New Orleans, located in Louisiana on the Mississippi River, is one of the most unique vacation destinations in the whole of the US. NOLA, as it’s affectionately known, is a melting pot of cultures, with a hedonistic attitude that draws visitors from all around the world. There’s plenty to see and do in this city, from exploring historic neighborhoods to enjoying phenomenal live jazz shows and indulging in mouthwatering local cuisine.
Here are some top tips for making the most of your time in the Big Easy:
Watch Live Music
New Orleans is famous for being the hometown of jazz, and music is deep in the city’s blood. If you look at a list of the best things to do in New Orleans, you can guarantee that watching a live performance will be on it. You’ll find a wealth of venues where you can watch a gig, but it doesn’t take long for the music to spill out onto the streets. Whatever day of the week it is, there will always be plenty of shows to catch, covering all different styles of music.
The Big Easy is renowned for its diverse and delicious food scene, which blends Caribbean, African, and European influences to create something all of its own. Some of the dishes you want to feast on during your trip include traditional Creole gumbo, epic po’boy sandwiches stuffed with fillings, fresh crawfish and oysters, plus – for those with a sweet tooth – puffy deep-fried beignet donuts liberally dusted with powdered sugar.
Try to Attend a Festival
NOLA is big on celebrations, and almost every week you’ll find some sort of festival or parade going on. Mardi Gras is the biggest of these but be warned that visiting at this time of year involves dealing with huge crowds. Whichever party you join, let go of your inhibitions and enjoy donning a masquerade mask and dancing on the streets.
Explore the Museums
It’s not all about food and music here – there are also several fascinating museums to explore. These include the New Orleans Museum of Art, the World War II Museum, and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. For something even more unique, try a voodoo cemetery tour or ghost tour of the French Quarter to discover the city’s spooky side – it’s rumored to be one of the most haunted places in the country.
Admire the Architecture
New Orleans is a place rich in history, and this is very visible on its streets. From the iconic balconies of the French Quarter to the colorful mansions of the Garden Quarter and charming streetcars that run through the city, at certain points during your trip you’re sure to feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
Get Out of the City
As well as all the attractions in the city, there are plenty of activities to do a little further out. For instance, these include wandering through the wilder sections of City Park (where you might see actual alligators in and around the water), taking a kayak tour of the bayou swamps, or cruising along the mighty Mississippi River.