Category: Landmarks

Natchez Riverboat Dinner Jazz Cruise

Natchez Riverboat Dinner Jazz Cruise

Toulouse Street Wharf – Behind Jax Brewery
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 569-1401
www.steamboatnatchez.com
cruises@neworleanssteamboat.com
 
natchez-steamboat
Natchez Riverboat Dinner Jazz Cruise
 

Let it be known that many native New Orleanians are aware of the beauty that lives within this wonderful, beautiful, photogenic city. Taking into account the long-running advertisement, “Be a tourist in your own hometown,” I was bound for the Mississippi River and The Natchez Riverboat Dinner Jazz Cruise. It was an evening well spent! The view from the river of the city at sunset is breathtaking. As the sun goes down, the city and its skyline of lights come to life. From the many colorful lights of Harrah’s Casino to the lights of the many hotels that line the river, it is a sight to behold. The majesty of the Mighty Mississippi is a sight better seen then told and there is no better view than cruising amongst its powerful, muddy waves. Be it a birthday celebration, anniversary, reunion, or if you just want to experience life cruising on an authentic steamboat, The Natchez is the place to be. It is and has been a popular destination for locals and tourist alike. If you decide to take this venture, hourly parking is available a short walk away at the lot on Decatur Street (not included in cost of cruise ticket).

There are two ways to experience The Natchez. It can serve as a dinner buffet (lunch and a Sunday Jazz Brunch are also available), or you can just board to take in the atmosphere, scenic view from the deck and the wonderful music of a Grammy nominated authentic jazz band, the Dukes of Dixieland. The sights and sounds package is at a cheaper price of $43.00 for adults (children 6-12 are $21.50 and 2-5) are free. This is an ideal choice for families who are traveling on a budget. Payment is accepted in all forms from traveler’s checks to credit cards. My partner and I decided to splurge and take in the dinner buffet, sights along the river, and the sounds of the Dukes of Dixieland. At a price of $72.50 for adults (children 6-12 are $34.00 and children 2-5 are $14.00), a buffet of regional food was served piping hot. It included a green salad, dark roux file gumbo with shrimp, Andouille sausage and chicken, Louisiana style fried catfish, pork lion with Creole mustard sauce, maque choux (a Cajun dish of deep roasted corn and tomatoes, creole spices, peppers and celery), creole creamed spinach, and to top it off, bread pudding deliciously complimented with a Jim Beam bourbon sauce. No meal is complete in New Orleans without French bread and French Market coffee, and this buffet is no exception. There is also bottomless unsweetened tea to quench your thirst if you prefer not to purchase the alcoholic beverages and sodas available at the well-stocked bar on board. I found the wait staff to be very friendly and courtesy. Many held conversations with the tourists regarding suggestions on attractions to visit before leaving the city.

Dinner Cruise

If your plans are to attend the dinner cruise, note that there are two seatings. You are given the choice of a 7:00 p.m. seating or a 9:00 p.m. seating. The riverboat boards at 6:00 p.m. and cruises promptly at 7:00 p.m., so make sure you are on time. There is a lot to take in at The Jax Brewery if you would like to go down to this area early to ascertain you arrive on time. If you decide not to purchase the dinner, lunch or brunch on The Natchez, there are loads of places around to catch a quick bite. Shopping is also plentiful in this area. The city’s first H&M Store opened recently and I hear bargains are plentiful. Tickets for The Natchez can be purchased in advance online or you can take a chance if it’s a last minute decision and purchase them dockside at the Lighthouse ticket office if spaces are still available. It is recommended that groups of 10 or more make reservations to make sure they are accommodated and to receive a special group rate. There is a package deal with Gray Line Tours which also includes a city tour for the cost of $102.00 and $49.00 for children 6-12. We opted for the second seating of 9:00 p.m. so that we can take in the sights along the river in daylight. We were also able to view the magnificent sunset with this choice. Make sure to have your camera ready because the best view of The St. Louis Cathedral can be seen from the river’s view from the left side of the boat. The captain will point out locations and bits of historical information to you as you cruise along the river over the loud speakers. It’s a good idea to take along a sweater or jacket.Some may find the breeze from the river to be a bit cool. You can always revert to inside quarters, but it is better to experience the ride and view from the deck. There will also be Natchez employed photographers on board to capture you on your cruise. The photos will be made available to you when you debark. If you are not ready to purchase, you will be given a card with information instructing you on how to view and purchase your photos online at a later time.

The Natchez has a wonderful informative website (www.steamboatnatchez.com) that answers many of the questions you may have regarding in climate weather to reservations and discounts. The Natchez Riverboat has it all! Great regional food, New Orleans jazz, and sightseeing from a picturesque vantage point, all while cruising down the river on an authentic steamboat. Wow! Because this is all obtainable in one location, Nola Roux recommends this attraction by awarding 4 fleurs-di-lis. During the cruise, make sure you take time to visit the gift shop to take home a remembrance of your time spent on the waters of the Mighty Mississippi.

