I am looking to go to USA for a 5-6 week holiday around March/April.
I have always wanted to go to New Orleans because from what I've been told it used to be an awesome place to go drinking and party. I've been told that you could hire a marching band to follow you around as you drank down Bourbon street.
The only problem is it's out of the way from most of the other places I want to go.
I just want to know if it's still a worthwhile destination if you want to experience the nightlife, or whether it is still recovering from Katrina. Google isn't really helping me, it just links to news stories
New Orleans has some interesting history, but I would only spend 3-4 days there at most. If you can rent a car and go upriver some, there are cool historic plantations you can tour. Otherwise, spend a night on Bourbon St, tour St Louis Cemetery #1, take a river boat ride, hear some excellent music both on the street and in the bars, and eat all the good food. People are pleasant for the most part, and extremely proud of their dirty little city.
It's absolutely worth it to go. Katrina irreversibly changed the city and some parts are still recovering, but I love New Orleans.
Go to the WWII museum if that interests you at all. You can spend an entire day in there easily if you're into history. At night, Bourbon street is fun to do for exactly one day. Any more than that and you've seen it all. I'd recommend a night or two out on Frenchman street as well. Probably 3-ish days and nights and you've spent plenty in New Orleans.
Where else are you planning to go in the US? I'm pretty well-traveled within the US and could give some other recommendations
Just moved away from New Orleans. Lived there for years. Bourbon St is only for tourists to party/get fleeced. Frenchmen St isn't that far away, has quality music instead of strip clubs and isn't just for frat bros.
The best place to party that time of year is following a second line. A second line is a traveling jazz band block party. They happen all over the city. Some are unannounced, but WWOZ radio station can often tell you where to find them. (If you are from /pol/, be sure to prove you are man by shouting about your political views.)
Why not, AMA
Uptown, near Audobon park and the Universities. Which is generally a very rich part of town. But New Orleans changes fast. Two blocks away from my house was the NFL Quarterback's mansion. Two blocks in the other direction were poverty shacks and abandoned buildings.
It is hot, humid and full of flying, 2" cockroaches. The old houses look pretty, but let in all those cockroaches. I never owned my place, but maintenance, and the massive flooding every 40 years would be troublesome. (The regular flooding every time it rains is also inconvenient.) Everyone is very friendly, but government corruption is just accepted as inevitable. So the roads are a mess and we kept having "boil water advisories", where you can't drink the tap water. If you want to go there and help fix the problems, great it is a cool historic city. But I'm no politician and I just want things to work already.
Only thing I'll really miss is the second lines. You can't find that anywhere else in the country.