Monday, February 11, 2013

Timeshare Travel - Mardi Gras, New Orleans, and Streetcars

Tuesday, February 12, 2013, is the day this year that New Orleans will be pulling out all the stops and celebrating its over-the-top Mardi Gras. And a timeshare vacation will put you right in the middle of this grand party.

This carnival-type celebration was created by the Roman Catholic Church sometime in the mid 13th century as a time of merriment to proceed the strict 40-day Lenten period of penitence.

People from all over pour into New Orleans for the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the world. Besides the  Mardi Gras parade - Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, and even boats on the Mississippi River will all be on your agenda as you enjoy the Big Easy.

One way to immerse yourself in this wonderful city is to explore it by streetcar.

The iconic play by Tennessee Williams, Streetcar Named Desire, brought the idea of the romance of New Orleans’ streetcars into the public mainstream, and today, a ride on one of these streetcars can be the highlight of any trip to New Orleans.

New Orleans was the second U.S. city (following San Francisco) to install streetcars. The St. Charles Avenue line, which opened in 1835, is the oldest street car line still in operation in the world today.

The New Orleans streetcar system runs several different lines, giving you an opportunity to ride and explore as much as you would like of this exceptional city.

1. St. Charles Avenue Line. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a ride on this 13-mile line will give you a true sense of the beauty of New Orleans as you are taken through the extraordinary Garden District, passing under live oak tree canopies, and along streets lined with great historic mansions.

The St. Charles Line uses fully restored original streetcars, complete with mahogany seats and clanging bells.

2. Riverfront Line. Just under 2 miles long, this line, built in 1988, was the first built in the city since 1926. It utilizes a streetcar built in 1923. The rest of this line’s cars were built by local craftsmen.

Take this line to the National World War II Museum, and Woldenberg Park where you can picnic with a view of the ships plying the Mississippi River.

3. Canal Street Line. This 4-mile line was refurbished and reopened in 2004 after a 40-year closure. No original cars existed, so again local craftsmen, with the support of local businesses, built the line’s streetcars. To get to the New Orleans Museum of Art, take a spur line off the main Canal Street trunk line.

The mystery, magic and beauty of New Orleans can be fully enjoyed by the simple experience of riding an enchanting New Orleans streetcar.

Besides enjoying the streetcar as an inexpensive way to tour the city, extend your travel budget by staying in a New Orleans timeshare rental.

And buying a timeshare on the resale market is a way of making sure you get back to the Crescent City often.

Photo Credit: framework.latimes.com
Photo Credit: invadenola.com

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