Helpful New Orleans Vacation Information


New Orleans, Louisiana is located on the Mississippi River about 110 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain.  The City was named Nouvelle Orleans (New Orleans) in honor of Philippe II, Duc d'Orleans, the regent of France under French King Louis XV. All the information provided is a great insight into what to know about the area, from attractions and activities to the best areas to go to pick your lodging choices nearby. Be sure to book your vacation package today for the best time to vacation in New Orleans.


New Orleans City Info


  • Largest city in Louisiana

  • Elevation: 11 feet

  • County: Orleans

  • Land area: 180.6 square miles

  • Number of Radio Stations: 11 AM, 12 FM

  • Number of TV Stations: 15


New Orleans Weather and Climate:


  • Average daily temperature — Jan: 53.7F; July: 83.1F

  • Average annual rainfall — 62.2 inches

  • Average annual snowfall — 0.2 inches


Distances to other Metropolitan Areas from New Orleans:


  • Atlanta, GA —  488 miles

  • Boston, MA — 1,531 miles

  • Chicago, IL —  925 miles

  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX — 521 miles

  • Houston, TX —  347 miles

  • Las Vegas, NV — 1,739 miles

  • Los Angeles, CA — 1,898 miles

  • Memphis, TN — 395 miles

  • Miami, FL — 867 miles

  • Nashville, TN — 533 miles

  • New York, NY — 1,307 miles

  • Orlando, FL — 640 miles

  • Philadelphia, PA — 1,227 miles

  • Phoenix, AZ —  1,526 miles

  • Rapid City, SD — 1,619 miles

  • Salt Lake City, UT — 1,923 miles

  • San Antonio, TX — 544 miles

  • San Diego, CA — 1,820 miles

  • San Jose, CA — 2,237 miles

  • Seattle, WA — 2,722 miles

  • Washington, DC — 1,088 miles


New Orleans Safety Phone # and Major Hospitals:


  • Ambulance: 911; Police: 911; Fire: 911

  • Children's Hospital (200 Henry Clay Ave)

  • Community Care Hospital (1421 General Taylor)

  • Genesis Specialty Hospital (301 North Jefferson Davis Parkway 4th Floor)

  • Kendred Hospital New Orleans (3601 Coliseum Street)

  • Lakeland Medical Center (6000 Bullard Ave)

  • Life Care Hospital Of New Orleans (2700 Napolean Avenue)

  • Medical Center Of Louisiana At New Orleans (1532 Tulane Ave)

  • Memorial Medical Center (2700 Napoleon Avenue)

  • New Orleans Adolescent Hospital (210 State Street)

  • Oasis Rehabilitation Hospital (1601 Perdido Street 10th Floor)

  • Ochsner Foundation Hospital (1516 Jefferson Highway)

  • Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital (5620 Read Boulevard)

  • Specialty Hospital Of New Orleans (1401 Foucher Street)

  • St. Charles General Hospital (3700 St Charles Ave)

  • St. Claude Medical Center (3419 St Claude Avenue)

  • Tulane University Hospital (1415 Tulane Ave)

  • United Medical Rehabilitation Hospital (5650 Read Boulevard........)


New Orleans Top Tourism Attractions and Activities:


  • Aquarium of the Americas

  • Audubon Zoo

  • New Orleans Museum of Art

  • Contemporary Arts Center

  • Musee Conti Wax Museum

  • Natchez Steamboat

  • Mardi Gras — FEBRUARY

  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival — APRIL/MAY

  • Celebration in the Oaks — NOVEMBER-JANUARY

  • French Quarter Festival - APRIL

  • Casell Gallery

  • Peligro folk art gallery

  • Louisiana Children's Museum

  • New Orleans School of Glassworks

  • Orpheum Theatre

  • Louisiana Superdome

  • John James Audubon stern wheeler river tours

  • Entergy IMAX Theatre

  • Woldenberg Riverfront Park

  • Riverboat Cajun Queen

  • Casino city park at 1 Palm Drive

  • Cajun Pride Swamp Tour

  • Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo

  • City Park Boating and Fishing

  • Harrah's New Orleans Casino

  • Carnival Club Casino

  • Crescent City Casino

  • Belle Chasse Casino (Belle Chasse, LA, 6.5 miles Southeast of New Orleans)


New Orleans Major Shopping Areas:


  • The French Quarter

  • Lower Canal Street and Riverwalk Marketplace

  • Warehouse District

  • French Market: 1100 North Peters, 70116; Telephone: 504-522-2621.

