New Orleans is a vibrant city that is steeped in history, culture, and tradition. A diverse blend of cultures from across the world comes together here for an experience unlike anywhere else on Earth. If you are visiting this amazing destination, there is so much to see and do. In this article, we will outline some of the best things to do while in New Orleans.
Visit The French Quarter
New Orleans’ iconic French Quarter is one of its top tourist attractions, drawing millions each year to this historic neighborhood. Home to iconic sites like Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and St Louis Cathedral, taking a walking tour can provide insight into its rich history and architecture; restaurants within this neighborhood provide sample dishes like beignets and gumbo that offer more flavorful options.
Take a Swamp Tour
New Orleans is surrounded by wetlands and swamps that are home to an abundance of alligators, turtles, birds, and other forms of life – from alligators and turtles to birds – so taking a swamp tour offers you an unparalleled opportunity to experience these diverse ecosystems while seeing wildlife up close. Many tour companies provide these tours; you have your choice between airboat, kayak, or pontoon boat tours.
Visit The National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is one of the city’s premier attractions, dedicated to telling the American experience during World War II. This museum offers an expansive selection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays which show its impact across the world. You can take a guided tour or attend one of its educational programs and events held there.
Attend a Music Festival
New Orleans is widely known for being the birthplace of jazz, making music an integral part of city culture. Each year there are various music festivals held here, such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Essence Music Festival, and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, that showcase some of the biggest names in music – great ways to experience New Orleans vibrant musical scene.
Visit The Garden District
The Garden District is a historic neighborhood known for its stunning architecture and lush gardens. Take a walking tour through this picturesque neighborhood to witness some of the city’s most magnificent homes – like Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Additionally, the neighborhood hosts boutiques, galleries, and restaurants where you can sample some of its delectable cuisines.
Discover The New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art boasts an extensive collection of artwork by some of the world’s most esteemed artists, boasting over 40,000 pieces that span contemporary to classical genres and exhibits and programs year-round. Additionally, you can take an optional guided tour through its halls or attend one of the events and lectures hosted there.
Take a Streetcar Ride
New Orleans is famous for its historic streetcars, making it an enjoyable way to see more of this vibrant city. Take a ride on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line – which has been operating continuously for more than 100 years – through some of New Orleans’s most stunning neighborhoods, such as the Garden District and Uptown.
Visit Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras is one of New Orleans’ biggest celebrations, and Mardi Gras World is an ideal way to gain insight into its rich history and culture. The museum hosts an impressive selection of Mardi Gras floats and costumes that you can tour the facility for. Additionally, discover more about its origins as well as traditions that make the event truly iconic.
Experience The Food and Drink Scene
New Orleans is renowned for its delicious cuisine, which blends French, African, and Caribbean influences. You’ll find everything from gumbo and jambalaya to po’boys and beignets here – not forgetting iconic restaurants and bars such as Commander’s Palace, Galatoire’s, and Sazerac Bar for you to visit. Take an amazing food tour through New Orleans to sample some of its best dishes and beverages.
Visit The Audubon Zoo and Aquarium
The Audubon Zoo and Aquarium are two of New Orleans’s premier attractions, housing over 2,000 animals from all around the world, including elephants, giraffes, and tigers. Meanwhile, its aquarium showcases diverse marine life from both Gulf of Mexico waters as well as around the globe through various exhibits. Furthermore, educational programs and events held here make these facilities highly coveted destinations.
Exploring The Bayou
The bayou is an ecosystem rich in wildlife, such as alligators, birds, and fish. You can take a tour to experience these animals at close quarters, fish for yourself, or kayak in its waters. There are various tour companies that offer bayou tours; you may opt for an airboat, kayak, or pontoon boat option.
Visit The Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum and research center that is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. This extensive museum houses artifacts dating back to its foundation in 1718 as well as lecture events that occur within its walls. You can take a guided tour or attend one of the many lectures held here.
Join a Second Line Parade
A Second Line Parade is an iconic New Orleans tradition that involves musicians and dancers following behind a brass band in an elaborate parade. Led by the “first line,” consisting of both band members and people invited formally by organizers, “second line” participants follow behind and dance along to music from behind a drum kit or trumpets. You can witness such parades during Mardi Gras season or other events throughout the year.
Visit St. Louis Cemetery No.1
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of New Orleans’s oldest cemeteries and serves as the final resting place of many notable New Orleanians, such as Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Distinguished for its above-ground tombs and mausoleums – unique features of New Orleans burial practices – you can take a guided tour to gain insights into its history as well as those interred there.
Go on a Ghost Tour
New Orleans is famously haunted, boasting many historic houses, hotels, and landmarks said to be haunted. Take a ghost tour through the city and listen out for tales about ghostly spirits said to reside here – there are several companies offering walking, bus, or even pub crawl tours of this type.
New Orleans offers travelers much to explore and experience. From its unique culture and history to its bustling music scene and delicious cuisine, New Orleans provides travelers with many attractions. Be it strolling through the French Quarter, attending a jazz festival, or visiting haunted mansions – there’s something special here for all. When planning a trip here, southern gem makes sure some of these top attractions and activities make their way onto your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure.