New Orleans is famed for two things – the birthplace of jazz music and home to arguably the largest Mardi Gras Festival in the world.
Since the city was founded in the 18th century it has had a large African American population. Many of these were very talented musicians. At the beginning of the 20th century they got such instruments as clarinets, drum kits and saxophones cheaply off the military after the American Civil War. After they began to congregate in different venues around the city they collectively invented jazz music.
If it is Mardi Gras that draws you to New Orleans (or 'N’awlins' as the locals call it) then you need to plan to visit this vibrant city in February (the 24th to be specific). In and around the festival New Orleans becomes America’s liveliest city and this is one of the country’s best festivals.
Straying away from traditions, New Orleans is still full of your average bars and clubs. The French Quarter is the city’s most pulsating area, while other areas such are full of life too.