I've lived my entire life in the southwestern corner of Louisiana near the Texas border. On the opposite end of my fine state is the city that is probably more unique than any other city in these United States of America: New Orleans.
Call it the Crescent City, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot, or just plain ol' New Orleans, this wonderful place is like no other in the world. You'll find the influence of French, Spanish, Italian, African, and a multitude of other cultures throughout the city.
Music can literally be heard at any time during the day at just about any place in the city. From jazz (of which New Orleans is the birthplace) to Cajun to swamp pop and the Delta blues, you can hear it all in New Orleans.
Of course, no one can talk about the Crescent City and not mention the food. From Cafe Du Monde's world famous beignets to upscale restaurants such as Commander's Palace and all of the little dives in between (I highly recommend eating a po-boy from Domalise's), you will never go hungry in this city.
Mardi Gras is also one of the biggest parts of this city's colorful history. It's one of the best events I've ever personally attended and many of the parades are actually very kid friendly.
The city is also home to the NBA's New Orleans Hornets basketball team as well as the 2009-10 NFL Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.
I think that what amazes me most about New Orleans is the fact that even in a state considered very unique by most outsiders, the Big Easy itself is even more unique. Despite what you might see on television, not everyone in New Orleans is a Cajun. In fact, most Cajuns live in the areas primarily to the extreme southeast (in parishes such as Plaquemines) and extend west beyond Baton Rouge into the areas surrounding major cities like Lafayette and Lake Charles.
If you have never been to New Orleans (or Louisiana for that matter), I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list. This city has to be experienced to truly be understood. I love my home state of Louisiana and I love the city of New Orleans as well.