Things To Do in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS CLASSICS
These are the “must do’s” that your friends back home, who’ve already been to New Orleans, will quiz you about.
The following 4 experiences are requirements necessary to graduate from your New Orleans vacation.
So, here they are, in no particular order….
Cafe Du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait. Across the street from Jackson Square. Open 24 hours.
Pat O’Brien’s Bar for a rum hurricane in their beautiful courtyard or in their piano bar.
Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar for Voodoo daiquiris.
Bourbon Street Alive at night, Bourbon is one big, silly,
fun party. Walk the whole length at least once. It’s a rockin’ good time.
Shrimp and Goat Cheese Crepes, Muriel’s
Crabmeat Cheesecake, Palace Cafe
Lobster Dumplings, GW Fins
Baked Alaska and Cafe Brulot Diabolique, Hermes Bar at Antoine’s
MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC!
Music is everywhere! All the time! Here are some highlights:
Here you will experience the roots of New Orleans traditional jazz.
It’s a special place that is all about the music.
This is the place where local musicians have the opportunity to play their original music. You’ll
hear many different styles and fusions. This is primarily a night scene, but some clubs start their live
music mid to late afternoon. Some of the most popular clubs on Frenchmen are:
WALKING TOURS: SHOW ME SUMTUM, MISTA!
There is A LOT to see, hear, experience, and learn here in New Orleans! So, whatever you are interested in,
there’s probably a walking tour for that. Here are some of my favorite tour companies:
For factual, non-theatrical tours regarding the French Quarter, cemeteries, ghosts, music, cocktails, the Garden District and more, check out:
If you are looking for a more intense experience of the paranormal, cemeteries, seances, voodoo, hoodoo and even the
opportunity to do a ghost investigation, check out:
For those of you who are fascinated with conspiracy theories surrounding the connection between New Orleans and Lee Harvey Oswald
to the JFK assassination, do I have the tour for YOU! Tour operator Jeffrey Holmes has spent years of extensive research on this subject
and offers a riveting walk that lines up all the dots! Check it out at:
If you’re not a fan of crowds, perhaps you would prefer a private tour. If given about a week’s notice, this can be arranged. As a former
French Quarter tour guide for 20 years, I know people.
HISTORIC FRENCH QUARTER HOMES
There are many beautiful historic homes that are open to the public. My favorite:
It’s located in the French Quarter on Chartres at Ursulines. Their tours start at the top of the hour from 10:00AM to
3:00PM, Monday through Saturday, $10/person. Tours last approximately 45 minutes.
Louisiana has a plethora of plantations. Many are located outside the city of New Orleans, with drive times of about 30 to 90 minutes. My personal
favorites are Oak Alley (https://www.oakalleyplantation.org) and the Laura (https://www.lauraplantation.com). They are located about an hour away, and only a few minutes from each other, so it’s easy to tour both in one day. The beautiful Oak Alley is the type of plantation we have seen in the movies. (In fact, it’s been in a few movies!) In contrast, the Laura is a very simple creole-style plantation. What I love about this plantation experience, though, is the enthusiasm of the tour guides and their way of painting a realistic picture of what plantation life was like. There are quite a few bus tour companies who go to many of the different plantations. Here are three that go to both on the same day:
TOURS BY ISABELLE limit their group size. So, they are a little pricier, but excellent.
I love the swamps. There’s just something about them….beautiful, spooky, mystical. There are a few swamp tours available, but I keep going back to
Many of the guides grew up and still live in the Honey Island area. This company was started by Dr. Wagner, an ecologist who was dedicated to
the conservation of this swamp. When he passed away, he left the company to his employees who I feel are still respecting his wishes. Plus, I find
that this tour tends to go back farther into the swamps than other companies do. So, you definitely get to see more. If you have a
car, it’s an easy 45-minute drive. If not, they offer a shuttle to and from the French Quarter.
GETTING AROUND THE FRENCH QUARTER AND NEARBY
There are LOTS of different ways to tool around New Orleans! If it has wheels, we’ve got it! Streetcars and buses are $1.25 per ride, or $3 for a 24-hour day pass. (Go to norta.com for schedules and more.) We have taxi cabs, Uber and Lyft. Pedi-cabs are everywhere in the French Quarter and good fun! The city has the blue bike share program. Electric cars, scooters, golf-carts of various sizes, and yes, even wheelchairs are rentable from various nearby vendors.
Ready to tie the knot? Why not here in New Orleans! I know a wonderful officiant, Diana Esordi, who will make your special day everything you wish and more:
HOW SHOULD I PACK!?!?
This should help:
1830 Dauphine Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116