Fun Things You Should Do in New Orleans
New Orleans, with its unique architecture, vibrant culture, and famous cuisine, has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, drawing in roughly 10 million visitors every year. While there are certainly enough activities to keep you busy on your trip to New Orleans. This city has always been one of the world’s most intriguing cities, and it’s only getting better as time goes on. With rich cultural heritage, music that speaks to the soul, and breathtaking architecture, New Orleans has no shortage of things to do or see. Here are must-do experiences that will ensure you get the most out of your trip to this historic city and its surrounding areas.
Visit the Garden District
If you ask a local where to find stunning greenery and historical homes, you’ll likely be pointed towards The Garden District. This neighborhood is known for its centuries-old oak trees and quaint architecture. It also happens to be home to landmarks like Lafayette Cemetery and Oak Alley Plantation, making it an ideal place for history buffs or anyone who wants a walk through a gorgeous part of town. While there are plenty of rental properties available in The Garden District, it’s worth noting that houses here can run into seven figures—it is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in all of Louisiana! If that’s out of your price range, grab a drink at The Spotted Cat Music Club or Cane & Table (located inside Hotel St.) – If you are Exciting to visit New Orleans then Book and save for the best travel experience with Spirit Airlines Reservations and find cheap tickets to New Orleans.
Watch a Voodoo Ceremony
In addition to being a uniquely African-American experience, voodoo is a fascinating glimpse into New Orleans’ incredibly diverse religious history. Over 200 years ago, enslaved Africans were welcomed into French-speaking Roman Catholic churches; they were baptized and given Christian names. However, they were forbidden from learning to read or write and sometimes forced to sit separately from other parishioners. This was a difficult situation for many slaves because as soon as their owners realized that they could become wealthy by selling off their human property, many began separating families and breaking up communities.
Eat Po’boys at Parkway Bakery
When it comes to delicious Cajun food, there are few things that can’t be improved with a sandwich. At Parkway Bakery, try one of their many po’boys—it is said they were invented here, but as with most origin stories, people will disagree. With dozens of options on their menu, you are sure to find something that strikes your fancy. This place may not look like much from outside (it’s often compared to an auto repair shop), but we promise you won’t regret stopping by and sitting down for lunch. Be sure to order a side of red beans and rice—you won’t regret it!
Go to Frenchmen Street
Overrun with vintage shops, live music, excellent eats and a hip vibe, Frenchmen Street is one of New Orleans’ most popular neighborhoods. More than that, it’s where musicians go to play and locals go to party; start at Allways Lounge on weekends for no-cover gigs. And while you’re there, listen closely: It may seem like a foreign language at first but soon enough you’ll be bobbing your head and joining in on their la la la’s!
Ride the St. Charles Streetcar
The St. Charles streetcar takes you along a stretch of Uptown (the city’s main residential and commercial hub), through the Central Business District, and into an historic neighborhood known as Faubourg Marigny. The best way to see a city is by foot or by public transit, so don’t get behind the wheel. Hop on board at Carrollton Station, one of many stops along St. Charles Avenue (mainly used for Tulane University students), for some truly authentic local flavor; enjoy a local concert at Le Bon Temps Roule or Ogden Museum of Southern Art; or take part in Mardi Gras festivities with parades at Saint Charles Avenue or Bourbon Street.
Visit Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation is one of Louisiana’s most fascinating historical places. The spectacularly preserved antebellum mansion will take your breath away, and a visit to Oak Alley doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Louisiana has to offer. If you like history and architecture, look no further than Oak Alley Plantation. Just make sure you go during daylight hours – after dark is another story!
See a show at The Saenger Theater
The Saenger Theater, on Canal Street, has been a staple of entertainment in downtown New Orleans for decades. Home to Broadway productions and more local favorites, The Saenger is a must-see for every tourist. Whatever your taste—Broadway or local music—The Saenger will have something for you! Featuring classic shows such as Jersey Boys and Blue Man Group alongside special musical guests such as Marc Broussard and Trombone Shorty, there’s always something new to see at The Saenger. Call ahead or check their website to find out when your favorite show is playing!
Take in a game at Smoothie King Center
Located on Airline Drive and Tulane Avenue, Smoothie King Center is home to both the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and AFL’s New Orleans VooDoo. There are seating options available for all kinds of basketball fans—from season ticket holders to individual game tickets. If you have time before or after a game, don’t miss a trip up to Sugar Park for an unforgettable view of downtown NOLA. There you can take photos, enjoy a picnic with friends or family, and check out unique sculptures and impressive gardens. Plus, what could be better than having your picture taken with one of iconic statues?
Watch an Mardi Gras Parade
Mardi Gras celebrations are on a roll through February 13, 2016. One of America’s most unique parades is held in New Orleans each year. The Zulu parade is wild, energetic and lasts all day long. But that’s not all there is to do in NOLA during Mardi Gras. There are parades for just about every persuasion, including a kids-only parade that happens earlier in the day at 10am!
