Blaine Kerns Mardi Gras World
A must-see for locals and tourists alike, is the 300,000 square foot warehouse where parade floats are created. The vast facility gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how Mardi Gras comes to life. Guests also have the opportunity to learn about the history of the annual celebration, as well as try on costumes, and meet the artists behind the majestic floats. Tours are offered seven days a week, run every 30 minutes starting at 9:30AM, and run 90 minutes long.
Admission: $22 adults | $17 seniors and students | $14 children ages 2-11
Hours: Open seven days a week, 9 AM 5:30 PM
Bonus: A free shuttle service from about 20 destinations downtown is offered with the purchase of a ticket.
Added bonus: Each guided tour includes a slice of King Cake.
The New Orleans Jazz Museum At The Old Us Mint
If youre visiting New Orleans because you love our rich history of jazz music, The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint is a must-see attraction while youre here. Located where the French Quarter meets the live music corridor of Frenchmen Street, this museum offers interactive exhibits dedicated to some of New Orleans most famous musicians like Louis Armstrong and Pete Fountain. The museum also hosts live musical performances.
The lobby of the New Orleans Museum of Art buzzes with excitement.
Shop Til You Drop On Saturday
On the first Saturday of the month the posh art galleries on open their doors to the public from 6:00 9:00pm . Or head to the Freret Market in the hip Freret neighborhood from 11:00am 4:00pm.
On the second Saturday of the month stop by the Piety Street Market in the Bywater or the St. Claude Arts District in the for their Second Saturday ArtWalk .
And Finally Go to Bourbon Street!
Okay, if you have made it through the whole list youre now allowed to go wild on Bourbon Street! Grab a Hand Grenade at Tropical Isle, sing some karaoke at the Cats Meow, and make sure you dont urinate in public! See you down there!
There you have it the 65 best things to do in New Orleans! Whats your favorite thing to do in New Orleans? Let us know in the comments.
Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!
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Eat Your Weight In Char
Oysters are their own food group in New Orleans and they even have their own Happy Hour in several restaurants across the city! Whether you like your Gulf oysters served raw, fried, baked or chargrilled , there is no shortage of opportunities to devour your bodyweight in oysters during your time in the Big Easy.
Getting Around New Orleans
Downtown New Orleans is easily accessible by walking since it is really only an area of about 104 square blocks . The streets are small and crowded making driving around more difficult, as well as expensive when you add in parking permits. Plus, half of the fun of walking around New Orleans is being able to enjoy the people watching and crazy street shows that are around every corner!
For many of the experiences that are located outside of the city center, the tour operators will typically provide transportation to and from certain areas within the French Quarter and around downtown New Orleans for free or for a small fee. This is an excellent way to save some money so that you do not have to rent a car or take a rideshare!
However, like most cities, rental cars, taxis, and rideshares such as Uber are always available to those who want to use them! These transportation options are great for getting around quickly and being dropped off right where you want to go. They will just require a bit more planning and more room in your budget.
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Splurge On The Prefix Lunch At Antoines
Antoines is an old-school New Orleans institution complete with white table clothes and jacketed waiters. Many would even argue its one of the best restaurants in NOLA.
But you dont have to break the bank to experience some of the finest of fine dining in the Big Easy. Antoines offers a decadent 3-course set lunch served up for an affordable price tag that always matches the current year. So in 2021, it is just $20.21+ tax. Its one of the best deals in New Orleans!
Eat Oysters At Pascals Manale
Raw oysters are another must-try cuisine while in the Big Easy. The best place in the city is Pascales Manales where youll stand at the raw bar while an experienced shucker serves you up as many as you can handle, all while entertaining you with stories. Stop by on weekdays between 3:00 6:00pm for half-off raw oysters, beer, and cocktails!
Pascals Manale is also know for its barbecue shrimp which they have been serving since 1913. The shrimp arent actually barbecued, but they are cooked in a delicious pepper butter sauce that has made them one of the more famous dishes in the city.
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Get Funky At The Jazz Museum
Where better to learn about the history of jazz than in its birthplace, New Orleans. The exhibits are a bit of a hodgepodge of jazz memorabilia including Louis Armstrongs first cornet. And as an added bonus, the New Orleans Jazz Museum is housed in the historic Old US Mint which is located at the southern end of Frenchman Street where jazz still reigns supreme.
Scream At The Haunted Mortuary
You may have been to a haunted house before, but have you been to a haunted house that is actually in a 100-year-old mortuary? The Haunted Mortuary served as the PJ McMahon and Sons Undertaking Company from the 1830s until 1985. During that time over 20,000 funerals have been performed on this property and it is believed that some of the dead never left the property. If youre in the mood for a good scare or a good laugh stop by and see for yourself.
