TripAdvisor New Orleans
New Orleans, the vibrant city in Louisiana, is known for its rich history, unique culture, and mouth-watering cuisine. From the lively streets of the French Quarter to the stately homes of the Garden District, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this fascinating city. In this article, we’ll explore 26 TripAdvisor rated favorites in New Orleans, covering must-visit attractions, must-try culinary experiences, exciting nightlife options, and unique cultural experiences.
Top 10 Must-Visit Attractions
Welcome to the heart and soul of New Orleans: the French Quarter! This vibrant neighborhood, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the city’s oldest district and boasts a rich history dating back to the 18th century. With its enchanting blend of European and Creole architecture, lively jazz music, and mouth-watering food, the French Quarter is an essential stop for anyone visiting the Big Easy.
Wander down the charming cobblestone streets, where you’ll be surrounded by colorful buildings adorned with intricate ironwork balconies, lush courtyards, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Every turn reveals a new sight, from street performers entertaining passersby with their talents to artists selling their work on the sidewalks.
A visit to the French Quarter isn’t complete without a stop at the iconic Jackson Square, where you can admire the majestic St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States. Don’t forget to check out the bustling French Market, a historic open-air market where you’ll find everything from fresh produce and seafood to unique crafts and souvenirs.
When hunger strikes, treat yourself to some of the city’s most famous dishes, such as beignets at Café du Monde, jambalaya, or a delicious po’boy sandwich from one of the many local eateries. And, of course, no trip to the French Quarter is complete without enjoying some authentic jazz music at a legendary venue like Preservation Hall or the many bars lining Bourbon Street.
In the French Quarter, the energy is contagious, and the history and culture are palpable. So, get ready to be charmed and captivated as you explore one of New Orleans’ most beloved neighborhoods.
Just a short streetcar ride away from the bustling French Quarter lies the serene and picturesque Garden District. Known for its stunning antebellum mansions, towering oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and beautifully manicured gardens, the Garden District offers a delightful contrast to the vibrant energy of other New Orleans neighborhoods.
A leisurely stroll through the tree-lined streets of the Garden District will transport you back in time, as you take in the magnificent Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian architecture that graces the area. Each stately home tells a story of the city’s rich history and the affluent families who once resided there.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, nestled in the heart of the Garden District, is another must-see attraction. As one of the city’s oldest and most famous cemeteries, it is home to stunning above-ground tombs and mausoleums that showcase the unique burial customs of New Orleans.
While exploring the Garden District, be sure to visit Magazine Street, a six-mile stretch of boutique shops, art galleries, and charming cafés perfect for a leisurely afternoon. From antique treasures and local artwork to the latest fashion trends, Magazine Street offers a delightful shopping experience for all tastes.
In the midst of the exquisite beauty of the Garden District, you’ll also find the historic Commander’s Palace restaurant. Established in 1880, this legendary dining establishment serves up delicious Creole cuisine and is renowned for its elegant atmosphere and exceptional service.
The Garden District is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone seeking a peaceful respite from the lively spirit of New Orleans. Come and be enchanted by the timeless charm of this unforgettable neighborhood.
National WWII Museum
History comes alive at the National WWII Museum, an awe-inspiring institution that transports visitors back in time to experience the pivotal moments of World War II. Ranked as one of the top museums in the United States, this world-class facility located in the heart of New Orleans offers an unforgettable journey through the most significant conflict of the 20th century.
As you enter the museum, you’ll be immersed in a captivating narrative that tells the story of the war from both the American and global perspectives. Through a vast collection of artifacts, personal accounts, and interactive exhibits, the National WWII Museum highlights the courage and sacrifices made by the brave men and women who served during this tumultuous time.
The museum’s exhibits are spread across several pavilions, each focusing on a different aspect of the war. Explore the Home Front, which provides insight into the daily lives of Americans during the war, or delve into the D-Day invasion in the Road to Berlin exhibit. The Road to Tokyo exhibit takes you through the Pacific theater, while the US Freedom Pavilion showcases an impressive array of military aircraft and vehicles.
Don’t miss the poignant and thought-provoking Beyond All Boundaries film, narrated by Tom Hanks, which offers a moving and comprehensive overview of the war. Afterward, you can visit the impressive US Merchant Marine Gallery to learn about the vital role these brave sailors played during the conflict.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, the National WWII Museum is a must-visit attraction in New Orleans. As you walk through the halls of this remarkable museum, you’ll be reminded of the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of remembering the lessons of history.
Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square is a vibrant and historic public space that has been the center of New Orleans life for over 300 years. Originally known as Place d’Armes, this iconic square is surrounded by stunning architecture and serves as a gathering place for artists, musicians, and visitors from all walks of life.
At the center of the square stands the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and the square’s namesake. The majestic St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States, serves as the square’s stunning backdrop, flanked by the equally historic Cabildo and Presbytère buildings. The Pontalba Buildings, which house unique shops and apartments, frame the square on either side with their iconic cast-iron balconies.