  • Magazine Street

  • Gentilly Woods Shopping Center: 4335 Chef Menteur Highway, 70126. Telephone: 504-288-2209.

  • Slidell Factory Outlets: 1000 Caruso Boulevard........., Slidell, LA, 70461. Telephone: 985-646-0756. (27 miles Northeast of New Orleans)


New Orleans Major Dining Areas:


  • The French Quarter

  • Lower Canal Street and Riverwalk Marketplace

  • Mid-City

  • Uptown

  • French Market:  1100 North Peters, 70116; Telephone:  504-522-2621.

  • Magazine Street


New Orleans Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:


  • National D-Day Museum

  • New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

  • French Market

  • Cabildo (Louisiana State Museum)

  • St. Louis Cathedral

  • Saint Louis Cemetery Number One

  • Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum

  • Pitot House

  • Louis Armstrong Park

  • Beauregard-Keyes House

  • Old Ursuline Convent

  • Haunted History Tours

  • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

  • Historic New Orleans Collection

  • Street Scene Gallery

  • Longue Vue House and Gardens

  • Elms Mansion

  • 1850 House

  • The Presbytere

  • Orpheum Theatre

  • Milton H. Latter Memorial Library

  • Washington Artillery Park

  • Lafayette Cemetery

  • Confederate Museum

  • Bienville Place

  • Jean Lafitte National Historic Park

  • Old U.S. Mint

  • Madame John's Legacy

  • Historic New Orleans Walking Tours


New Orleans Famous Natives and Residents:


  • Louis Armstrong, musician & entertainer

  • Vernel Bagneris, writer, director, actor, dancer

  • Dave Bartholomew, musician, composer, promoter

  • P.G.T. Beauregard, general & inventor

  • Sidney Bechet, musician

  • E. J. Bellocq, photographer

  • Terrence Blanchard, musician & composer

  • Buddy Bolden, musician, 'inventor of jazz'(?)

  • James Booker, musician

  • Poppy Z. Brite, writer

  • George Washington Cable, writer

  • Truman Capote, writer

  • Kitty Carlisle, entertainer

  • Alton 'Big Al' Carson, blues singer

  • Patricia Clarkson, actor

  • Harry Connick, Jr., musician and entertainer

  • Harry Connick Sr., district attorney, singer

  • Edmond Dede musician, composer

  • Ellen DeGeneres comedian, talk show host

  • Ernie K. Doe, singer, 'Emperor of the Universe'

  • Fats Domino, musician

  • Clyde Drexler, former NBA star, soon to be a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame

  • Marshall Faulk, football star (St. Louis Rams)

  • Pete Fountain, musician

  • Jim Garrison, district attorney

  • George Girard, musician

  • Louis Moreau Gottschalk, pianist & composer

  • Shirley Ann Grau, writer

  • Bryant Gumbel, television anchor

  • John Hampson, inventor of 'venetian' blinds

  • Marie Alice Heine first American Princess of Monaco

  • Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, singer & musician

  • Lillian Hellman, writer

  • George Herriman, Krazy Kat cartoonist

  • Al Hirt, musician

  • Cheryl Holdridge, actress and Mouseketeer

  • Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer

  • Dr. John, musician

  • Earl King, musician

  • Stalebread Lacombe, self-proclaimed 'inventor of jazz'

  • Papa Jack Laine, bandleader

  • Dorothy Lamour, actress

  • Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator

  • Moon Landrieu, judge and politician

  • Nick LaRocca, self-proclaimed 'inventor of jazz'

  • Josef Delarose Lascaux, inventor of cotton candy (candy floss)

  • John Larroquette, actor

  • Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen

  • Elmore Leonard, author

  • Professor Longhair, musician

  • Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts quarterback

  • Branford Marsalis, musician

  • Ellis Marsalis, musician & educator

  • Wynton Marsalis, musician

  • Adah Isaacs Menken, actress

  • Lizzie Miles, singer

  • Deacon John Moore, musician & bandleader

  • Morgus The Magnificent

  • Paul Morphy, world chess champion

  • Garrett Morris, comedian

  • Jelly Roll Morton, musician & composer, self-proclaimed 'inventor of jazz'

