Cross cultural researchers are in for a treat. New Orleans is full of culture. Make sure to explore New Orleans, often referred to as the “most unique” city in the United States. The city was named for Phillippe II, Duke of Orleans, who was the reigning regent of France at the time of the city’s founding in 1718. New Orleans was under Spanish rule from 1763-1802, when it was retaken by the French First Republic and sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Because of its history, New Orleans is strongly influenced by French, Spanish, Creole, and African culture. New Orleans is often considered the birthplace of American jazz music, and the city’s history as both a French and Spanish settlement has led to a strong Catholic tradition in the city. Catholic influences are reflected in New Orleans’ many festivals, most famously Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.

New Orleans’ unique architecture reflects the city’s multicultural roots. The French Quarter is famous for its unique Creole townhouses with their large courtyards and iron balconies. The French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is a popular attraction to both tourists and local residents. To this day, city regulations guide any renovations or construction in the neighborhood in order to preserve its historical architectural style. The French Quarter contains many restaurants including the Gumbo Shop for more casual meals, and Antoine’s and Tujague’s which opened in the 19th century. Bourbon Street is the most well-known street in the French Quarter and is the center of the city’s nightlife.

In 2005, New Orleans called for its first mandatory evacuation in its history before Hurricane Katrina. 80% of the city flooded when floodwalls and levees failed. Many residents settled outside the city permanently because of the extensive damage.

The city hosted the Super Bowl in 2013 and continues its annual events such as Mardi Gras, the Jazz and Heritage Festival, and The Running of the Bulls New Orleans.

Things to Do in New Orleans

Activities for Families and Children

Information on Mardi Gras


New Orleans’ Wikipedia Page