As you explore Jackson Square, you’ll be immersed in the sights and sounds of New Orleans culture. Local artists display their work along the square’s wrought-iron fence, offering a colorful and eclectic selection of paintings, drawings, and other creations. Street performers entertain the crowds with their lively music, dance, and other talents, while fortune-tellers and tarot card readers offer a glimpse into the mystical side of the city.
Just steps from the square, you’ll find the famous Café du Monde, where you can indulge in a beignet and a café au lait while enjoying the lively atmosphere. Or, take a leisurely walk to the nearby Moon Walk, a riverside promenade offering sweeping views of the Mississippi River.
Jackson Square is more than just a beautiful public space; it’s the beating heart of New Orleans, where history, culture, and creativity collide. Be sure to include this iconic destination in your exploration of the Big Easy.
In the vibrant French Quarter of New Orleans, music lovers will discover a true gem: Preservation Hall. This legendary venue has been a cornerstone of the city’s vibrant jazz scene since 1961, serving as both a performance space and a sanctuary dedicated to preserving the rich musical heritage of New Orleans jazz.
From the moment you step inside this intimate, unassuming hall, you’ll be transported to a bygone era. The dimly lit room, adorned with vintage photographs and memorabilia, provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable evening of music. The wooden benches and floor cushions may be simple, but the atmosphere is electric, as the sounds of trumpets, trombones, clarinets, and drums fill the air.
Night after night, Preservation Hall showcases the talents of both veteran and up-and-coming jazz musicians, who come together to perform traditional New Orleans jazz in all its glory. These masterful artists will captivate you with their passion, skill, and soulful melodies, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for this unique American art form.
While visiting Preservation Hall, keep in mind that seating is limited and operates on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no reservations, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to secure your spot. The venue is family-friendly, and children are welcome to attend the performances.
For an authentic taste of the New Orleans jazz scene, there’s no better place than Preservation Hall. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz aficionado or a curious newcomer, this iconic institution will leave you with memories that last a lifetime and an enduring connection to the soul of the city.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Embark on an underwater adventure at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, a world-class attraction located along the Mississippi River in New Orleans. With its diverse range of aquatic habitats and species, the aquarium offers a fascinating glimpse into the mysterious world beneath the waves, providing both entertainment and education for visitors of all ages.
As you explore the various exhibits, you’ll be introduced to over 3,600 animals from around the world, including sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and a plethora of colorful tropical fish. The awe-inspiring, 400,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit is a must-see, featuring a variety of marine life native to the region, including mesmerizing schools of fish, vibrant coral reefs, and powerful sharks gliding through the water.
The Audubon Aquarium isn’t just about marine life; it’s also home to a delightful collection of penguins, sea otters, and even a rare white alligator! You won’t want to miss the playful antics of the African penguins or the entertaining sea otter presentations, where you’ll learn all about these fascinating creatures and their unique habits.
For an even more immersive experience, consider participating in one of the aquarium’s interactive programs, such as the hands-on Stingray Touchpool or the thrilling, behind-the-scenes penguin encounter. These unforgettable experiences provide an opportunity to connect with the animals on a deeper level and learn more about the importance of conservation efforts.
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a fantastic destination for families, couples, and solo travelers looking to explore the wonders of the aquatic world. So dive in, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty and diversity of life beneath the waves.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of New Orleans’ City Park. Spanning over 1,300 acres, this lush urban oasis is one of the oldest and largest public parks in the United States, offering a vast array of recreational activities, attractions, and picturesque landscapes for visitors to enjoy.
As you wander through the park’s expansive grounds, you’ll be captivated by the centuries-old oak trees draped in Spanish moss, creating a canopy of greenery above the winding walking paths. These majestic trees, some of which are over 600 years old, stand as silent witnesses to the park’s rich history and provide a peaceful sanctuary for both locals and visitors alike.
City Park is more than just a beautiful green space; it’s also home to numerous attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Art lovers will appreciate the New Orleans Museum of Art and the adjacent Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which features an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures set amid serene, landscaped gardens.
Families visiting the park will find no shortage of entertainment options, from the enchanting Storyland playground and the antique carousel at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park to the train rides and miniature golf at City Putt. For a more relaxed experience, consider taking a leisurely boat ride on Big Lake or exploring the beautiful Botanical Garden.
Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy the park’s many sports facilities, including tennis courts, soccer fields, and an 18-hole golf course. And don’t forget to check out the park’s calendar of events for outdoor concerts, festivals, and other special happenings throughout the year.
Whether you’re seeking tranquility, recreation, or a bit of culture, City Park has something for everyone. This beautiful oasis is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural splendor of New Orleans.
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
Discover a world of artistic treasures at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the city’s oldest fine arts institution. Founded in 1910, NOMA boasts an impressive collection of over 40,000 objects, spanning more than 5,000 years of global art history. From ancient artifacts and European masterpieces to modern and contemporary works, this stunning museum offers a rich and diverse cultural experience for art lovers of all backgrounds.