  • The Neville Brothers, musicians & singers

  • Joe 'King' Oliver, musician

  • Dr. Alton Ochsner, surgeon & medical researcher

  • Chris Owens; Burlesque performer and entrepreneur

  • Nicholas Payton, musician

  • Marguerite Piazza, operatic soprano

  • P.B.S. Pinchback, politician

  • Louis Prima, musician & entertainer

  • Mac Rebennack 'Dr. John'

  • Anne Rice, writer of vampire tales and other Gothic fiction

  • Norbert Rilleaux, inventor, engineer

  • Clay Shaw, businessman

  • Rhonda Shear, beauty queen, television host

  • Richard Simmons, entertainer

  • John Kennedy Toole, writer of A Confederacy of Dunces

  • Allen Toussaint, musician, composer, record producer

  • Ben Turpin, silent film comedian

  • Ray Walston, actor

  • Baldwin Wood, inventor & engineer

  • Andrew Young, politician & statesman


Notable non-native residents have included:


  • Stephen Ambrose, historian and University of New Orleans professor

  • Harry Anderson, actor

  • John Goodman, actor

  • Lafcadio Hearn, writer

  • Lenny Kravitz, musician

  • Emeril Lagasse, chef, writer & TV host

  • Dr. Mysterian, syndicated psychic

  • Paul Prudhomme, chef

  • Trent Reznor, musician

  • Tennessee Williams, playwright


Notable Moments in New Orleans History:


  • 1718 Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville and John Law founded the City of New Orleans and named it. The French Quarter street plan was made by Adrien de Pauger.

  • 1721 Population 470.

  • 1722 New Orleans becomes the Capital of the Louisiana Colony.

  • 1727 Ursuline Nuns arrive in New Orleans

  • 1729 Indian massacre of the French at Natchez

  • 1755 French Acadians began to arrive in New Orleans

  • 1763 New Orleans becomes a Spanish colony by the signing of the Treaty of Paris

  • 1767 New Orleans became Capital of Spanish Louisiana

  • 1769 First Spanish Governor, Alexander O'Reilly takes control of Louisiana Colony, French rebellion resulted in execution of five French leaders

  • 1788 In the French Quarter, over 850 structures are destroyed by fire including the cathedral.

  • 1794 St. Louis Cathedral construction is completed. Another large fire destroys buildings in the French Quarter

  • 1800 Louisiana secretly returned to France

  • 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Napoleon I sells Louisiana to the United States. Population about 8,000

  • 1812 Louisiana admitted to the Union as the 18th state.  First steamboat reached New Orleans

  • 1814-1815 General Andrew Jackson defeats the British ending the War of 1812.

  • 1827 The first Mardi Gras celebration is held in New Orleans.

  • 1835 The United States Mint is built in New Orleans.

  • 1837 The first documented Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

  • 1840 Port of New Orleans ranked fourth in World

  • 1850 Place d'Armes officially renamed Jackson Square.  Population 116,375

  • 1852 New Orleans third largest city in the United States

  • 1853 Yellow Fever Epidemic (more than 8,000 died)

  • 1857 First modern Mardi Gras parade sponsored by a Krewe

  • 1861 Louisiana secedes from the Union

  • 1862 New Orleans captured by Federal Troops under General David Farragut, placed under the command of Gen. Benjamin Butler

  • 1865 Louisiana returns to the Union.

  • 1872 Krewe of Rex organized

  • 1884 World Cotton Exposition

  • 1894 Krewe of Zulu organized

  • 1900 Population 287,104

  • 1910 The last coins are minted in New Orleans and the Mint is closed.

  • 1911 Loyola University is established.

  • 1916 Xavier College established.

  • 1921 The Vieux Carr' Commission is created.

  • 1958 City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street opened

  • 1967 The New Orleans Saints franchise awarded

  • 1975 The Superdome is completed

  • 1984 Louisiana World Exposition

  • 1988 New Orleans hosts the Republican National Congress


Interesting facts about New Orleans:


  • Nicknames for New Orleans include 'The Big Easy' and 'the city that care forgot.'

