Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Officially, the New Orleans Superdome was renamed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2011. You will not hear that term from many locals though. In neighborhood circles, it is still referred to as simply, The Superdome. Thanks to the strong structural support of the Superdome, many victims of Hurricane Katrina were able to take shelter in the huge arena, seeking shelter from the storm. Since that catastrophic event, the arena has been remodeled and reopened during a spectacular televised Monday Night Football reopening on September 25, 2006.

New Orleans Superdome
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

New Orleans Saints

The Superdome hosted six of football’s famed Super Bowl games with the seventh (Super Bowl XLVII) being held there in February of 2013. This is more than any other venue. Thanks to the visionary New Orleans businessman Dave Dixon (June 4, 1923-August 8, 2010), the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was built, after much discussion and planning. It was designed in 1967 by the New Orleans modernist architectural firm of Curtis and Davis, who also designed the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library. In Mr. Dixon’s honor, a portion of Girod Street has been renamed in his honor. New Orleans will be forever grateful to this pioneer who had the vision of bringing pro football to the city in the late 50’s. The New Orleans weather, with rainy summers and high humidity, made a good argument for a permanently domed, air-conditioned stadium. The New Orleans Saints played their first game at the Superdome on September 28, 1975. Whether you are a huge sports fan or not, the Louisiana Superdome is a sight to see. Now decorated in beautiful lights at night, coordinating with the season, it is a must stop on your trip to The Big Easy.

Bourbon Street New Orleans

If you are traveling to New Orleans for an event at the New Orleans Superdome, there are many hotels and motels nearby that are convenient to the arena. Its proximity to the French Quarter, the Central Business District and the Lower Garden District make the surrounding area an appealing location for tourists to stay. There is the Holiday Inn Downtown, which is the closest to the Superdome, at less than half a mile away. Also downtown are the Quality Inn and Suites which is within walking distance of the Superdome at just a few blocks from the French Quarter’s Bourbon Street. The newly renovated Hyatt Regency on Loyola Avenue has 1,193 guest rooms and 95 suites for its visitors. Keeping up with the trends, each room is outfitted with an iPod docking station and stone baths. This beautiful, spacious hotel is also home to Borgne, a John Besh restaurant, one of the city’s great chefs. Besides being the author of various cookbooks and owner of several other restaurants around the city, Besh was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award which is given to those that are labeled as the best and brightest in the food and beverage industry. Also located in the Hyatt is a convenient 24-hour fresh market and a 2,000 square-foot Starbucks

If a chain hotel is not your cup of tea, there are numerous boutique hotels within walking distance also. Take the Loft523 hotel: here you will have spacious loft rooms with the luxury only a boutique hotel can accommodate. If you truly want a luxurious experience while in town, check out a luxury hotel such as the Ritz-Carlton on Canal St. Indulge in the marble bathrooms and the thirsty terry cloth robes there after taking in the sights of exciting New Orleans.

Don’t forget to check out what’s going on in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. You are sure to find a concert or sporting event there while you are visiting the city.

Jackson Square

Jackson Square is the place to be if you want to see a bit of history. This historic park (a National Historic Landmark) is also known as Place D’Armes. It is located in the French Quarter, hence the French title.

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St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square

Jackson Square Was Once Named Place D’Armes

So if this beautiful park was once named Place D’Armes (also known in Spanish as Plaza de Armas), why did residents change its name to Jackson Square? Well, the answer goes back to the Battle of New Orleans, in 1815, the final battle of the War of 1812. The American Forces had General Andrew Jackson in charge there. Jackson was able to defeat the British and save New Orleans and other large Louisiana land areas gained in the Louisiana Purchase. When you take a stroll through the park, you will take note of the statue of Andrew Jackson on horseback erected in his honor at Jackson Square New Orleans.