As you explore the museum’s elegant galleries, you’ll encounter a wide range of art, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and decorative arts. NOMA’s collection features works by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, Renoir, and Jackson Pollock, as well as notable pieces from the Italian Renaissance and the French Impressionist movement.
In addition to its permanent collection, NOMA hosts a variety of rotating exhibitions that showcase both local and international artists, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to experience. The museum also offers an array of educational programs, workshops, and events for visitors of all ages, including lectures, film screenings, and hands-on art activities.
Adjacent to the museum, you’ll find the enchanting Besthoff Sculpture Garden, a 5-acre outdoor space that features more than 60 contemporary sculptures set amid lush landscaping, tranquil lagoons, and meandering walking paths. This serene oasis is the perfect place to relax and reflect after exploring the museum’s extensive art collection.
Whether you’re a seasoned art connoisseur or a curious novice, the New Orleans Museum of Art offers a captivating and inspiring experience for all who visit. Be sure to include this cultural gem in your exploration of the Big Easy.
St. Louis Cathedral
As the centerpiece of Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral stands tall as a symbol of New Orleans’ rich history and enduring spirit. This magnificent structure, with its iconic triple steeples, is the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States and a must-see attraction for visitors to the Crescent City.
Constructed between 1789 and 1794, the St. Louis Cathedral is dedicated to King Louis IX of France, the city’s namesake. The cathedral’s striking façade, with its delicate stained-glass windows and ornate Rococo-style altar, is an architectural masterpiece that showcases the influence of French and Spanish design elements.
As you step inside this historic house of worship, you’ll be struck by the serene atmosphere and the intricate details that adorn the interior, from the gilded ceiling to the vibrant frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St. Louis. Throughout the cathedral’s long history, it has played host to numerous important events and notable figures, including the beatification of Henriette Delille, a New Orleans-born woman who dedicated her life to helping the city’s disadvantaged communities.
In addition to its religious significance, St. Louis Cathedral also serves as a vibrant cultural hub, hosting a variety of musical performances and special events throughout the year. Be sure to check the cathedral’s calendar for a chance to experience one of these unforgettable events in such a magnificent setting.
Whether you’re seeking spiritual solace, an appreciation of history and architecture, or simply a moment of quiet reflection, the St. Louis Cathedral is a must-visit destination during your time in New Orleans. The beauty and significance of this sacred space will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on all who enter its hallowed halls.
Mardi Gras World
Experience the magic and wonder of New Orleans’ most famous celebration at Mardi Gras World, an extraordinary attraction that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating the city’s iconic Mardi Gras floats and festivities.
Located along the Mississippi River, Mardi Gras World is the working studio of Kern Studios, a family-owned business that has been designing and building elaborate parade floats since 1947. As you embark on a guided tour of the studio, you’ll be transported into a vibrant world of glittering colors, larger-than-life sculptures, and intricate designs, all meticulously crafted by talented local artisans.
During your tour, you’ll learn about the history of Mardi Gras and the complex process of designing and constructing the parade floats, from the initial concept sketches to the final dazzling creations. You’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most memorable floats from past parades, as well as sneak a peek at the latest designs in progress.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! At Mardi Gras World, you’ll also have the chance to try on authentic Mardi Gras costumes and snap a photo to remember your visit. And don’t forget to sample a slice of the famous King Cake, a delicious Mardi Gras tradition.
Mardi Gras World is a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to delve into the heart and soul of New Orleans’ unique culture. Whether you’re visiting during the Mardi Gras season or any other time of the year, this magical experience will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city’s most beloved celebration.
Must-Try Culinary Experiences
Beignets at Café du Monde
A visit to New Orleans would not be complete without indulging in the city’s most famous culinary delight: beignets at Café du Monde. This iconic, open-air coffee shop has been serving up mouthwatering beignets and rich café au lait since 1862, making it a must-visit destination for food lovers and a cherished institution among locals.
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, just steps from Jackson Square, Café du Monde’s bustling atmosphere is as much a part of its charm as the delicious treats it offers. As you take a seat at one of the green and white striped tables, you’ll be surrounded by the lively sounds of street performers, the chatter of fellow patrons, and the alluring scent of freshly made beignets wafting through the air.
The beignets themselves are a true taste of New Orleans: square-shaped pieces of dough, deep-fried until golden and pillowy, then generously dusted with powdered sugar. Served piping hot, these scrumptious pastries are best enjoyed with a steaming cup of café au lait, a New Orleans-style coffee made with chicory and served with equal parts hot milk.
As you savor your beignets and coffee, take a moment to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and rich history that surround you. Café du Monde has been a gathering place for locals and visitors alike for over a century, and it’s not hard to see why this legendary spot continues to captivate the hearts and taste buds of all who visit.
No trip to the Crescent City is complete without a stop at Café du Monde for a taste of its heavenly beignets. So pull up a chair, grab a napkin, and get ready to experience a true New Orleans tradition.
