By Kyrus Keenan Wescott
The winds of change are blowing excitedly as we anticipate the inaugural launch of Microsoft’s Envision hosted for the first time in New Orleans.
And if you’re planning to attend, what a time to visit such a vibrant atmospheric city! The hometown of jazz, this bustling-at-the-seams melting pot of a city exudes indulgence. Even the celebrations and customs are as much about its history as it is hedonism. This is the place of the Mardi Gras! The place to eat fantastic Creole cuisine, drink, and immerse yourself in a euphoric culture.
Envision provides an opportunity to explore the latest solutions and hear from some of the most forward-thinking minds in business and technology. It promises to be a jam-packed line-up, featuring prominent industry visionaries and experts who will share the latest ideas, trends and innovations. We hope you will find time to explore your surroundings and thought it might be nice to share some fun facts, top attractions to visit plus a few local tips we’ve unearthed on how to get the most out of your time visiting New Orleans.
Dubbed “The Big Easy” New Orleans is located along the Mississippi River, the largest city in Louisiana. Viewed as the cultural heartbeat, the gem of the South; it has its own unique blend of French, African and American cultures. The city’s very facade is a unique architectural splendor par excellence, steeped and rooted in deep history. April sees the start of the summer festival season where the average temperature reaches a high of 25˚C (that’s about 77°F) during the day and drops to around 16°C (about 61°F) in the evenings. Time zone: (CST) Central Standard Time, UTC/GMT -6 hours.
The Tennessee Williams Literary Festival
Dedicated to the ghost of Pulitzer prize-winning American playwright Tennessee Williams, this annual five-day literary festival celebrates its 30th Anniversary and takes place from March 30 – April 3. The festival features several events related to the long illustrious career of the writer, American literature, poetry, opera, drama, film, photography, culture, art, history and even cooking. Highlights include writing workshops, literary readings, stage performances, a book fair, writing contests and music. The signature Stella and Stanley Shouting Contest closes the festival.
Known as The Vieux Carré or French Quarter, this is the oldest town center. The buildings are aged between 100 and nearly 300 years old, with arcades, wrought iron balconies, red-tiled roofs and charming fountain decked courtyards. The district contains an abundance of jazz spots, popular restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, galleries and old quaint hotels. Bourbon Street is the known for its hot jazz clubs, restaurants, and is the location of the famous Preservation Hall, and the Old Absinthe House.
New Orleans City Park covers more than 1,300 acres and features a Botanical Garden, 18-hole golf course, tennis complex, boating on the Big Lake, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden.
St Louis Cathedral
Built in 1794, St Louis Cathedral is the landmark structure in New Orleans and is known for being the United States’ oldest cathedral still in continuous use. Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral back in 1987.
National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum tells the story of soldiers through artifacts, film, photographs, diaries and oral histories. Exhibits include D-Day at Normandy, and Home Front and the Pacific. The film Beyond All Boundaries, produced by Tom Hanks, is shown in its 4 D Theater. The museum also features traveling exhibitions to complement its permanent collection.
One of those experiences you shouldn’t miss, the Steamboat Natchez offers cruises on the Mississippi River and is a unique way to see and learn about the city. Guests can choose from Jazz Dinner Cruises to Jazz Harbor Cruises typically lasting around two hours. The dinner cruise features a live jazz band, and a buffet-style dinner with Creole cuisine.
New Orleans Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution and hosts an impressive collection of almost 40000 objects of French and American art.
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