Families are constantly tightening budgets and a lot are cutting their summer vacations. But a TripAdvisor.com survey says New Orleans is one of the least expensive destinations in the U.S.
Music is a big draw. "You know, listening to music on a workday, on a Wednesday afternoon, the artistry... it's just a wonderful place," said Greg Harris of Atlanta, Ga.
Food is a major component, too. "They were also excited about how good the food was," said Sydney Doverspike of New Orleans.
But atmosphere tops it all. "We did the vampire tour. We did the hop-on/hop-off, the horse and carriage... we went down Bourbon Street and did the bar thing and oh, yeah, we've been busy," said Dawn Wilson and Randy Rison from Myrtle Beach, SC.
Harris visits every year for his birthday. This is his 11th such visit, having a birthday lunch at Mother's. He said, "Very affordable and fun and almost like leaving the country without leaving the country, because New Orleans is almost like a little country unto itself, not like the rest of the United States."
Affordability is the key with a TripAdvisor.com survey, naming New Orleans as the sixth least expensive city to visit in the United States.
The survey compares average the costs for four-star hotel stays, dinners for two including a bottle of wine, two-mile round-trip taxi rides and cocktails for two, giving the city a total of 235.33 a day for a high-end stay.
Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, says individuals can do even better.
"We've got a price point for every budget with restaurants. You can find hotels all over the price point, everywhere from below $100 upwards from there," said Romig.
The survey says you get a lot for your money, but there's also a lot you don't have to pay for. The Historic New Orleans Collection offers free tours and you can learn about a lot more with your smartphone.
"We have a very, very effective visitor app called goNOLA in which visitors, as well as citizens, can learn all sorts of great things about the city," said Romig.
Five walking tours can be downloaded from the app. Romig said, "It really gives you a sense of the city in a way. You hear it through the voice of some of our greatest celebrities that live and work in New Orleans."
John Goodman, Patricia Clarkson, Brian Batt, Wendle Pierce and Soledad O'Brien each voice an hour to one-and-a-half-hour walking tour.
The Historic New Orleans Collection also offers free tour information via an app.
Las Vegas came in as the least expensive city to visit, with Honolulu topping the list as the most expensive city.
The following links provide more information for tourists and residents alike: