tamer entertainment, New Orleans houses the Audubon Zoo, Harrah's New Orleans Casino, the Musee Conti Wax Museum, and the only U.S. Mint that printed money for both the U.S. and the more »

Settled largely by exiled French colonists (the Acadians from Nova Scotia, and French migrants from along the Mississippi, they named the area Terre Bonne meaning 'good earth' because of its abundant wildlife, seafood and fertile land. Natural bounty also earned neighboring LaFourche Parish its name, meaning 'the fork'. The French, however, shouldn't get all the credit for the Cajun culture because in truth, it embodies the intermingling of many nationalities. Each retained some of their native heritage, yet inspired a shared existence that is evidenced as much in the diversity of faces of the local people, as in the local turn of phrase, dialect, Bayou blues music, dance and spicy cuisine.

For generations, these settlers lived harmoniously with their surrounds, building houses and transit systems around the river's ebb, flow and seasonal more »

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