New Orleans is a vibrant city, situated beside the Mississippi River. It is famous for its nightlife, unique inns, shopping, music, free attractions, family activities, great seafood, and other fantastic cuisines.
If you’re coming here then you must explore the historic French Quarter, visit the New Orleans Museum of Art, and take a cooking class. From listening to jazz at one of the local music clubs, to go on a Mardi Gras World Tour; here is a list of the best things to do in New Orleans.
The French Quarter
The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans, and it is steeped in history and heritage.
Dating back to 1718, the district was established by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and grew around the central square of the Vieux Carré. With the magnificent historic buildings, cathedrals, and famous jazz clubs, the French Quarter is one of the top New Orleans attractions.
It has a history that goes back 200 years and it has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Resting at the heart of the French Quarter is the 18th century historic Jackson Square, formerly known as the Place d’Armes.
It was later renamed in honor of Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. Overlooking the Mississippi River, this place is surrounded by famous old buildings, like St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere and Cabildo Museums, and the stunning Pontalba Apartments and many more.
So, if you’re coming to New Orleans then you must visit this old- heritage neighborhood of New Orleans.
Also Read: Best Things to do in Charleston, S.C
New Orleans Garden District
Tucked between St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street in uptown New Orleans, the historic Garden District is a famous neighborhood that is home to a beautifully preserved collection of antebellum mansions, immaculate gardens, and tree-lined avenues.
Established by Barthelemy Lafon in 1832 as an upper-class settlement for new American residents in the city, the area flourished as lavish homes were built in the Italianate, The Greek Revival, and the Victorian styles on large plots surrounded by spectacular gardens make it more beautiful.
Today, the district is home to several movie stars and celebrities also, so if you come here once, you will always be amazed.
New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park
The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park is the home of the jazz music, and it hosts live educational performances at two locations in the city – the Old U.S. Mint on Esplanade Avenue and the visitor’s center on North Peters Street in the heart of the French Quarter.
Excellent 11-stop guided tours of both venues are offered, starting at the modern visitor center in Peters Street, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of New Orleans jazz.
If you are wondering what to do in New Orleans today, then you must visit this place once. You’ll really enjoy live music performances by world-renowned jazz artists every Saturday and Wednesday night, as well as during guided tours.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Established as the Delgado Museum of Art in 1911, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is the oldest fine arts museum in the city. Situated in City Park, the Museum is home to a renowned sculpture garden and a magnificent permanent collection of almost 40,000 art pieces.
The collection, which has a distinct focus on French and American art, consists of several paintings, including works by masters of the School of Paris such as Picasso, Braque, Dufy and Miro, drawings, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is one of the best things to do in New Orleans. At the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, you’ll find over 60 sculptures dotted around a beautifully landscaped site.
Winding footpaths, ancient oak trees, and pedestrian bridges surround the garden; this is one of the most important sculpture installations in the United States.
The Historic New Orleans Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection is an institution dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans. Founded in 1966, the museum has a collection of over one million items from more than three centuries across four exhibitions spaces.
Those are the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art. These galleries showcase fine art and celebrate the history and culture of the Southern Gulf.
The Williams Research Center offers scholars and students a wide variety of publications to explore the various genres of art and decorative art, history, and culture.
Visitors can also enjoy two guided tours of the William’s Residence and the historic buildings that make up the complex in an Architecture and Courtyard Tour.
Freewheeling’ Bike Tours
Freewheeling’ Bike Tours is a family-owned company that offers visitors to explore New Orleans in a healthy way.
Passionate, experienced local guides lead bicycle tours that take visitors through various parts of the city, including City Park, the Garden District, and the French Quarter, and the guides share interesting information and facts along the way.
Guests ride through the town on reliable cruiser bikes, which boast comfortable 13-inch seats, puncture-resistant tubes and tires, and eye-catching chrome. Visitors can also book private tours for two or special family group trips.
Freewheeling’ Bike Tours provides services for corporate and team-building events as well as specialized VIP tours.
Some other places to visit in New Orleans
- Maison Bourbon
- The Spotted Cat Music Club
- New Orleans School of Cooking
- 21st Amendment at La Louisiane
- New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studio
- Sylvain, New Orleans, LA
- High Hat Café
- Modernist Cuisine Gallery
Best Hotels in New Orleans
- Mardi Gras RV Park – Lots Only
- French Quarter One-Bedroom 1200
- La Quinta by Wyndham New Orleans Downtown
- Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Convention Center
- St. James Hotel, an Ascend Collection Hotel
New Orleans is a busy city full of great restaurants, fun bars, and excellent shopping.
While it’s tempting to blow your entire savings account while you’re visiting, you can easily cut down on expenses if you plan ahead and select a few of the many free attractions the city has on offer.
Most are just as good as anything you must purchase a ticket for, and you can save that extra cash for your next trip.