Situated in Louisiana city on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is a city that is best known for its incredible nightlife, vibrant music, and some spicy French, African, and American cuisine cultures. Orleans is also known for organizing annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras world.
New Orleans has also been described as the “most unique” in the United States. For its prominent role in the film industry and pop culture, New Orleans has been increasingly known as the “Hollywood South.”
So, if you are a person who is fond of living this nightlife, experiencing vibrant music, and tasting different cuisines and are planning to visit Louisiana city, you are at the right place because we are going to guide you through the top 10 fun things to do in New Orleans. So be ready to take notes of these different Orleans attractions to make your Orleans experience unforgettable.
1. Visit French Quarter
We recommend starting in the French quarter to have the best Orleans experience. The French Quarter neighborhood is vibrant and will offer you a memorable experience. The French Quarter neighborhood, also known as Vieux Carré, is a part of Orleans’s history. It is considered the heart and soul of this city and a National Historic Landmark.
It is the site of the original New Orleans colony, and the French Quarter has held on to its heritage, as you will see street names listed in French. In the French Quarter, visit narrow cobblestone streets and find attractions such as Jackson Square, Faulkner House Books, and the Cabildo.
If you see architecture, the French quarter will not disappoint you. French quarter neighborhood architecture holds balconies designed with baroque ironwork and hanging plants. French Quarter also has leafy courtyards which are filled with bubbling fountains.
Even though you will be mesmerized by the French Quarter’s beauty, one con of the French quarter could be that it can be expensive if you stay in any French Quarter hotels. So, make sure to plan your budget accordingly if you decide to stay in one.
French Quarter, Bourbon street will have performers and fortune-tellers and rowdy bars. Another thing you can do in the French quarter while visiting new Orleans is to visit Bourbon Street. It is considered New Orleans’ infamous party hub.
Quite an unusual mixture, right? Even though a trip to New Orleans isn’t considered completed if you haven’t visited the French quarter and bourbon street, it is recommended not to visit bourbon street if you plan to have a calm and peaceful experience. Since it is full of adult travelers, you will not be able to escape the endless nightlife. So keep this point in your mind if you plan to visit bourbon street in that sense.
Suppose you want to have a light tour of the French Quarter, plan for a day tour. You can travel the French Quarter neighborhood in different ways. You can opt for Mule-drawn carriage tours that line up daily on Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square, taking groups of four, or rely on your two feet and walk through the city life of the French quarter.
So, visiting the French Quarter and Bourbon Street is our first recommendation for fun things to do in New Orleans.
2. Check out Frenchman Street
Another fun thing to do in New Orleans is to visit the famous Frenchman Street. Frenchman Street will give you an authentic experience of New Orleans since it is removed from the touristy areas of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. Earlier, when talking about Bourbon Street, we mentioned that individuals looking for a calm and peaceful environment should not visit the city; you will get that experience here at Frenchman Street.
The town is a four-block stretch of live music, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and art galleries, a popular spot for the locals. You will find cheaper eats and drinks and better music on Frenchman Street by offering fewer crowds. You can consider it to be a good substitute for Bourbon Street.
Palace Market is a shopping heaven in the central city as you will find locals selling homemade art and jewelry, making it a healthy French market. If you stroll down this street, you will find old-style jazz clubs with local musicians with great music.
This combination of this Orleans jazz, live music, talented local musicians, and great atmosphere will make your new Orleans experience in Frenchman Street worth every penny, adding to the fun things to do in New Orleans.
3. New Orleans Jazz Museum
Our third entry of fun things to do in New Orleans is to visit the New Orleans jazz museum. If you want to mix Orleans jazz with some history, seeing this New Orleans museum is not bad. This place celebrates jazz in the city where it was born. New Orleans Jazz Museum resists in the heart of the city’s vibrant music scene.
Evening programs, solo and small group concerts, and special events while National Park Service offers daily live music programs are the activities you can find here.
4. The National WWII Museum
Visiting this Orleans Museum will make you revisit the events of World War 2. Even if you are not very keen on history, don’t worry. You will still enjoy the national WWII museum. This Orleans Museum has an impressive collection of artifacts and educational films documenting all aspects of the war, from D-Day to the war in the Pacific to the Holocaust’s dark history.
National WWII Museum will offer you an educational experience, but we caution you that some of the displays may be disturbing for children. It is located on magazine street in the Warehouse District, and you can visit the national WWII museum daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ticket price for adults’ costs $27 and $17.50 for students and children ages 5 to 12.
At the same time, it is free for World War two veterans. Make sure entry to the Victory Theater, and specific exhibits will cost you extra. If you want to capture all of the texts, artifacts, and testimonials on display, you must spare three hours. If you cannot see all the things in one day, you can return the next day with your ticket and only pay an additional $6.
If you choose to visit this New Orleans Museum while driving, you can find a paid parking lot on Magazine Street, across from the theater. Other than this, you can also find other parking lots in the neighborhood.
You can also use the bus service, and you can hop on the bus no. 11, 100, or 114, stop at Magazine Street and Poeyfarre street in front of the museum. So, if this wakes up your interest in visiting the New Orleans Museum, you are welcome to add this to fun things to do in New Orleans.