Sink your teeth into a true New Orleans classic: the legendary po’boy sandwich. Born out of the city’s diverse culinary heritage, the po’boy has become a beloved staple of the local food scene, with numerous eateries vying for the title of the best in town. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned NOLA foodie, the po’boy is a must-try dish that will have you coming back for more.
The history of the po’boy dates back to the 1920s when the sandwich was created to feed striking streetcar workers, known as the “poor boys.” The name eventually morphed into “po’boy,” and the sandwich gained widespread popularity throughout the city. Traditionally, a po’boy consists of a crusty, golden French bread loaf piled high with a variety of delicious fillings, from fried seafood to tender roast beef.
When it comes to choosing the perfect po’boy, the options are endless. Seafood lovers can opt for crispy fried shrimp, oysters, or catfish, while meat enthusiasts can savor the juicy flavors of roast beef smothered in gravy or succulent hot sausage. Vegetarians need not feel left out, as there are plenty of tasty options like the popular “French fry” po’boy topped with cheese and gravy.
No po’boy is complete without the signature “dressed” toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mayonnaise, all coming together to create a mouthwatering medley of flavors and textures. And for an added touch of New Orleans flair, don’t forget to try a side of Zapp’s potato chips, a local favorite that pairs perfectly with any po’boy.
As you explore the city’s vibrant food scene, you’ll discover countless po’boy shops, each with its own unique take on this beloved sandwich. So go ahead, dig in, and experience the deliciousness of a true New Orleans po’boy.
Savor the rich, soulful flavors of New Orleans with a steaming bowl of gumbo, a quintessential dish that embodies the city’s diverse culinary heritage. A comforting, hearty stew that combines French, Spanish, African, and Native American influences, gumbo is a true reflection of the melting pot of cultures that have shaped the Crescent City over the centuries.
At its heart, gumbo is a savory blend of meat or seafood, vegetables, and a thick, flavorful roux, which serves as the base of the dish. The roux, made from flour and fat, is cooked to varying degrees of darkness, imparting a unique depth of flavor to each gumbo. This rich base is then combined with the “holy trinity” of Louisiana cooking: onions, bell peppers, and celery, creating a fragrant and satisfying dish that warms both the body and the soul.
Gumbo comes in many delicious forms, with ingredients varying by region and personal preference. Seafood gumbo, brimming with succulent shrimp, crab, and oysters, is a popular choice along the Gulf Coast, while chicken and andouille sausage gumbo is a beloved favorite in the city. Regardless of the variation, gumbo is typically served over a bed of fluffy white rice, allowing the flavors to meld together in perfect harmony.
As you explore the culinary landscape of New Orleans, you’ll find gumbo on the menu at many of the city’s restaurants, from casual neighborhood joints to upscale dining establishments. Each chef has their own signature take on this classic dish, and part of the fun is discovering the unique flavors and techniques that make each gumbo special.
So grab a spoon, pull up a chair, and dive into the rich tapestry of flavors that is New Orleans gumbo. This delectable dish is sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds and your heart.
Embark on a culinary adventure with a steaming plate of jambalaya, a flavorful one-pot dish that has become a staple of New Orleans cuisine. With its roots in both Spanish and French cooking traditions, jambalaya is a delightful fusion of flavors that showcases the diverse cultural influences that have shaped the city’s gastronomic landscape.
Jambalaya is typically made with a tantalizing blend of rice, vegetables, and a mix of meats or seafood, all simmered together in a single pot to create a mouthwatering medley of flavors. The dish starts with the “holy trinity” of Louisiana cooking – onions, bell peppers, and celery – which form the aromatic base. The addition of tomatoes distinguishes Creole-style jambalaya, also known as “red jambalaya,” while the tomato-free, brown-colored version is referred to as Cajun-style jambalaya.
The choice of proteins in jambalaya varies, but popular options include chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, or even alligator. The dish is seasoned with a blend of spices, including cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme, giving it a distinctive, savory kick that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.
As you make your way through the vibrant food scene of New Orleans, you’ll discover countless variations of jambalaya on offer, from hearty, meat-filled dishes to lighter, seafood-centric options. The city’s many restaurants and eateries take pride in their unique interpretations of this classic dish, ensuring that there’s a jambalaya to suit every palate.
So, go ahead and dig into a plate of this iconic New Orleans favorite. Whether you prefer the spicy, smoky flavors of Cajun-style jambalaya or the rich, tomato-infused taste of Creole-style jambalaya, one thing is for certain – this delicious dish is bound to leave you craving more.
Immerse yourself in the flavors of Louisiana with a rich and delicious plate of crawfish étouffée, a classic New Orleans dish that perfectly showcases the city’s love affair with seafood. This indulgent, mouthwatering dish is a celebration of the humble crawfish, which takes center stage in a velvety, flavorful sauce that is bound to leave you craving more.
