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New Orleans, LA

Sounding like a LocalSpeaking a second language doesn't always help in New Orleans, where French-sounding names have their own unique pronunciations. Here's a quick guide to the native tongue.

Cajun—a descendant of the French Acadians who fled Canada in the mid-1700s and settled in the Louisiana bayous.

Chartres (CHAR-ters)—don't use your French accent with this street, or with Burgundy (ber-GUN-dee), Conti (KONT-eye) or Calliope (CAL-lee-ope).

Chèr—a Cajun endearment.

Creole—strictly speaking, the original French and Spanish families who formed the elite of New Orleans society, as opposed to English-speaking immigrants who came later.

Fais do-do (fay doh-doh)—a Cajun street dance that lasts all night.

Krewes—private social and civic groups that organize Mardi Gras parades.

Lagniappe (lan-yap)—an elusive term for “a little something extra,” like a baker's dozen.

Laissez les bons temps rouler (LAY-zay leh bawn tawn roo-LAY)—Let the good times roll.

Pirogue (PEE-row)—a long, narrow swamp boat, originally made from a hollowed cypress log.

Neutral Ground—the grassy median separating street lanes.

Tchoupitoulas (CHOP-a-TOO-lus)—pronouncing this street is the true test of a native.

Vieux Carré (VOO cah-RAY)—the “Old Square,” or the French Quarter.

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New Orleans, LA

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Travel Information

City Population



11 ft.

Sales Tax

Louisiana's statewide sales tax is 4.45 percent; an additional 5 percent is levied in the New Orleans metro area, and Orleans Parish has a .5 percent tax on food and beverages. The city has a 11.75 percent lodging tax, plus an occupancy tax of $1-$12 per night. The state's car rental tax is 3 percent.



Police (non-emergency)

(504) 821-2222

Fire (non-emergency)

(504) 658-4700

Time and Temperature

(318) 324-8808


Ochsner Medical Center, (504) 842-3000; Touro Infirmary, (504) 897-7011; Tulane Medical Center, (504) 988-5263; University Medical Center New Orleans, (504) 702-3000.

Visitor Information

1221 Elmwood Park Blvd. Suite 411 New Orleans, LA 70123. Phone:(504)731-7083 or (877)572-7474

Air Travel

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is about 21 miles west of downtown New Orleans in Kenner and is served by nearly all major domestic and foreign carriers.

Rental Cars

New Orleans is served by several major car rental agencies. Arrangements should be made before you leave on your trip. Your local AAA club can provide this service or additional information. Hertz, (504) 568-1645 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

Amtrak uses the Union Passenger Terminal at 1001 Loyola Ave. Daily service is offered. Phone (800) 872-7245 for further information.


The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus terminal is at 1001 Loyola Ave.; phone (504) 525-6075 or (800) 231-2222 for schedule and fares.


Cabs are plentiful in the main business and tourist areas. Average fare is $3.50 initially and $2.40 for each additional mile and $1 for each additional person. The largest companies are Metry, (504) 835-4242 and United, (504) 522-9771. Information about taxi service also can be obtained from the Taxicab & For Hire Bureau at (504) 658-7176.

Public Transportation

Transportation by bus, streetcar and ferry is available in New Orleans.

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