17 Things to Do in New Orleans: Uncover the Magic of the Big Easy

1. Immerse Yourself in the French Quarter

Explore the lively streets of the French Quarter, filled with vibrant music, historic architecture, and delicious cuisine.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit iconic landmarks like St. Louis Cathedral and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Bourbon Street.

Traveler’s Tip: Venture off the beaten path to Royal Street for charming art galleries and antique shops.

2. Indulge in Creole and Cajun Cuisine

Treat your taste buds to the mouthwatering flavors of Creole and Cajun cuisine.

From gumbo to étouffée, sample the rich and spicy dishes that make New Orleans famous.

Traveler’s Tip: Head to Cochon Butcher for a delicious muffuletta sandwich and explore the bustling French Market for local treats.

3. Take a Steamboat Cruise on the Mississippi River

Embark on a nostalgic steamboat cruise along the mighty Mississippi River.

Enjoy live jazz music, breathtaking views, and experience the charm of a bygone era.

Traveler’s Tip: Opt for a dinner cruise to savor a delectable meal while taking in the scenic beauty of the river.

4. Explore the Historic Garden District

Wander through the picturesque streets of the Garden District and admire the stunning historic mansions and oak-lined avenues.

Take a guided tour or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll to appreciate the district’s architectural beauty.

Traveler’s Tip: Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the enchanting charm of this neighborhood.

5. Immerse Yourself in Jazz at Preservation Hall

Step into the world of jazz at Preservation Hall, a historic venue dedicated to preserving the city’s musical heritage.

Experience live jazz performances by talented musicians and embrace the soulful rhythms that define New Orleans.

Traveler’s Tip: Arrive early to secure a seat, as this intimate venue fills up quickly.

6. Visit the Historic St. Louis Cathedral

Marvel at the beauty of the St. Louis Cathedral, an iconic symbol of New Orleans.

Take a guided tour to learn about its fascinating history and enjoy the serene ambiance of the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States.

Traveler’s Tip: Attend a Sunday Mass to experience the spiritual essence of the cathedral.

7. Discover the Vibrant Frenchmen Street

Escape the crowds and head to Frenchmen Street, a local favorite for live music and authentic New Orleans vibes.

Explore the eclectic music clubs and bars, where talented musicians captivate audiences with their soul-stirring performances.

Traveler’s Tip: Check out the Frenchmen Art Market for unique handmade crafts and artwork.

8. Experience the Excitement of Mardi Gras

Join the festivities of Mardi Gras, the iconic carnival celebration that takes place annually in New Orleans.

Be dazzled by colorful parades, extravagant costumes, and the lively spirit that fills the city during this time.

Traveler’s Tip: Arrive early to secure a good spot along the parade route and don’t forget to catch some “throws” from the passing floats.

9. Explore the Fascinating World of Voodoo

Delve into the mystical realm of voodoo by visiting the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.

Learn about the history, rituals, and beliefs associated with this unique Afro-Caribbean religion that has a deep-rooted presence in the city.

Traveler’s Tip: Book a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of voodoo practices and their significance.

10. Discover the Haunting Beauty of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Explore the historic St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the final resting place of many notable New Orleanians.

Admire the intricate above-ground tombs and learn about the city’s burial customs and traditions.

Traveler’s Tip: Due to preservation efforts, visiting the cemetery requires a guided tour, so plan ahead and book a reputable tour operator.

11. Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour

Experience the eerie side of New Orleans by embarking on a ghost tour through the city’s haunted streets and alleyways.

Listen to spine-chilling tales of supernatural occurrences and visit notoriously haunted locations.

Traveler’s Tip: Wear comfortable shoes, as these tours involve walking through narrow and uneven streets.

12. Discover the History of the National WWII Museum

Pay homage to the heroes of World War II at the National WWII Museum, one of the most comprehensive museums of its kind.

Explore immersive exhibits, watch engaging films, and gain insights into the historic events that shaped the world.

Traveler’s Tip: Allocate ample time to fully immerse yourself in the museum’s vast collection.

13. Savor the Sweetness of New Orleans’ Pralines

Indulge in the delectable sweetness of New Orleans’ famous pralines.

These irresistible confections, made with caramelized sugar, butter, and pecans, are a true local treat.

Traveler’s Tip: Visit one of the city’s renowned praline shops, such as Leah’s Pralines or Southern Candymakers, for a mouthwatering selection.

14. Explore the Scenic Beauty of City Park

Escape the urban bustle and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of City Park, one of the nation’s largest urban green spaces.

Stroll along tree-lined paths, visit the charming Botanical Gardens, or rent a paddleboat on the picturesque lagoons.

Traveler’s Tip: Don’t miss the awe-inspiring ancient oak trees that have been standing for centuries.

15. Cruise the Historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line

Hop aboard the iconic St. Charles Avenue streetcar and take a leisurely ride through historic neighborhoods, including the Garden District and Uptown.

Enjoy the scenic views and admire the beautiful architecture along the way.

Traveler’s Tip: Purchase a Jazzy Pass for unlimited rides on all streetcar lines for a full day of exploration.

16. Taste the Flavors of New Orleans on a Food Tour

Embark on a culinary adventure through the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans on a food tour.

Sample a variety of local dishes, from po’boys to gumbo, and learn about the city’s culinary traditions from knowledgeable guides.

Traveler’s Tip: Come hungry and pace yourself to fully savor the delicious flavors along the way.

17. Enjoy a Sunset Riverboat Cruise

Witness a mesmerizing sunset over the Mississippi River on a relaxing riverboat cruise.

Take in the stunning panoramic views of the city skyline and capture the magic of the golden hour.

Traveler’s Tip: Opt for a dinner cruise to savor a delightful meal while basking in the beauty of the setting sun.


New Orleans offers a myriad of captivating experiences that immerse visitors in its vibrant culture, history, and flavors.

From the soulful sounds of jazz to the tantalizing taste of Creole cuisine, this city never fails to leave a lasting impression.

David Kingston

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