New Orleans is unlike any other city. This vibrant and colorful destination has an infectious energy that you won’t find anywhere else. A visit to New Orleans will transport you back in time, with beautiful architecture, Southern hospitality, and a culture that is enriched with history. It’s also the perfect place for anyone who loves to party. There are numerous fun activities throughout the city that are sure to leave you with memories you’ll cherish forever. There are umpteen things to do in New Orleans that can be a bit overwhelming for a first-time visitor. Luckily for you, we have created a list of the best things to do in New Orleans to help you get started on planning your trip!
1. New Orleans Culture and history
New Orleans is a historic city that dates back to the 18th century, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the country. The city's French and Spanish history is evident in its architecture, food, and culture. New Orleans is also home to many cultural festivals, such as Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. New Orleans is known for its Southern charm, and its residents are known for their hospitality. This is due in part to the Southern tradition of “Southern manners,” which includes being polite, respectful, and keeping good company. Southern manners include saying “yes, ma’am” and “yes, sir,” saying “thank you,” and holding doors open for others.
2. When to Visit New Orleans
New Orleans has a subtropical climate, so it’s best to visit year-round. The temperatures throughout the year average in the low 80s. The city is busiest during the months of April through October, when many of the city’s festivals are held. New Orleans is also a lovely place to visit during the winter. The average winter temperature is 62 degrees, so you’ll want to pack warm clothes and maybe a light jacket.
3. The Best Food in New Orleans
If you love delicious food, then you won’t want to miss out on the best food in New Orleans.
You can find delicious Creole and Cajun food in many restaurants throughout the city.
Beignets from Café du Monde - This New Orleans classic is a must-eat during your visit. Beignets are warm, pillowy donuts covered in powdered sugar.
Muffaletta sandwich - The muffuletta sandwich is a favorite in New Orleans. It’s a sandwich made with Italian meats and a variety of cheeses. This is a sandwich that you want to eat while it’s still warm!
Oysters - New Orleans is known for its delicious seafood, and oysters are definitely a popular dish in the city. There are many oyster bars throughout the city, and they are a great place to grab a snack during a long day of exploring.
Po’boy - A po’boy is a sandwich that is traditionally made with fried seafood or meat inside a long baguette. This is a popular sandwich in New Orleans and is served at many restaurants throughout the city.
4. Live Music and Nightlife
Cafe Bleu - Cafe Bleu is a great place to see a show. There are several bands that perform on a regular basis, and there is also a dance floor where you can have fun and dance to the music after the show. Cafe Bleu is open from 7 pm to 12 am on weekdays and from 4 pm to 12 am on weekends.
Preservation Hall - Preservation Hall is a great place to hear traditional New Orleans jazz. There is typically a show every night, and it’s a great place to enjoy an authentic New Orleans experience.
French Quarter - The French Quarter is a great place to get a taste of the city during the day and night. Frenchmen Street is a popular street in New Orleans where you can easily find live music and street art.
5. Street Festivals
Mardi Gras - Mardi Gras is a yearly celebration in New Orleans that is held on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in February. During this festival, thousands of people parade through the streets on foot, in cars, and on bicycles. The celebration dates back to the 18th century, when the city’s residents would use Mardi Gras as a way to extend their winter supply of food.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a yearly music festival that is held each spring and celebrates Southern culture, music, and food. The festival is ten days long and is attended by more than a million people every year.
6. Pro Football in New Orleans
New Orleans has a rich football history, and the city hosts the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. If you’re visiting during football season, you’ll want to check out the games. The New Orleans Saints play their home games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The games are played year-round, and you can purchase tickets through the team’s website.
7. Walking Tours
New Orleans is a beautiful and rewarding city to explore on foot, and there are many walking tours throughout the city. If you love taking in sights and the culture of a place at a walking pace, these are a few of the top walking tours in New Orleans.
City Walks Tour - The City Walks Tour is a popular walking tour that explores the Garden District, the Central Business District, and the French Quarter. There are several different tour times and prices, so you can choose a tour that works best for you.
Haunted History Tour - The Haunted History Tour explores the ghostly side of New Orleans. During this tour, you’ll hear stories of paranormal activity and see some of the most haunted locations in the city.
8. Visiting the Top Attractions
There are many attractions in New Orleans, but these are a few of the top attractions that you can’t miss during your visit.
The Audubon Zoo and Aquarium - The Audubon Zoo and Aquarium is one of the top attractions in New Orleans, and admission is completely free! There are many kinds of animals to see and feed, and you’ll also want to check out the aquarium. The Audubon Zoo and Aquarium is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. - Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street is home to beautiful architecture, lots of music and nightlife, and lots of tourists. This is one of the most popular attractions in New Orleans, and it is usually safe to visit during the day.
Café du Monde - Café du Monde is a popular French New Orleans café that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This café is open year-round and is a great place to visit during the day or night. Café du Monde is best known for its delicious coffee and beignets. Beignets are a New Orleans pastry that is absolutely delicious.
New Orleans is a city inherently unlike any other place in the world. It's a vibrant Southern destination that is sure to leave you with memories that you'll cherish forever. There's so much to do in New Orleans that it can be a bit overwhelming for a first-time visitor. Now that you know the best things to do in New Orleans, you can start planning your visit. You’ll want to start by purchasing airfare and booking your hotel. Once you have those items checked off your list, you can start exploring all that New Orleans has to offer. You’ll have an unforgettable trip, full of experiences that you’ll never forget! Visit Leisure.com for more travel-related information, suggestions, tips, and advice.
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