New Orleans, Louisiana
For me, the allure of New Orleans is in its serendipity and simplicity. I’m happy just to stroll its historic streets, waiting for a wedding party to fill Jackson Square or a parade to roll by. If it’s your first visit, consider starting with a city tour provided by an operator like Gray Line New Orleans or Louisiana Travel Services. You’ll get a load of scenery and history, and orient yourself—to the city’s layout and how you’ll focus the balance of your time therein. If that means dining, check the demo and class schedule at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and plan a meal at an institution like The Court of Two Sisters (sipping your turtle soup in the restaurant’s courtyard is a must). If it means immersing yourself in nature, devote a day or two to exploring the Audubon Nature Institute, a collection of attractions including a zoo, aquarium, Insectarium and the lovely Garden District green space, Audubon Park. Want to experience a bit of everything? Inquire into specialty tours offered by Gray Line and Louisiana Travel Services that might emphasize antiquing, voodoo or even paddlewheel sightseeing.