New Orleans, Louisiana

  • New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville. At first, the community was nothing more than a trading camp on the curving east bank of the Mississippi River. Later, the city was organized into a rectangular, fortified community, which still exists today as the French Quarter. The original streets, laid out in a grid, were named for French royalty and nobility.
  • As “la nouvelle Orleans” grew to the west, north, and east, the city followed the river’s curve, becoming known as the “Crescent City” for its distinctive shape. Because New Orleans was completely surrounded by swamps and marshes (with a sea level of approximately six feet at its highest point), residents built levees, or earth embankments, to protect the city from the Mississippi River level’s spring rise and hurricane tidal surges. The city’s low sea level location also explains the ground level “basements” found in most of the New Orleans area’s old structures. To this day, massive pumps and canals drain the city, as annual rainfall can be between 60″ and 100″.
  • Established as the capital of the French colony of Louisiana, New Orleans was actually twice named the state capital. The title of capital city was moved from New Orleans to Donaldsonville in 1825, to Baton Rouge in 1846, to New Orleans in 1864 (during the Reconstruction period), and then again to Baton Rouge in 1879.


Jackson Square
Park where artists paint, draw & sell
Artists & performers ply their trades in a park built in 1721 & lined with historic buildings.

Aquarium of the Americas
Gulf marine life, penguins & parakeets
Marine exhibits plus a 400,000-gallon tank with coral reefs, sharks, rays & a walk-through tunnel.

Bourbon Street
Jazz and music
Bourbon Street is a street in the heart of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter, in New Orleans, Louisiana.