New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport is about 25 minutes from the French Quarter by taxi. The fare is a flat rate of $33 for the first two passengers, plus a surcharge for each additional person. Airport shuttles are slightly more affordable—$20 for a one-way ticket, $38 round-trip—and run every half-hour or so.
The French Quarter is easily navigated on foot, and the city’s streetcars can be useful if you’re planning to explore well-trodden parts of the city like the Garden District, City Park, and the Superdome; a day pass costs $3. For everywhere else, taxis are readily available.
In Cajun cooking, the holy trinity is a riff on mirepoix that refers to onion, celery, and bell peppers and is the base for iconic dishes from gumbo to jambalaya. If the city of New Orleans had a holy trinity, it would be food, music, and the Saints. To understand the city's culture, go for Friday lunch at Galatoire’s, grab a bench at Preservation Hall, and catch a game at the Superdome. There’s also a burgeoning gallery scene along Julia Street and a handful of worthwhile museums, including the Contemporary Arts Center and the National WWII Museum.
New Orleans is a city that likes to get its party on, and its festivals are nothing short of epic. The most famous are Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, but also of note are alternative music festivals like Satchmo Summerfest and Crescent City Blues and BBQ, plus the (free) French Quarter Festival. Even if you don’t plan your trip around a special event, there’s almost always a parade or a party going on somewhere in the Big Easy.
After living in the South for several years, Geraldine developed a fondness for grits, gumbo, and all things deep fried. She also loves mini-bars, curated bathroom amenities, and room service in five-star hotels. When she’s not plotting return trips south of the Mason-Dixon line, she lives in Pennsylvania, where she spends her days writing, editing, and testing recipes in her itty-bitty kitchen.