Car rental in Nouvelle Orléans
Rent a car in New Orleans

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When you rent a car in New Orleans, you'll have the freedom to explore this gorgeous city and its natural surroundings at your leisure. Magnificent Lake Pontchartrain leads out into plantation country and many charming small towns serving up amazing local seafood. Rural Louisiana has plenty to offer, with unspoilt scenery and Southern US culture. There are a lot of places you can visit for the day before heading back to your home base in New Orleans.

It's your choice: Where to go in New Orleans

You'll see a range of neighbourhoods when you rent a car in New Orleans. The city is most famous for its gorgeous French Quarter, with endless delights the senses day or night. Stay here and stroll to Jackson Square, home to the Disney castle-esque Saint Louis Cathedral. By night, the neighbourhood comes alive with the sound of jazz music and lively clubs on Bourbon Street. The uptown area has a family-friendly and traditional feel to it, with sprawling 19th-century homes in the Garden District. Even if you're not renting one of the homes for your trip, you can ride along in a streetcar to see them. Downriver is where you can chill out in local cafés and enjoy the sounds of New Orleans's music culture away from the hedonistic French Quarter.

Things to do in New Orleans

Tasting the food in New Orleans is an experience in itself. Cajun and Creole dishes feature heavily on menus, offering hearty and delicious tastes that blend Southern American, Caribbean, French, and Spanish cuisine. While there's a great selection of restaurants in the city, you can also drive out to places such as nearby Saint Bernard Parish. Here, you'll find the 'down-home' cuisine that Louisiana is renowned for. Admire the French Quarter's architecture, and be sure to walk through the beautiful historic cemeteries, such as Greenwood and Saint Louis. Inspiring cultural institutions include the National WWII Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Families will appreciate a day out at the Audubon Zoo, home to exotic creatures and local beauties including American alligators.

Important info about New Orleans

Southeastern Louisiana, generally warm, has a humid subtropical climate with hot and long summers. From October to April, you'll find the mildest temperatures, making it a pleasant time to wander outside and go out for drives. This part of the US features a rich array of local flora, and renting a car in New Orleans will help you see more of it. If you can tear yourself away from New Orleans's ornate colonial architecture and intoxicating atmosphere, the historic plantation houses and small towns surrounding the metropolitan area are well worth a visit. New Orleans is often cited as one of the world's most unique cities, and its distinct European influences are seen in its food and architecture – on several streets, you may think you're in Paris. After you've tucked into the magnificent Creole food and experienced the local jazz scene, you'll begin to understand what makes the city so magnetic.

Weather in New Orleans
Country United States
Language English
Currency US dollar
Time-Zones Central Time (GMT-5)
Country Code +1

Good to know

When you rent a car in New Orleans, you'll discover that driving is easy in the United States thanks to its excellent road system, and a pleasure thanks to the country's iconic large vehicles. In Louisiana, intrepid explorers will be rewarded with splendid vistas – long stretches of undisturbed wilderness are waiting to be discovered. Keep in mind that your UK driving licence is valid in the United States, and that you'll want to keep your passport, insurance documentation, and warning triangles in your car. You'll need to be at least 21 to rent a vehicle here, although some companies may only lease cars to those over 25. Whereas the blood-alcohol limit is 0.08% in Louisiana, it's always a good idea to avoid alcohol completely when driving. Drivers stick to the right-hand side of the road in the US.

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What to visit in the surroundings of New Orleans

New Orleans boasts plenty of fantastic destinations, and with a car rental, you'll be able to see so much more than the average visitor to Louisiana. Check out the fantastically charming local towns in the bayous, and the state capital, Baton Rouge, just two hours' drive away. It's a perfect day trip, offering a magnificent array of cultural institutions to see, including the African American Museum and the Louisiana State Museum. See the Horace Wilkinson Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and makes for a gorgeous photo set against the towering city skyline. Gulfport, 1.5 hours from New Orleans, is renowned for its local seafood restaurants. You'll also have the option to tour local swampland, such as the Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve, a wonderful place to appreciate the natural splendour of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta.

What to bring your friends from New Orleans

Less visited than New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, New Orleans promises souvenirs sure to delight loved ones back home. Food items such as Cajun spices and hot sauce make excellent gifts, as they can be hard to source outside this part of the US. They're good for livening up humdrum chicken dinners, so you may want to pick up some for yourself, too. Beignets, delicious pastries similar to doughnuts, are another tasty option. Although they may not transport well, you can pick up boxes of mix so that you and your friends can try your hand at making this speciality. Regardless of whether you visit during Mardi Gras, you can pick up the celebration's iconic beads. Look for them at local markets, where you'll also find unique artworks among other treasures. The French Market is often considered the best.