You’ve heard the rumors. And you probably think you know a lot about New Orleans or at least the important things. But do you? Read on to find out. Here are 5 lies about NOLA that everyone thinks are true.
The Fab 5
- New Orleans is below sea level. False. The French Quarter was originally built 10 feet above sea level. It has been slowly sinking over the decades. A study by the US Geological Society found the rate of sinkage was approximately 1 centimeter a year. Much of the area around New Orleans is below sea level but the majority of the city is above that line.
- Cajun food is HOT. False. Cajun food is flavorful, not hot. While there are some dishes that use Cayenne Pepper for spice, the heat index is usually quite low. That is why you find Tabasco and other”hot” sauces on the table in most restaurants. Cajun food should leave a warm feeling in the back of your throat, not a fire that sends you running for a gallon of milk.
- New Orleanians all speak French. False. In fact, most of us wouldn’t know how. We speak in many different accents, flavored by many different ethnic and cultural influences We sound nothing like you’ve seen portrayed in movies or on TV.
- Mardi Gras is the best time to visit New Orleans. False. Don’t get us wrong, Mardi Gras is great and we think everyone should experience it. However, there are so many more great things to experience in New Orleans. Besides Mardi Gras we have over 130 other festivals to check out throughout the year. These include Jazz Fest, the French Quarter Festival and the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.
- New Orleans is a Southern City. False. Of course, geographically New Orleans is a city in the South but the label stops there. The possession by France followed by Spain makes New Orleans unique and the most European City in America. New Orleans watched the Revolutionary War and the signing of the Declaration of Independence from across international borders. Our reputation as unconventional, cosmopolitan and rowdy grew to fuel today’s tourism. Bourbon Street is a direct descendant of this reputation. This is why 19 million visitors come to New Orleans every year!
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Even though you now know more than you did before about New Orleans, there is so much more to discover. The best way to do that is to take a walk with The Savvy Native. With over 20 historically accurate, entertaining and memorable tours, you can’t go wrong! We’d love to show you around.
The Savvy Native is a group of experienced local tour guides who were either born in New Orleans or wish they had been.
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