Read More about Louisiana on GoNOMAD
Soon after I arrived for my whirlwind tour of Louisiana Music Festivals, a Lafayette gourmet imparted this wisdom: “I love the food in New Orleans. Just don’t call it Cajun.” Lesson learned. This was, in fact, the first of many lessons I learned during my travels in Louisiana.
There’s more to this place than even I, a long time devotee of the Bayou State’s food and music, would have thought. Read more of Sarah Hartshorne's story about discovering Louisiana food and music.
Going to visit Donaldsonville is a lot like going to visit your grandparents.
It takes effort on your part to motivate and get yourself there, and once you arrive, you might very well look around and wonder why you made the drive. The town’s appearance is tattered and at first glance it’s not immediately obvious what there is to do.
But if you stick around, and if you are willing to listen, you will be drawn in. And when it comes time to leave, you’ll be surprised to find that there is a part of you resisting, a part of you that wants to linger, a part of you that knows there are more stories yet to hear, old stories, stories you didn’t think mattered to your fast-paced, contemporary life, stories you didn’t think had any power to pull you in. But it turns out that they do. Read more about Kelly Westoff's experience in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.
While many all over the US headed to the Queen City for debauchery and beads, I went to runs and balls, pageants and plays. Southwestern Louisiana is not just Mardi Gras on display—it is living it.
Over the next several days I went from party to party, event to event, and met those who live it.
People do need to be reminded that the French Quarter, where most visitors go, really is up and running, and it’s still breathtakingly beautiful. You can still get a muffuletta at Napoleon House, beignets at Café Du Monde, a carriage ride down Chartres Street, and a hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s. You can visit the Garden District, the zoo and Jackson Square, browse the shops on Royal Street and sip wine at an outdoor café in Pirate’s Alley.
Almost all your favorite hotels and restaurants are open, and budget-friendly opportunities abound. Visitors will enjoy the fabulous fall weather and amazing architecture, and we implore you to come back to New Orleans. You’ll never find another city in America more appreciative of its tourists than New Orleans is today.
But if you want to know about the underlying feelings of the locals there, besides those of sincere gratitude for all that remains, and you ask me how they’re doing, this is what I’d tell you today: An insufficient hopefulness still hangs like wreckage caught in high branches of trees. Read more of Janis Turk's story about rebuilding New Orleans.
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