New Orleans encompasses 4,190 square miles or 10,850 square kilometers and is approximately 90 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River. Step back in time and take a stroll in the French Quarter and Jackson Square or visit the plantations and take a swamp tour. The architecture, geography and ambiance of New Orleans is unique.
In 1718 on the banks of the Mississippi, Sieur de Bienville, a French Canadian, and John Law, the Scottish Minister of Finance for France chose this location to create a new French city; they christened it after the new Regent of France, Duc d'Orleans. Today's French Quarter is the city they mapped out with only a triangle and T-square. After the fire of 1788, New Orleans was rebuilt and quickly grew to a prosperous port city that opened the interior of North America to world trade. Today New Orleans is a major tourist, business, and cultural center for the entire Gulf Region.
Population: Orleans 476,625, Jefferson 455,043, St. Bernard 64,097, St. Charles 47,031, St. John 42,260, St. Tammany 178,483, St. James 20,959, Plaquemines 25,848.
Land Area: 180.6 square miles.
Flight times: Chicago-1 hr., NYC-2.5 hrs., Los Angeles-3.5 hrs., Miami-2.5 hrs.
Expect warm and humid weater from the spring to early fall months, however the winters tend to be mild. As with any Gulf of Mexico lacation, rain may be persistant.
Average Daily High/Low Temperature:
Spring: High 78 / Low 59
Summer: High 91 / Low 72
Fall: High 79 / Low 60
Winter: High 63 / Low 44
Official Site of Greater New Orleans www.neworleanscvb.com
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International (www.flymsy.com):
Airport Shuttle Service: the official transportation shuttle service for the city. Travels can purchase tickets for $10 each way from the Airport Shuttle information desks. These desks are staffed 24 hours a day by informed personnel who can answer travel-related questions and give helpful visitor information about city. The shuttle departs from the airport every 10 minutes. (504) 592-0555.
Airport Limousine Service: Non Scheduled walk up limousine and sedan service available from the airport to the Central Business District (CBD) and the French Quarter. The rate is $35.00 for one or two people and $10.00 per additional passenger for up to 8 passengers. Limousine information desks are located on the lower level baggage claim areas.
Jefferson Transit (www.gcr1.com/jet): A ride on this public bus costs $1.50 per person which includes one transfer good from any Jefferson Transit bus. This bus picks up outside Entrance #7 on the upper level and runs every 15-20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. (504) 367-7433.
Greyhound (www.greyhound.com): Pick-up for the Greyhound Bus is located on the upper level outside Entrance #7. For information fares and scheduling, call (504) 525-9371. Tickets are available from the driver.
Public bus: Schedules available at the RTA office: 2817 Canal Street, 248-3900. Fare: $1.25.
The New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad: There are two lines: St. Charles Avenue/Carrollton Avenue ($1.25) and Riverfront ($1.50) lines - exact fare required; transfers to public bus: 25 cents Schedules are available at the Regional Transit Authority office: 2817 Canal Street, 248-3900.
Amtrak (www..amtrak.com): Union Station is located at 1001 Loyola Avenue. (800) 872-7245.
Taxis: A cab ride costs $28.00 from the airport to the Central Business District for one or two persons and $12.00 (per passenger) for three or more passengers. Pick-up is on the lower level, outside the baggage claim area.
United Cabs (504) 522-9771
Checker Yellow Cabs (504) 525-3311
Coleman Cab (504) 586-0222
The French Quarter: is the New Orleans that most of the world knows. This may be the most photgraphed neighborhood in the country. New Orleans began here in 1718 and despite floods, hurricanes, wars, fires, plagues and the march of progress, the French Quarter has not only survived, but achieved legendary international status.
Jackson Square: Is surrounded by historic buildings and filled with plenty of the city's atmospheric street life, the heart of the French Quarter is today a beautifully landscaped park. The square was founded in 1718 as a military marching ground. A statue of Andrew Jackson, victorious leader of the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, commands the center of the square. Among the notable buildings around the square is St. Louis Cathedral. Two Spanish colonial-style buildings, the Cabildo and the Presbytère, flank the cathedral. The park is landscaped in a sun pattern, with walkways set like rays streaming out from the center, a popular garden design in the royal court of King Louis XIV, the Sun King. Park open daily 8 am -6 pm.
The Presbytere: Jackson Sq., (504) 568-6968. The building was originally designed to house the priests of the cathedral; instead, it served as a courthouse under the Spanish and later under the Americans. The Mardi Gras exhibit fills the first two floors with hundreds of pieces of Carnival memorabilia, including elaborate costumes and jewelry. Interactive displays and videos illustrate the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and other parts of the state. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am- 5pm. Admission: Adults-$5, Seniors, Students and Active Military-$4, Children 12 & under-free.
