Top Ten Things to do in New Orleans
Updated: Sep 20
We had four days to explore the big easy; here were our favorite Top Ten Things to do in the city of Jazz, Creole Cuisine, and Haunting Legends.
1.Street Drinking-- 'cause here its totally legal, not a common practice in the U.S.A
2. EAT -- being big-time foodies, we knew as soon as we booked our flight that the number one thing we wanted to do was eat! New Orleans is known for having a fantastic fusion of creole and cajun flavors, and it certainly did not disappoint! We basically planned our days revolving around places we wanted to eat at, allowing enough time between activities to digest, and then starting eating again! I am not kidding... this trip totally revolved around eating! So, do yourself a favor and try as many different dishes as you can!
3. Ride the Street Car-- yes, it may be slower than an Uber, but it's such a neat experience! Plus, you get to relax and take the scenery in... Ride the streetcar uptown to magazine street! It's only $1.25 🙌🏽 P.S: The St. Charles Avenue line is the oldest continuously operating street rail system in the world! Up and running since 1893!
4. Hang out in Bywater and visit some colorful houses-- There are 4 main areas we recommend for spotting some of the most unique, bright, and beautiful homes of Nola; The French Quarter, Algiers Point, Faubourg Marigny, and the Bywater District.
5.Jazz it up in Frenchmen Street-- Still touristy yet way less "party town" vibes than bourbon street in the French Quarter is Frenchmen Street. Find a Jazz club or enjoy street performances in the area! We had such a fun day/night hanging out!
6. Take the ferry and sail the Mississippi River -- *Money-saving tip: instead of booking a cruise to sail the Mississippi, take the local ferry for just $2! & get a view of Nola from Algiers point ( one of the spots boasting with colorful houses ).
7. Visit Jackson Square at night-- New Orleans is known to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.A. TV shows, movies, and documentaries are often shot there, due to its spooky setting and haunting legends. Groups of tourists gather up in Jackson Square at night to go on a guided ghost tour, where they take you to haunted bars, restaurants, and houses! This photo was taken on the rear side of the St. Louis Cathedral. It's a haunting sight with the shadow of the statue of Jesus projected in such a grand way, yet it symbolizes openness and acceptance. My emotions were contradicting each other as I stood in front of this cathedral. I felt fear, I saw beauty, I sensed urgency, I heard drunken people passing by. I stood there, suspended in time, contemplating ... different times, different eras, different lives... waiting for the perfect moment to take my shot.
8. Drink .25 CENT martinis in an old mansion... Commanders Palace is a staple to the garden district. This mansion turned restaurant is probably the most colorful mansion in this area. In fact, when Ella ( founder / Owner ) painted it aqua blue, all the neighbors were freaking out, but she wanted everyone to know she was in town, and her spot had relocated with a new name but the same inventive cuisine... This was back in 1974, so you can imagine. There's an excellent documentary on Netflix " Ella Brennan, commanding the table" that if you're a foodie or planning a visit to Nola and this restaurant, I recommend you watch. As a traveler, I love knowing where I am, and the history of the place I'm in, plus Ella has major #girlpower; this woman straight out of high school dedicated her life to her family-owned restaurant in the French Quarter and created a name for herself... What a legacy!
What you need to know:
🍸 Reservations are required
🍸 There's a dress code
🍸 .25 CENT martinis are offered only during lunch
🍸 there's a limit of 3 martinis per person " cause that's enough," and I'm quoting the menu 😂 and it is, they're so strong, colorful, and yummy
9. Check Out a Local Festival-- We decided to visit at the end of September during their Fried Chicken Festival being foodies that we are 😁🍽️⚜️, and we couldn't have been happier with our decision. Despite the weather still being extremely hot, lines were short everywhere, hotel accommodations were affordable, and bourbon street only slightly had that infamous vomit smell to it... So for us, that was a win, win! I urge you to look at their calendar of events and decide when to go depending on your interests.
Here's a quick Summary:
🔹 January to March: Mardi Gras 🔹May: New Orleans Jazz Fest 🔹 September: Hot Air Balloon Festival 🔹October: Halloween Parade
🔹 December: Nola Christmas Fest/ Holiday light show in City Park.
⚜️ March to June: Crawfish season ⚜️ May: Food and Wine Festival ⚜️ June: Oyster Festival / Cajun-Zydeco Festival ⚜️ July: Tales of the Cocktail Carnival ⚜️ September: Fried Chicken Festival
10. Get a hotel with a Pool!!! -- If you're traveling between June - September, I highly recommend booking accommodations with a pool! We did not do, and even traveling the last week of September, regretted tremendously!
Those were the Top Ten Things we did or wished we had done during our 4 days in Nola. Thanks for reading....till next time! P.S: If you would like to add something to this list, please feel free to comment below. My goal is that when other travelers read this, they can get an idea of the place and create an itinerary that works FOR THEM! So, if you went to New Orleans, share your experience below, I would love to read your adventures :)