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Admire The St Louis Cathedral
Straddling the banks of the Mississippi River, St. Louis Cathedral earns its title as the oldest of its kind in North America.
Incredibly, it dates back over 400 years, to its foundation in 1720.
The Cathedrals central location makes for a quick and easy photo opportunity on any stroll through downtown.
New Orleans: Sightseeing Flex Pass For 25+ Attractions
The Sightseeing Day Pass has over 25 destinations, museums, and tours to choose from, including some of the most popular attractions all over New Orleans. Tailor your trip to New Orleans to fit your ideal itinerary with an easy-to-use Day Pass. With the option to select 1, 2, 3, or 5 days, you can enjoy full admission to the attractions that interest you most with no fixed start date for total flexibility.Parade around and explore the crown jewel of Louisiana. Enjoy the colorful Quarters of New Orleans, including Bourbon Street, the Garden District, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the French Market. Tread carefully on a walking tour of notoriously haunted cemeteries, including the legendary final resting place of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Hop aboard an authentic Paddlewheeler river cruise and travel back in time on the Mississippi River, or wade through the infamous Louisiana…
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The Ogden Museum Of Southern Art
The Ogden Museum is recognized for housing the largest collection of Southern Art, now with a collection that has grown to over 4,000 works since being founded in 1999. It was established based on a donation of over 600 works of art from art collector Roger H. Ogden. Now the extensive collection includes works of art from renowned Southern artists, including Walter Anderson Clementine Hunter, George Dureau, and George Ohr. Programming includes visual art exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and concerts. The rooftop terrace on the third floor is open to museum visitors, giving spectators a unique view of the Warehouse District.
Admission: $13.50 adults | $11 seniors, teachers and students | $6.75 children | Free to museum members, UNO community members and children under 5.
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 10 AM 5 PM
Bonus: On Thursdays, the museum is open until 8 PM for Ogden After Hours, which includes live music entertainment from local artists from 6PM-8 PM. Entry is free with proof of regular Thursday admission.
Added bonus: Admission is free to Louisiana residents on Thursdays from 10 AM 5 PM, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.
Museum Of Southern Jewish Experience
A newly opened museum in the citys Arts District is the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. Its collection of nearly 4,000 artifacts includes household items, business records, photographs, letters and more to help tell the story of the experience of Jews in the South. This museum highlights a unique and niche aspect of history.
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Stroll Through The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park: Barataria Preserve
If you want to visit the swamps around New Orleans but prefer to do it by foot rather than by boat, you can drive out to the Barataria Preserve. There youll find 23,000 acres of bayous, swamps, marshes, and forests that can be accessed via footpaths and raised boardwalks. Youll get to see birds, turtles, snakes and even a few alligators.
Enjoy A True Southern Breakfast Of Shrimp And Grits
Shrimp and Grits is popular across all of the south from South Carolina to Georgia to Louisiana. And while its traditionally a breakfast dish, these days youll find it on just as many dinner menus. Most brunch joints will offer up a version of shrimp and grits but the best one might just be at Surreys Cafe and Juice Bar on Magazine Street.
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Attend An Event At The Superdome
Even when football isnt in season, they still manage to find some pretty awesome events to throw at the Superdome.
These attractions can range from concerts to festivals, but they usually center around musical acts.
They also host expos and conventions for a variety of different industries which may be of interest to some visitors.
Keep an eye on the Superdome Event calendar for more details.
5. Take a Ghost Tour
If your children are getting a little older, you might want to consider taking them on a spooky tour around New Orleans.
This is a city rich with creepy history, and you can learn a lot about it by taking our pay-what-you-wish ghost walking tours.
There is also a Ghost + Vampire Tour, which is free for kids under 7 and pretty affordable for everyone else.
Each of these tours takes place in the evening, and brave families will probably have a great time exploring the city and seeing everything from a more haunting point of view.
Make sure to read our post about New Orleans ghost tours for more information.
Listen To Jazz At Preservation Hall
Walk down St. Peters Street on any evening and youll likely encounter the line for Preservation Hall. With shows starting at 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm, and 10:00pm almost every night of the year, this iconic music venue has been promoting Jazz in the Crescent City for over 50 years.
The cost to enter is usually $20 , the venue is tiny, and the music is acoustic. If you have time and dont mind standing in line, this is the best place to see jazz music in New Orleans.
