Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Beyond Bourbon Street ...

We like to bring you stories about how people in other parts of the U.S. and elsewhere view the New Orleans area. Today we bring you the first half of a story that ran recently on

Posted on Tue, May. 31, 2005
NEW ORLEANS: Beyond Bourbon Street, family fun
JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - It's a city of hot times and cold cocktails, known in the 1800s as the Great Southern Babylon and now as an annual gathering spot for women willing to bare their breasts at Mardi Gras.

But now New Orleans is cultivating a new reputation - as a destination for families.

Sure, the city has casinos, more bars than you can shake a swizzle stick at, and strip joints where signs boast "Bottomless topless tabletop dancing."

But it also has a highly regarded zoo, aquarium and children's museum; a theme park with enough rides to keep you dizzy for a week, and one of the nation's largest city parks, with an antique carousel and a miniature train exhibit.

In addition, it's a short drive to swamp and plantation tours and only an hour to Baton Rouge, with its new planetarium and an Old State Capitol built to look like a castle.

These and many other attractions - including the family-friendly side of Mardi Gras (yes, there really is one) - are featured in a new marketing campaign by the city: "If your family hasn't been to New Orleans, you haven't lived."

On a recent day, the David family from West Los Angeles was visiting the Aquarium of the Americas on the riverfront. They came for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and a condo time-share that Paul and Mary David bought during a visit 15 years ago - before Rachel, 14, and Will, 5, were born.

The Davids had rented out the condo to others until this year, when they decided to start with Jazz Fest and stay a week.

"We were a little worried about taking the kids," said Paul David. But they found lots of great places to take them, including swamp tours and plantations.

"There's a lot of history for kids this age," Mary David said.

Of course the city also has a sleazy side - like the strip joints on Bourbon Street. "I wouldn't call Bourbon Street a family promenade," said Dan Cornwall of Marietta, Ga., visiting on business but traveling with his wife, Kris, and their children, Jessica, 14, Rebecca, 12, and Aaron, 9. But he added that he liked the art and antique stores there.

Join us tomorrow for the rest of the article.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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