Beauregard-Keyes House: 1113 Chartres St., (504) 523-7257 A stately 19th-century mansion with period furnishings that was the temporary home of Confederate general P. G. T. Beauregard. Noted for the beautiful walled garden at the corner of Chartres and Ursulines streets. Landscaped in the same sun pattern as Jackson Square, the garden is in bloom throughout the year. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-3 pm. Admission: Adults-$5, Senior Citizens and Students-$4, Children-$2.
The Cabildo: Jackson Sq., (504) 568-6968 Dating from 1799, this Spanish colonial-style building is named for the Spanish council or cabildo that met there. The Cabildo served as the city hall and then the supreme court. Three floors of multicultural exhibits recount Louisiana history ? from the colonial period through Reconstruction ? with countless artifacts, including the death mask of Napoléon Bonaparte. In 1988 the building suffered terrible damage from a four-alarm fire. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults-$5, Students and Seniors-$5.
Hermann Grima/Gallier House (www.hgghh.org): 1132 Royal St., (504) 525-5661. Museum / Gallery Famous New Orleans architect James Gallier who designed this building as his family home in 1857. Today it contains an excellent collection of early Victorian furnishings. Open Monday-Friday with tours at 10 and 11 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm. Admission: Adults-$6, Seniors and Students-$5.
Woldenberg Riverfront Park: A stretch of green from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue that overlooks the Mississippi River as it curves around New Orleans. The wooden promenade section in front of the French Quarter is called Moon Walk, named for Mayor Moon Landrieu, under whose administration in the 1970s the riverfront beyond the flood wall was first opened to public view. Woldenberg Park is named for its benefactor, local businessman Malcolm Woldenberg.
Civil War Museum at Confederate Hall (ww.confederatemuseum.com): 929 Camp St., (504) 523-4522. Built at Lee Circle in 1891 to house a collection of artifacts from the Civil War It is the oldest museum in the state. The displays include uniforms, flags, and personal items from soldiers.Open Monday-Saturday Admission: Adults-$7, Seniors, Students, and Active Military-$5, Children 12 & under-$2.
National D-Day Museum (www.ddaymuseum.org): 929 Camp St., (504) 523-4522. Founded by Stephen Ambrose, professor emeritus at the University of New Orleans, this moving, well-executed examination of World War II covers far more ground than simply the 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy. The exhibits are spread through a series of small galleries that fill one half of the museum's large, industrial warehouse space; the other half of the warehouse is open, showcasing fighter planes and a replica of the Higgins boat troop-landing craft, which were manufactured in New Orleans. Admission: $10. Daily 9-5.
New Orleans Museum of Art (www.noma.org): Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA, (504) 488-2631. At the main entrance to City Park this traditional fine arts museum, built in 1911, has added modern wings to the original structure in the 1990s. The jeweled treasures, particularly some of the famous eggs by Peter Carl Fabergé, are a favorite exhibit, along with European and American paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photography. An Asian art wing includes a selection of Japanese painting of the Edo period. Open Wednesday 12 pm-8 pm, Thursday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults-$8, Seniors and Students-$7, Children-$4.
Old US Mint: 400 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, (504) 568-6968. Minting began in 1838 in this ambitious, Ionic structure, the project of President Andrew Jackson. The New Orleans mint was to provide currency for the South and the West, which it did until the Confederacy began minting its own currency here in 1861. When supplies ran out, the building served as a barracks, then a prison, for Confederate soldiers; the production of U.S. coins recommenced only in 1879. It stopped for good in 1909. The federal government handed the Old Mint over to Louisiana in 1966; the state now uses the quarters to exhibit collections of the Louisiana State Museum. The principal exhibit here is the New Orleans Jazz Collection, a brief tour through the history of jazz. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults-$5, Senior, Students and Active Military-$4.
Audubon Park (www.auduboninstitute.org): 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, (504) 586-8777. This is a large, lush stretch of green between St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street, continuing across Magazine Street to the river. It contains the world-class Audubon Zoo, a 1.7-mi track for running, walking, or biking, picnic and play areas, a golf course, riding stables, a tennis court, and a river view. Calm lagoons wind through the park, harboring egrets, catfish, and other indigenous species. Free admission.
City Park (www.neworleanscitypark.com): Bordered by City Park Ave., Robert E. Lee Blvd., Marconi Dr., and Bayou St. John, New Orleans, LA, (504) 483-4888.
One of the largest urban recreation areas in the country, a great place to picnic, walk or jog, fish, feed the ducks, or just relax. The 1,500-acre park has the largest number of mature live oak trees in the world. Also included within City Park's boundaries are the Timken Center, New Orleans Botanical Garden, Storyland, Carousel Gardens, New Orleans Museum of Art, tennis courts, and a golf course.