Popular as the “Big Easy,” the City of New Orleans is known for its colorful culture, vibrant live-music spots, and mouthwatering cuisine. The City that never sleeps is a beautiful melting pot containing the best elements of French, African and American cultures. And as the city is always awake, you will never run out of things to do in New Orleans, no matter the time and day!
With yearly Mardi Gras festivals and its beautiful and fascinating culture, New Orleans is a wonderful city to explore and enjoy.
1. The History of New Orleans
So where will you find this city where the lights are always on? The city of New Orleans is located near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The city also has Lake Pontchartrain in the northern part and Lake Borgne in the eastern area.
The name of the city is given after the name of Philippe d’ Orleans, He was the Duke of Orleans (Regent of France) and had expertise in the architecture of France.
Another fun fact is that New Orleans is more well-known for its music. It is the birthplace and the home of jazz. Along with music, there are unique cuisine, yearly festivities, and celebrations, the most famous being the wonderful Mardi Gras.
The City is believed to be one of the most unique ones, not only in the USA but also in the whole world. So it goes without saying that you will have the time of your life trying all the things to do in New Orleans.
2. The City of Many Names
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana possibly has more names than any other city in America. The most popular one is “The Big Easy.” It depicts the pleasant, kind of lazy and laid-back way of life in the city.
So what exactly is the history behind this nickname? In the first part of the 1900s, there was a dance hall in the city called “The Big Easy.” However, the name did not stick until the early 1970s when a Louisiana journalist started referring to New Orleans by this name. In her writings, she made the comparison between the fast-paced busy life of New York City with the laid back easy attitude of New Orleans.
Later, author James Conaway composed a crime fiction novel set in New Orleans and called it “The Big Easy”. In 1987, the book was adapted into a movie, and the nickname stuck.
While this is the most popular one, the many other names of the city of New Orleans are – “The Crescent City”, “The Birthplace of Jazz”, and the short abbreviated version “NOLA”.
The city of New Orleans is thus like the many facets of a diamond. It is full of contrasting and colorful parts and thus there are unending exciting and amazing things to do in New Orleans.
3. 12 Most Amazing Things To Do in New Orleans
Just from a brief introduction to the sleepless land of the city, you can easily see that there are many exciting and amazing things to do in New Orleans. Tourists from around the world visit the city for the jazz and crazy parties, but they stay for the fascinating history, remarkable museums, and large parklands.
It is where culture thrives, revelers dance into the late hours of the night, history nerds rejoice, and locals and travelers relax and enjoy.
You can take a tour of the New Orleans Museum, visit Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, or the St. Louis Cathedral. Stroll by the New Orleans City Park, Louis Armstrong Park, Magazine Street, or the Oak Alley Plantation. Relax on the Mississippi, enjoy the Mardi Gras world and conventions, visit cafe du monde or some art galleries, and sip on a delicious daiquiri, while learning about New Orleans history; you will never run out of things to do in New Orleans.
The city is always awake and you will never experience a dull moment. Make sure to meet some of the friendly New Orleans locals who travel to the city limits. Have a perfect New Orleans experience by enjoying the New Orleans jazz and live music by the local musicians in old-style jazz clubs.
So if you are planning to give the ” Big Easy” a try, make sure to check out all these amazing things to do in New Orleans.
3.1) Explore the Heart of the City – The French Quarter Featuring The Bourbon Street
The French Quarter in New Orleans is a national historic landmark and the cultural heart of the city. Popular for its rich nightlife and bright and colorful architecture.
Bourbon Street spotlights jazz clubs, eateries for delicious dining, and wild pubs serving strong cocktails.
The French Market has a more calm and peaceful air. It is characterized by gourmet delicacies and local art and crafts.
Then there is Jackson Square where you have the spectacular St. Louis Cathedral with Renaissance and Spanish Colonial architecture and streets with entertaining performers.
It is a real shame that for many people, the French Quarter starts and ends with Bourbon Street. However, the Vieux Carré is the home and heart of various museums, art galleries, diners, cafes, bars, and street entertainers.
You must visit Bourbon Street. Always dazzling with lights, every day and night is party time on Bourbon Street.
The historic place represents the spirit of a festive town. The street is always lit by neon lights, vibrating with music and melody, and decorated with art, beads, glimmers, and galleries.
