Senior Travel to New Orleans

Jan 5th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Time for N’Orleans, Seniors.  An apology to y’all. I do not know how I could have skipped around the world and our own country without highlighting New Orleans (NO) much sooner. So I say now… it’s about time! Charles Kuralt, now deceased, from Charles Kuralt’s America wrote, ‘Unique’ is a word that cannot be qualified. It does not mean rare or uncommon; it means alone in the universe. By the standards of grammar and by the grace of God, NO is the unique American place.”

As one travels around the great USA, sooner or later you hopefully will visit NO. This is even more so true if you are associated with a professional association that has its national convention held in NO or if you are a fan of Mardi Gras. Be assured that your visit will be a memorable one. I would advise first timer seniors to visit NO via the Internet and Google. Here you will discover the “Official” NO Tourism Web Site called NewOrleansOnline.com. It is a loaded site and a fine place to search for exciting things to see and do. Many visitors like to read up on history, architecture, food, jazz, etc., and this site has it all. Here you can indulge your senses, savor NO’s rich cultural experience and celebrate everything that – even after 203 years of the greatest achievements and the steepest challenges – still makes New Orleans one of America’s most unique, authentic and enthralling destinations.

In a city shaped like a crescent along the Mississippi it gets tricky to find north, south, east or west so naturally, NO is known at the Crescent City. Sign up for a Free monthly NO newsletter or a NO Official Visitor’s Guide. Check out major streets that include Royal Street, Frenchmen Street, Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue. You can explore the Quarter on your own or you can experience it while learning about it from a knowledgeable tour guide, however I would advise first time visitors to take a tour. By now you know that I am a Grey Line Tour promoter. Check out GL tours that includes all the information you will need to experience Crescent City.

These are the places I recommend for a first time visit:

  • French Quarter. There’s a reason so many visitors flock to the French Quarter every day – both locals and tourists can’t get enough of the unique area’s unique attractions. From the beautiful architecture to art galleries, museums, restaurants, and bars, the French Quarter has something for every senior – no matter what your interests, budget, or age may be. Join up with a tour and learn more about the fascinating history of the area, or spend the entire day exploring and shopping in the area, topping everything off with an excellent meal in a world-famous restaurant and some live music. With so much culture, history, and entertainment, you’ll find a unique and exciting experience around every corner. NO is the birthplace of jazz and the place some of the world’s most popular musicians – from Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt to Lenny Kravitz – have called home. A melting pot of musical inspirations and innovations, NO has embraced music as an indelible part of its history, an important facet of its identity, and one of the most colorful threads in its cultural tapestry. From street performers to intimate clubs, jazz funerals to festivals, and symphonies to headlining rock concerts, music continues to permeate – and enrich – every day of life in the city.
  • Preservation Hall is a “must” for visitors. No visit to the quarter can be said to be complete without seeing this site. Preservation Hall is a noted jazz performance hall located at 726 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter. It hosts nightly concerts featuring a rotating roster of bands. The bands of Preservation Hall typically perform jazz in the New Orleans style. Check out a group on YouTube.
  • And Bourbon Street… Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is NO’s best known street because of its year-round and nearly twenty-four hour a day and seven day a week party atmosphere. It is often compared to Amsterdam with its “anything goes” attitude. The NO motto — Laissez les bon temps rouler or Let the good times roll — is exemplified by the almost 24 hour party atmosphere on the best known party street in NO. Watch your wallets and your purse in this area folks.
  • Getting around NO by streetcar is another great way to see the city. There are three different lines: St. Charles, Canal Street, and the Riverfront, each of which originates downtown but takes you different parts of the city. I loved this trip swaying along St. Charles Avenue through a tunnel.  St. Charles Avenue has been described most aptly as “The Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues.” It is, indisputably, the most superb collection of great mansions of the South. The Avenue offers to all an open opportunity to enjoy the lofty magnificence of true, gracious living from 19th century New Orleans. Don’t miss it.
  • Reminiscent of some European markets, the French Market features shopping, dining and music in a tradition that is uniquely New Orleans. At the Café du Mondehaving chicory coffee and a beignet is another “must.” Beignets were brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These were fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit. Today, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. If you don’t come away covered with powdered sugar, you have not been officially “baptized.” For night owls the Café can accommodate your coffee needs as it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Near the Café one finds Jackson Square originally known in the 18th Century as ‘Place d’Armes’ and later renamed in honor of the Battle of New Orleans hero, Andrew Jackson, and is a featured attraction in the heart of the French Quarter. This quarter is known as Vieux Carré – or the “Quarter” to locals, sits on a crescent in the Mississippi River on some of the highest ground in New Orleans. Not only is this the city’s cultural hub, but is a community where residents take time to reminisce with neighbors about times gone by and to welcome visitors in the streets. So Laissez les bon temps rouler folks.      jeb


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