New Orleans, Louisiana (Expansion Office)
An international seaport with direct water connections to half the United States, New Orleans would not exist without the Mississippi River. Its roots are deep in the saturated soils of the delta; its history is a pageant of canoes, rafts, paddle-wheels, and barges from mid-America converging with sails and steamships from around the world. Under four flags New Orleans has grown from a tiny swamp outpost populated by French convicts to a major economic center, a sports-minded city of rare elegance, culture, and high spirits. The city consistently appears on "Top Ten" lists as a vacation destination, cited particularly for its many attractions and for its fine cuisine.