3.2) Have a spooky Night on a New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire in the Haunted City
As you have already seen, New Orleans is known and loved for its fascinating history of supernatural stories and activities. So it is no wonder that the Night City is considered to be the most haunted city in America. If you are a history buff interested in the dark history of New Orleans city
You can enjoy a guided walk through the French Quarter while listening to the thrilling tales of local ghosts, mystical mysteries, vampires, witchcraft, and black magic. A moonlit stroll with haunted stories is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.
During thrilling ghost tours, you will feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand. Scour the soul of the haunted French Quarter on a walk or by biking, and hear all about the stories of cunning vampires, vindictive witches, and scary ghosts.
Include in your tour a visit to the most haunting places in Louisiana history: St. Louis Cemetery (with the final resting place of the ‘voodoo queen’, Marie Laveau), Lafayette cemetery (on Washington Avenue), and the dark places of the city’s oldest neighborhood.
Maybe you have heard of the popular TV series ‘The Originals’ (‘The Vampire Diaries’ Spin-off). Well, this show about a powerful vampire, cunning witches, and terrifying werewolves is set in New Orleans, and now is your chance to see it firsthand.
3.3) Become a Detective and Solve the Mysteries of the Escape Room
If the New Orleans weather gets too hot to enjoy the outdoor activities, try your hand at the Escape Games.
Escape rooms are a kind of live recreation where you will decipher a row of riddles and puzzles to break out before the time ends. Find out hints and obtain clues in the entirely immersive setting of the Delaporte Family Museum.
The Escape Game shows off an assortment of themed escape rooms comprising heists, jailbreaks, special ops, and much more. If you are a lover of puzzles, riddles, and detective fiction, spending the day in the escape room should be among your wishlist of things to do in New Orleans.
3.4) Please Your Palate With the Delicious Dishes and Fancy Cocktails
In the extravagant lifestyle of the vibrant city, trying the rich cuisine is undoubtedly among the things to do in New Orleans.
Dine and drink in style with unlimited cuisine options in the city. The city’s love for fine cuisine connects and unifies the people in New Orleans.
It is a love story accomplished over designed tablecloths accompanied by mouth-watering dishes and drinks. So if you visit New Orleans, don’t forget to try the best food the city can offer:
- Red Beans and Rice
- The New Orleans Muffaletta
- King Cakes
And make sure to wash down this fantastic food with a few sips of fancy drinks. The list is big with Sazerac, brandy milk punch, Pimms cup, the grasshopper, hurricane, and finally, the hand grenade.
If you are a foodie and the way to your heart is through your stomach, then taking food tours should be on your list of things to do in New Orleans.
3.5) Take a Ride on the Streetcar along St. Charles Avenue
Even though you can no longer ride the Desire line, made popular by Tennessee Williams, you can still enjoy the New Orleans streetcar experience along St. Charles Avenue. Ride through the Garden District, and enter Uptown, New Orleans’s vibrant world. So relax your tired feet for a day and spend some time riding through the streets and seeing the picturesque views of St. Charles Avenue.
The experience of viewing the huge Spanish Oak trees is mesmerizing. This is one of the best things to do in New Orleans, and you simply should not miss it.
3.6) Take a Steamboat Cruise and Sail on the Mississippi
Cruising on a steamboat along the mighty Mississippi River is a popular bucket list item for many people. Fortunately, many steamboats, including Steamboat Natchez, are still gliding over the waters in New Orleans, and they offer everyday cruises.
On a day cruise, you will be rewarded with fantastic tales about the past of New Orleans. And if you want something different, you can select the evening cruise with a delightful live jazz music band on board! The Sunday brunch of Steamboat Natchez is a tourist favorite.
3.7) Spend the day with a walking tour of the Garden District
While most people go for the French Quarter, a walking tour through the Garden District is underrated but no less amazing. It is comparatively much quieter and more relaxing compared to the buzzing streets of the French Quarter. You will see the luxurious homes of celebrities and even get a glimpse of someone famous.
You can also take a walk through Lafayette Cemetery, a remarkably beautiful old cemetery that will give you a haunting feel. You can explore or take a guided tour to enjoy the Garden District of New Orleans.
3.8) Check out the Aquarium and Zoo!
