An iconic New Orleans locale since its construction in the mid-nineteenth century, Jackson Square is perhaps the most recognizable place in town outside of the Superdome. Originally designed as a military plaza, the city block-sized space is now awash with artists, musicians, performers, and street hustlers nearly 24/7. If the free-range circus gets to be a bit much, the small garden park in the center of the square provides an oasis amid bedlam. For an even calmer respite, bear in mind the square sits literally in the shadow of the steeples of St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in the United States. Its soaring, ornate basilica, generally open to the public, is worth checking out regardless of your religious affiliation.