Take A Relaxing Cruise On The Creole Queen Paddlewheeler
No trip to the Big Easy is complete without a cruise down the Mississippi. Alongside Steamboat Natchez, the charming Creole Queen paddlewheeler is a massive tourist draw, and for good reason.
The 2.5-hour-long cruise takes passengers peacefully along the curves of the Mississippi and includes a stop at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, home to a historic former battleground.
Here, the guides will convey the history of the Battle of New Orleans before ushering guests back onto the boat.
Celebrate National Gumbo Day
According to many locals, New Orleans is the only place you can even get a good Gumbo. If thats the case, it makes perfect sense to honor this national holiday while visiting.
National Gumbo Day takes place on October 12th in 2021, which makes this the perfect month to celebrate one of the most delicious dishes ever concocted.
This popular Cajun dish typically includes shellfish, chicken, sausage, or even shrimp along with many delicious spices and veggies like okra and tomatoes.
Court Of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch Buffet
The Court of the Two Sisters Jazz Brunch Buffet is a renowned restaurant that offers a wide variety of dishes, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
The menu includes items like poached eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, crepes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, grits, salads, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, pasta, steak, ribs, chicken, pork chops, and much more.
There is also a full bar where guests can enjoy speciality drinks and cocktails.
Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served at the restaurant.
The Court of the Two Sisters has daily jazz brunches that are the perfect activity if youre spending autumn in New Orleans.
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Enjoy A True Southern Breakfast Of Shrimp And Grits
Shrimp and Grits are 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.
Cruise Past Alligators On An Airboat Swamp Tour
New Orleans is a city surrounded by swamplands, and these marshes hold a special place in the local culture.
For an unforgettable afternoon thats fun for the whole family, board a high-speed airboat as you zoom through the swamps learning of Cajun history, keep an eye out for snapping alligators, wild pigs, and other native wildlife.
If youre after something a little more relaxing, plenty of slower boat tours are available even kayak rental is available!
No matter how you explore the swamps, its one of the essential things to do in New Orleans.
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Sip A Sazerac At The Monteleone Carousel Bar
Take a spin on New Orleans only revolving bar with the citys signature cocktail, the Sazerac, in hand. The famous Carousel Bar is part of Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter and overlooks Royal Street. The 25-seater, circus-styled, Merry-Go-Round bar slowly revolves and gives you the perfect excuse for being slightly wobbly when you leave.
If you want to discover all New Orleans famous cocktails, and there are a few, then take a cocktail walking tour. French Quarter walking tour.
Explore Great Shopping Just Steps Away From Hotel Monteleone
Take a stroll along Royal Street where youll find some of the most interesting shops the French Quarter has to offer.
Famous for stores brimming with elegant antique furniture, décor and jewelry, Royal Street also provides a glimpse of quintessential French Quarter architecture. Art galleries, cafes, and live performers give the street a vibrant feel day or night.
Find New Orleans shopping, entertainment, and cuisine within the atmosphere of the countrys oldest public market founded in 1791. The French Market is a tradition as old as the city itself, located on the riverfront in New Orleans celebrated French Quarter.
The Shops at Canal Place
Located adjacent to the French Quarter, The Shops at Canal Place is anchored by department store Saks Fifth Avenue in addition to shops like J.Crew, Anthropologie and local jeweler Mignon Faget. A movie theater on the top floor features in-seat dining service.
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk
A premier outlet shopping experience located on the Mississippi River. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk has shops like Coach, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Forever 21, and much more.
Faulkner House Books
Specializing in fine literature and rare editions, this small bookstore is a book lovers treasure chest and, appropriately, it is located in Pirates Alley.
The Shops at Jax Brewery
UAL United Apparel Liquidators
Goorin Bros. Hat Shop
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Visit Famous Gravestones On A Cemetery Tour
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest in New Orleans and is just a block away from the French Quarter. It houses several famous historical figures, including the voodoo queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. Unfortunately, the cemetery closed its doors to the public in 2015 to prevent vandalism. So in order to visit, youll need to sign up for a cemetery tour. Its more interesting to have a local guide recounting the tales of the cemetery inhabitants anyway.
