The 16 Finest Issues to Do in New Orleans (Up to date 2023)

One of the many old, colorful buildings in bustling New Orleans
Posted: 5/23/2023 | Could twenty third, 2023

New Orleans is likely one of the greatest cities on the earth. Synonymous with debauchery, it’s change into well-known for the boisterous Mardi Gras pageant that takes over town every February.

However there’s extra to “NOLA” than simply partying. Far more.

I first went in 2006 and have been drawn again numerous occasions, diving deeper and deeper into town. From feasting on scrumptious Creole meals to studying about voodoo and its cultural roots, New Orleans is a metropolis with layers — layers which can be typically missed by partying vacationers.

New Orleans is magic. It’s such an exceptional place. I’ve by no means not had a good time there. It’s one among my favourite locations within the WORLD! That’s how good it’s!

That will help you have enjoyable and profit from your go to past the vacationer path, right here’s my record of the perfect issues to do in New Orleans:

1. Rejoice Mardi Gras

People celebrating Mardi Gras during a wild parade in New Orleans
Mardi Gras — French for “Fats Tuesday” — is likely one of the hottest festivals on the earth. It kicks off in January and lasts till Ash Wednesday. There are parades with floats and reside music, balls, and a nonstop occasion ambiance recognized for getting rowdy. Upwards of 1,000,000 guests flock right here every year to rejoice, turning town into an enormous occasion.

Whereas it may be a blast, be sure you guide every little thing nicely upfront, as costs skyrocket and every little thing sells out shortly. However it’s a celebration to not be missed!

2. Hearken to music on Frenchmen Road

Buskers, jazz, blues, massive band: yow will discover all of it in NOLA. Dwell music is massively common right here, and there are tons of bars and golf equipment in which you’ll soak up a efficiency. The principle space to search out them is on Frenchmen Road, which grew to prominence within the Nineteen Eighties and has been a staple of the music scene ever since.

3. Take a ghost or voodoo tour

New Orleans is taken into account one of the vital haunted spots within the nation, due to town’s voodoo roots. Voodoo is a set of underground spiritual practices that got here out of the African spiritual traditions that enslaved individuals dropped at America within the seventeenth and 18th centuries. Over time, voodoo and the occult grew to become synonymous with New Orleans. From tales of ghosts and vampires to Marie Laveau (essentially the most well-known voodoo practitioner), New Orleans has a sure unsettling side.

To be taught extra, take a voodoo tour by way of the French Quarter and its cemeteries. Witches Brew Excursions and the Ghosts, Vampires, and Voodoo French Quarter Tour are two of the perfect.

400 Royal St, +1 504-454-3939, They host a number of excursions day by day, together with some just for adults. Its Cemetery Insiders Strolling Tour lasts two hours and prices $35 USD.

4. Go to the Voodoo Museum

This small museum is the place to be taught extra about voodoo and to really see objects utilized in its practices. Comprised of simply two rooms, it opened in 1972 and is filled with all types of artifacts, talismans, taxidermied animals, and voodoo dolls. And if that’s not sufficient, the museum can facilitate psychic readings and different rituals with native practitioners when you’re so inclined.

You’ll be able to go to the museum at your personal tempo through the self-guided possibility, or take the strolling tour, which features a guided tour of the museum.

724 Dumaine St, +1 504-680-0128, Open day by day 10am-6pm. Admission is $10 USD for a self-guided tour or $32 USD for the guided museum and strolling tour.

5. Tour the French Quarter

People walking and playing music in the French Quarter of bustling New Orleans, USA
The well-known French Quarter was settled by the French (therefore the identify) in 1718. The district is now a haven for revelers on Bourbon Road, vintage consumers on Royal Road, and foodies in search of a number of the greatest Cajun meals on the town. Right here you’ll additionally discover Jackson Sq., St. Louis Cathedral (the oldest within the nation, courting again to 1789), stunning houses, bars blaring top-notch jazz, and iconic 18th century French-style houses with wrought-iron balconies.

I begin off each go to to a brand new metropolis with a free strolling tour. Attempt the one from NOLA Tour Man. You’ll be taught in regards to the historical past of the neighborhood and get entry to an professional native information who can reply all of your questions. Simply be sure you tip your information on the finish!

For a extra in-depth tour, go along with Take Walks. It’s my go-to firm in the case of detailed strolling excursions that go above and past the guidebook.

For extra ideas, right here’s my record of the perfect strolling excursions in NOLA.