  • New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste La Moyne, Sieur de Bienville. At first, it was nothing more than a trading camp on a curve in the east bank of the Mississippi River. Later, the city was organized into a rectangular, fortified community, which still exists today as the French Quarter. The resulting streets were named for French royalty and nobility.

  • As the community grew to the west, north, and east, it followed the curve in the river, and became known as 'the Crescent City,' because of its shape. Because the city was surrounded by swamps and marshes (with a sea level of approximately six feet at its highest point), the spring rise in the Mississippi River level, and tidal surges from hurricanes resulted in the building of levees around the city and the river. This also explains the ground level 'basements' for most of the old structures in the New Orleans area.

  • Even to this day, the city's massive pumps and canals drain the city (annual rain fall can be between 60' and 100'). The total miles of canals (above and below ground) in New Orleans exceed that of Venice in Italy.

  • The lagoons in City Park, along City Park Boulevard........., are all that remains of what was once Bayou Metairie.

  • Other bayous remain, including Bayou St. John, Bayou Sauvage, and Bayou Bienvenue in Chalmette.

  • Although established as the capitol of the French colony of Louisiana, it was actually twice the capital of Louisiana. The capital was moved from New Orleans to Donaldsonville in 1825, to Baton Rouge in 1846, to New Orleans in 1864 (during Reconstruction) and once again to Baton Rouge in 1879.

    Canal Street, once the widest street in the world, was named for a canal that was planned for , but never built, in the median. For decades, the only use for the median was public transportation, mostly by the Canal St. Streetcars.

  • The first New Orleans 'Skyscraper' was built in 1807. It was the first four-story building in the city, and is still standing and in use, on the corner of Royal St. and St. Peter St, in the French Quarter. New Orleans also had the first Opera House in America.

  • The great chess master Paul Morphy was born in the house at 1113 Chartres St. in the French Quarter. Today, the house is a museum, and goes by the name the Beauregard House, for the Confederate General, P. G. T. Beauregard, who also lived there.

  • New Orleans is below sea level. Depending on what part of town you are in, you can be from 5-10 feet below sea level. Generally speaking, the closer you are to the river, the higher the elevation. The Historic French Quarter was laid out in a grid pattern in 1721 and measures six blocks by 13 blocks. It is considered one of America's greatest clusters of authentic Spanish, colonial, and antebellum structures.

  • Even today it is a vibrant neighborhood filled with residences and business establishments. New Orleans restaurants are considered some of the best in the world, and there should be no trouble finding one in any area of the city. There are 3,068 restaurants in the New Orleans Metropolitan area.

  • The Louisiana Superdome

    -Opened: August 3, 1975

    -Size of facility: 52 acres

    -World's largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts: 125 million cubic feet

    -First privately-managed, publicly-owned arena

    -More Super Bowls than any other facility: 6

    -World record for an indoor concert: 87,500 (Rolling Stones, 1981)

    -National record for basketball attendance: 68,112 (LSU vs. Notre Dame, 1990)

  • The Port of New Orleans

    -Founded by the French: 1718

    -Nation's top port: imported coffee and imported natural rubber

    -Port's top commodity: Steel, more than 5 million tons were imported in 2000

    -World's busiest waterway: more than 6,000 vessels move through the port annually

    -World's longest wharf: 2.01 miles, can accommodate 15 vessels simultaneously

    -Cargo handling area: 22 million square feet

    -Covered storage area: 6 million square feet

    -Average vessels accommodated annually: 2,400

  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

    -First commercial flight: 1946

    -Total passengers in recent flight year: 9,251,773

    -Cargo tonnage in recent flight year: 84,150 metric tons Landmass: 1800 acres

    -Concourses: 4

    -Gates: 43

    -Airlines: 19

    -Non-stop destinations: 40

    -Daily departures: 168


New Orleans Population and Demographics:


  • Population (year 2000): 484,674, Est. population: 473,681 (-2.3% change)

  • Males: 227,094 (46.9%), Females: 257,580 (53.1%)

  • Median resident age: 33.1 years

  • Median household income: $27,133 (year 2000)

  • Median house value: $87,300 (year 2000)

  • Races in New Orleans:

  • Black (67.3%)

  • White Non-Hispanic (26.6%)

  • Hispanic (3.1%)

  • Vietnamese (1.5%)

  • Two or more races (1.3%)

  • Other race (0.9%)

  • American Indian (0.5%)

  • Ancestries: French (5.6%), German (5.4%), Irish (4.7%), English (3.4%), Italian (3.2%), United States (2.0%).