Youll be regaled with stories about how bodies used to be buried below ground and flooding would cause the dead bodies to reemerge and float down the street.
St Louis Cemetery No. 2 is still open to the public and is just three blocks from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. It contains several famous musicians and historical figures. And if you have a car, youll want to check out the Metairie Cemetery it houses the most ornate tombs and funerary statues, including the famous weeping angel statue at the Hyams family tomb.
Let The Kids Run Loose At The Louisiana Childrens Museum
Offering kid-friendly activities like a climbing wall, fake broadcasting studio, art studio, and mock cafe, the Louisiana Childrens Museum is a fantastic way to tucker out the youngsters while they learn a thing or two about grown-up life.
The museum sits inside the sprawling City Park, with plenty of outdoor space for the kids to run around after the visit.
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Visit The Impressive Ogden Museum Of Southern Art
Hidden within the Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art proudly holds the largest and most diverse collection of Southern art not only statewide, but worldwide.
The museum welcomes 85,000 guests per year, with the intention to educate each and every one of them on the fascinating culture of the American South represented through visual arts, exhibitions, film screenings, and concerts.
Enjoy A Carriage Ride Through The French Quarter
The French Quarter is an iconic, unmissable tourist draw, with popular landmarks like Jackson Square, Napoleon House, and St. Louis Cathedral lining the streets.
But walking around New Orleans can get tiring, especially on those cobblestones so why not let a couple of horses effortlessly pull you along instead?
Not only will the horse-drawn carriage provide an escape from the foot traffic but youll learn a thing or two along the way as well a professional guide will be dishing out unique insights all the way through.
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Best History: New Orleans City Tour: Katrina Garden District French Quarter
This tour covers a lot of the city in three hoursand if youre visiting during summer, you wont be walking around in the heat, either. Instead, this excellent introduction to the city can cover so much ground because its mostly via air-conditioned mini bus . Youll take in the architecture and history of the French Quarter and Garden District with its stunning mansions from a professional guide, then move forward into recent history with a somber visit to the lakefront area, Ward Nine, and 17th-century canal breached by Hurricane Katrina, learning along the way why recovery is still ongoing .
Next is a stop to stretch your legs and eat lunch at the city park, followed by a museum tour focusing on cemeterieswhich many consider the highlight of the tour. Its a great way to get an idea of the citys many complexities and twists and turns of its pastthen get ideas for what kinds of interesting facets youd want to dive more into on another tour or during the rest of your visit.
Have A Sleepover At A Plantation
Oak Alley is one of the oldest locations in Louisiana, so it probably shouldnt surprise anyone that it is also reportedly one of the most haunted sites near New Orleans.
If you want an opportunity to potentially experience this haunting for yourself, consider booking a room at the plantation.
They offer several overnight cottages so that you can spend the night on the property. This could be a great spooky activity for anyone interested in ghosts and the supernatural.
Check the Oak Alley Plantation site for more details or to book a room.
TIP: If youre interested in visiting this plantation, but you dont want to stay the night, consider getting a New Orleans Pass. This discount pass includes admission to Oak Alley.
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Wet The Whistle At The Old New Orleans Rum Distillery
Unleash your inner pirate with a visit to the oldest premium rum distillery in the United States!
Tours operate six days a week and include welcome cocktails, rum tasting, and a delightfully educational walkthrough.
The distillery also offers complimentary pick up from two central French Quarter locations.
Unwind At The New Orleans City Park
New Orleans City Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, sitting on 1,300 acres of beautifully maintained green space, home to the largest grove of mature live oak trees, tranquil strolling trails, and native birds.
Rent a swan boat at the Big Lake, take the kids to Storyland, and let your inner child loose at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
Dont miss the Couturie Forest, a varied nature walk that includes Laborde Mountain, which rises a remarkable 43 feet above sea level and is New Orleans highest point.
Watch the ducks on the water at the Peristyle and get beignets at Café Du Monde.
