Odds and ends of New Orleans
Unique treats to take up your time
NEW ORLEANS—To conclude our tour of New Orleans,here are some activities different from what you can get access in most majortourist city destinations, both in and outside the city.
One things to consider is a swamp tour, andvarious operations exist both in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana to giveyou something up close and personal with the flora and fauna of the state'sbayous, swamps and waterways and the flora and fauna that live there.
If you like to see beautiful homes and lovelygardens, a formal or self-guided tour through New Orleans' Garden District ishighly recommended, and can be done via trolley, by foot, or a combination ofboth—mostly by foot, though, if you really want to take the time to drink inthe sights.
While it may sound morbid to some, tours ofvarious cemeteries are also readily available in New Orleans. Because so muchof the city is below sea level and the area is so swampy, traditionalbelow-ground burial is often not feasible, and so the cemeteries of the cityare a collection of tombs, many of them quite ornate and some rich in history.While the cemeteries are relatively safe, there are somewhat off the beatentrack and have many secluded portions, so you would be advised to go withseveral other people if you chose a self-guided option rather than an officialtour group.
Plantation tours are also interesting, many ofthose plantations being within a 40- to 60-minute drive of New Orleans. Theyoffer a multi-layered view of the area's early history, combining both the pompof the wealthy families of the early South (both before and after the areabecame part of the United States) as well as the uglier side of those days,with old slave quarters still standing on the properties.
Some interesting facts and oddities about NewOrleans and Louisiana
- Louisiana was named in honor of France's KingLouis XIV.
- At roughly 24 miles long, the Lake Pontchartrain Causewaythat connects Metairie with St. Tammany Parish on the North Shore was until veryrecently the longest bridge in the world (until China finished its QingdaoHaiwan Bridge, which is 26.4 miles long, in early 2011).
- Louisiana has the tallest state capitol buildingin the United States, standing 450 feet tall and having 34 floors.
- Louisiana, with its political subdivisions beingknown as parishes, is the only state in the nation that does not have counties.
- In Louisiana, biting someone with your naturalteeth is a simple assault, while biting someone with your false teeth is treatedas an aggravated assault.
- The Battle of New Orleans, which made AndrewJackson a national hero, was fought two weeks after the War of 1812 had endedand more than a month before the news of the war's end had reached Louisiana.
- The first U.S. army entity to have AfricanAmerican officers was the confederate Louisiana Native Guards.
- The buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleansare mostly in Spanish style because a fire in the late 1700s destroyed amultitude of the original French-style buildings and the area was rebuilt whileunder Spanish rule.
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