Going for a trip to New Orleans is like stepping into a vibrant tapestry of culture, music, and culinary delights. Learn the 16 best things to do in New Orleans and never miss a thing while in this city.
Of course, there’s no shortage of best things to enjoy in this captivating city. This wonderful city is nestled in the mighty Mississippi River, which beckons travelers with its soulful jazz tunes, tantalizing Creole cuisine, and a rich history that seeps through its cobblestone streets.
Albeit the devastating hurricanes from the previous years, this city has never lost its captivating beauty. We’re speaking of the rich history and its cobblestone streets that seems to take you through a different place in time. Everything in this place, especially the French Quarter at the heart and soul of New Orleans is just Instagramable.
New Orleans isn’t just a destination. It is an experience that indulges all your senses. The city’s storied past comes alive in its historic architecture, from the elegant Garden District mansions to the atmospheric above-ground cemeteries. Every corner tells a tale, inviting you to delve into the mysteries of voodoo, haunted tales, and the colorful characters that have shaped this city’s identity.
16 Best Things to do in New Orleans
Top 1: Take a cooking class.
It is fun, educational and you get to eat! Demonstration, group and private classes. One of the most engaging ways to dive into New Orleans’ culinary heritage is by enrolling in a cooking class. Imagine the joy of learning to prepare classic Creole dishes like gumbo and jambalaya! These classes, offered by institutions like the New Orleans Cooking School, Langlois Culinary Crossroads and Crescent City Cooks, cater to various preferences. Whether you prefer a lively group setting or an intimate private session, these classes not only expand your culinary skills but also offer an educational and entertaining experience. Plus, the best part? You get to relish the delicious fruits of your labor!
Top 2: Take a tour.
New Orleans is a city steeped in history and intrigue. Take a tour with a unique twist through Tour New Orleans, a trusted tour guide in the city. Delve into the scandalous tales of the Cocktail Scandal Tour or explore the fascinating customs of the Creole Mourning Tour. These excursions provide an enriching experience, weaving together the threads of New Orleans’ captivating past, making history come alive in the very streets where it happened.
Top 3: Try your luck at gambling.
If you’re feeling lucky, head to Harrah’s, the renowned casino located at 228 Poydras St. Whether you enjoy the thrill of slot machines, the strategic play of poker, or the anticipation of roulette, Harrah’s offers a world of entertainment for gamblers and casual players alike. With its vibrant atmosphere and array of games, it’s a sure bet for a night of excitement.
Top 4: Indulge in Beignet Bliss
No trip to New Orleans is complete without savoring warm, powdered-sugar-dusted beignets. Café du Monde and Café Beignet, two iconic establishments, serve these delightful pastries that practically melt in your mouth. Picture yourself sitting in a cozy café, sipping coffee and biting into a freshly baked beignet – it’s a quintessential New Orleans experience that will leave your taste buds dancing.
Top 5: Get your portrait painted in Jackson Square
The artists and performers in Jackson Square bring the heart of New Orleans to life. Amidst the vibrant atmosphere, consider getting your portrait painted. Talented artists can skillfully capture your essence, creating a unique memento of your time in the city. It’s not just a portrait; it’s a piece of New Orleans’ creative spirit to take home with you.
Top 6: Cruise the mighty Mississippi with jazz
For a truly enchanting evening, step aboard the Steamboat Natchez or the Creole Queen for a riverboat jazz cruise. As you glide along the majestic Natchez River, the soulful tunes of jazz fill the air. Opt for a dinner cruise to relish delectable cuisine while being serenaded by live jazz melodies, or choose a daytime cruise and let the rhythms of the river and the music carry you away into the heart of New Orleans’ musical heritage. It’s an experience that combines the charm of riverboat travel with the magic of live jazz performances, creating memories that will resonate long after the voyage ends.
Top 7: Take a food tour.
Embarking on a food tour in the lively French Quarter of New Orleans is not just a culinary adventure; it’s a voyage through the city’s rich gastronomic heritage. With Tastebud Food Tours or New Orleans Culinary History Tours as your guides, you’ll embark on a flavorful journey, walking and tasting your way through the heart of the city.