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Tour The Audubon Aquarium Of The Americas * On The River Front
The Aquarium of the Americas is located along the Mississippi River front and has been recognized as one of the leading aquariums in the United States. The aquarium features 10,000 animals representing 530 species. Major exhibits include a Carribean reef featuring a clear 30-foot-long visitor tunnel surrounded by a 132,000 gallon tank of sea life an Amazon exhibit, encased in a glass cylinder that includes macaws, piranhas, and other specimens from the Amazon basin a Mississippi River gallery, featuring catfish, paddlefish, and the famous white alligator and Gulf of Mexico exhibit, featuring a 400,000 gallon, 17 foot tall tank of sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays from the Gulf. The Aquarium is one of the stops on the Riverfront streetcar line and is right next door to the Entergy IMAX Theater. Visiting the Aquarium of the Americas is one of the unforgettable things to do in New Orleans.
Run From The Bulls During San Fermin
In Spain, they run from the bulls. In New Orleans, they run from roller derby girls carrying plastic baseball bats?
Its weird and wacky but its a beloved annual tradition nonetheless!
The event is held every July, with thousands of participants dressing up in traditional red and white before quenching their thirst at one of the bars in the Warehouse District.
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Celebrate Halloween At City Putt
If youre looking for something different to do this Halloween, consider heading to City Putt to celebrate the spooky season with a round of mini-golf.
In honor of the holiday, they will be offering sweet treats, candy, a beverage, a craft table for the kids and a free raffle ticket.
This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a few additional activities/goodies while taking part in one of the most entertaining activities at City Park.
The best part is you wont have to pay anything extra for this event admission prices are the same as they are throughout the year!
- Admission: $9/Adults | $7/Children
NOTE: The special Halloween activities they usually hold at City Putt have yet to be confirmed for 2021.
Relax At A New Orleans Spa
With Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and endless opportunities to get wild, travelers often forget to take a step back and unwind!
It is vacation, after all, so there should at least be some relaxation!
With massage and spa discounts sometimes climbing over 60%, theres always a great chance to snag a bargain.
Looking for more things to do in New Orleans? Check out TourScanners full list of tours and activities in New Orleans.
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Get Literate At The Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival
Every spring, the city of New Orleans hosts a 5-day literacy festival.
Originally dedicated to Pulitzer Prize winner and noted American playwright, Tennessee Williams, this bookworms paradise has grown substantially over the years.
While the activities change annually, expect a range of theatrical performances, live readings, cocktail parties, book signings, and film screenings.
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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Check Out The Confronting Museum Of Death
Its time to get sinister, folks. The list of tools and artifacts housed at New Orleans Museum of Death isnt for the faint of heart: theyre graphic and nightmarish, but intriguing and educational at the same time.
View murder weapons, ancient torture devices, and evidence of real-world cases perhaps none more frightening than the letters written by the Unabomber.
Its one of the most confronting, unique things to do in NOLA, thats for sure.
Take A Steamboat Cruise On The Mississippi
When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a steamboatman. Mark Twain
Sailing on a steamboat along the mighty Mississippi River is on many peoples bucket lists after reading stories of the old south and the westward expansion of America. Youre in luck because the Steamboat Natchez is still plying the waters in New Orleans and they offer daily departures.
If you opt for a daytime cruise, youll be treated to stories about the history of New Orleans. Or you can choose the evening cruise which features a live jazz band on board!
Book your cruise here: steamboat cruise on the Mississippi. Its one of the best things to do in New Orleans.
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Sip In Style On A New Orleans Cocktail History Walking Tour
It was only a matter of time before someone mentioned alcohol. NOLA is renowned for its extravagant party lifestyle without sampling a drink or two, you miss out on the full New Orleans experience.
But a drink doesnt necessarily mean a hazy night of binge drinking on Bourbon Street sip with sophistication on a historic cocktail-themed walking tour.
The knowledgeable guides will lead you to a few lesser-known local haunts, where expert bartenders will enlighten your mind and your tastebuds with amazing drinks and NOLA-themed stories.
Treat Yourself To A $025 Martini Lunch At Commanders Palace
A lot of people think the three-martini lunch is part of a bygone era, but in New Orleans, its still alive and well. In fact, you can complete your boozy trifecta for less than a dollar at the swanky Commanders Palace . Order one of the delicious lunch entrees and you can choose from three different martinis that will only set you back $0.25 each!
Note: There is a limit of 3 martinis per person after all, it is lunchtime.
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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 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm 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.