A cover story in a travel magazine that we subscribe to recently raised a question about returning to favorite destinations.  “Can you ever really go back?” the article posed.  If the destination in question is New Orleans, than our answer is a resounding “yes” - again, again and again!  

Your Set of Drifters’ first experience visiting New Orleans with one another occurred in the fall of 2003, years before Hurricane Katrina wrecked havoc on much of the area.  On that debut trip together, we absolutely fell in love with the complex spirit of the city, and the intense beauty that it retains to this day.  From the Garden District to the French Quarter, the Warehouse District to the Marigny (and even Algiers), New Orleans oozes such a distinct character thanks to (and in spite of) its rich, and often troubled, history.

From that initial voyage we were hooked, and just six months after Katrina devastated Louisiana, we were back!  Sure, New Orleans had changed deeply, but in a surprising turn, it had emerged even stronger, and certainly more soulful than ever before.

We have visited an additional four times since.  Why?  Perhaps it’s the piquant food and naughty, naughty cocktails.  Or maybe it’s the live music, just as much part of the landscape as any vine-covered Creole cottage, that spills out onto every cobblestoned street corner from Dauphine to Decatur.  Of course, the mystical vibe that hangs over much of the Vieux Carré after dusk surely doesn’t hurt matters.  But above all, it must be New Orleans’ diverse population - a melting pot of warm and friendly people that exude equal parts humor and poignancy - that keeps us coming back for more.  

Owing much to the Spanish, French and Acadian influences that still thrive today, this fabulous city is truly unlike any other in the United States.  And because of its centralized location relative to the rest of the country, New Orleans makes for the perfect three-day weekend getaway.  (Though even with such a short amount of time, visitors should expect an escape far from daily troubles.)  By limiting your stay to only two or three nights, you’ll also be keeping costs down at the same time.  Not that it matters too much.  New Orleans has consistently been one of the most affordable cities we’ve visited throughout the years.  (Just another reason we’re repeat fans!) 

Don’t let preconceived notions about Katrina or rowdy Bourbon Street dissuade you from visiting “N’awlins.”  This city is a survivor - always evolving with great energy, passion and of course, that magic je ne sais quoi that can only be found here.  Though we often have a difficult time explaining to the uninitiated just why this place remains our favorite, we can assure you that you’ll have a grand old time.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!