Jackson Square New Orleans makes its love of the arts very apparent. For years it has been a gathering place for painters, musicians and a variety of street performers. Live music is a regular event in Jackson Square, from New Orleans jazz to big brass bands. Shopping for artwork? Make sure you check the iron gate surrounding the square for bargains. Feel Lucky? Grab a Lucky Dog for a quick bite to eat. It is a New Orleans’ tradition and quite filling.

Here, you will have a fantastic view of the St. Louis Cathedral, making it a fine spot to take photographs. Take in the ambiance of the street performers and everything else going on around you and snap some precious photos.

Cafe du Monde

Café du Monde
Cafe du Monde New Orleans

There are many restaurants to take care of any hunger pangs you might be having and, best of all, the Cafe du Monde is close by. Here you can sip a delicious cup of coffee spiced with clover and munch on New Orleans’ famous beignets coated with powdered sugar so thick, you may have to blow some off right into your partner’s face! Across the street from Cafe du Monde, in front of the Square, you can take a carriage ride for a slow-paced tour of the area. The tour guides are full of information regarding the history of the buildings and the French Quarter.

For architectural lovers, the 1850 House is a National Historic Landmark overseen by The Louisiana State Museum. It is royally furnished and a pleasure to tour. Also check out the Potalba apartments, erected by Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, daughter of the benefactor of St. Louis Cathedral. While sightseeing, make sure during your tour, you take a moment to look up. The ironwork that adorns the balconies of these historic buildings is breathtaking.

Jackson Square  is on my “top 10 Sites” location to visit. If you are a tourist looking for a lively place to people watch and interact with others, Jackson Square is the place to be. Have your caricature drawn by a local artist; let a fortune teller predict your future; be an unintended guest at a wedding celebration at the park.

More Historic New Orleans Buildings

 

New Orleans Buildings FREE eBook

Historic New Orleans Buildings

When visiting this great city there are many historic New Orleans buildings you must see. Of course, there is the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. It is the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. It is also the grave site for several bishops and archbishops that have served the city. Most recently,the beloved 98 year old Archbishop Philip Hannan was entombed under the sanctuary. Known as one of the city's biggest NFL Saint's Fan, he was truly beloved by not only Roman Catholics of the city, but many people of different faiths.

Old Ursuline Convent

Beneath the Cathedral's floor, is also the burial site of several clergymen and early residents of the city. Make sure to take a glimpse upward to the ornate ceiling to see photos of several of the clergymen interred in the Cathedral. St. Joseph's Church on Tulane Avenue boasts the longest aisle in New Orleans. Old Ursuline Convent on Chartres Street is the oldest surviving example of the French colonial period in the United States. Built in 1752, it houses the Archdiocesan archives and is known as the "treasure of the archdiocese."

On Governor Nichols Street in the historic neighborhood of Treme, just outside of The French Quarter, is the home of St. Augustine's Catholic Church. After Hurricane Katrina, there was fear that this historical church would be shuttered forever, as was the faith of many of the city's Catholic churches. Citizens and hurricane recovery workers rallied and it remained opened. Founded in 1841 by free people of color, it is the oldest African-American church in the nation. If you are visiting during The Satchmo Festival, make sure you take the time to attend Sunday Mass. The Jazz Mass is celebrated with a standing-room only crowd. It is a favorite of visitors and locals alike. Also located in Treme on St. Philip Street, is St. Peter Claver Catholic Church. This church has the state's largest African-American congregation. It is a ray of light to its parishioners, neighborhood, and also the city. As visitors are always welcomed, take time to attend. The gospel choir is one of the best in the city.

Take a visit to the Preservation Resource Center and discover how a Creole cottage and a double gallery Garden District mansion differ. Or take a look at a standard shotgun house and a camelback style. The Preservation Center keeps the historic and unique architectural character of New Orleans's neighborhoods intact for both its historical purposes and for the artist and historian in us all. The New Orleans buildings are so unique to to other cities in the country. Keep your camera batteries charged and memory cards empty because you have a lot of pictures to take on your visit to New Orleans.

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