New Orleans.Nola.Nawlins.The Big Easy...

Image Courtesy of Party City

By: Triana Smith

A city with many names is known for good food, great music, and lots of partying. For those select few who by chance have not been…What are you waiting for?!?!  For those who have but are looking to go back, I have created a basic cheat sheet to help you navigate the city a lot easier.

Getting in/Getting out:Louis Armstrong International Airport is about 30 minutes from Downtown New Orleans. A taxi from the airport is about $35 dollars, while an Uber is around $33 dollars. Airport shuttles are available 24- hours a day for $24 per person one way ($44 round trip).

Getting Around:Street cars are the picture - perfect way to experience New Orleans, and at a pretty cost-effective $1.25 per trip (they also offer unlimited one day passes for $3, and three day passes for $9).

Insider Tip -download the RTA go mobile app on your iPhone or Android to view schedules. It's easy to hail a taxi or Uber although this can be tricky during high season (Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, etc.) there is generally a surge in pricing.

Lay Of The Land:The city of New Orleans is shaped like a crescent around the Mississippi River. It's very easy to walk around within each district, particularly within the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, the central business district, the Arts district, and the garden district (Uptown).

Best Time To Go:Plan to visit New Orleans during February - May, when the city is relatively cool, comfortable, and most lively (Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras) although the end of June is when the Essence Fest kicks off. Many hotels can be booked up to a year in advance, so plan early. Summer in the N.O. is hot and humid. Fall and winter are also great times to visit, the city has cooled off and great hotel rates abound. If you're still looking to get your festival fix, pack pants with elastic waistbands for the Louisiana Seafood Festival and the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival.

Local Delicacies:New Orleans kills the food game! Fresh seafood at Felix's, alligator at Cochons, muffaletta sandwiches at Central Grocery, Dooky Chase’s perfectly fried chicken and seafood options, and Willie Mae Scotch House restaurant is the best in the United States (according to Travel Channel and Food Network). In addition to these game changers the city is known for po' boys, jambalaya, gumbo, and etouffee' and if and only if you've tired of the indigenous Creole flavors, hit up Cafe Du Monde which is world - famous for their beignets and the frozen cafe au lait is seriously underrated.

Sites,Tours, and Day Trips:Planning your time in Nawlins' may vary depending on how long of a stay and what you plan to do while here. For starters take the Saint Charles street car to visit the mansions and cemetery of the garden district (not at all as bad as it sounds). Then move on to the heart of town in the French Quarter where you will find Saint Charles Cathedral and Jackson Square.  Continue down through Bourbon Street and catch some live music. 

In addition to that, make sure you do at least a few of the following while here: Plantation Alley, Global Wildlife Safari Catch A Swamp Tour, southern plantation tours day trips, Bourbon Street at night, and Airboat Adventure tours are great as well.

All in all there are so many amazing and fun things to do in New Orleans that I of course could not begin to cover them all but with a little digging of your own you may just find some of your own hidden gems among all that Nola has to offer. So do yourself a favor book a plane, train, or hop in an automobile. No matter how you get there...just get there.