New Orleans Airport
Car Rental at New Orleans Airport
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Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States.
Named after the famous native jazz musician, the airport is a key hub for the Gulf States, flying passengers to Central and South America and major cities in the United States.
Located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, the New Orleans Airport is only 11 miles west of downtown.
As much of New Orleans was laid out before the introduction of cars and followed the Mississippi River’s curves, booking a hire car at New Orleans Airport will become more useful as you explore the sights outside of the touristy French Quarter.
New Orleans has a very distinctive medley of cultures and cuisines that appear exotic even to tourists from nearby States.
Before the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, there were already residents here of French, Spanish and African ancestry collectively designated as the ‘Creole.’
Aside from the French Quarter which is a prominent reminder of the city’s heritage, there are also a collection of structures and festivals that had been influenced by the Catholics.
Mardi Gras and Voodoo
Walk around the historic center which is more suitable for pedestrian tourists.
The St. Augustine Church, the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the United States, and the Immaculate Conception Church on Jackson Square are some of the most popular.
The Mardi Gras festival is both of French (for ‘fat Tuesday’) and Catholic influences (as the celebration is held before Ash Wednesday).
The African element of Creole culture comes in the form of voodoo, an incarnation of the West African-based spiritual folkways which originated from Dahomeyan Vodun and later on syncretized with Catholicism and the Francophone culture.
The Blues Highway on US 61
New Orleans is widely considered as the birthplace of jazz, and you can trace its origins if you drive up three and a half hours north by car.
The roots of blues, forerunner to jazz, can be found in the Mississippi Delta, specifically in that 250-mile stretch of US Highway 61 that runs from Vicksburg, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee.
If you have enough days set aside for a grander road trip you can drive the entirety of Highway 61 from New Orleans all the way to Minnesota, a distance of about 1,400 miles.
You can drop off a one way rental car at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport after visiting Mississippi River’s headwaters at Lake Itasca.
US Highway 61 generally follows the course of the river, hence the route designation in most states as the Great River Road.
Cajun Cuisine and Bayou Byways in the Gulf Coast
No other geographical feature of Louisiana is as enduring as its peaceful bayous, flat low-lying areas filled with water from a slow-moving river or stream.
There are plenty of bayous a short drive outside of New Orleans that you can easily get to by car.
Bayou Bartholomew, the longest in the world at 364 miles, starts about five and a half hours north and flows right into southern Arkansas.
Or you can keep to the Gulf Coast and drive west to Baton Rouge and finally to Lafayette not only for its scenery but also for its Cajun cuisine like jambalaya and gumbo.