New Orleans is a city known for its live music scene, festivals, and fun-spirited people – all year round! There is so much to do in a city like this that it may be a little overwhelming for someone who’s never visited before. So, whether you have a trip planned to New Orleans or are still considering it, here is a list of 20 things to do while visiting that will ensure an unforgettable experience!
Short on time? Top 20 Things To Do in New Orleans
- Check out Garden District
- Take a look at Frenchmen Street
- Go to the French Quarter
- Grab a bite to eat at Brigtsen’s
- Walk around New Orleans City Park
- Go to Magazine Street
- Check out Preservation Hall
- Go to Washington Artillery Park
- See the Napoleon House
- Go to Bourbon Street
- National WWII Museum
- Eat at Café du Monde
- New Orleans Museum of Art
- Go for a gondola ride
- Ride in a streetcar
- Jackson Square
- Historic New Orleans Tour
- Go to a Jazz Show
- St. Louis Cathedral
- Get some ice cream at Gelato on Canal and Royal
20 Best Activities To Do in New Orleans – In Detail
1. Check out Garden District
The garden district is a scenic neighborhood in New Orleans that is a must see for first-timers. The beautiful houses and streetcars all around this District are the epitome of what you think of when New Orleans comes to mind! Weather its just stopping by one of the restaurants along the way or looking in an old Antique shop, the Garden District is a must add to your New Orleans itinerary.
2. Take a look at Frenchmen Street
Frenchmen Street is yet another scenic part of New Orleans that always catches the eyes of travelers. Live music is best known on this street which an essential New Orleans experience – plus amazing food! A win, win street! Frenchmen Street is home to many jazz performances and street food that is sure to impress any visitor.
3. Go to the French Quarter
The French Quarter is a New Orleans staple. I mean, who doesn’t love a great nightlife and tons of beautiful historic buildings? The French Quarter is filled with fun jazz clubs, cast-iron balconies, and Cajun restaurants. Quite possibly the most New Orleans sentence ever made.
4. Grab a bite to eat at Brigtsen’s
Needing a place to eat? Brigsten’s got you! With amazing bites like the Pan Roasted Pork Chop and Boiled Gulf fish, it is sure to make your mouth water. On top of that, Brigtsen’s is located in a gorgeous Victorian style home for a picturesque vibe. Brigtsen’s is an essential for those visiting New Orleans because of its historic element mixed with tasty meals for a dinner. It’s located in the Uptown part of New Orleans close to all the places you will want to check out!
5. Walk around New Orleans City Park
Need a break from the city? New Orleans City Park is the perfect. It’s beautiful greenery and bridges are a breath of fresh air that many people love. Plus, New Orleans City Park is 50% bigger than Central Park in New York City so there is tons of room to explore! This park is a must-see located on Palm drive.
6. Go to Magazine Street
Magazine Street is for anyone who loves shopping! With plenty of shops and restaurants, you may be leaving Magazine Street a little heavier than when you arrived. This street hold many antiques, boutiques, and fun trinket shops. This is definitely a great place to grab any souvenirs you may need!
7. Check out Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall is a great jazz spot when checking out New Orleans. However, it doesn’t have AC so summertime may not be the best time to visit! It’s known for its fun vibe and amazing music – I promise the historic feel and architecture will make you want to come every night.
8. Go to Washington Artillery Park
Washington Artillery Park is a park for history buffs visiting New Orleans for the first time. If you love monuments, historic buildings, and street performers, Washington Artillery Park is the place for you! It’s scenic views really make you soak in the New Orleans culture as it feels like an experience that’s uniquely its own.
9. See the Napoleon House
Napoleon House in New Orleans is restaurant filled with history and amazing food. It’s Italian-inspired cuisine is perfect for a dinner after a long day exploring the city. This house is a beloved landmark in the eyes of New Orleans locals, located near the French Quarter. With yummy Italian dishes, you will never want to leave.
10. Go to Bourbon Street
You didn’t go to New Orleans if you didn’t see Bourbon Street! This is the infamous part of the French Quarter that seems to be the most popular place for visitors – especially at night. Weather it’s a fun bar, party scene, or great music, Bourbon Street will ensure for a fun time.
11. National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum is an essential for anyone stopping by New Orleans. It takes between 2-3 hours to take a tour, but is filled with so many artifacts and history you can’t miss. This museum is a New Orleans staple that seems to embody the importance of what history means to the city of New Orleans.
12. Eat at Café du Monde
If you’ve heard of New Orleans, Louisiana, you have definitely heard of the famous Café du Monde. This bakery is known for its beignets, a deep dish pastry topped with powdered sugar, that is nearly addicting. Café du Monde seems to be the place where many tourists go, as it has a very Instagrammable aesthetic and filled with so many tasty treats.
13. New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art is any art majors dream. It’s beautiful architecture, mixed with amazing historic paintings are something everyone has to experience at least once in their lifetime. Located north of Jackson Square, this is a place that will really spruce up your New Orleans itinerary.
14. Go for a Gondola Ride
What’s a better New Orleans date than a Gondola ride?! Going around New Orleans in a gondola is an experience that seems like it would be the best date ever, especially considering it is in a main part of the city so you don’t even have to travel far. If you get the time, this experience won’t disappoint!
15. Ride in a streetcar
Streetcars are a New Orleans staple thats seem to always be fun no matter how many times you ride one. Weather is for a picture or just a easy way to get transported throughout the city, the streetcars are always a useful activity. And it can serve as a rest after all that walking around the city! Plus, they are located all around the city so super easily accessible!
16. Jackson Square
Jackson Square is a beautiful, historic park in the French Quarter that is filled with so much New Orleans culture. The square was considered a national landmark in 1960 because it is where the Louisiana Purchase took place. So if your a history lover or just love a good view, Jackson Square is for you!
17. Historic New Orleans Tour
Overwhelmed yet? A historic New Orleans Tour may be your best bet. These tours take you throughout the city and give you all the historical and cultural insight you may never know if you just visit it yourself. If you like tours, I definitely recommend as you will definitely benefit from it!
18. Go to a Jazz Show
The music in New Orleans is considered one of the best parts, so a jazz show is a must! Weather it’s at the French Quarter or Preservation Hall, I would consider seeing a Jazz show in New Orleans to be like seeing a Broadway show in New York… you just have to!
19. St. Louis Cathedral
The St. Louis Cathedral is another beautiful landmark in New Orleans that is quite-literally jaw dropping. The white detailing of the building stands out among the other buildings in New Orleans as it has a sort of angelic presence that surrounds it.
20. Get some ice cream at Gelato on Canal and Royal
And last but not least, everybody loves good Gelato! Gelato on Canal and Royal is a perfect place to grab a treat after a long day of touring the great city of New Orleans. With delicious different flavors and assortments, gelato is the perfect end to a busy New Orleans day.