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The city of New Orleans is known for its delicious food, world-famous cocktails, and, of course, wild Mardi Gras celebrations. More than one million spectators throng the French Quarter each February for the colorful costumes and an excuse to party — but that’s only a small portion of what the city has to offer during Mardi Gras. Look beyond the vividly colored feathered boas and tourist-filled bars lining Bourbon Street to discover that the locals have plenty of other great ways to celebrate. Here are some insider tips to help you experience a more authentic Mardi Gras in NOLA, like the locals do. Let the good times roll!
The parades are just as colorful, the costumes just as lavish, and the music and food are just as non-stop. But Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, Louisiana is more civilized (and more suitable for all-ages fun) than the bigger and more famous one in New Orleans, just 90 minutes away. Here are the highlights of the celebration, plus the multitude of things to do, eat, and drink beyond the festivities.
No matter the season, there’s always a good reason to visit New Orleans. The city’s party-hearty spirit knows no seasonal boundaries, despite revving up for major notable events, like Mardi Gras. But what if you want your New Orleans vacation to be leisurely and (a little) quiet? We recommend visiting the Crescent City during early December, in between major holidays.
If you’re headed to New Orleans, do yourself a favor and don’t spend all your time in the French Quarter. Just across Route 90 and down the famous St. Charles Avenue, the uptown neighborhood offers parks, stunning architecture, and river views as well as some of the city’s best in food, drink, and music. Here are a few laid-back restaurants and bars for any foodie itinerary.
We may have missed National Ice Cream Day (it was on July 20), but National Ice Cream Month continues. Why not celebrate with a couple of scoops of something more adventurous than vanilla? Read more
There’s no excuse like being on vacation to indulge in decadent dishes that you’d feel guilty about tucking into at home, right? Plus, eating local is part of the cultural experience of any destination. Here, five bizarre and over-the-top regional eats — and where to try them if you so dare:
It’s impossible to see all of New Orleans in a weekend. With award-winning restaurants, endless nightlife, and picture-perfect neighborhoods, it seems like you could spend a lifetime of weekends exploring the city. But many people venture here for just a short time, whether they turn up to hear incredible music, tour lavish historic homes, or just party until dawn. Here’s a quick glimpse at the Crescent City as seen over one summer weekend — strictly a beginner’s tour. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and plan on repeat visits to this incredible destination.
There’s no time like a warm summer to hop on your bike and see how far you can go. When you’re exploring a new city, cycling is also a great way to cover more ground and getting a bit of exercise to boot. Here are seven great trails with fantastic views to add to your next itinerary: Read more
Not just for summer, food festivals provide a year-round way for hungry travelers to sample a mouthwatering variety of dishes — without shelling out for a ton of meals out on the town. We’ve rounded up a few tasty celebrations and events across the U.S., from classic to quirky. The next time you want a taste of the local dining scene on a trip, here’s where to tempt your taste buds:
If you want to head to New Orleans when it’s cheap, go there in summer. Hotels lower prices in August, and you can find round-trip flights from many parts of the U.S. for under $300. Why? It’s hot. It’s also hurricane season — a thing that’s not to be taken lightly in New Orleans. But if you can deal with the risk and brave the heat, it’s a great time to go. Crowds are smaller. Lines for restaurants are shorter. And there’s something about 90-degree weather that feels right in New Orleans — like it’s part of the city’s charm. If you’re heading down, here’s how to brave the heat:
A big part of the travel experience is bringing a piece of it home, so you can remember where you’ve been long after you’ve returned. We recommend skipping the chintzy souvenir shops and loading up on genuine local goods instead. Here, four ways to find items that really represent the destination, wherever you are.
Most people love a good thrill, and we don’t mean gravity-defying views or insane roller-coaster drops. We’re talking about the hair-raising variety you get from a graveyard tour. Of course, not all cemeteries are all mist and gloom. In fact, it can be easy to confuse some cemeteries with botanical gardens come spring. Come and check out some of America’s most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries – and “meet” their most famous spirits. Read more
What is it about state fairs that fill us with glee? Is it the chance to see our favorite local bands? Mental images of deep fried butter? The smells of food, cattle, and sweat simultaneously wafting through the air?
Whatever it is, hundreds of thousands of people travel to state fairs every year in the hopes of indulging in a few highly calorific snacks and celebrating Americana. While these fairs typically happen in the late summer through the fall, we thought we’d get a head start with 10 quirky attractions that help make this country a little weird, and a lot of fun.
Sure, there’s Pat O’Brien’s, Café du Monde and Acme Oyster House. And you’ll have a great time at all of the above – because these venerable institutions are what New Orleans is all about. But why not hit up some places where you’re more likely to mingle with locals and less likely to be sold a commemorative t-shirt? Here are five places in New Orleans that you probably won’t find in your guidebook.
Beloved for their ability to bring new worlds and characters to life, movies – like travel – help us escape the often mundane reality of day-to-day life. Although they exist only on the big screen, occasionally, you can experience a piece of these worlds in person. Here, seven stunning movie sets you can visit today:
Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia (above): Located in southern Tunisia, Hotel Sidi Driss served as the Lars Family Homestead in “Star Wars IV.” Admittedly, even at $10 per night, staying at the hotel isn’t for everyone. The rooms are basically caves dug out of the ground with a simple mattress on the floor, but hey, if it was good enough for Luke Skywalker, it’s good enough for the diehard fan. If you don’t want to spend the night, you can stop for lunch or beer at the bar. Read more
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