charms of the French Quarter
Photo: Leslie Monthan
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3. Explore the neighborhood

Even without a Mardis Gras parade, if you're an old-house enthusiast like me, you can get giddy walking through the eccentric charms of a national treasure like the French Quarter. Though the Quarter did suffer wind and water damage during Katrina, for the most part it escaped the terrible flooding after and has recovered much faster than other parts of the city. In fact, many restaurants and inns took the opportunity to upgrade as they repaired.
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