6. Cease by Sazerac Home

Opened in 2019, Sazerac Home is a component bar, half museum, highlighting the significance of the Sazerac cocktail, born at this very location and regarded by many to be the oldest American cocktail. That is an immersive expertise, with a number of flooring of interactive displays. You’ll be able to chat with digital bartenders about their favourite drinks and see what the French Quarter appeared like within the 1800s. It’s a brilliant detailed and enjoyable expertise that’s among the best in New Orleans.

You may as well take a 90-minute free tour (which incorporates samples) or attend one of many occasions or workshops (which begin at $30 USD), corresponding to a whiskey tasting or a workshop that teaches you the way to craft whiskey-based cocktails.

101 Journal St, +1 504-910-0100, Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-6pm. Admission is free, however reserving upfront is required.

7. Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

The historic Steamboat Natchez on the river in sunny New Orleans, USA
This boat launched in 1975; nonetheless, it’s the ninth steamboat to bear the Natchez identify (one among its predecessors took half in essentially the most well-known steamboat race in historical past, in 1870). At this time, it’s town’s solely genuine steamboat and makes for a touristy (however enjoyable) strategy to spend the afternoon. There are brunch and dinner cruises and reside jazz music. You’ll additionally get to benefit from the scenic skyline as you cruise on the placid waters of the Mississippi.

400 Toulouse St, +1 800-233-2628, Cruises depart at 11:30am, 2:30pm, and seven:00pm. Night jazz cruises price $50 USD ($95 USD with dinner); the Sunday jazz brunches are $68 USD.

8. Study 1850 Home

For the centuries main as much as the Civil Struggle, the widespread reliance on slavery within the South allowed white plantation house owners to get extremely rich (there have been round 4 million slaves within the US then, about one-eighth of your complete US inhabitants). Just like the wealthy and highly effective right now, they constructed elaborate houses to point out off that wealth — and a few of these are nonetheless standing right now.

Positioned subsequent to Jackson Sq., 1850 Home is an instance of what lots of these townhouses appeared like earlier than the Civil Struggle. Constructed by the rich aristocrat and Nineteenth-century New Orleans persona Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba, this explicit edifice had many various occupants over time. When the Louisiana State Museum took it over, it embellished the constructing to be consultant of upper-class life on the time of its building. It’s the perfect place to get an immersive understanding of simply how prosperous white slave house owners have been within the south (as a result of they have been rich!).

523 St Ann St, +1 504-524-9118, Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-4pm. Admission is $5 USD.

9. Take a Bayou tour

A lush, swampy bayou near New Orleans, USA
The bayou, a swampy part of a slow-moving river, offered early settlers with timber for houses, fish for consuming, and waterways for commerce. It’s nonetheless the lifeblood of the area and an necessary a part of its tradition. Spend your morning on this stunning and enjoyable space by getting again to nature.

Kayak excursions price round $50-60 USD and final a few hours. Wild Louisiana Excursions affords guided outings that can get you out on the water and educate you in regards to the ecosystem. It additionally affords leases from $40 USD when you don’t desire a tour.

1047 Piety Road, +1 504-571-9975,

10. Calm down within the park

The greenery of City Park is beautiful New Orleans, USA
When that you must relaxation your legs, seize a guide, pack a picnic, and head to one among New Orleans’ gorgeous parks, each with ponds, timber, strolling and biking trails, and loads of area to chill out.

Metropolis Park is an enormous inexperienced area 50% bigger than NYC’s Central Park — one of many largest city parks within the nation! It’s residence to centuries-old oak timber, the New Orleans Botanical Backyard, the New Orleans Museum of Artwork, cafés, and eating places, amongst different sights. Audubon Park was previously a plantation, a staging space for each the Accomplice and the Union armies in the course of the Civil Struggle, and host to a World’s Honest in 1884–85.

11. Go to Oak Alley

The famous Oak Alley lane enveloped by trees at a plantation near New Orleans, USA
Over a dozen oak timber (every of them over 250 years outdated) line the lane resulting in this antebellum manor proper on the Mississippi River. As soon as a sugar plantation and a cattle ranch, it opened to the general public in 1976.

Personally, I discovered the house’s inside to be much less spectacular than the outside. Nonetheless, wandering the grounds was completely worthwhile, because the indicators/placards have numerous data on the horrible establishment of slavery. It’s a really sobering however necessary expertise.

It’s positioned an hour from town by automotive. Attempt to arrive early (or keep late) to keep away from the day excursions that come from New Orleans, so you possibly can beat the crowds.

3645 Freeway 18 (Nice River Highway), +1 225 265-2151, Open day by day 8:30am-5pm. Admission begins at $25 USD. For excursions that embody transportation from New Orleans and admission to the plantation, count on to pay $70-80 USD per particular person.

