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New Orleans, Louisiana 72-Hour Vacation

Full Circle in the Crescent City
New Orleans' Allure Shines On


Plantation home
Plantation home

DAY 3

For another trip back in time, spend the day on leisurely visits to plantation homes along the Mississippi River. It is impossible to see them all in one day, so we recommend Nottoway Plantation. Dating to 1859, it claims to be the largest remaining antebellum plantation in the South and offers tours daily, plus piano music during lunch. Other options where visitors may sip a mint julep on the veranda include Greek Revival Houmas House (bring your own)  and Oak Alley Plantation, which offers the classic beverage at the house. Just a couple miles away is the newly restored Bocage Plantation, also a bed-and-breakfast inn.  Guided tours are offered at each plantation.

Staying in the city itself, a worthy and enlightening afternoon might be an organized tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the city's oldest operating graveyard. The architecture of these old cemeteries derives from the fact that much of the city is below sea level, so graves in New Orleans are above ground. Tombs, some with inscriptions in French, date to 1760, with the most famous belonging to voodoo queen Marie Laveau, who lies just inside the front gate. The city has many other historic neighborhoods to explore, such as Faubourg Marigny, Esplanade Ridge or Bywater. For an overview of these and other neighborhoods, visit the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center at www.prcno.org.

Baby Albino Alligator at Audubon Zoo
Baby Albino Alligator at Audubon Zoo

At New Orleans' fabulous Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, get a fish-eye view of such creatures as jellyfish, electric eels, frogs and a white alligator. Downtown, the Audubon Insectarium, a sister facility to the aquarium, offers unique, interactive exhibitions exploring the world of insects. The truly adventurous, and brave, nay even eat insect samples at the museum's bug café.

More conventional diversions include an early dinner-and-jazz cruise on the Natchez Steamboat, which departs daily from the Toulouse Street Wharf across from Jackson Square. If you're in town in May, check out the annual New Orleans Wine and Food Experience with wine dinners, seminars, samples of wine from around the world and food from the city's most talented chefs. For more information, visit www.nowfe.com.

There is so much to see and do, eat and experience that you'll want to return again and again. Bon Voyage!

For more information, visit The Official Tourism Site of the City of New Orleans at www.neworleansonline.com.



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* Images courtesy of New Orleans Online. Plantation by GNOTCC, Michael Terranova and New Orleans Online.

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