Life isn't always so simple in The Big Easy. New Orleans has had its fair share of troubles and setbacks over the years, but through it all, it has managed to stay on top as a popular travel destination.
Not only does it host the Essence Music Festival every year - which featured heavily in the hilarious Girls Trip - it has a long history of incredible music, exceptional food, and is an oasis of proud black heritage and Creole culture in the Deep South.
Here are five reasons why you'll want to drop everything and hop it to New Orleans as soon as you can.
The incredible musical heritage
Preservation Hall’s three-part mission to uphold traditional New Orleans jazz is simple: Preserve. Perpetuate. Protect. - The venue does so through multiple shows every single night of the week. And even while some members are touring the world, there’s always someone to hold down the fort (and keep the beat) on St. Peter Street. - Have you experienced this institution? Tell us with #OneTimeInNOLA.
New Orleans is home to many different music styles. Historically known for its own unique style of jazz, visitors to The Big Easy might want to pay a visit to the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The local jazz style is known as 'Dixieland' named after 'The Original Dixieland Jazz Band' from the early 20th century. Take a trip to Preservation Hall to hear the best of the city's traditional jazz musicians.
If hip-hop is more your sound, you don't have to stray far to find it in the home of bounce music. N.E.R.D.'s track 'Lemon' featuring Rihanna takes it beats directly from this NOLA-grown musical style. Some even claim that twerking was first popularised due to bounce music.
The legendary Essence Festival
It doesn't take a movie to show the incredible atmosphere at Essence Festival, but Girls Trip's celebration of black womanhood certainly helped! It started in 1995 to celebrate 25 years of the iconic magazine, but we're glad it didn't stay a one-off.
This year's festival will be held on the 5th - 8th July at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. Legends Janet Jackson, Mary J Blige, and Erykah Badu, and many more will grace the stage in this explosion of black music and culture. This "party with a purpose" is set to be as big and bold as ever in 2018.
The quaintness of the French Quarter
New Orleans has some incredible architecture. You'll feel transported to le continent as you stroll through the historical centre of New Orleans. The French Quarter is home to incredible food, an array of outstanding hotels, and amazing architecture, echoing its fast as a French territory, and emphasising the cultural fusion that has defined this great city.
The magnificent madness of Mardi Gras
The phrase Mardi Gras is practically synonymous with New Orleans. An annual explosion of color, music, and costumes historically marks the last day before the start of Lent.
The French for 'Fat Tuesday', Mardi Gras was traditionally the day observant Christians finished off all of their rich foods before the onset of Lent, 40 days of austere habits and prayer leading to Easter.
In New Orleans, a legendary street parade and panoply of sights and sounds marks this day, in a fashion which has made the city world-famous for its celebration. Definitely on the bucket list!
The fantastic food
"In New Orleans life is a pedestrian. People navigate their streets like fish: The streets are our medium, a fluid and changing spectacle that is also the stuff we breathe in and out. It's a city for watching and being watched, a voyeur voyee paradise that reaches an apogee at Carnival, when everything that can be shown is made manifest, everything that was hidden is displayed, and one's senses are ambushed." Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans Mon Amour, Twenty Years of Writing From The City
New Orleans is a cultural melting pot - so it's probably not surprising that the city's culinary heritage is just as diverse. Having been under French, Spanish, and American rule, and with a significant black population with influences from African countries, New Orleans has a flavour all its own.
Whether you've got a taste for the deep African influences of Southern soul food like gumbo or jumbalaya, or seafood fits more to you palette, New Orleans has it all. Heavily influenced by French cuisine, Cajan dishes are a mainstay, and Creole food, the ultimate fusion of French, Spanish, West African, and Native American food is native to the city, and can only be found in its truly authentic form in The Big Easy.
Well that settles it. Next vacation, New Orleans!
Have you been to New Orleans? If you're planning a trip, what are you most excited to see? Let us know on Twitter and the comments below!
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