30 Things to Do in New Orleans

Celebrating its 300th anniversary, the Crescent City is world-famous for jazz, Creole cuisine and a lively party scene. Whether it’s the Old World European feel or the especially potent cocktails, the city gives travelers a Big Easy escape from reality. Romantic for couples, fun with friends, and cultural for families, New Orleans offers an enriching travel experience beyond the bars of Bourbon Street.

  1. Toast your arrival with a French 75 at Arnaud’s award-winning French 75 Bar

  2. Stroll the streets of the French Quarter, stealing glimpses into hidden courtyards

  3. Watch the street artists, mimes and breakdancers in Jackson Square (bring your dollar bills!)

  4. Take a street car ride up St. Charles Avenue to admire magnificent mansions in the Garden District

  5. Sip a hurricane by the fiery foundain in the Pat O’Brien’s courtyard

  6. Kick off jazz brunch at Commander’s Palace with turtle soup

  7. Spot the albino alligators and send the kids down Monkey Hill at the Audubon Zoo

  8. Take a haunted tour through one of Louisiana’s unique above-ground cemeteries

  9. Slurp down oysters at Casamento’s, open since 1919 on Magazine Street

  10. Head to the end of Bourbon Street for Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a watering hole since the 17oos

  11. Find the perfect Mardi Gras mask in the French Market

  12. Order warm beignets and a chicory cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde

  13. Let the kids run free in City Park to play and climb ancient oak trees

  14. Catch a concert at Preservation Jazz Hall

  15. Visit the historic Pontchartrain Hotel for mile-high pie or a cocktail in the rooftop bar

  16. Chant Who Dat! during a Saints Game in the Superdome

  17. Eat a chocolate-chip-and-cricket cookie inside the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

  18. Take a carriage ride through the less-traveled streets of the French Quarter

  19. Browse jewelry, antiques, fine art and stationery along Royal Street

  20. Party with the locals on Frenchman Street in the Maringny

  21. Watch the sharks circle an underwater oil rig at the Audubon Aquarium

  22. Start your day with a decadent breakfast and brandy milk punch at Brennan’s

  23. Venture to the Central Business District for fine dining at places like Maypop, Compere Lapin, Peche, Cochon and Emeril’s original restaurant

  24. Nurse your hangover with a potato-stuffed omelet at The Camellia Grill Uptown or the praline bacon at Elizabeth’s in the Bywater

  25. Watch the paddlewheel boats go by on the muddy Mississippi River

  26. Take a driving tour of the modern homes by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right program in the Ninth Ward neighborhood hit by Hurricane Katrina

  27. Admire local and international works at the New Orleans Museum of Art and wander through the sculpture gardens

  28. Take in a world-famous Mardi Gras parade in February or visit Mardi Gras World anytime

  29. Stroll through the Roosevelt lobby to admire its historic grandeur, especially at Christmas time

  30. Join in on an impromptu second-line parade in the French Quarter