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New Orleans

The City -||- Attractions -||- Mardi Gras -||- Video Play Play -||- News Flash

The City

New Orleans is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. It is a city that gave birth to jazz; that today reflects more architecture from more centuries than any other city in the nation; that serves a wonderful cuisine with European, African and Caribbean traditions, but updated by inventive young chefs. The decorative ironwork, tropical courtyards, centuries-old oak trees, graceful mansions, and charming cottages still grace the city

Encircled by the river, Lake Pontchartrain, bayous, swamps, marshes and wetlands, New Orleans, evolved along ridges, or "cheniers" as they were called, marked by grand Live Oak and tall Magnolia trees. The city’s unique history, combining French, Spanish, African and many other European and Caribbean influences, is vibrant through endless varieties of architecture, music and food.
New Orleans Map
New Orleans covers 4,190 square miles and sits 90 miles north from the mouth of the Mississippi River. New Orleans city proper, shaped like a crescent (thus the nickname the Crescent City), is surrounded by water:
  • The Mississippi River at Canal Street has a width of 2200 feet, a bankside depth of 30-60 feet and a mid-stream depth of 100-180 feet.
  • Lake Pontchartrain, connecting with the Gulf of Mexico, covers an area of 621 square miles. The Causeway connects the south shore to the north shore and spans almost 24 miles, making it the world's longest over-water highway bridge. The Causeway opened in 1956 with a total cost of $51 million.
  • New Orleans is below sea level. Depending on what part of town you are in, you can be from 5-10 feet below sea level. Generally speaking, the closer you are to the river, the higher the elevation.
The Historic French Quarter was laid out in a grid pattern in 1721 and measures six blocks by 13 blocks. It is considered one of America's greatest clusters of authentic Spanish, colonial, and antebellum structures. Even today it is a vibrant neighborhood filled with residences and business establishments.

New Orleans is many cities within one. Be sure to experience not only our famed French Quarter, but also our many other distinct neighborhoods. Use the streetcar to see the majesty of the homes in the Garden District, on the way to our world renowned Audubon Zoo. Visit the 18th century plantation homes along Bayou St. John that lead you to the doorstep of the New Orleans Museum of Art, itself a gateway to the natural beauty of City Park and Lake Pontchartrain.

The City’s official website is located at: http://www.new-orleans.la.us/home/.

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Tourist Attractions

Some of the topmost tourist attractions in New Orleans include:


  • Steamboat/Riverboat Cruises
  • Musée Conti Wax Museum
  • Aquarium and Zoo
  • D-Day Museum
  • Mardi Gras World



  • Harrah’s Casino
  • Royal Carriages
  • Swamp Tours
  • Plantation Homes, etc.

A Tourists Heaven

The city is a hot place for the tourists all around the year and it is ably prepared to host the visitors. New Orleans restaurants are considered some of the best in the world, and there should be no trouble finding one in any area of the city. There are 3,068 restaurants in the New Orleans Metropolitan area. There are approximately 33,303 number of hotel rooms in the city; 1,600 number of taxis, 200 limousines, and 12 rental car agencies with a fleet of 9000.

New Orleans: Voted Best by the Best*

  • It is often said that New Orleans is its own unique place. This diverse environment keeps New Orleans at the top of many lists. The following are some of the reasons why New Orleans is America’s Favorite City.
  • New Orleans was named one of the top 10 “Cities that Rock” by the editors of Esquire Magazine.
  • Meetings South Magazine has recognized the French Quarter as the top attraction for southern destination as voted on by readers.
  • In March 2003, the readers of Bon Appétit magazine chose New Orleans as their third favorite city for dining.
  • In 2003, AmericanStyle magazine ranked New Orleans as the 11th “artsiest” city in the country.
  • Longue Vue House and Gardens, a historic estate museum, was named as “One of the 10 Great Places to Steal Ideas for Your Garden” by USA Today in 2003.
  • In Travel and Leisure’s 2002 “World’s Best” readers’ poll, New Orleans was named in the “Top 10 Best Cities” to visit in the U.S. and Canada.
  • In Summer 2003, Romantic Country named New Orleans as one of America’s 10 most romantic places.
  • The NOMCVB has been named as one of the top 5 convention and visitors bureaus by Meetings & Conventions magazine receiving the publication’s 2003 Gold Service “Elite” award.
  • The November 2003 issue of Esquire Magazine has named Bourbon House as one of the best new restaurants in America for 2003.
  • Condé Nast Traveler ranked New Orleans fourth among U.S. cities in its 2003 Readers’ Choice Awards’ Best in the World.
  • Meetings & Conventions presented New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau with the 2002 Gold Service ELITE Award, a new prize reserved for the top five CVBs in the nation.
  • NOMCVB won a 2002 “Planners’ Choice Award” from the subscribers of Meeting News.
  • In July 2002, the Windsor Court was named number 9 of 100 in the Top 100 Hotels in Continental U.S. & Canada. It was also named in the Top 100 Hotels worldwide.
  • In Food & Wine’s “Food in America Poll 2002,” readers rated New Orleans as the second-best food city in America and the best city for famous hometown foods.
  • In March 2002, Travel and Leisure magazine picked New Orleans as the 2nd friendliest place in the nation.
  • In 2001, Disney’s Family Fun magazine ranked the New Orleans Audubon Zoo and Aquarium as the Top 4 in the country.
  • In 2001, JazzReview.com named New Orleans as the best city for a live jazz scene.
  • The Condé Nast Traveler 2001 Reader’s Choice Awards designated New Orleans the 3rd best city to visit.
  • In 2000, Condé Nast Traveler picked New Orleans as one of its 50 must-see places.
  • According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, New Orleans placed fifth in the nation for the number of exhibitions hosted in 2000.
  • In January 2004, the American Bus Association presented the Southwest Louisiana CVB one of the “Ten Best” program awards for its “Creole Nature Trail.”