Crawfish étouffée begins with a foundation of the “holy trinity” of Louisiana cooking – onions, bell peppers, and celery – sautéed in butter until tender and aromatic. The star of the show, tender crawfish tail meat, is then added to the mix, along with a rich, savory roux made from flour and fat. This luxurious sauce is seasoned with a blend of spices, such as cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme, creating a delectable harmony of flavors that is both comforting and bold.
The dish is traditionally served over a bed of steamed white rice, allowing the creamy étouffée sauce to soak into the grains, infusing each bite with an explosion of taste. The hearty portion of succulent crawfish adds a delightful textural contrast, making for a truly satisfying and memorable dining experience.
As you explore the culinary delights of New Orleans, you’ll find crawfish étouffée on the menu at many of the city’s beloved seafood restaurants and Creole eateries. Each chef adds their own personal touch to this classic dish, ensuring that no two versions of crawfish étouffée are ever quite the same.
So, go ahead and indulge in the sumptuous flavors of crawfish étouffée, a true New Orleans classic that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. This unforgettable dish is a testament to the city’s rich culinary heritage and a celebration of the bountiful seafood that the Gulf Coast has to offer.
Satisfy your hunger with a taste of New Orleans history by sinking your teeth into a scrumptious muffuletta, a hearty sandwich that has been a staple of the city’s culinary scene for over a century. With its roots in the city’s vibrant Italian community, the muffuletta is a delicious testament to the diverse cultural influences that have shaped New Orleans’ unique gastronomic landscape.
The muffuletta sandwich is built upon a foundation of a large, round loaf of Italian bread, which is sliced horizontally and generously filled with a mouthwatering assortment of ingredients. The true star of the sandwich is the olive salad, a tangy and flavorful blend of green and black olives, pickled vegetables, and seasonings, which is generously spread across both halves of the bread.
Next comes the delectable array of meats and cheeses, which may include layers of salami, capicola, mortadella, and provolone, all coming together to create a symphony of savory flavors. The sandwich is typically served cold or at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld together in perfect harmony.
The muffuletta was first created in 1906 at Central Grocery, a historic Italian-American grocery store located in the heart of the French Quarter. Today, you can still enjoy an authentic muffuletta at Central Grocery, as well as at many other delis and eateries throughout the city, each with their own unique take on this classic sandwich.
So, go ahead and savor the delicious combination of flavors that make up a New Orleans muffuletta. This iconic sandwich is not only a testament to the city’s rich culinary heritage but also a satisfying, shareable treat that is sure to leave you full and happy.
Indulge your sweet tooth with a taste of New Orleans decadence by diving into a sumptuous serving of Bananas Foster, a mouthwatering dessert that has become a beloved staple of the city’s culinary scene. This flamboyant, show-stopping dish combines the tropical flavors of bananas, rum, and caramelized sugar, creating an unforgettable treat that is as delicious as it is entertaining.
Bananas Foster was first created in 1951 at the iconic Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter, as a way to showcase the city’s thriving banana import business. The dessert quickly gained popularity, and today, it can be found on the menu at many of New Orleans’ finest dining establishments.
The dish begins with ripe bananas, which are sliced lengthwise and gently sautéed in a rich, buttery sauce made from brown sugar, cinnamon, and a generous splash of dark rum. As the bananas caramelize and soften, they become infused with the warm, spiced flavors of the sauce, creating a heavenly aroma that is sure to entice your senses.
The pièce de résistance of Bananas Foster is the dramatic tableside flambé, in which the rum-soaked bananas are set ablaze before your very eyes. The flames quickly subside, leaving behind a luscious, caramelized sauce that is drizzled over a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.
As you savor each delicious spoonful of Bananas Foster, you’ll be transported to a world of pure indulgence, where the warm flavors of caramelized bananas and velvety ice cream meld together in perfect harmony. This iconic New Orleans dessert is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a true sensory experience that is not to be missed.
So, go ahead and treat yourself to a delectable serving of Bananas Foster, a quintessential New Orleans dessert that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate and your heart.
4 Exciting Nightlife Options
Immerse yourself in the pulsating energy and vibrant nightlife of New Orleans by taking a stroll down the city’s most famous thoroughfare, Bourbon Street. Located in the heart of the historic French Quarter, this lively strip offers an unforgettable experience for visitors and locals alike, with its eclectic mix of bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops, all set against a backdrop of stunning architecture and colorful history.
Bourbon Street’s origins date back to the early 18th century when it was laid out as part of the original French city plan. Named after the French royal family, the House of Bourbon, this iconic street has evolved over the years into a bustling hub of entertainment and revelry that draws millions of visitors each year.
As you make your way down Bourbon Street, you’ll be captivated by the sounds of live music spilling out from every corner, with genres ranging from jazz and blues to rock and pop. Many of the city’s most famous music venues, such as the legendary Preservation Hall, can be found along this lively stretch, making it the perfect place to catch a live show and dance the night away.
In addition to its thriving music scene, Bourbon Street is also home to a diverse array of bars and clubs, where you can sip on a refreshing hurricane or hand grenade, two of the city’s signature cocktails. Be sure to stop by Pat O’Brien’s, the birthplace of the hurricane, and experience the lively atmosphere of this New Orleans institution.