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, found on the horizon of the French Quarter, is the home of over ten thousand animals. Situated on the mighty Mississippi River next to the French Quarter, this aquarium has been unfailingly gotten top ranked been chosen as one of the top five in the United States of America.
Activities in the aquarium, along with Audubon zoo, are also considered to be among the top things to do in New Orleans. The Aquarium transfers tourists to an aquatic realm from the Caribbean, to the Amazon Rainforest, to the waters that give New Orleans its spirit with the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
The aquarium has an impressive collection consisting of more than 3,600 creatures and more than 250 types and species. This includes remarkable creatures like Cownose Ray, Moon Jellies, African Penguins, Pacu, Green Sea Turtle, California Sea Lion, Clownfish, Piranha, Sand Tiger Shark, Blue Surgeonfish, and much more.
And it does not end there. Along with this remarkable aquarium, the Audubon Zoo exhibits a wide range and number of common and rare animals like giraffe, Asian elephant, zebra, tiger, cougar, spider monkey, river otter, rhinoceros, macaws, leopard, and the very popular white alligator. One of the best things about this place is the trek through a 30-foot-long underwater passage. You will glimpse sharks, piranhas, sea turtles, anacondas, and maybe even the famous albino alligator.
3.9) Listen to the Music of the Crescent City
Live music is in the air of New Orleans. You can find it on the roads, in gardens, in pubs and cafes, and everywhere. Your musical experience will be a memorable part of your life. Visit these places to enjoy the musical things to do in New Orleans.
- Smoothie King Center
- UNO Lakefront Arena
- House of Blues
- The Fillmore
- Saenger Theatre
- Tipitinas Uptown
The city’s music includes but is not limited to the greatest jazz and blues. If you are a music lover, you may enjoy some New Orleans Music and Arts Tours.
3.10) Visit Some of The New Orleans Museums
If you have a curious spirit, love historical facts, and are an art appreciator, then touring the museums should be among the things to do in New Orleans.
i) The Jazz Museum
You won’t find a place better to learn about the history of jazz than in its birthplace, New Orleans. The demonstrations are a little jumble of jazz memorabilia, consisting of Louis Armstrong’s first cornet.
Additionally, the New Orleans Jazz Museum is situated in the historic Old US Mint that can be found at the south end of Frenchman Street in the Central Business District. That is a place where jazz is still considered to be the finest form of music and art.
ii) World War II Museum
America’s official World War II Museum can be found in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Visit this place to learn about the events related to the Second World War.
The National WWII Museum is an enormous place, and if you believe yourself to be a history buff, you should take some time to explore and respect the fallen by visiting this museum.
iii) The Backstreet Cultural Museum
This museum, located in the Treme neighborhood, is a heart of documentation of New Orleans African-American lineage, history, traditions, and culture.
It is the home to a vast assortment of apparel sported by the Mardi Gras Indians, the Baby Dolls, and the Northside Skull and Bones Gang. Never heard of these names? Then you just have to go to the museum and discover an extraordinary aspect of the culture of Crescent City.
iv) The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
This historical museum was a real functioning pharmacy back in the year 1823. It was founded and established by America’s first certified pharmacist, Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. Nowadays, it includes various medical devices and paraphernalia.
The place is rumored to be haunted by many unrestful spirits with unfinished business, even the wicked Dr. Joseph Dupas, who was the second owner of the shop. Also, visit the New Orleans Museum of Art Art Navarre Within City Park.
3.11) Enjoy the Music and Theatre Performances
The ‘Big Easy’ consists of a huge and lively music and theater presence. Generally, you can anticipate at least one or more outstanding musical or theatrical production available every month.
One of the most popular and notable sites is the Saenger Theatre, which generally produces several different and unique shows each month of the year. Among the things to do in New Orleans you should try these theatres and entertain yourself with a great theatrical performance:
- UNO Lakefront Arena
- Mahalia Jackson Theater
- Orpheum Theater
- Joy Theater
These are family-friendly theatres that can improve your night with spectacular entertainment and chase away all the boredom and dullness of regular life.
3.12) Make some memories of the Mardi-Gras
Mardi Gras (French: Fat Tuesday) is a festive day celebrated in France and fulfills the Carnival season. The event is organized 47 days before Easter and can happen on Tuesdays from February 3 to March 9.
The festival of Mardi Gras is observed in all of Louisiana, especially in New Orleans. The celebration is about music, processions, picnics, floats, and fun.