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Mardi Gras

An observer once said that New Orleanians and Cajuns are either having a party, recuperating from a party, or planning a party. The biggest and best party of all and the most famous celebration is Mardi Gras, "the greatest free show on earth."

Mardi Gras dates back to 1837 when the first street parade took place. The carnival season begins January 6th (12 days after Christmas) on the Twelfth Night with the first of nearly 100 private masked balls. The dazzling Mardi Gras parades feature marching bands and elaborate papier mache floats with maskers tossing trinkets, beads and doubloons to the crowd. On Mardi Gras Day, the day before Ash Wednesday, the largest and longest parades are held, everyone joins in the costuming, young and old alike, resident and tourist.
New Orleans, the birthplace of Louisiana Mardi Gras, undoubtedly boasts the largest celebration. A huge street party begins in the French Quarter weeks before "Fat Tuesday" and culminates in the magnificent parades with larger-than-life floats that often make the major network news broadcast. For sheer excitement, this experience is beyond compare.
Learn more about Mardi Gras and see parades pictures at http://www.mardigras.com/


Crawfish are found in many places in the world, but it took the Cajuns to appreciate and popularize the delicious taste of this small fresh water cousin of the lobster. Crawfish can be found everywhere in Louisiana, including rice fields, lakes and puddles. Louisiana's main sources of crawfish are the Atchafalaya Basin and the many commercial ponds in which they are cultivated. Louisiana produces 90 percent of the crawfish in the world.

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The city of New Orleans is connected through the air, trains, and busses. There is also an excellent internal transportation in the city through the public busses, street cars, taxi-cabs, and horse-drawn carriages. A detail of the available transportation is available at website: http://www.atneworleans.com/body/transportation.htm.

The city’s airport code is MSY and it is known as "Louis Armstrong International Airport".
official website: www.flymsy.com/

News Flash from New Orleans

SEG Meeting Successful in New Orleans, With Two Other Groups in the City This Week

  • The fall convention season in New Orleans is underway, with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists wrapping up their conference with glowing praise for the city. Arriving this week are over 3,200 delegates with Avaya, the first Fortune 500 company to meet at the Morial Convention Center since Hurricane Katrina, and the American Society of Human Genetics, with 5,200 attendees. Click the link to see video testimonials of SEG meeting planners and executives complimenting their New Orleans experience. [ more ]

New Orleans' Own Emeril Lagasse Appears on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Week

  • Emeril Lagasse, world-famous chef who honed his skills in the restaurants of New Orleans, will showcase our city's unique culture on two of television's most popular talk shows this week: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on October 10 and the Ellen DeGeneres Show on October 12. [more]

Win a New Year's Eve Cruise for Two from New Orleans on Royal Caribbean

  • Cruise ships are back in New Orleans! For a New Year's Eve to remember, register to win a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas from New Orleans on December 30, 2006 for 7 nights, with port charges included. [ more ]

New Orleans Residents Loyal to Hometown and Choose to Rebuild, not Relocate

  • Most New Orleans-area property owners are showing a strong preference for restoring their old neighborhoods rather than taking the money to start a new life elsewhere. [ more ]

Links of Interest

  • Meeting Facilities
  • What Our Clients Say
  • Meeting Planner Toolkit
  • Online RFP

Conventions are back in New Orleans

  • New Orleans was Happy to Host Successful American Library Association Conference: The NOMCVB was proud to help host the annual meeting of the American Library Association, which was held June 22-27. Nearly 17,000 librarians from all over the country and hundreds of exhibitors from the literary industry are enjoying the unique charms of our great city. The response from these visitors has been overwhelmingly positive: they are extremely pleased to once again take part in the New Orleans experience and witness our commitment to making their visit exceptional. Stay tuned for more information on www.neworleanscvb.com. [ More ]
  • IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society AdCom will be held in New Orleans, November 11 at the Sheraton New Orleans.

Library Community Draws National Praise as it Helps New Orleans Recover From Hurricane Katrina
With the eyes of the nation on New Orleans' recovery from Hurricane Katrina, nearly 17,000 librarians,
exhibitors and library supporters attended the first citywide convention held in the Big Easy since the storm.More...

New Orleans in the News: Read good news written daily about New Orleans in this new feature on the NOMCVB Web site. More...

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