On February 3, 2013, the City of New Orleans will host Super Bowl XLVII. This is the tenth Super Bowl for New Orleans, tying the Big Easy with Miami for the most Super Bowls hosted by a metropolitan area. This year’s festivities also happen to coincide with the 2013 Mardi Gras Season.
Oh the Big Easy will be hopping during Super Bowl week as droves of fans descend on the French Quarter.
You can't really know New Orleans until you explore some of its neighborhoods. This is where tradition and culture meet everyday life. While there are more neighborhoods in the city than we can count, here are a few to get you started.
FRENCH QUARTER~ As the cultural epicenter (and Super Bowl epicenter) and the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, the French Quarter is home to historic landmarks, colorful architecture, bustling bars and live music venues. Stroll through this vibrant district and experience all of the hallmarks of Louisiana culture, from soulful jazz performances to mouthwatering Creole cuisine. And as an added bonus, with New Orleans' open-container law, you can always take your drink with you as you explore. What you have to do: 1. See the Wyndam transform into the Bud Light Super Bowl Hotel, 2. Have your portrait sketched in Jackson Square, 3. Buy locally mixed spices at the French Market, 4. Experience the non-stop party of Bourbon Street, 5. Walk through the Ursuline Convent, the oldest building in the Missippi River Valley.
GARDEN DISTRICT~ With it's well preserved collection of antebellum mansions, pristine gardens and Southern charm, the Garden District stands out as one of the country's lovliest residential areas, earning a place in Travel + Leisure's list of America's Most Beautiful Landmarks. What you have to do: 1. See the homes of Anne Rice, Archie Manning, Trent Reznor and Sandra Bullock, 2. Spot examples of Italianete, Greek Revival and Victorian styles of architecture, 3. Visit Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, 4. Have brunch at Commander's Palace Restaurant, 5. Stroll Prytania Street.
FABOURG MARIGNY/BYWATER~ Just downriver from the French Quarter are two distinct and well-kept secrets: the Fabourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, which combine with contemporary bohemianism. What you have to do: 1. Listen to live tunes on Frenchmen Street, 2. Peruse galleries and handmade crafts in Bywater's St Claude Arts District, 3. Stroll the lovely Esplanade Avenue.
DOWNTOWN/ARTS/WAREHOUSE DISTRICT~ Downtown and the Warehouse District were once only areas of commerce and industry, but throughout the years, these two areas have become bustling with arts and culture. Enjoy art galleries, museums and bars and resturants. What you have to do: Place your bet at Harrah's Casino, 2. Grab a private booth at Bouche and enjoy a well-aged cabernet, 3. View cutting edge performances and visual art at the Contemporary Arts Center, 4. Browse art galleries on Julia Street, 5. See four centuries of artwork at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 6. Watch the 4-D film at The National World War II Museum.
TREME~ Long before the neighborhood had its own popular HBO series, the Tremé was already heralded as a vital American landmark for African-American and Creole culture. Many consider the Tremé to be the cultural heart of New Orleans, and the neighborhood's contributions to the American arts can be witnessed in disciplines from dance to music to architectural design. The Tremé celebrates its rich history and heritage with museums, tours and landmarks dedicated to preserving one of the United States oldest African-American and free people of color neighborhoods. What you have to do: 1. Catch a show at Mahalia Jackson Theater, 2. Visit the New Orleans African American Museum, 3. Listen the to the Soulful Voices Choir at St Augustine Catholic Church, 4. Visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
ST CHARLES AVENUE~ Experiencing the grandeur of St. Charles Avenue is one of the things you simply can't miss when visiting New Orleans. Stretching all the way from Downtown to Uptown, St. Charles is a great way to see many different sides of the city, all along one gorgeous avenue. You can explore St. Charles on foot, by car, or, for $1.25, you can hop on the historic, green St. Charles streetcar-cited as the oldest continuously running streetcar in the world-and you're off on an old-fashioned adventure along New Orleans' most famous avenue. What you have to do: 1. View the breathtaking, neoclassical Gallier Hall, the former City Hall of New Orleans, 2. Relax with a mint julep on the grand porch of the Columns Hotel, 3. Admire the seemingly endless array of Southern mansions along the avenue, 4. Play a round at the Audobon Park Golf Course.
MAGAZINE STREET~ Best known as a destination for shopping, this popular street is also home to museums, art galleries, bars and restaurants. Starting at Canal Street in the Central Business District and extending all the way upriver through the Garden District and Uptown, Magazine Street takes you through some of New Orleans' most vibrant neighborhoods peppered with delightfully diverse commercial pockets. Named after an ammunition magazine-or warehouse-that was built on the street in the late eighteenth century, the lower part of Magazine was initially used as a storage area for commerciaand industrial goods. Today the street is a thriving place of commerce, adorned with countless restaurants, pubs and boutiques. And with its small-town, main street charm, it's hard to believe that you are only minutes from downtown. What you have to do: 1. Shop one-of-a-kind boutiques for clothing, jewelery, antiques and more, 2. Sit and sip a latte at a casual coffee shop, have a beer at a local 's favorite bar or try upscale dining at a trendy restaurant, 3. Visit the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit or spot a rare white tiger at the Audobon Zoo.
FRENCHMEN STREET~ If it's music that you crave or just a peek into the New Orleans way-of-nightlife, then Frenchmen Street is a must see. Known as the "locals' version of Bourbon", Frenchmen is an entertainment district located within walking distance of the French Quarter and offers an amazing variety of venue styles and music ranging from traditional jazz to blues to reggae to rock all week long. Many clubs along the strip don't even charge a cover! But in true New Orleans fashion do give a cheer after a great trombone solo and throw a few bucks in the tip jar to show your appreciation. Frenchmen offers a lively street culture that creates a seamless experience of music and fun both inside and out of the clubs that line the district. Sketch artists and poets line the sidewalk and bluegrass and gypsy jazz pick-up bands nestle into stoops along the strip. Brass bands are commonly found on the corner of Chartres and Frenchmen and before you know it you'll be dancing in the streets just like a local. So feel free to get outside, stroll, wander, dance, and, of course, with New Orleans' open-container law, you can always take your drink with you as you explore. What you have to do: 1. Be taken back in time by the sounds of traditional jazz at Spotted Cat, 2. Enjoy innovative small plates, hand-crafted cocktails and local entertainment at Three Muses, 3. Dance the night away to live music at Blue Nile, 4. Sophisticated Snug Harbor is the perfect place for dinner, drinks and live jazz, 5. Satisfy your cravings for down-home Cajun and Creole cooking at the Praline Connection.
For Super Bowl tickets, hotels, parties please visit VIPSuperBowlTickets.com.