12. Tour the Nationwide World Struggle II Museum

Opened in 2000 because the Nationwide D-Day Museum, that is the most important museum devoted to World Struggle II in your complete United States. The displays concentrate on the American contribution to the battle, which lasted from 1939 to 1945 (the US entered the battle in 1941).

Even when you’re not a historical past buff like me, I extremely suggest visiting. Many veterans spend time right here, and you may take heed to firsthand accounts of the battle, in addition to see a few of their footage. It’s sobering however extremely insightful.

945 Journal St, +1 504-528-1944, Open day by day from 9am-5pm. Admission is $31.50 USD (shopping for advance timed tickets is very really helpful).

13. Take a meals tour

A coffee and small fried snacks on a table in New Orleans, USA
From po’boys to gumbo and every little thing in between, meals, tradition, and historical past are a part of town’s DNA. If you wish to be taught extra about New Orleans’ greatest eats, take a meals tour. You’ll not solely get to eat extra of the perfect chow on the town, however you’ll learn the way and why sure dishes got here to prominence. A tour will add rather more perception and nuance to your time right here.

Physician Gumbo Excursions runs among the best meals excursions. It additionally affords a cocktail historical past tour that goes to historic venues (with a cocktail at every cease, after all) whereas instructing you about famed drinks and liquors.

+1 504 473-4823, Excursions final three hours and value $75 USD per particular person.

14. Discover the Accomplice Memorial Corridor Museum

This is likely one of the oldest museums within the state and is residence to the second-largest assortment of Accomplice objects on the earth. I’m all the time intrigued by Civil Struggle historical past museums, particularly these within the Deep South, the place the reminiscence of “Northern aggression” remains to be very sturdy.

The museum incorporates over 5,000 historic artifacts, together with the uniforms of Generals Bragg and Beauregard and private objects owned by Accomplice President Jefferson Davis (together with his Bible and a bit of the crown of thorns he acquired from the Pope). The museum highlights Southern patriotism and reiterates the historic argument that the South was preventing for “honor” and “states’ rights.”

I discovered the absence of a dialogue of slavery right here unsurprising, provided that the museum needs to fake that that wasn’t the primary explanation for the battle. It’s all the time fascinating to learn the way individuals body their historical past, even when they accomplish that in such a biased mild. Regardless of the one-sidedness — and actually, due to it — this museum is value visiting.

929 Camp St, +1 504-523-4522. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm. Admission is $10 USD.

15. Tour the NOLA Jazz Museum

I like jazz: listening to it, studying about it. I can’t get sufficient. This museum not solely has a ton of artifacts (over 25,000) nevertheless it hosts a lot of concert events and over a dozen festivals all year long. The museum is housed in an outdated US Mint constructing and options devices, paintings of and by musicians, memorabilia, and extra. Most occasions are free, and lots of of them are broadcast reside as nicely, so you possibly can watch them free of charge from residence too.

400 Esplanade Ave., 504-568-6993, Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-4pm. Admission is $8 USD.

16. Go to Studio Be

Positioned within the hip, artsy neighborhood of the Bywater, Studio Be is a singular artwork gallery created by native artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums. Within the 35,000 sq. foot warehouse, you’ll discover colourful spray-painted murals and large-scale items in addition to multimedia installations by Bmike and different native artists, largely targeted on social justice points. Meandering by way of is a transferring strategy to glean insights into the Black expertise in New Orleans.

2941 Royal St, 504-252-0463, Open Wednesday by way of Saturday, 2pm-8pm and Sunday 2pm-6pm. Admission is $15 USD.


New Orleans is likely one of the liveliest (and common) locations within the USA. However there’s rather more to it than letting free on Bourbon Road. With unbelievable reside music, scrumptious meals, a wealthy historical past, and world-class museums, NOLA has one thing for everybody. It’s a spot with layers and, when you take the time to discover beneath the floor, you’ll uncover one of the vital distinctive cities within the nation.

Ebook Your Journey to New Orleans: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Ebook Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low cost flight. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

Ebook Your Lodging
You’ll be able to guide your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the most important stock and greatest offers. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost lodges.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions previously. My favourite corporations that supply the perfect service and worth are:

Searching for the Finest Firms to Save Cash With?
Try my useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to make use of whenever you journey. I record all those I take advantage of to save cash after I’m on the street. They’ll prevent cash whenever you journey too.

Want a Information?
New Orleans has some actually attention-grabbing excursions. My favourite firm is Take Walks. They’ve professional guides and might get you behind the scenes on the metropolis’s greatest sights. They’re my go-to strolling tour firm!

Need Extra Info on america?
Be sure you go to our sturdy vacation spot information on america for much more planning suggestions!

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