They call New York City the city that never sleeps, but I’d have to say New Orleans comes in at a pretty close second. With so much to do, see and eat, save the sleep for later. Get out there and explore! We love visiting the Big Easy and finding new things to do each time we go. There are countless festivals, places to eat and historic homes to ooh and aah at. So next time you find yourself strolling the streets of New Orleans, make sure you bring this list with you!
One of the very best parts about New Orleans. There’s so much to do no matter the day. Take a walk around Jackson Square to see all of the different pieces of art on display then take a walk through St. Louis Cathedral, you can’t miss it. There’s so many fun shops and cute buildings to see in the French Quarter, just start wandering and you’ll stumble upon some of the best little places.
Ride the Streetcar
This is a must do! And one of the many things that makes New Orleans so unique. There are so many different stops you can hop on at and different routes to take. You can check them out here. My suggestion, take the streetcar down Canal Street towards the river, hop off and jump on the St. Charles streetcar. It’ll take you down one of the most beautiful streets in New Orleans.
Garden District/Magazine Street
Get away from the craziness that can be the French Quarter and head over to the Garden District and Magazine Street. The Garden District is home to some of the most beautiful and historic homes in New Orleans. As I mentioned before, you can take the streetcar down St. Charles Avenue and see some of these houses but walking from street to street is also a great way to explore. Magazine Street is close by with shopping and dining at your fingertips. Some of the most unique shops and places to eat lie on Magazine Street and you can easily spend a good portion of your day slipping in and out of each store.
Po’boys, gumbo, crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, muffulettas, the list goes on. And there are so many places to try all of the best food New Orleans has to offer. A few of our favorites are: Elizabeth’s, Court of Two Sisters, The Ruby Slipper Cafe, Commander’s Place, Killer Po-boys, Mothers Restaurant, Cafe Amelie and Sylvain. Top it all off with a Hurricane over at Pat O’Briens or a Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle, pick your poison 😉 Or head over to Hotel Monteleone and find a spot at their Carousel Bar. I will say one of my favorite places to eat is Cafe Reconcile, some of the most genuine and kind service I have ever received at a restaurant. You can read more about their mission here.
Take a Tour
With so many different options on what tour to do while in the city, first start by narrowing down exactly what you want to do. There are cemetery tours, French Quarter tours, bike tours, walking tours, haunted tours, food tours and so on. And you can’t go wrong with any of them. For a first-timer I would go with a cemetery tour or haunted tour. No better way to really get to know New Orleans!
MARDI GRAS! You’ve got to do it at least once in your life. If not twice…or three times. You can find out all the details of when and where the parades are here. The dates are different every year but there are SO many different parades to see so be sure to look at the schedule before going. There are also other festivals to see in New Orleans. You have Jazz Fest, the Film Festival and Voodoo Festival just to name a few. St. Patrick’s Day is also huge there, with a big parade and all the best festivities going on at Parasol’s.
Attend a Saints Game
Nothing beats going to a game at the Superdome, nothing! Even if you aren’t a Saints fan it’s a great time and such a fun experience. The fans are loud, crazy and have some of the most out-there costumes. Go before the game and tailgate down in Champions Square to get the full experience.
Cafe du Monde
So technically this could have gone under eat and drink but c’mon, it’s Cafe du Monde and it deserves it’s on spotlight. There are multiple locations, but if you don’t mind waiting in line go to the original cafe in the French Market. It’s open 24/7 and is non-stop throughout the day. Order beignets, lots of them and a cafe au lait to go along with it. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy because it’s impossible not to get the powdered sugar everywhere.