Bourbon Street is also famous for its raucous celebrations during Mardi Gras, when the street is transformed into a sea of colorful costumes, dazzling floats, and jubilant revelers. However, the party never truly stops on Bourbon Street, making it a year-round destination for those seeking a taste of New Orleans’ unique brand of fun and excitement.
So, go ahead and join the party on Bourbon Street, where the vibrant spirit of New Orleans comes alive in a dazzling display of music, laughter, and unforgettable memories. This iconic street is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the true essence of the Crescent City.
Discover the authentic, soulful side of New Orleans’ music scene by venturing down Frenchmen Street, a lively stretch of bars, clubs, and restaurants that has become a favorite among locals and in-the-know visitors. Located just a short walk from the bustling French Quarter, Frenchmen Street offers a more laid-back, intimate experience, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich musical heritage and enjoy some of the best live music that the Crescent City has to offer.
Frenchmen Street’s transformation into a musical hotspot began in the 1980s and has continued to flourish ever since. Today, the street is lined with a diverse array of venues, ranging from cozy, dimly lit bars to larger, more boisterous clubs, all of which showcase an incredible variety of live music every night of the week.
As you stroll down Frenchmen Street, you’ll be treated to a veritable feast for the ears, with the sounds of jazz, blues, funk, and more filling the air. Many of the city’s most talented musicians, both established and up-and-coming, call Frenchmen Street their home, making it the ideal place to catch a live show and experience the true magic of New Orleans music.
In addition to its vibrant music scene, Frenchmen Street also boasts a thriving culinary landscape, with an array of restaurants and eateries offering everything from traditional Creole fare to international cuisine. Be sure to stop by the Frenchmen Art Market, an open-air bazaar featuring local art, handmade crafts, and unique treasures, providing a perfect opportunity to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir or gift.
Frenchmen Street’s lively atmosphere, combined with its commitment to showcasing the best of New Orleans music and culture, make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic, unforgettable experience in the city. So, leave the tourist traps behind and venture down Frenchmen Street, where the soul of New Orleans comes alive in a symphony of music, food, and art.
The Spotted Cat Music Club
Step into a world of rhythmic beats and soulful melodies at The Spotted Cat Music Club, one of New Orleans’ most beloved live music venues. Located on the vibrant Frenchmen Street, The Spotted Cat has earned a reputation as a must-visit destination for music lovers, with its intimate atmosphere, friendly staff, and diverse lineup of talented musicians.
The moment you enter The Spotted Cat, you’ll be captivated by the welcoming, unpretentious vibe that has made this venue a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With its cozy, dimly lit interior and eclectic décor, The Spotted Cat invites you to kick back, grab a drink, and lose yourself in the magic of live music.
The Spotted Cat’s music calendar features an impressive array of local talent, with genres ranging from traditional jazz and blues to swing, funk, and even Latin music. Performances typically kick off in the early afternoon and continue late into the night, ensuring that there’s always something to enjoy, no matter when you decide to drop in.
One of the highlights of The Spotted Cat is its lively dance floor, which comes alive with the infectious energy of patrons grooving to the music. Whether you’re an experienced dancer or a complete beginner, you’ll find yourself swept up in the joyous spirit of the crowd, making for a truly unforgettable experience.
In addition to its stellar music offerings, The Spotted Cat also features a well-stocked bar, with a selection of reasonably priced beers, wines, and cocktails to quench your thirst as you soak in the tunes. While the venue doesn’t serve food, its prime location on Frenchmen Street means that you’re never far from a delicious bite to eat before or after the show.
So, go ahead and immerse yourself in the authentic sounds of New Orleans at The Spotted Cat Music Club, where the city’s rich musical heritage comes alive in a cozy, welcoming setting that is sure to leave you feeling inspired and uplifted.
The Carousel Bar & Lounge
Embark on a whimsical journey as you sip on a delicious cocktail at The Carousel Bar & Lounge, a one-of-a-kind establishment that has become an iconic fixture in New Orleans’ vibrant bar scene. Nestled within the historic Hotel Monteleone in the heart of the French Quarter, The Carousel Bar offers a truly unique drinking experience that is sure to delight and enchant.
As its name suggests, the centerpiece of The Carousel Bar is a beautifully restored, antique carousel that serves as the bar itself. This rotating, 25-seat carousel is adorned with hand-painted murals, ornate mirrors, and intricate details, creating an atmosphere of nostalgic charm that transports patrons back to a bygone era.
But the magic doesn’t end with the rotating bar. The Carousel Bar & Lounge also boasts an impressive menu of expertly crafted cocktails, including the famous Vieux Carré, a potent mix of rye whiskey, Cognac, sweet vermouth, and bitters that was first concocted at this very establishment in the 1930s. Other classic libations, such as the Sazerac and the French 75, pay homage to the city’s rich cocktail history and ensure that there’s something to please every palate.
