New Orleans. It's like a collection of greatest hits that reaches back to the first notes of jazz. It's like your grandmother's photo album full of grainy scenes and panoramas and stories, some older than America. It's like the setting of an epic, mixing Caribbean, Spanish, and American into a picture-perfect backdrop for romance. New Orleans is all these things and more. There's an essence to the city – a soul – that speaks to everyone. You can't miss it. And you can't resist it.
Experience ESSENCE Festival in South Africa
People come to New Orleans for many different reasons, but when they get here, everyone discovers what may very well be the city’s greatest lesson – how to live in the moment. Know where you came from. That means keeping your old buildings up and passing your stories and traditions down. Slow down. Take your time at the table, make the most of every solo and never go by car when you can go by carriage. Engage the senses. A body needs to feel alive, to feel appreciated, to feel special. Go shopping. Dine and dance. Play a game of chance. Celebrate everything. Every bite, every tune, every moment – from birth right up to and including your demise. Make rituals of your festivals. Get together. Have fun.
You'd know you were in New Orleans even with your eyes closed … because of the people. The soul of New Orleans is inseparable from its people. You can hear the love in their expressions. You can see their skill in the architecture, with carriageways and courtyards that take you back to Spain and rows of shotgun houses that recall the city's Afro-Caribbean heritage. You can get a taste of their passion in the city's culinary traditions. Boiled crawfish and soft-shell crab. Gumbo and stewed greens. Bread pudding and sweet pralines. The city's chefs feed more than your appetite – they feed your spirit. And you can feel New Orleanians' joys and struggles in the jazz, jump, gospel, and blues that play long into the night. So look around and get to know the places, the flavors, the sounds – and most of all the people – that make New Orleans feel so right.
In New Orleans, you don't "get up" in the morning. You rise. You don't "go get breakfast." You stroll out for fresh beignets and café au lait. There are entire rituals around starting and ending the day, and for some, lodging is a big part of that experience. For others, a trip to New Orleans is more about how long you can stay up before having to go to sleep. Either way, this city's got you covered. So choose your speed, find the right spot, and the good times will greet you when you arrive.