The Central Business District ("CBD") is the part of New Orleans similar to what many cities call "Downtown" (though in New Orleans this term is often used to refer to a broad portion of the city down river from Canal Street). Just "up" (meaning up the Mississippi River) from the French Quarter is the CBD. Like many other large American cities, this area has skyscrapers and modern office towers housing cooperate and regional offices; however some interesting 19th century architecture is also preserved. The area also has hotels, residences, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. Located here are the Morial Convention center, Lee Circle, Champion Square, and the gigantic Mercedes Benz Superdome. The main avenues are Canal Street, Poydras Street, Loyola Ave and St. Charles Ave.
Some locals and guidebooks still refer to the CBD or the older part of it as the American Quarter, as it was the first part of town settled by large numbers of people from other parts of the United States, as opposed to the older French Quarter.
The portion of the "CBD" nearer the river is often called the "Old Warehouse District" or Warehouse District. In the late 20th century many of the old 19th century warehouses were converted into condominiums, art galleries, and restaurants.
Art galleries line Julia Street. Evenings of the first Saturday of the month are festive with new exhibits opening.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, . A fine aquarium at the foot of Canal Street. Take advantage of the combination ticket, which enables access to the Aquarium, the adjoining Entergy IMAX Theatre, and the Audubon Zoo located uptown (shuttle provided).edit
Entergy IMAX Theatre. Part of the Audubon Aquariumedit
Audubon Insectarium, 423 Canal St, . attraction opened in June 2008 in the historic old Custom House Building on Canal Street.edit
Confederate Museum, 929 Camp St (just down from Lee Circle), . Displays from the American Civil War.edit
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St (just up from Julia), . edit
Lafayette Square, bound by St. Charles Ave, Camp St, N Maestri St, and S Maestri St (one block up from Poydras St). The center of what was the "Old American Quarter" in the early 19th century, with the city's old neo-classical city hall and a belle epoch courthouse.edit
Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St, . edit
Louisiana Superdome, 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr (between Lasalle and Claiborne), . When no games or events are scheduled, you can take toursedit
New Orleans Arena, 1501 Girod St, . Located beside the Superdome, the New Orleans Arena hosts smaller shows & sporting events.edit
Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Pl (at the riverfront at the upriver end of the CBD), . The colorful floats for many of the parades of New Orleans Mardi Gras are made here. Experience a taste of Mardi Gras any time of year.edit
National World War II Museum
Morial Convention Center. The first part of the city's large convention center complex was built during the 1984 World's Fair and is named after a former mayor.edit
National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St (around the corner from the Confederate and other museums on Camp St), . Formerly the "D-Day Museum". Exhibits on the United States in World War II, both on the battlefronts and the home front. Expansions in recent years include a restaurant, the "Victory Theater" presenting multi-media historical presentation, and the "Stage Door Canteen" featuring live music shows in the style of WWII era USO shows.edit
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St, . edit
Walking tours of the buildings of the "Old American Quarter"
Harrah's Casino, 512 S Peters (at the foot of Canal Street, river end of Poydras). The state's only land-based casino (there are riverboat gambling venues in the suburbs). Located across from the Aquarium.edit
Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles (on Lee Circle at Howard Avenue). Casual bar with local rock and other bands.
FQB, on the 3rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal. Th-Sa nights jazz bands and singers, in the style and atmosphere of an upscale pre-WWII era jazz club. They serve good meals as well. Not cheap, but truly swank.
Howlin' Wolf, 907 South Peters in the Warehouse district music venue, . They host a good variety of local and visiting acts; definitely get a hold of their schedule in The Gambit, a weekly paper. (Note: if you visited here before Katrina, they are now a block up the street from their former location.)
Little Gem Saloon, 445 S Rampart St (downtown lake corner of Poydras) . Live jazz, blues, and other local bands upstairs Weds-Sun.
Meyer the Hatter, 120 St. Charles Ave. (just off Canal St)  has been selling a wide selection of men's hats here since 1894.
Riverwalk Marketplace, on a pier along the Mississippi Riverfront and physically connected to the New Orleans Hilton.  In addition to a variety of shops, hosts a fine view of the Mississippi River and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.
Liborio's 321 Magazine Street. Cuban, popular with local businessmen for lunch, also open for dinner.