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Cool Off With A Snowball For Dessert
The 3 best words to describe summers in New Orleans are hot, hot, hot!. And the best way to beat that Southern heat is with an ice-cold, sugary sweet snowball topped with condensed milk.
Tip: Dont call them snowcones. Those are made with crushed ice rather than shaved ice and are not nearly as tasty.
Take A Trip To The Garden District
There are a lot of wonderful neighborhoods in and around New Orleans, but few are as beautiful and historic as the Garden District.
Once known as the American sector, as it developed after the U.S. took control of the city in the early 19th century, it boasts the city’s most spectacular residential architecture.
It is entirely free to walk around this area and see all of the incredible houses for yourself.
Be sure to use our guide to the Garden District, which contains a self-guided tour, to make the most of your time there.
Getting to the Garden District is often a good excuse to ride New Orleans’ famed streetcars.
Alternatively, you can always enjoy our pay-what-you-wantprofessionally guided tour of this neighborhood.
We also offer a dozen different free self-guided tours in New Orleans that you might find interesting.
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Stroll Along The Moonwalk
There is a wonderful promenade called the Moonwalk which stretches across several blocks of the French Quarter.
This brick walkway runs along the Mississippi River and provides excellent views of both the water and the city.
The New Orleans Jazz Museum
The New Orleans Jazz Museum is housed inside the Old U.S. Mint and pays homage to the connection of music in the city of New Orleans and the world. The museum has acquired, collected, archived, and displayed various artifacts that contribute to further telling that narrative. The exhibits include anything from art, created both by musicians and contemporary artists, to recordings and musical instruments from some of the greatest musicians and Jazz influences. Live music performances are also a big part of what the museum had to offer. Daily performances begin at 2pm from Tuesday Saturday, and a schedule of weekly evening performances can be found on social media or on the websites calendar. Performances are streamed online to share with Jazz and music enthusiasts from around the world.
Admission: $8 Adults | $6 students, seniors and active military | children under 6 are free
Hours: 10 AM 4:30 PM, Tuesday Sunday | Closed on Mondays
Bonus: The museums courtyard hosts about 15 annual festivals, which includes French Quarter Festival and Satchmo Summerfest.
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Laissez les bons temps rouler! In New Orleans the good times are perpetually rolling down Bourbon Street, which, thanks to the citys annual Mardi Gras celebration, has quite a party animal reputation. Once youve soaked up the scenery of the historic French Quarter, tour the elegant Garden District and meet the colorful characters of Frenchmen Street. Experience the city’s supernatural vibe at the Voodoo Museum or by taking a guided ghost or vampire tour through taverns, alleyways, and cemeteries.
The National World War Ii Museum
Formerly The D-Day Museum, The World War II Museum tells the narrative of one of historys biggest and deadliest wars through multimedia exhibits that include video, artifacts, personal stories, photographs, and atmospheric elements. Using attention to detail, the interactive museum begins with the journey that led to the start of the war and takes visitors through battles along Europe and Japan to the eventual end of the war. Exhibits include The Road to Tokyo, The Road to Berlin, and The Arsenal of Democracy, which shows what life was like on the home front. Beyond All Boundaries is a 4D film that is exclusive to the World War II Museum, screening hourly everyday. The exhibits are supported by an expansive collection of artifacts that includes over 250,000 items and 9,000 personal accounts.
Admission: $28.50 Adult | $24.50 Senior | $18.00 Military, College Students and Children | $7 for a second day pass with the purchase of a general admission ticket | WWII Veterans and children under 5 are free
Hours: Open daily from 9 AM 5 PM
Bonus: Visitors receive a dog tag, which tells the personal story of someone who experienced WWII using kiosks implanted throughout the museum and exhibits.
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Where To Eat And Drink In New Orleans
New Orleans has a strong French influence coupled with its cajun culture. This makes for an interesting assortment of foods that are available within the city. From breakfast to dinner and then on to evening cocktails, you are sure to find some new favorite dishes along the way! Add these must-eats to your list!
- Cafe Du MondeHome of the famous beignet and cafe au lait pairing, this breakfast joint will be one you find yourself coming back to time and time again!
- Carousel BarOpened in 1949, this carousel-themed bar will have you enjoying a signature cocktail while rotating around the bar like a real carousel!
- The Gumbo Shop Have you even been to New Orleans if you havent eaten Gumbo ?!
- The Red Fish GrillThis restaurant leads the New Orleans culinary scene by serving traditional seafood entrees with a twist.
- Bourbon StreetThis pedestrian street is a wild ride as it is completely lined with an assortment of bars and food carts. Even better, you can walk from place to place with your drink!