There aren't enough hours in the day in New Orleans, but the frenzied pace keeps you moving. If you're staying in one of the balconied rooms overlooking the French Quarter, you can fall out of bed into Jackson Square, a good place to start your walking tour and people watching. The St. Louis Cathedral is the centerpiece of the square, around which you'll find museums, galleries, restaurants, shopping and an open-air artist colony.
From there, hop on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar and head over to the Garden District to take in the opulent Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian mansions. Stop at Lafayette Cemetery #1, one of the above-ground cemeteries, known as "Cities of the Dead," where remains are interred in the monuments and crypts. Note the street-like layout of the cemeteries. End your tour at the Garden District Book Shop to peruse regional titles and snag an autographed Anne Rice novel.
Back at the French Quarter, it's "happy hour" any time of night or day. Stop by Pat O'Brien's and share their requisite specialty drink -- the hurricane. After dinner, drop by Preservation Hall to hear the real deal -- authentic New Orleans-style jazz. There's no cover, but don't look for a seat, it's strictly SRO. Stop by a few more jazz clubs, and top off your evening with a leisurely nightcap in one of the French Quarter's upscale hotels. Grab a few winks, and start over the next day with beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde …
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