Revelers remember to wear costumes or clothes in purple, green, and gold with occasional splashes of red and blue along with long beads, feathers, and sparkly accessories.
Even if you cannot visit the city during this specific time, you can still have the best Mardi Gras experience for all seasons, every day of the year. Visit Mardi Gras World, an active studio producing and stocking Mardi Gras floats.
You can also discover a lot of historic floats, clothes, and ornaments from past Mardi Gras celebrations. Various museums or displays are also devoted to some elements of Mardi Gras and are accessible.
This includes the Mardi Gras Museum at Armands Restaurant and the House of Dance and Feathers. You should also enjoy the affordable Presbytère and its Mardi Gras show. There are also several walks and tours based on this popular festival.
So to have the best possible adventure, a proper Mardi Gras experience should always be on your list of things to do in New Orleans.
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4. Other Things to Try
Are you still feeling like you are missing out on some of the things to do in New Orleans? Worry no more. If you have already gone through the list and want a little more, try the following activities.
Have the time of your life swaying to the legendary jazz and blues of New Orleans. Some of the best music clubs, venues, and bars include Blue Nile, Maple Leaf Bar, Fat Catz Music Club, Three Muses, Preservation Hall, The Jazz Playhouse, and the House of Blues. Enjoy the New Orleans jazz fest on Frenchmen Street.
The Warehouse Arts District is also wonderful to feast and drink among New Orleans locals. Immerse yourself in Old World allure with a wonderful sail aboard the historic Steamboat Natchez. An authentic NOLA experience, this historical steamboat has been entertaining visitors since 1975.
Find some Banksy art in the City of Creative Spirit. As a city known for its diverse community, NOLA’s roads have no absence of refined art. A ton of walking trips comprise mural segments with a special spotlight on the renowned paintings of Banksy.
Rejoice in a carriage ride through the French Quarter of the city. If the never-ending walks have tired your legs, take a breath and relax while enjoying the comfortable carriage ride through the cobblestoned streets.
Gawk at the massive plantations in a Garden District. This notable and gorgeous site is residence to plantation-style buildings, charming cottages, and vast overhanging trees. A tour of the Oak Alley Plantation will start and end from the city center. You will love the area of rustic elegance amidst a bustling city.
Wander around town on a Segway tour of Canal Street if you want to rest your legs. Here the trips are focused more on enjoying the views of all the famous landmarks. Have a romantic ride on a gondola ride. Venice is overrated. Take a journey down the bright lagoons of New Orleans and have a lovely time with your partner.
Attend a sports event. It does not matter if you are a fan of basketball, baseball, football, or anything else; New Orleans has something for almost all sports lovers.
Glide past alligators on an airboat swamp tour. Swamplands encompass the city, and these bogs and marshes hold an important position in the regional culture.
Visit the New Orleans Botanical Garden, which exhibits an impressive array of flora and fauna and presents live music and academic programs. Enjoy some time at Cafe Du Monde, located just across Decatur Street (from Jackson Square), to have the finest beignets.
The list could go on. So don’t any longer and try these exciting things to do in New Orleans and start your trip today!
The city of New Orleans is most notably recognized for its vibrant and colorful art and architecture, buzzing streets with artists and performers, mouthwatering cuisine, live music venues, clubs, and bars, along with never-ending festive vibes.
Regarded as the motherland of jazz, the bright city bleeds music from every crack and crevice, whether it is blues, jazz, or rock ‘n’ roll. Music has a primary part in forming and maintaining the soul and spirit of New Orleans.
Even though most tourists visit the Southern city for Mardi Gras, there is more to “Big Easy” than the yearly festival and Bourbon Street. Visitors will find an abundance of occasions, celebrations, festivities, and things to do in New Orleans all year round.
There are endless ways to have a good time in the city that never sleeps. You will feel the music thumping in your veins, the authentic aromas and flavors that will reach your heart, and the explosion of colors and art that will touch your soul and body. So enter the haunting yet lively world of Crescent City to make memories worth making.
Have you packed your bags yet? Get ready to have the liveliest adventure of your life in New Orleans. You will never have a dull moment in the city filled with colors, festivals, live music venues, street performers, art, entertainment, food, and lights that never dim.Why Try Out Rocket.net - IcyCanada's recommended hosting provider