Restaurants in New Orleans

Nola Roux
November 2013
 

New Orleans During The Civil War

New Orleans during The Civil War was captured by the Union Army in 1862.  Whether you are a history buff or a sightseeing tourist, this fact will have great importance as you tour the state of Louisiana and make your way to New Orleans.  You will find memorials, museums and other reminders of the role Louisiana played in the outcome of the Civil War.  New Orleans was the largest and richest city in the South when Louisiana seceded from the Union.  It was the first major Southern city to be recaptured by Union troops.

Louisiana Civil War MuseumNew Orleans was occupied by the Union troops for three years, many of whom decided to make their homes there when the war ended.  New Orleans became an attractive, vital place for them to live and make their living with the ports, abundance of fresh seafood and the lively neighborhoods.

In New Orleans history, the city was a strong Confederate city.  In fact, New Orleans was the largest Confederate city in the Confederacy.  In the midst of the Civil War New Orleans was a stronghold, adding thousands of troops to the fight.  Its location along the Mississippi River made it an important city and a target for Union soldiers to capture.  Once captured, New Orleans became less vital to the South as its ports were no longer available to her.

While touring New Orleans, there is much for you to see in terms of Civil War, New Orleans artifacts and New Orleans history.  If you visit the New Orleans visitors web site or ask about tours of the area, you will get a feel for what artifacts and memorials you will be able to investigate.  For example, you can visit the Army of Tennessee Memorial at Metairie Cemetery. It is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.  A statue and tomb of General Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard, an important Confederate officer, can be found there.

You can view the Confederate Memorial Hall at Louisiana’s oldest continually operating museum (under renovation since Katrina).  It contains the second-largest collection of Confederate memorabilia in the world..  It is a repository for records, reports, artifacts, and memorabilia of the Civil War.  The body of Jefferson Davis, the first Confederate President, lay in state at Memorial Hall on May 29, 1893, just two years after the Confederate Museum opened.  President Davis died in New Orleans in 1889. He lay in state at the Memorial Hall for a day and a half while over 600,000 people came to pay their respects and view the body.

Chalmette Battlefield
Battle of 1815 New Orleans

Also take a look at Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery which was the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.

Must See Attractions in New Orleans

Many tourists come to Louisiana and don’t get to visit the must see attractions in New Orleans. Some of the attractions are fairly obvious ones that most people know about while others are more off the beaten track. There are so many things to do in New Orleans.

carriage ride in the french quarter
most see attractions in New Orleans

Take the New Orleans School of Cooking, for instance. This is one of the few places that a visitor can take classes in classic Creole cooking, making jambalaya, shrimp Creole, or gumbo dishes. If you love authentic New Orleans cooking and want to know how it’s made, you need to visit this attraction and view a demonstration class.

Another attraction is the National World War II Museum. The focus here is on the remembrance and celebration of the American Spirit, courage and the sacrifices of the men and women who served during World War II. There are many relics on display and audiovisual demonstrations. Plan on spending at least half a day touring this fantastic museum, noted as being the best of its kind in the country.

Attractions in New Orleans Not To Be Missed!

One attractions not to be missed is a tour through the Garden District. If you contact the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, you can get information on self-guided tours of this beautiful neighborhood. You will see antebellum mansions, gorgeous gardens and the way the “new rich” lived and built their homes in the 19th century.

Take a factory tour of the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. The tour begins with a cocktail and ends with a tasting of four types of rum. See the process of distilling rum from beginning to end. This is a great way to spend some time on something novel to do outside of the quarter.

The Audubon Zoo is a favorite with adults and children alike. You will find an interesting swamp exhibit here, where, by the way, you can eat a meal of delicious jambalaya! You’ll also find a Cajun Village, and all of the exhibits, indoors and out, that can be expected at a top-notch zoo.

Jackson Square

The History of New Orleans
Jackson Square

For a fun outdoor walking experience, visit Jackson Square, a famous landmark facing the Mississippi River and is surrounded by the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbytere (Mardi Gras museum with the Katrina exhibit). Here is a great place to sit, relax and do some people watching. Jackson Square ties a lot of the different histories and sights of New Orleans together. In any direction you walk, you’ll see one of the New Orleans attractions you’ve heard about. You will come across Bourbon Street, St Louis Cathedral, Cafe du Monde, Marie Laveau’s, Pat O’Brien’s, The French Market, The Riverwalk and The Natchez Paddle-Wheeler. Take a horse drawn carriage ride and admire the picturesque area. There are so many things to do while in the Crescent City! Enjoy yourself and remember there are many things to do in New Orleans because NOLA never sleeps!

Jackson Square

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.

New Orleans Insider Guide
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 Insider Guide

 

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.

