Updated October 2021

New Orleans, Louisiana, known as the "Crescent City" has vibrant nightlife, a rich heritage, and a unique variety of cuisines to enjoy. We composed a list of the top things to do on your Nola visit, ranging from the best live music venues to the most riveting tours of the bayou. Mardi Gras isn't the only good time to take a trip to New Orleans, and now you have a fun itinerary with a variety of activities that cater to every type of person!  


 

MAGAZINE STREET

 

MAGAZINE STREET

Running from Canal Street to Audubon Park, Magazine Street is known for having six miles of extensive shopping and dining options to experience. The shops range from top tier designers to locally owned stores such as Alice & Amelia, where you can find authentic New Orleans gifts. If you get hungry while strolling along Magazine Street, grab a bite to eat at La Petite Grocery for excellent French-Louisiana cuisine.

Photo courtesy of the Magazine Street Website


 

SAZERAC HOUSE

 

SAZERAC HOUSE

Since Sazerac is the famous cocktail of New Orleans, it is only right that has its own designated house. The Sazerac House is a museum, a bar, and a distillery all in one, dedicated to the evolution of Sazerac. Explore the depths of the whiskey brand through a complimentary, where you can take a look at the on-site distillery and enjoy a tasting. While you're on Magazine Street, stroll down the block to see the eclectic shops and restaurants!

MAGAZINE & CANAL STREET | DIRECTIONS

Photo courtesy of Sazerac House 


 

LIVE MUSIC

 

LIVE MUSIC

If you are looking for a live music venue, you have come to the right city. Even walking in the streets of the French Quarter feels like a jazz concert with locals playing music for all to hear. For a classic and no-frills vibe, Preservation Hall is the best place for live jazz music in the French Quarter. Over in Uptown, Tipitina's is a larger music venue that is both a jazz club and a music hall. Home to many of New Orleans historic artists, Tipitina’s has been a musical staple since 1977. 

Photo courtesy of Preservation Hall 


 

FRENCH QUARTER

 

FRENCH QUARTER

The French Quarter is the heart of the Crescent City, known for the colorful buildings with cast iron balconies and its vibrant nightlife with Jazz music filling the streets. Start your tour of the quarter at Jackson Square to see the historical landmark where the Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803. As the most famous street in New Orleans, Bourbon Street should be at the top of your list. The party never ends, with a majority of bars open 24/7. Stop by the Tropical Isle's Bayou Club Bar that serves over the top drinks such as the Hand Grenade and The Shark Attack.
 
 After you work up an appetite from all of your touristy stops, go by the famous Café Du Monde, where they have been serving the best beignets in the city since 1862. Lastly, take a tour of Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, which is a museum and shop located in the former home of the Voodoo Queen, where they offer psychic and spiritual readings daily from 10AM-10PM.

FRENCH QUARTER | DIRECTIONS


 

JAMNOLA

 

JAMNOLA

In the Marigny neighborhood just east of the French Quarter, is a vibrant Crescent City themed pop-up called JAMNOLA. JAMNOLA stands for Joy, Art & Music in New Orleans and is the first pop-up that allows audiences to experience the city’s cultural gems and history in a funky and imaginative way. With twelve different interactive exhibits from local artists and partners, JAMNOLA celebrates iconic music, art, theatre and food through multi-media installations that bring each aspect to life. Don’t forget to check out the colorful merch that JAMNOLA sells, such as fun t-shirts and hoodies that emphasize their mission of bringing joy and prosperity through their art. 

MARIGNY | DIRECTIONS

Photo courtesy of JAMNOLA


 

GO TOMB HUNTING

 

GO TOMB HUNTING

Cemeteries are one of the best ways to learn about New Orleans’ history and there are several options to tour yourself or on with a licensed tour guide. As the oldest cemetery in the city, the St. Louis Cemetery #1 has famous graves such as Marie Laveau and Homer Plessy. Due to the new rules of the archdiocese of New Orleans, you can only visit the cemetery through private tours or accompanied by a family member with loved ones buried there. 

In Garden District, lies the Lafayette Cemetery #1 which is open to the public, with over 7000 people buried inside. It may look familiar to you since many television shows and movies have been filmed here.  


 

PICNIC IN THE PARK 

 

PICNIC IN THE PARK

Looking for the perfect spot to have a picnic or spend some time outside in nature? Spanning over 350 acres, Audubon Park is six miles of beautiful foliage with a golf course, stables, the breathtaking Tree of Life, and the Audubon Zoo. Another prime nature spot is City Park, which is over 1500 miles long, making it the largest park in New Orleans. City Park has something for everyone, with its walking and biking trails, vendors, museums, gardens, amusement park and live concerts. If you want more of a cultural experience, Louis Armstrong Park is the place to see historical structures and hear Jazz musicians play near the French Quarter. 

Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park 


 

TAKE A RIVER CRUISE ON THE MISSISSIPPI

 

TAKE A RIVER CRUISE ON THE MISSISSIPPI

As the longest running steamboat company in the world, The New Orleans Steamboat company has been giving tours of the Mississippi River since 1817. They have introduced their newest steamboat, called The Riverboat City of New Orleans, with four decks and gorgeous refinished interiors. The company offers a Lunchtime Jazz Cruise, Dinnertime Jazz Cruise, a Sunday Jazz Brunch, and special holiday events. This two-hour river cruise tour provides Creole food and local beverages, so listen to the live jazz music while taking in the panoramic views of the Mississippi River. 

FRENCH QUARTER | DIRECTIONS

Photo courtesy of New Orleans Steamboat Company 


 

SWAMP TOURS

 

SWAMP TOURS

While you are visiting New Orleans, take a quick trip outside the city to the swamplands. Glide through gator territory on a boat and learn all about the bayou and its natural inhabitants, such as wild boar, raccoons, snakes, owls, and egrets-- look out for alligators! Some local tour companies are Cajun Encounters and Ragin Cajun, with expert captains who will make your experience unforgettable.

Photo courtesy of Cajun Encounters


 

NEW ORLEANS MUSEUM OF ART

 

NEW ORLEANS MUSEUM OF ART

Also known as NOMA, this beautiful New Orleans Museum of Art is located in City Park. As the oldest fine arts institution in New Orleans, NOMA is famous for its French and American art, with breathtaking Japanese structures. The Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Gardens are a picturesque addition to the museum, that contain over 80 contemporary sculptures. On your way out, stop by Café du Monde’s City Park location for a sweet beignet treat.

CITY PARK | DIRECTIONS

Photo courtesy of NOMA


 

PLANTATION TOURS

 

PLANTATION TOURS

Venture outside of the city and visit one of New Orleans’ historic plantations: The Whitney, Oak Alley and The Laura Plantations. At each of these historical sites, you can take a tour of the property with beautiful landscapes, gardens and buildings. The various exhibits provide a look into life on the plantation through the stories passed down through generations.  

Photo courtesy of Oak Alley Plantation


 

STUDIO BE

 

STUDIO BE

If you are looking to learn more about the New Orleans culture through art, visit Studio Be in the Bywater neighborhood. On the self-guided tours, you can expect to see colorful exhibitions by local artist Brandan BMike Odums as well as the “Radical Freedom Dream” showcase curated by the student workshops series. In the shop, they sell inspirational merchandise such as shirts, socks, buttons, pins, mugs, and jewelry so check that out before you leave!  

BYWATER NEIGHBORHOOD | DIRECTIONS

Photo courtesy of Brandan Odums


 

NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM

 

NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM

Ranked as one of the best in the nation, the World War II Museum in New Orleans is an essential site to see for history lovers. It has been designated as the official WWII Museum in the United States by U.S. Congress. You will leave the museum with a new sense of freedom and be inspired the men and woman who served our country in this global war.

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT | DIRECTIONS 

Photo courtesy of National WWII Museum 


 

FRENCHMEN STREET

 

FRENCHMEN STREET

Known for its musical scene, Frenchmen Street is one of the liveliest streets in all of New Orleans. As you stroll down Frenchmen, you’ll hear jazz music fill the streets with influences from Blue, Reggae, and Rock. To watch live music performances, check out the Spotted Cat Music Club, Snug Harbor, The Maison, or D.B.A. for an unforgettable experience. Grab a midnight snack at the Three Muses or Dat Dog before continuing your musical night out on the town! 

MARIGNY | DIRECTIONS 


 

MARDI GRAS WORLD

 

MARDI GRAS WORLD

There is no better way to get a true behind the scenes look at New Orleans Mardi Gras then Mardi Gras World. Take a tour of this eccentric museum to see the step-by-step process that it takes to execute a celebration as large as Mardi Gras. See all of the colorful floats and structures built by the artists and architects while learning about the history of this festive tradition. 

MAGAZINE STREET | DIRECTIONS

Photo courtesy of Mardi Gras World 


 

THEATERS

 

THEATERS

The Orpheum Theater is a performing arts and events venue in the Central Business District, with shows ranging from orchestra symphonies to all night concerts. After the show grab a drink at the underground speakeasy, Double Dealer, for a night cap. In Downtown New Orleans lies the Saenger Theater that features Broadway musicals, along with live concerts, comedy shows, and events. Just a few blocks from Bourbon Street, venture around the French Quarter for a lively end to your night!

Photo courtesy of  The Saenger Theater