New Orleans, USA

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Its melting pot of influences; African, French and Caribbean, give this city on the Mississippi River a unique vibrancy, not least after dark when the music clubs and bars strike up with authentic jazz and blues sounds. Preservation Hall is only the best known of its many late-night music haunts. The diverse cultural mix also adds spice to its famous Creole and Cajun cuisine. Although a relatively small city, especially by US standards, walking will not get you around all of its sights so why not climb on board one of its historic streetcars, the oldest continuously operating system in the world? Jackson Square in the heart of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter) is a good daytime starting point to explore the area's late 18th century houses with their magnolia-draped balconies and hidden courtyards.