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The birthplace of jazz, New Orleans is a mecca for music fans. Every night you’ll hear live jazz – or blues, hip-hop or rock – drifting from ornate buildings in the French Quarter and beyond. Add potent cocktails, Creole cuisine and gothic cemeteries and you’re bound to fall under New Orleans’ spell.

Wander the city’s historic districts to see antebellum mansions, wrought-iron townhouses and streets shaded with live oaks and plied by dinging streetcars. New Orleans is filled with opulent theaters like the Saenger Theater, built in 1927.

New Orleans also has a flair for fare. French and Cajun influences are woven into each Louisiana Creole dish. Brunch with beignets and Bellinis marks the beginning of a sweet day. Looking for savory instead? Try a traditional gumbo or étouffée, made with crawfish, shrimp and andouille sausage. Take a post-meal stroll through New Orleans City Park and explore lush gardens and the sculpture park. Rent bikes and pedal across stone bridges. Or rent a boat on Big Lake – you can even fish!