New Orleans Colleges and Universities:


  • University Of New Orleans

  • Tulane University Of Louisiana

  • Delgado Community College

  • Loyola University New Orleans

  • Xavier University Of Louisiana

  • Southern University At New Orleans

  • Louisiana State University-Health Sciences

  • Dillard University

  • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

  • Bryman College

  • Our Lady Of Holy Cross College

  • Louisiana Technical College-Sidney N Collier

  • Culinary Institute Of New Orleans

  • Moler Beauty College  

  • Cameron College

  • Herzing College

  • Stevensons Academy Of Hair Design

  • Crescent City Bartending School


New Orleans Economy & Business — Notable Companies based in New Orleans:


  • New Orleans is an industrial and distribution center, and a major U.S. seaport. New Orleans is considered one of the busiest seaports in the United States and as well in the world. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal in the mid-20th century to accommodate New Orleans' barge traffic.

  • Like Houston, New Orleans is located in proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the many oil rigs lying just offshore. There are a substantial number of oil companies that either have their regional headquarters if not world headquarters within New Orleans' corporate limits, such as:




    -Royal Dutch/Shell

  • The federal government and military, especially the Navy and NASA, has a significant presence in the area with a NASA facility, Michoud Assembly Facility located in the eastern portion of Orleans Parish. Lockheed-Martin also has a large manufacturing facility located in the Greater New Orleans area that produces external fuel tanks for space shuttles.

  • Other companies with a significant presence in New Orleans includes:



    -Hibernia Corp.



    -Harrah's, a downtown casino

    -Popeye's Fried Chicken



New Orleans Hispanic Community Media and Churches:


  • Spanish radio: WFNO 830 AM, KGLA 1540 AM; La Fabulosa

  • Hispanic Churches and Ministry:

    -Hispanic Apostolate Red Wood Educational Center:  2307 West Esplanade Ave, Kenner, LA  70065.  (11 miles NW of New Orleans). Telephone:  504-467-4642.

    -Calvary Baptist Hispanic Mission:  100 Gretna Boulevard........., Gretna, LA  70053 (4 miles SE of New Orleans).  Telephone:  504-366-7100.

    -Grace Episcopal Church:  3700 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA  70119. Telephone:  504-482-5242. 

  • Hispanic Services and Ministry.

    -Archdiocese of New Orleans   (504) 486-1983                           

  • Hispanic Organizations:

    -National Association for Hispanic Elderly   (504) 899-2707         

    -Latin American Student Association   (504) 865-5181                 

    -Hispanic American Medical Association of Louisiana   (504) 896-2229                            

    -La Alianza del Derecho/Hispanic Law Student Association   (504) 865-5181                   

    -Latin American Medical Student Association   (504) 865-5181                                       

    -Association de Abogados Hispanos de Louisiana   (504) 488-3722                                 

    -Latinos Unidos   (504) 486-1771  

    -Spanish American Business Association   (504) 834-2020          

    -Stone Center for Latin American Studies   (504) 865-5164                                                                      

  • New Orleans Hispanic Network:

  • Hispanic publication:  La Prensa:  magazine/journalism/news publication
French Quarter Walking Tour
Excellent tour. Well worthwhile.
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
-- Craig Whitney - Hampton, NH
French Quarter Walking Tour
This tour was a lot of fun. What a great way to get an insiders look at the diverse culture of new orleans.
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
-- Ray - Frankfurt, AL
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Loved the aquarium...But hate that all these attractions close so early. In the summer, you'd think they'd stay open at least until dark. Families do come to new orleans with children and are not interested in the night life on bourbon street. These family attractions should cater to families not just the party crowd. My opinion.
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
-- Susan Kunkel - Center, TX
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