From the spicy notes of Creole cuisine to the sweetness of beignets dusted with powdered sugar, every bite tells a story. The knowledgeable guides not only introduce you to mouthwatering local delicacies but also provide insights into the cultural significance behind each dish, making this experience a delightful fusion of history, culture, and, of course, exquisite flavors.
Top 8: Get your physic reading on at Maries Laveau’s House of Voodoo
New Orleans has long been a city shrouded in mystique and spirituality. At Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, you have the chance to immerse yourself in the world of the occult. Get your psychic reading done and gain fascinating insights into your life’s path. This experience is not just a peek into the mystical traditions of the city but also an opportunity for introspection and spiritual exploration.
Top 9: Take a journey into the past on a Plantation Tour.
The Old River Road Plantation Adventure offers a window into the historical complexities of the American South. By visiting plantations, you gain a deeper understanding of the region’s past, from the grandeur of the architecture to the stories of the people who lived and worked there making it one of the best things to do in New Orleans. It’s a chance to confront the challenging aspects of history while appreciating the resilience and cultural heritage of the people who shaped the landscape.
Top 10: Indulge in the Quintessential Po-Boy Experience.
Mother’s Restaurant and Johnny’s Po-Boys are legendary establishments, revered for serving the best po-boy sandwiches in town. Imagine sinking your teeth into a crispy, golden baguette, generously filled with tender shrimp, flavorful roast beef, or plump oysters. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, a culinary masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of New Orleans’ culinary prowess.
Top 11: Visit the home of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras isn’t just a festival in New Orleans; it’s a cultural phenomenon. At Mardi Gras World, you step behind the scenes of this grand celebration. Witness the artistry and craftsmanship that go into creating the elaborate floats and costumes. It’s a colorful immersion into the creativity and dedication that define Mardi Gras, offering a deeper appreciation for the spectacle that captivates the world.
Top 12: Go wine tasting!
New Orleans’ wine scene is as diverse as its cultural heritage. At Second Vine Wine, a black-owned wine shop, or in the picturesque vineyard of Pontchartrain Vineyards, you have the opportunity to indulge in the world of wines. Sip, swirl, and savor the rich flavors, guided by passionate experts. This experience isn’t just about the wine; it’s about the stories behind each bottle, the terroir of the region, and the art of winemaking, all set against the backdrop of New Orleans’ charm.
Top 13: Take a cable car ride through the city
Take a leisurely cable car ride through the vibrant city, observing its unique architecture and lively neighborhoods. Venture into the Garden District, where antebellum mansions, oak-lined streets, and enchanting gardens create a picturesque scene. It’s a step back in time, a journey through the city’s history and elegance, showcasing the timeless beauty that defines New Orleans.
Top 14: Visit Treme
Treme, often referred to as the cultural heartbeat of New Orleans, is a neighborhood steeped in history. Visit Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square, significant sites that resonate with the city’s musical legacy. It’s a chance to feel the rhythm of jazz and the echoes of cultural exchange that have shaped New Orleans into the vibrant city it is today.
- Rum? Yes please!
Experience tour and tastings at Old New Orleans Rum. For enthusiasts of spirits, a tour and tasting at Old New Orleans Rum offer an immersive experience into the world of rum-making. Learning about the distillation process is definitely one of the best things to do in New Orleans. The aging techniques, and the art of crafting flavorful rum are just few of things worth witnessing. Each sip carries the essence of New Orleans, a city where tradition meets innovation in the world of spirits.
- Dive into Culinary History.
Take in the history of food and beverage with a visit at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a culinary haven, where the history of food and drink in the American South comes to life. Explore the diverse cuisines, traditions, and innovations that have shaped the region’s culinary landscape.
From traditional recipes passed down through generations to modern culinary techniques, this museum offers a comprehensive glimpse into the evolving story of Southern food and beverages. It’s a journey through time, exploring the flavors and cultural influences that have made Southern cuisine a global delight.
Did we miss something? Be sure to share so we can add it to the list. Safe travels!