In addition to its fantastic drinks, The Carousel Bar also offers a selection of light bites and small plates, perfect for sharing with friends or enjoying alongside your cocktail. With its plush seating, intimate atmosphere, and live music on select nights, The Carousel Bar & Lounge provides the ideal setting for a leisurely afternoon drink or a sophisticated evening out.
As you sip your cocktail and slowly spin around the carousel, you’ll be swept away by the enchanting ambiance and unparalleled charm of this unique New Orleans institution. The Carousel Bar & Lounge is not only a testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant culture but also a memorable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and your taste buds.
5 Unique Cultural Experiences
Embrace the eerie side of New Orleans by embarking on a thrilling ghost tour through the city’s most haunted and mysterious locales. Known for its rich history and vibrant culture, New Orleans also boasts a darker side, with tales of voodoo, witchcraft, and restless spirits that are sure to send shivers down your spine. Whether you’re a paranormal enthusiast or simply seeking a unique way to explore the city, a ghost tour offers an unforgettable adventure into the Crescent City’s spooky past.
New Orleans’ ghost tours take you on a guided journey through the narrow streets of the French Quarter, the stately mansions of the Garden District, and even the historic cemeteries, where above-ground tombs and crypts hold the remains of the city’s most infamous residents. As you meander through these eerie sites, your knowledgeable guide will regale you with chilling tales of paranormal activity, unsolved mysteries, and spine-tingling encounters with the supernatural.
Some of the most popular stops on a New Orleans ghost tour include the infamous LaLaurie Mansion, said to be the site of heinous atrocities committed by its cruel mistress, Madame Delphine LaLaurie; the haunted Hotel Monteleone, where the ghost of a young boy is said to roam the halls; and the eerie St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the final resting place of the notorious Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
In addition to their spine-chilling stories, ghost tours also offer fascinating insights into the city’s rich history and culture, making them an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. As you uncover the secrets of New Orleans’ haunted past, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s unique blend of beauty, mystery, and intrigue.
So, go ahead and dare to explore the darker side of New Orleans by embarking on a spine-tingling ghost tour. With its chilling tales, eerie sites, and captivating stories, this unique experience is sure to leave you with goosebumps and lasting memories of the Crescent City’s supernatural side.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Celebrate the rich musical heritage of the Crescent City by attending the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, an annual extravaganza that showcases the diverse sounds and vibrant culture of this beloved Southern city. Fondly known as Jazz Fest, this iconic event has been drawing music lovers from around the world since its inception in 1970, making it a must-visit experience for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the authentic spirit of New Orleans.
Held over two weekends in late April and early May, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, a sprawling venue that comes alive with the sounds of jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, rock, and more. With over a dozen stages featuring performances by both local and international acts, there’s truly something for everyone at this musical feast.
In addition to its star-studded lineup, which has included legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, and Bruce Springsteen, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival also showcases the city’s rich cultural tapestry through a variety of art exhibits, crafts demonstrations, and food vendors. As you explore the festival grounds, you’ll be treated to a colorful array of paintings, sculptures, and handmade crafts, as well as a mouthwatering selection of local dishes, including po’boys, jambalaya, and beignets.
Jazz Fest is more than just a music festival—it’s a celebration of New Orleans’ unique heritage and the diverse communities that have contributed to its rich cultural fabric. From the spirited sounds of brass bands to the soul-stirring melodies of gospel choirs, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival offers a window into the heart and soul of this remarkable city.
So, go ahead and join the party at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where the vibrant spirit of the Crescent City comes alive in a dazzling display of music, art, and culinary delights. This unforgettable event is a must-visit experience for anyone seeking to capture the true essence of New Orleans and its enduring love affair with music.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
Step back in time as you explore the hauntingly beautiful St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, a historic New Orleans burial ground that has been captivating visitors with its unique above-ground tombs and intriguing stories since its establishment in 1789. Located just outside the French Quarter, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most famous of the city’s cemeteries, offering a fascinating glimpse into the Crescent City’s rich history and vibrant culture.
As you wander through the narrow pathways of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, you’ll be struck by the striking beauty and otherworldly atmosphere of this iconic site. The cemetery is home to a diverse array of above-ground tombs, mausoleums, and crypts, adorned with elaborate carvings, statues, and wrought ironwork. These unique burial structures are a testament to New Orleans’ distinctive burial customs, which were influenced by the city’s French and Spanish heritage, as well as the practical considerations of its low-lying, flood-prone terrain.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the final resting place for many notable figures from New Orleans’ past, including politicians, pirates, and even the infamous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. As you visit the gravesites of these storied individuals, you’ll be regaled with tales of their remarkable lives, as well as the legends and folklore that surround them. Marie Laveau’s tomb, in particular, has become a popular destination for visitors seeking to pay tribute to the enigmatic Voodoo Queen or ask for her intercession in their lives.