The History of New Orleans

Jackson Square

The history of New Orleans is a fascinating topic for local residents, history buffs and tourists alike. It is the largest city in Louisiana, located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, with close to half a million people living there.

History of New Orleans
Andrew Jackson


Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) Newspaper Archive

Jean Baptiste LeMoyne founded New Orleans in 1718. He named the city for the regent of France, Philippe II, Nouvelle- Orleans. Up until 1763 New Orleans was a French Colony when it was transferred over to the Spanish. In 1800, New Orleans bounced back to France. Finally, in 1803, Napoleon I sold the land to the United States packaged up in the Louisiana Purchase. Due to its various international colonial holders, New Orleans had a more cosmopolitan culture and diverse population than other cities, especially in the South.

New Orleans was populated with French speaking refuges from the Haitian Revolution, the French and Indian War, including French and Spanish Creole peoples. Slaves were also smuggled into the area. The city’s position at the mouth of the Mississippi was a major transportation hub for both national and international trade at the time, before railroads and major road systems were built.

The History of New Orleans

No history of New Orleans would be complete without mention of the Battle of New Orleans. The Battle of New Orleans was fought in January of 1815 and was the first major battle in the War of 1812.

Major General Andrew Jackson was commander of that battle. The British Army was attempting to take over the city and the other land areas included in the Louisiana Purchase. In December of 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the war. However, the fighting did not end until February 1815, when news of the treaty finally reached the army. Had the Battle of New Orleans not been won by the United States, a considerable amount of American land would have been ceded to the British. In the history of New Orleans, this battle is recognized as a great land victory in the history of our country.

Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861. During the Civil War New Orleans was taken over by the Union Army fairly soon in the war. Union ships under Admiral David Farragut seized the ports of New Orleans on April 25, 1862. The capture of New Orleans was easily won by the Union, blocking the South’s major source of income and supplies through the ports of New Orleans. This was the main reason for the lack of destruction of the city that many other Southern cities had to bear, such as Atlanta. With New Orleans being the largest Confederate city, its capture was a turning point in the war.

Andrew Jackson

The war brought the career of Andrew Jackson to light, who would later become who would later become the seventh President of the United States. A memorial equestrian statue of Jackson is located in Place d’ Armes (Spanish:Plaza de Armas) also know as Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is a National Historic Landmark declared in 1960. An equestrian statue built in memory of Jackson is located at the Place d’ Armes , also known as Jackson Square, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is a National Historic Landmark, declared so in 1960.

Cafe du Monde New Orleans

Café du Monde

Cafe du Monde New Orleans is located on Decatur Street, in the French Quarter across the street from Jackson Square. This exquisite cafe is not to be missed. Order up a cup of coffee. It has a slight flavor of chicory, which makes it such a special treat. Don’t forgo an order of French-style beignets and you will be set for the afternoon. (By the way, a beignet is a French doughnut, literally meaning “fritter”.)

Café du Monde
Cafe du Monde New Orleans

This coffee shop is on any serious tourist’s list of places to go. A café seems like an unusual attraction, but once you step foot inside and have the treats that await, you will known why the Cafe du Monde is a New Orleans tourist attraction. There may be a lot of customers but there is rarely a very long wait because nearly everyone is ordering the same thing: coffee and beignets, a favorite of the New Orleans desserts. The turnover is quick, so a table isn’t too difficult to find. One of the fun things to do at Cafe du Monde is people watch, besides enjoying the delicious fare. People at a table near you will invariably end up having a powdered sugar fight. This is fun to see, as long as you don’t mind getting a little sugar spilled on you in the process!

New Orleans tourist and native staple, is where you can get one of the best café au laits around. If you arrive at 3 a.m. the place will be buzzing with people downing their chicory coffees and beignets, which are loaded with powdered sugar, which you’d better be careful not to inhale. Sugar up the nose is not a pleasant experience! Save it for your taste buds. Some people claim that the chicory in the coffee staves off a hangover.

This famous café is open 364 days a year, 24 hours a day. What is the one day the Cafe du Monde is closed? Why, Christmas Day, of course! The café closed on August 27, 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. Fortunately, the shop suffered little damage, but it remained closed for two months in order to take advantage of the lack of tourism and to renovate the dining areas and kitchen. When it reopened on October 19th, it received attention from the national media.

Café du Monde
Cafe du Monde

The shop can get very noisy and raucous at times, but this is New Orleans, the party capital of the U.S. Get ready for a powdered sugar fight, bring lots of napkins, and come enjoy the food, coffee and the people watching. Built in 1862, Cafe du Monde New Orleans obligatory tourist stop, is known mainly for their beignets. This French-style doughnut was brought to New Orleans by the people we now call Cajuns. Beignets are fried dough sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Don’t be surprised when you are served a small glass of water with your beignets; it’s to help wash down all of that sugar. The beignet, by the way, is the state doughnut of Louisiana.