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Ursula Delacroix
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Posts : 112
Join date : 2009-08-31
Location : New Orleans

PostSubject: Tourist Attractions   Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:23 pm

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World

City/Region: New Orleans
In Algiers Point, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, stands a unique studio museum showcasing the famous New Orleans' Mardi Gras. The museum is actually the working studio of foremost carnival float designer, Blaine Kern, for whom producing floats and props for the city's annual Mardi Gras is a full-time job. Visitors can watch Kern and his team design and construct the giant sculptures of everything from cartoon characters to mythological figures and animals that will eventually parade through the streets.

The Cabildo
City/Region: New Orleans
The entertaining and informative Cabildo on Jackson Square in New Orleans' French Quarter explores the history of Louisiana from the first European explorations to the post-Civil War Reconstruction era from a multi-cultural perspective. The museum is the flagship of the Louisiana State Museum facilities and is housed in an historic building, dating to 1799, originally serving as the Spanish city council offices. Two major historic events took place in the Cabildo building: the Louisiana Purchase Transfer ceremonies in 1803 and later a landmark Supreme Court decision was handed down here that legalized racial segregation. The Cabildo takes pride that five American presidents have visited it.

D-Day National WWII Museum
City/Region: New Orleans
The unique D-Day National World War II Museum was founded in 2000 by historian and author Dr Stephen Ambrose and has become regarded as a highlight of any New Orleans sightseeing tour. Situated in New Orleans' Warehouse District it depicts the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy, the Home Front during World War II, and the D-Day Invasions in the Pacific. Exhibit galleries include text panels, artifacts, and personal account stations where visitors can listen to the stories of war veterans. A panorama exhibit recreates a Normandy beach landing; there are also regular film shows.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
City/Region: New Orleans
New Orleans' state-of-the-art Audubon Aquarium, situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, is regarded as the best in America with highly entertaining exhibits. Underwater tunnels allow visitors to marvel at a Caribbean Reef and a re-creation of the Gulf of Mexico, complete with sharks. There is also a walk-through Amazon rainforest and an exhibit displaying the inside story of swamp life. The Aquarium features every type of aquatic creature from jellyfish and sea horses to sea otters and penguins. The Aquarium's 'sister' attraction, also run by the Audubon Institute, is the excellent New Orleans city zoo, situated in Audubon Park further uptown.

French Quarter
City/Region: New Orleans
Regarded as the heart and soul of New Orleans, the French Quarter is the historic part of town covering about 90 square blocks radiating out from Chartres Street and Jackson Square. The Quarter, or Vieux Carre, was established in 1718 as a French military outpost, which was later taken over by the Spanish, merging into a freewheeling culture incorporating slaves, pirates, mercenaries, call-girls and various freemen of every color and creed. Today the area looks and feels much as it did before Hurricane Katrina, with its wrought-iron railings and tall doorways, and clubs, bars, Cajun-seafood restaurants and shops all a-buzz. By day it is one of the best people-watching spots in the world, and the focus for visitors to New Orleans. By night the area becomes a giant street party throbbing with jazz music and a world-class dining district. The most famous street is Bourbon Street, where prostitutes literally mingle with priests, and bars stay open all night.

Preservation Hall
City/Region: New Orleans
Historic Preservation Hall is New Orleans' most popular jazz venue, where the famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band serves up first-rate music six nights a week in the French Quarter building (originally built as a residence in 1750). On Sundays the Olympia Brass Band performs instead. No seating, food or drinks are available, but crowds flock here simply for the music between 8pm and midnight.

Louis Armstrong Park
City/Region: New Orleans
Louis Armstrong Park is a 32-acre sanctuary of green trees and jazz melodies in the heart of the historic old quarter. Inside you'll find Congo Square, the meeting place of slaves in the 19th century. The Visitors' Facility also has exhibits and an indoor performance venue. Occasional free Sunday afternoon concerts are a highlight in the park.

The Audubon Insectarium
City/Region: New Orleans
If it walks, crawls or flies, find it at the Audubon Insectarium. Set in Custom House, the historic, white marble columned structure in Canal Street, this is the largest freestanding insectarium in the United States, devoted to over 900,000 species of insects. View thousands of live bugs and mounted specimens. The Cooking Show and Cultural Café offer culinary adventures; witness the art of cooking with these creepy criters and sample the treats, or opt for more traditional fare in the insect-themed café.

Besthoff Sculpture Garden
City/Region: New Orleans
View the priceless sculptures that make up the superb Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The Sculpture Garden provides a unique opportunity for visitors who treasure the arts, with a world-class collection of modern and contemporary sculptures presented in an exquisite natural setting. Next to the Sculpture Garden is the New Orleans Museum of Art and City Park, with centuries old oak trees, lagoons, a small amusement park and Storyland, a charming fairytale playground.
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