Mothers 401 Poydras. Great "po' boys" (New Orleans style sandwiches); Located at Poydras @ Tchoupitoulas in the lower CBD. Try the "debris" po'boy, made with the bits of beef that remain in the pan once the main cut is removed. The bread pudding is also famous and very good. Weekday lunch crowd of local business people, but the line moves fast.
Emeril's, 800 Tchoupitoulas St, ☎ +1 504 528-9393. M-F 11:30AM-2PM and 6PM-10PM, Sa-Su 6PM-10PM. In the Warehouse District.edit
Grill Room at Windsor Court Hotel. Contender for best restaurant, but very expensive; Located in the CBD just down from the Casino. They also serve a fine high-tea.edit
Herbsaint, 701 St Charles Ave, ☎ +1 504 524-4114, . M-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 5:30PM-10PM. edit
Palace Cafe, 605 Canal St, ☎ +1 504 523-1661, . 11:30AM-10PM daily (limited menu from 2:30PM-5:30PM). French Creole, noted for the seafood and duck dishes, and the luscious white chocolate bread pudding.edit
Restaurant August, 301 Tchoupitoulas St, ☎ +1 504 299-9777, . M-F 11AM-2PM and 5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 5PM-10PM. Renown Chef John Besh's signature restaurant featuring Contemporary French with a focus on local ingredients. Menu balances seafood, fowl and meat. Try either the 5 course tasting or the John Besh "Degustation" menu which changes nightly.edit
Embassy Suites New Orleans - Convention Center, 315 Julia Street, ☎ +1 504 525-1993 (fax: +1 504 525-3437), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. edit
Courtyard New Orleans Downtown/Convention Center, 300 Julia Street, ☎ +1 504-598-9898 (fax: 1+ 504-598-9897), . Business hotel in New Orleans Warehouse District 2 blocks from the New Orleans Convention Center and a short walk from the French Quarter.edit
Hotel Monaco, 333 St Charles Ave, ☎ +1 504 561-0010, . edit
Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Two Poydras Street (at the River end of Poydras Street), ☎ +1 504 561-0500, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Across from the Casino $79+. edit
Hotel New Orleans Convention Center, 881 Convention Center Blvd, . Located across the street from the New Orleans Convention Center and offers upscale lodging.edit
Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue (at Poydras Street), ☎ +1 504 561 1234, . Near the Superdome and City Hall. Reopened in late 2011 after major renovations.edit
InterContinental New Orleans, 444 St Charles Ave, . Luxury hotel located on the St. Charles Mardi Gras parade route.edit
International House Hotel, 221 Camp St, . Boutique style hotel 2 blocks from the French Quarter.edit
Le Pavilion, 833 Poydras St, . One of the fanciest hotels in the city with the exception of the Ritz Carlton and Windsor Court. Elegant French and Old South stylings in the lobby. Featuring a Sunday "Jazz Brunch" with live music as well as a rooftop jacuzzi.edit
Loft 523, 523 Gravier St, . Boutique hotel 2 blocks from the French Quarter.edit
Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St, . Top notch hotel in what had been the Maison Blanche Department Store building. It's the Windsor Court's rival for finest in town.edit
The Roosevelt, 123 Baronne St, ☎ +1 504 648-1200, . One of the city's grand old hotels; reopened in 2009 after a 145 million dollar restoration modernized the rooms, returned the lobby to its historic glory, and reopened the famous Sazerac Bar and the Blue Room dinner & music venue. The lobby is worth a look even if you're not staying here.edit
The Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal St, ☎ +1 504 525-2500, . edit
The Whitney, 610 Poydras St, ☎ +1 504 581-4222, . A New Orleans hotel registered as a historic landmark.edit
Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St (near where Canal and Poydras meet the River), ☎ +1 504 523-6000 (email@example.com), . If you want the tops and are willing to pay top dollar for it, this is the place.edit
The convenient location of the neighborhood, especially the area between Rampart and the river, allows easy access to other parts of town: walk across Canal Street and you're in the upper part of the French Quarter. Take the red Canal Streetcar line away from the river to the attractions of Mid-City, or in the other direction the end of the line and you're at the edge of Faubourg Marigny. The green St. Charles Streetcar line takes you to Uptown and Carrollton. The ferry at the foot of Canal Street (free for pedestrians, $1 for cars) will take you across the Mississippi to the Algiers neighborhood, and give you a scenic budget mini-cruise of the River in the process.
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