New Orleans 2New Orleans, the capital of the US state of Louisiana, is most famously known for Mardi Gras, and is called the “most unique” and most delicious city in America.
A trip here is certainly worth your while as you can expect to engage your senses—the city looks good and is full of history, the food tastes good, the music sounds good (it’s the birthplace of jazz!) and festivals go all year round.
It is also the city with the most number of historic districts in the US. The architectural styles of the homes, plantations and buildings bring together history and influences from different cultures, giving a distinct character to the city and its locals.
First Filipino settlement
It is interesting to know that one of these cultural influences is Filipino. The first Filipino settlement in the US was around this area, in Saint Malo, in the 1760s. Those first Filipinos, called Manilamen, or Tagalas, were mostly fishermen and introduced dried shrimp or “sea bob” to Cajun cuisine. These Manilamen eventually married Cajun and Indian women and passed on Filipino influences in food and the style in which they built their homes—on stilts over the bayou.
Multicultural influences and a festive atmosphere gave birth to unique flavors and the annual “Coolinary” Restaurant Month, a food and restaurant festival from August 1-31, 2012.
During this time, restaurants all over the city feature excellent two- to three-course lunch menus for $25 or less and three-course dinner menus for $35 or less. Must-eat favorites are beignets (fried choux pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with coffee) at Café du Monde on Dutch Alley, po’boys (submarine sandwiches) from Luizza’s and other Cajun dishes. New Orleans
Tribute to Satchmo
Also in August is the Satchmo Summer Festival where the town pays tribute to jazz legend Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. This event features performances from live bands on stages set up on the Old US Mint grounds near the French Quarter, between the French Market and Esplanade Avenue. Indoor events and exhibitions are also open to the public, such as lectures and talks about music and jazz and small concerts. This festival should be on the bucket list of any jazz music lover.
Families with small children will find many recreational activities and tours, such as a Mississippi Riverboat cruise on an old paddle steamboat, and heritage, plantation and city tours. For other travelers, there are swamp tours, cemetery tours and history tours.
For those who like to party, New Orleans has a lot to offer. Walk through Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street, pick a jazz club, a music club or a cabaret or burlesque show or try your luck at Harrah’s Casino, and when you are done with all that, there will still be restaurants open for late-night eats. New Orleans is one of those destinations that has something to offer no matter what kind of traveler you are.
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