Walk along Bourbon Street on Halloween Night
Since it’s Halloween, you might as well make it fun and exciting! In order to witness one of America’s most authentic celebrations, dress up as a historical figure or a fictional character and wander along Bourbon Street. Once you’re done ogling some of your fellow partygoers, stop by The Haunted House on Royal Street for a fitting conclusion to your evening. Bring cash and be prepared to wait – it only accepts exact change. This is an activity not-to-be-missed during Mardi Gras season!
Grab a beer and play pinball at Avenue Pub, a French Quarter favorite that offers more than 100 brews. It’s also popular for its fried chicken, which comes with cornbread dressing, collard greens and honey-glazed yams. There’s no lack of entertainment here: Among Avenue Pub’s nightly performances are piano sing-alongs by local legend Dr. John and freewheeling jazz jams with up-and-coming artists like Trombone Shorty.
Beignets at Café du Monde
If you’ve never had beignets, there’s no better place to try them than at Café du Monde. These delicious deep-fried dough balls are best enjoyed with a cup of cafe au lait. Be sure not to miss out on one of these classics when visiting New Orleans. If you have room for lunch or dinner, try Central Grocery Co., which serves authentic French and Italian food in an old style atmosphere. Make sure not to leave without trying their muffuletta sandwich, a local favorite that consists of layers of mozzarella cheese, salami and mortadella on a French roll spread with olive salad.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
If you have never been to a Preservation Hall Jazz Band show, go. It’s not a concert so much as it is an experience. This venue transports guests back in time, with authentic decor and music that has no equal. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into history, which only adds to its charm and authenticity. Another bonus? It’s free! How can you pass up something like that?
French 75 Bar
Bar-hopping in NOLA is a must, and it’s always best to start your night off with an iconic cocktail like a French 75. If you’re not familiar with what that is, think of it as a sour champagne cocktail (don’t worry, there are versions made without alcohol for kids and those who don’t drink). What makes it so popular? As one bartender told us, It puts hair on your chest! It’s also famous for being featured in Midnight in Paris. Order at Pauger’s Bar and Napoleon House.
Garden District Tour
One of the best ways to take in all that New Orleans has to offer is through a Garden District tour. During your trip with Spirit Airline websites, be sure to stop at Lafayette Cemetery #1, where you can visit voodoo priestess Marie Laveau’s tomb and buy some gris-gris (talismans) for good luck. Another tour highlight is Oak Alley Plantation, an enormous home built in 1837; while on your way there, you can check out historic cemeteries and sugar plantations along River Road. Be sure to make reservations well in advance; tours book up fast!
The World War II Museum
The National World War II Museum tells the story of WWII through many different mediums, including dozens of films and videos, thousands of pictures, several historical airplanes and weapons on display, a collection of historical documents and one-of-kind artifacts. Plus, it’s all presented in an interactive way so visitors can explore history using their own senses. The museum educates and entertains visitors while paying tribute to those who sacrificed their lives during one of America’s darkest hours. See why you should make a trip next time you’re in New Orleans.
City Park Golf Course
Although golf isn’t usually associated with New Orleans, City Park Golf Course is one of its best attractions. The Louisiana-based course features 30 holes and has a rating of 66.9 (out of 100). If you’re up for a challenge and don’t mind taking your life into your own hands, it might be worth giving it a shot. Don’t worry if you hate golf; City Park is also home to tennis courts, baseball fields, several lakes and forests, an arboretum, mini-golf course and more!
The National WWII Museum at D-day Island
The National WWII Museum, located in downtown New Orleans, is a great starting point for visitors interested in exploring Louisiana’s rich WWII history. Through interactive exhibits and a number of special events, visitors are able to take an active role in experiencing some of World War II’s most important moments. Exhibits include A Call To Arms: Mobilization on the Home Front and Mission Stations: The Coast Guard in Louisiana. And outside of its physical exhibit space, NWWII has special events like D-Day Theater Events. The museum offers theater shows that recreate famous WWII battles as well as daily reenactments.
Audubon Zoo & Aquarium of the Americas
Have a favorite animal? Head on over to Audubon Zoo, which houses animals from all over the world. It’s also one of only four zoos in America that has elephants. You can explore their habitat or feed them from your car window (they’re known for being very docile). The aquarium at Audubon is a tropical paradise complete with an underwater tunnel through which you can swim and gawk at fish, sharks and other ocean denizens. If you plan on visiting either place during Mardi gras, be sure to get there early so you don’t miss out on any of their fun parades!
Audubon Zoo Butterfly Garden & Insectarium
In one of those things that seems too good to be true, Audubon Zoo has a butterfly garden where you can actually walk through and feed live butterflies. The Insectarium is also pretty awesome -– and creepily cool, if you like looking at preserved (dessicated) insects and other creepy crawlies in jars. Entrance costs $7.00 for adults & $5.00 for children over 2, which includes both sites; daily 10:30am-4pm (Butterfly Garden closes at 4pm).