When it comes to the best things to do in New Orleans, the list is both endless and legendary in equal measure. Whether you are going for Mardi Gras in New Orleans or are just looking to explore the city outside of carnival season, you will be spoilt for choice for visiting some top-notch attractions, tasting some of the best food in the Deep South as well as taking advantage of the fantastic nightlife that NOLO offers.
New Orleans has many monikers, the Crescent City and the Big Easy are the most commonly known nicknames associated with this sparkling city. It’s so ‘Easy’ to find something to do here.
From traversing the streets of the the city’s oldest neighbourhood – the French Quarter and checking out the pulsating live music scene to perusing the exhibitions at the museums of New Orleans to eating your way around the city, your only problem will be ‘how the heck do I fit this all in?!’ – luckily, you have the Orbzii guide that has curated the very best things to do in New Orleans, so that you don’t have to.
Get your jazz hands on
If, like us, checking out the live music scene is high on your list when it comes to visiting a new city, the Big Easy is an ‘easy’ choice for music lovers when considering things to do in New Orleans.
It is unequivocally the home and indeed the birthplace of jazz and this genre (as well as others) are widely represented throughout the city, but especially so in the French Quarter and neighbouring Marigny which is one of the city’s top districts for music. The Spotted Cat, Snug Harbor, the Three Muses are all worthy of a visit.
If you really want to take your love of jazz to the next level, then why not take a cheeky sojourn to the New Orleans Jazz Museum?
Meander around the museums
Talking of museums in New Orleans, it always baffles us that the museum scene of New Orleans is sometimes forgotten about.
The array of museums that are on offer may not be quite as extensive as other American cities, but there are certainly some real gems in there which should most definitely be on your ‘things to do in New Orleans’ list.
The National WWII Museum is one of the most revered in the entire state. It’s a world-class museum with award-winning exhibits showcasing the stories of those who served in WWII.
You can see some of the actual planes, boats and jeeps from the war and there is also a theatre with WWII-era musical performances.
If you visit New Orleans in August, you might be interested to know that it’s ‘Museum Month’, but whenever you go, there’s an admission ticket with your name on it.
From food and fine art to family-friendly museums and finding out more about voodoo, if you are looking to cover all bases in your museum crawl, the Big Easy won’t disappoint!
Explore the city’s parks
New Orleans can be a hectic ‘ole place, but we love it. However, if you do need a retreat, getting close to nature is literally a walk in the park! In particular, the beautifully-landscaped City Park is an expansive lush green space filled with ancient oaks, singing birds and lots of nature trails.
The enchanting Botanical garden has over 2,000 plants from around the world and has been in bloom since the thirties and makes for an all-encompassing experience and one of the most tranquil things to do in New Orleans for all ages.
Why not rent a boat at the Big Lake, hike the Couturie Forest nature trail or simply enjoy a picnic with some of your favourite snacks and watch the world go by?
Visit the French Quarter
We know it’s a bit touristy, you know it’s a bit touristy and New Orleans knows it’s a bit touristy, but unless you are an NOLA regular, a visit to the French Quarter is a must-do.
Bourbon Street in the heart of this thriving district, whilst it has its charms can be avoided (unless it’s your first visit to New Orleans when simply must experience it).
The French Quarter is the city’s oldest neighbourhood and is definitely on the things to do in New Orleans hit list thanks to its rich history, fantastic selection of restaurants and music venues and of course, the gorgeous architecture.
Grab a coffee to go from Cafe Beignet (don’t forget to try a beignet too!) and have a mosey around the streets where you will mix with locals, talented street performers and other creatives. Make sure you visit Royal Street which is easily the prettiest street in New Orleans.
You will find the Historic New Orleans Collection museum, the St Louis Cathedral, the 1850 House and of course, the French Quarter is where you can take in the views of the Mississippi from the edge of the Quarter.
Why not take a ride on one of the steamboats too? You can take a relaxing trip from the heart of the French Quarter and journey down the slow and graceful Mississippi river.
New Orleans has a decidedly spooky side in the shape of its penchant for voodoo.
Forget the creepy looking voodoo dolls that you will find in the tourist shops on Bourbon Street and take an insightful tour that will help you understand the meaning behind the rituals, superstitions and more about the NOLA’s subculture as a whole.
Best of all these tours are free – so why not take advantage of it and immerse yourself in all things alchemy?