Music streams from every doorway on Bourbon Street, inviting people to sway with the beat. Laughter is heard from every group that passes by. The joie de vivre, or zest for life, is undeniable.

It is rare to see a frown in New Orleans, as the sheer vibrancy and energy of the place permeates every particle of one’s body. The moment I stepped onto the streets of the Crescent City, I felt this vivacity, this passion for art, music and life. It is something one cannot escape, a quality that keeps people coming back to New Orleans time and time again.

As a first-time visitor, I was a little unsure about where to go and how best to get around. However, I quickly learned that people are eager to help, and even more willing to share their favorite places to see in New Orleans. The locals love their city, and they are not shy about sharing their thoughts. This welcoming environment made it easy for me to settle in, enjoy my stay and explore all New Orleans has to offer. And there is certainly a lot.