NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For many locals, there's nothing like being home for the holidays. But those in town visiting say Christmas in New Orleans is one of the greatest gifts of all.
"We wanted to have an experience for Christmas and what better place to New Orleans," said John Fowler.
Janet Moore and John Fowler are first-time visitors from Seattle.
"We had a white Christmas in Seattle and a 70° Christmas in New Orleans," Fowler said.
They and their two, grown sons made the Crescent City their Christmas destination.
"Everybody flew here to spend the holiday together," Moore said.
From Cafe du Monde to Celebration in the Oaks...
"We've just, we've been doing it all and then, just hanging out on Bourbon Street. How can you get any more fun than that?" said Fowler.
The couple is one of many who set their sites on the city for the holiday.
Shana and David Haney hail from Houston. This is their first Christmas as a married couple. They say they can't get enough of the culture, here.
"This is one of my gift to her. I wanted to take her out of town so, this is a surprise. She's always wanted to be in New Orleans," explained David Haney. "It's a very spiritual place. We like the vibe. We like the urban vibe."
"All the food and the culture and the music and drinking in public and something we haven't been able to experience anywhere else," gushed California visitor Shayna Lamb.
Eric and Shana Lamb are traveling cross-country and hadn't planned to stop in New Orleans, but they're glad they did.
"We are away from home, it seems like a great place to spend Christmas," said Eric.
"We're actually going to spend another night here, we decided. We were supposed to leave this morning but we couldn't," Shayna said.
The two say the atmosphere this time of year makes for an ideal holiday experience.
"It seems like it's a much more mellow time to be year than what you normally see and, yet, you can still have fun," Eric explained.
"Yeah, there's a lot of people out but it's not completely crazy," agreed Shayna.
It's no news for locals like the Hilbert's, who say there nowhere they'd rather spend Christmas than in the quarter.
"This is the essence of the city," said Shauna Hilbert.
Yet, for those who'll head home after the holiday.
"We are going home tomorrow night and back to reality," said Fowler.
They say the Crescent City has made it a memorable one.
"It's been a great time, we really enjoyed New Orleans. It's been just, super, super fun," Fowler said.