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    Getting its Rhythm Back

    The home of jazz, intriguing New Orleans evokes images of Louis Armstrong, wrought-iron balconies and mouth-watering Cajun cuisine. Louisiana’s largest city, in the heart of the Deep South, the ‘Big Easy’ is being regenerated in the wake of devastating hurricane Katrina.

    One area relatively unscathed was Bourbon Street – where jazz saxophones ring out of traditional bars interspersed by others offering more colourful nightlife. There are several New Orleans hotels near Bourbon Street, spread around the French Quarter with its distinctive Creole architecture.

    To the south is Jackson Square, dominated by the Disney-esque St Louis Cathedral. Horses and carts wait patiently by the square, and locals set up their stools and start playing catchy tunes. Just behind is the legendary Mississippi River whose waters are still plied by paddle steamers.

    From the river you get great views of the CBD skyscrapers and beside them is the huge Louisiana Superdome sports venue. Booking.com has several hotels near the Superdome, including some on Canal Street – a historic road where streetcars and the famous New Orleans Mardi Gras carnival pass down.

    In the northern suburbs is New Orleans City Park, one of the oldest US parks and larger than NYC’s Central Park. Waterways lining it flow into large Lake Pontchartrain bordered by a bayou – the typical wetlands of the state.