One of America’s oldest cities, New Orleans is also one of its prettiest – full of historic architecture, tropical blooms that thrive in the sultry climate and the wide, winding Mississippi river that encircles the town. Then, there’s the eye-popping, mouth-watering plates of gorgeous food. In these photos, feast your eyes on what makes New Orleans look so good.
Located close to the bend in the Mississippi River that cradles the French Quarter in the city's namesake crescent, the New Orleans Downtown Marriott offers gorgeous, expansive views of the historic neighborhood and the riverfront.
Paddlewheer (Photo: James Pintar/Thinkstock)
St. Charles Avenue Streetcar
Hop on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar at the intersection of Bourbon and Canal St. at the French Quarter's edge, and roll past antebellum mansions and the live oak and magnolias trees that are hung with beads tossed from Mardi Gras parade floats year-round.
Inside a New Orleans streetcar (Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock)
On the second story of a French Quarter building that hugs the river levee, Galvez Restaurant serves up Spanish cuisine and beautiful Mississippi river views that have earned it a reputation as one of the city's most romantic restaurants.
Galvez Restaurant (Photo: Galvez Restaurant)
Dickie Brennan's Tableau Restaurant
Connected to the nearly hundred-year-old historic Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, the storied Brennan restaurant family's latest venture, Tableau (which serves a classic French Creole menu) is a convenient spot for a bite before the play. The colorful plates of food are just as visually engaging as anything on the stage. Not to mention the colorful characters — tarot readers, caricaturists, tap-dancers and musicians — you can see in Jackson Square from Tableau's wraparound balcony.
Seafood sampler appetizer at Dickie Brennan's Tableau Restaurant (Photo: Tableau)
A row of dining spots in the Lakeview neighborhood share enviable waterfront vistas of Lake Pontchartrain and the New Basin canal. The tradition of lakefront dining was scuttled in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, but nearly a decade later, Lakeshore Drive is again populated by seafood restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating and views of the water that, at sunset, positively glow. Try Brisbi's Lakefront Restaurant & Bar, The Blue Crab or Landry's Seafood.
Landry's Seafood (Photo: Landry's, Inc.)
Ralph's on the Park Restaurant
Tucked away in the mostly residential Mid-City neighborhood, Ralph's on the Park overlooks City Park, New Orleans' largest public green space. The park is home to the New Orleans Museum of Art, outdoor sculpture gardens and idyllic lagoons where you can rent a paddleboat and drift among the swans. Ralph's adds its own artistic flair with beautifully prepared dishes.
Crab cake at Ralph's on the Park (Photo: Ralph's on the Park)