10 Things You Need To Do If You’re Visiting New Orleans
New Orleans is an almost overwhelming city to visit. There’s so much to do, that even if you plan a month-long trip, you’d still leave wanting to see more.
The Crescent City has something for everyone; whether you’re a history buff, a music aficionado, or even a food connoisseur, New Orleans is the place for you!
Here are 10 things you need to do if you’re visiting.
1. Mardi Gras/Mardi Gras World
Let’s start with the big one. The only event that comes even close to being comparable to Mardi Gras is the Carnival in Brazil. Be ready to get lost in a sea of masks, costumes, and floats. The energy is electric in the city during Mardi Gras, and it really is something that everyone should experience once in their lives.
Visiting New Orleans in off-season? No worries. Hop on down to Mardi Gras World, where all the floats are made. The artists there are super welcoming, and the sheer creativity on display is a sight to behold.
2. Check Out The Bustling Music Scene
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz! It’s no surprise then that the city’s music scene is bustling even today. Most people would agree that it more than lives up to those lofty expectations. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re into, there’s sure to be something for you in the city.
From the musical stylings of The Spotted Cat Music Club, to the hundreds of jazz street-artists, you will be immersed in music the moment you arrive. Be sure to leave tips for the artists!
3. Hop on the Streetcar
If you’re in New Orleans for a short trip, there’s nothing better than hopping on one of the four storied streetcar lines that crisscross along the city. They give you a laid-back, relaxing look at the city while being very easy on your wallet.
4. Eat Till You Can’t Anymore
We don’t even know where to start with this one. New Orleans doesn’t just feed the stomach, it feeds the soul. The sno-balls will give you a brain freeze you don’t mind having, and Casamento’s oysters will have you licking your lips for hours later.
There are also the scrumptious crawfish restaurants, indulgent beignets, and street food that will blow you away with dizzying amounts of flavor.
5. Go to St. Louis Cathedral
You haven’t seen anything if you haven’t seen a church choir perform in New Orleans; what better place to do it than at the magnificent St. Louis Cathedral. Not only is the architecture astounding, the acoustics of the building make listening to the choir perform a truly riveting experience.
6. Celebrate Black History Month
The heart of New Orleans is its proud African-American history. Start with the historic Congo Square which was not just a place where free and enslaved black people congregated but is also rumored to be where jazz started out!
A quick break at the Dooky Chase restaurant is also essential; not only is the gumbo great, the upstairs enclosure used to be where civil rights activists met! Cap all of this off with a visit to the Backstreet cultural museum, to learn everything you need to know about this marvelous city.
7. Goin’ Down the Bayou
No trip to the bayou city would be complete without a gator tour. The swamps that surround New Orleans are brimming with big gators. There’s also a ton of tour companies that have been providing these tours for decades now.
Stay safe and don’t venture too far away from the group; you never know when one will surface out of the fungal waters. If you’re feeling really daring, ask your guide if you can hold one of the baby gators. Just remember that while they may seem adorable, they can still snap, and snap hard!
8. See Some Iconic Places
We could make an entire list of just the iconic places of New Orleans you should visit! To give a quick rundown though, be sure to drop by Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. We guarantee it’s the only place you’ll ever see a statue of Andrew Jackson flanked by real fortune-tellers. The French Quarter also houses Bourbon Street, the center of partying in New Orleans
Other places you should definitely check out are the haunting yet grand tombs of New Orleans cemeteries, the Oak Alley Plantation, and the lively Frenchmen Street.
9. Museums Galore
Now stay with us, these aren’t the regular, boring variety of museums you’re used to. In a city that has an extremely rich history, even the museums are brimming with life.
This includes the New Orleans Museum of Art, with its breathtaking Sculpture Garden, and the almost lifelike exhibits of The National WWII Museum.
10. Relax at City Park
This sprawling park is built on more than 1300 acres of land! You could get lost in the expansive green for days on end if it weren’t for the helpful map and signs that are sprinkled everywhere.
The park is novel because it was inspired by the wetlands and swamps that surround the city, and brings them to an urban environment. The juxtaposition of the two is quite amazing.
Visiting New Orleans? NewOrleansEvents.com is the premier New Orleans event calendar service online. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Broadway play, a concert, or parties in the French Quarter, we’ll make sure you don’t miss anything.