New Orleans. NOLA. The Big Easy. The city of jazz is full of different names, all culminating into letting the good times roll! This city might be only ten years removed from a disastrous Hurricane Katrina, but New Orleanians have banded together and kept tourism and its buildings flourishing.

I was blessed with the opportunity this past St. Patty’s week with joining the American Marketing Association at the International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. This conference was not only a great investment for my professional development, but a great look at one of America’s eclectic cities for the very first time. I was only there for four days, but I wanted to be there for so much longer.

One of the ways New Orleans won me over went straight for my stomach. NOLA is famous for having shrimp in almost every dish, and I soon was able to taste every French-inspired temptation I had. Start the day off with breakfast at the Palace Café. It might seem like it’s a little outdoor café, but once you enter through that revolving door, you will be greeted with luxury and serenaded by a wonderful Jazz band that is music to your ears. As your day moves on, cruise on over to the one and only Gumbo Shop. Your soul will be pleased with all types of Cajun foods.

Now of course New Orleans is not all about its unique food, but its great historic factor. French Quarters has some of the most beautiful 18th century homes with iron-rod balconies. The 1850 house is a great place to visit on a plantation that wanted to show off its wealth. With its history comes an eerie spookiness. Cemetery tours in the middle of the city are frequent, but are only allowed to be seen under strict guidance, or else the ghosts will get you! Just kidding, but the voodoo practice is very much alive, something to do only if you dare. This city is one of the most haunted in the United States, but that makes it all the more fun.

The New Orleans nightlife, especially with the famous Bourbon Street, can take you all the way until dawn. So no matter how into NOLA you experience, you will have a great time that will definitely want you coming back again. With its good food, great music, and lots of partying, the big curve of the Mississippi will be music to your ears!