To explore St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, you’ll need to join a guided tour, as public access to the cemetery is restricted to protect its historic tombs and maintain the sanctity of the site. These tours offer a wealth of information and insight into the cemetery’s history, its unique architecture, and the fascinating stories of the people laid to rest within its walls.
So, venture beyond the lively streets of New Orleans and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history by visiting St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. This enchanting, centuries-old burial ground is a testament to the diverse heritage and enduring spirit of the Crescent City, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.
Delve into the storied past of the Deep South by embarking on a plantation tour, a captivating journey that offers a glimpse into the grandeur, history, and complex legacy of Louisiana’s antebellum era. Located within a short drive from New Orleans, these beautifully preserved plantations provide a fascinating look at a bygone era, allowing visitors to explore the opulent homes, lush gardens, and rich cultural heritage that shaped the region’s history.
As you venture beyond the city limits, you’ll be transported back in time to an age of elegance and splendor, where stately mansions lined the banks of the Mississippi River, surrounded by vast fields of sugar cane and cotton. Today, many of these historic plantations have been lovingly restored, offering visitors the chance to tour their magnificent interiors, learn about their storied pasts, and gain a deeper understanding of the people who lived and worked within their walls.
Some of the most popular plantation tours include visits to iconic estates such as Oak Alley, with its awe-inspiring canopy of centuries-old live oak trees; Laura Plantation, a vibrant Creole plantation known for its vivid storytelling and colorful history; and Whitney Plantation, a site dedicated to the education and understanding of the history of slavery in the United States.
While plantation tours showcase the grandeur and beauty of these historic estates, they also provide an essential opportunity to confront and explore the complex legacy of slavery and its lasting impact on the region. Through thoughtful interpretation, knowledgeable guides, and engaging exhibits, these tours foster a deeper understanding of the hardships endured by enslaved people and the vital role they played in shaping the history and culture of Louisiana.
So, step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Deep South by embarking on a plantation tour. These enlightening and educational excursions offer a unique opportunity to experience the beauty, complexity, and enduring legacy of Louisiana’s antebellum past, providing a memorable and thought-provoking experience for visitors of all ages.
Embrace the wild side of Louisiana by embarking on a thrilling swamp tour, an unforgettable adventure that transports you into the heart of the state’s most mysterious and enchanting landscapes. Just a short drive from New Orleans, the bayous and swamps of Louisiana offer a fascinating glimpse into a hidden world, where ancient cypress trees draped in Spanish moss tower over dark waters teeming with wildlife.
Swamp tours offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore these captivating ecosystems, either aboard an airboat, which skims across the water at thrilling speeds, or on a slower-paced, guided pontoon boat tour. As you glide through the meandering waterways, you’ll be treated to an up-close encounter with the region’s diverse flora and fauna, including alligators, turtles, snakes, egrets, herons, and even the occasional wild boar.
Your knowledgeable guide will regale you with fascinating facts about the swamp’s ecology, history, and legends, providing insights into the vital role these wetlands play in Louisiana’s environment and the unique way of life they have fostered for generations. You’ll also learn about the state’s efforts to preserve these precious ecosystems, which are vital to the health of the region’s wildlife and the local economy.
Swamp tours offer a unique and exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty and rich culture of Louisiana. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a thrill-seeker, or simply seeking a memorable adventure, a swamp tour is a must-do experience when visiting the Crescent City.
So, go ahead and venture into the wild, untamed heart of Louisiana by embarking on a swamp tour. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and fascinating stories, this unique experience will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the region’s captivating beauty and rich ecological heritage.
New Orleans, the vibrant and diverse heart of Louisiana, is a city that captivates visitors with its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the lively streets of the French Quarter and the hauntingly beautiful cemeteries, to the mouthwatering culinary delights and the wild bayous teeming with wildlife, there’s truly something for everyone in the Crescent City.
In this article, we’ve explored just a few of the TripAdvisor rated favorites that make New Orleans such an unforgettable destination. Whether you’re immersing yourself in the city’s rich musical heritage at the Jazz & Heritage Festival, delving into the complex past of Louisiana’s antebellum plantations, or embarking on a spine-tingling ghost tour, there’s no shortage of adventures to be had in this remarkable city.
So, pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to fall in love with the enchanting spirit of New Orleans. With its colorful history, vibrant culture, and warm Southern hospitality, this one-of-a-kind destination is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and your soul.
- When is the best time to visit New Orleans?
- The best time to visit New Orleans is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the city’s many festivals are in full swing.
- Can I visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on my own?
- No, public access to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is restricted to protect its historic tombs. You’ll need to join a guided tour to explore the cemetery.
- What should I wear on a swamp tour?
- It’s recommended to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes on a swamp tour, as you may encounter muddy terrain and insects.
- Are ghost tours suitable for children?Most ghost tours are suitable for children, but it’s always a good idea to check with the tour provider to ensure the content is age-appropriate.
- What types of food can I expect to try in New Orleans?
- New Orleans is famous for its diverse culinary offerings, including dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, po’boys, crawfish étouffée, beignets, and more.