5. Visit the Garden District
Another fun thing to do in New Orleans includes having a garden district tour. This garden district tour will give you a look at some of the city’s beautiful homes. This experience will provide you peaceful atmosphere and a much-needed break from city life. Garden District also has many shops, cafes, and the famous Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
You will also find Commander’s Palace Restaurant, one of the city’s most well-regarded and refined restaurants. This place in New Orleans can be accessed via the Magazine Street bus, carriage, or St. Charles Avenue streetcar.
6. Take a tour of New Orleans City Park
Is there anything to do in New Orleans with kids? Yes, there is. Visiting New Orleans city park will offer you that. It is a great place to spend your afternoons with your loved ones. You can stroll through nature in the 12-acre New Orleans Botanical Garden. Another positive point of this place is that it is near the New Orleans Museum of Art, so after spending time in the city park, you can visit the art galleries.
For your young ones, New Orleans City Park offers Storyland which is the home to giant storybooks and fairy tale characters, and it also has carousel gardens amusement park, and the Train Garden. It doesn’t stop here. New Orleans City Park also has tennis courts, soccer fields, two football stadiums, and an 18-hole golf course.
This place is also home to the world’s largest grove of mature live oaks, including the Anseman Oak and McDonogh Oak. City Park also homes the Louisiana Children’s Museum, which has different recreational activities like a climbing wall, a fake broadcasting studio, an art studio, and a mock cafe.
The place is open daily from 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, so if you are an early bird, make sure to visit at this time. Entry to New Orleans City Park is free, but some attractions will cost you. In the end, it’s not that you can’t visit New Orleans with kids. New Orleans offers things for your young ones. So make sure to add New Orleans City Park to the fun things to do in New Orleans.
7. Check out The Cabildo
Near Jackson Square, located in the heart of the French Quarter, you can visit the New Orleans history piece, The Cabildo. It was initially constructed in 1799 as the seat of the Spanish government. When New Orleans was under Spanish rule, this Spanish-style building worked as a city hall and Supreme court after the Louisiana Purchase.
Louisiana State Museum relives Louisiana history with the help of Native American objects, Colonial-era paintings, and even Napoleon Bonaparte’s death mask. It is home to a three-floor branch of the Louisiana State Museum. Here you can also see the room where Louisiana Purchase took place.
Here at Cabildo, an entire floor is devoted to Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina was a 2005 storm that devastated New Orleans and surrounding regions. You will find multimedia displays and artifacts collected during the cleanup of both Rita and Hurricane Katrina.
You can fairly say, The Cabildo is a sentimental place that preserves the historic New Orleans Collection. Again if you are not a history buff, you will be mesmerized by the building’s architecture.
If you visit this place, consider stopping by the St. Louis Cathedral, located next door on Chartres Street. The location is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the ticket price for adults costs $6, $5 for students and seniors, and is free for children 12 and younger.
To visit Cabildo, you can use the available bus services in the area, including buses No. 5 and 55. So make sure to add The Cabildo to your fun things to do in New Orleans. You will not regret it.
8. Cemetery Tours
New Orleans is also often considered the most haunted city in the United States. It is filled with stories of ghosts, Voodoo, magic, pirates, vampires, and more. So, if you ever wanted to explore a haunted city, and you are quite a daring person who isn’t scared to explore something “Ghostly,” Well, if you are visiting New Orleans, don’t forget to have Cemetery Tours.
Many of the tombs found in this city are above-ground levels to protect them from rising water levels. If you want to learn the relationship between New Orleans cemeteries and their relationship with Voodoo, we suggest you opt for Witches Brew Tours – 3in1 Cemetery Tour.
In a two-hour excursion, you will understand New Orleans customs, traditions, architecture, and superstitions while also visiting today the most famous tombs in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Louis cemetery will make you learn about the city’s unique internment process and history of Voodoo.
You will also visit Congo Square, located in Louis Armstrong Park. This tour runs from Monday to Saturday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. On Sundays at 9 and 11 a.m. You need to have reservations for these tours, and Tickets start at $25 for adults and $12 for children ages 6 to 12.
For something more chilly experience, you can also opt for the 4in1 tour, which also explores vampires and witchcraft in the Crescent City, adding this to the list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
9. New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Another interesting place you can visit in New Orleans is the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, located in the neighborhood of the French Quarter. The place is home to a unique heritage of medicine and pharmaceuticals, which can turn out useful to increase your knowledge. Any medical geek should visit this place without a doubt.
It is registered in the National Register of Historic Places and has a mid-19th-century apothecary shop while also having various other antiques from this era in healthcare on display. The museum also remembers Louis J. Dufilho Jr. of Louisiana, America’s first licensed pharmacist.
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is located on Chartres Street. The ticket price will cost you $5, including a guided tour. The museum is typically open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday but can be closed early for some private events. So, if this interests you, add this to your list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
10. Steamboat Natchez
Our last entry of fun things to do in New Orleans includes taking a ride on Steamboat Natchez. Being the only steamboat in New Orleans, it was launched in 1975 and took visitors on a tour of the Mississippi River. Steamboat Natchez will offer you a few tour options like a dinner jazz cruise, a harbor jazz cruise, a Sunday jazz brunch cruise, and special event cruises.
Indoor and outdoor seating will be available on the boat, and the tour will last about 2 hours, offering you a concert, a narration of historical facts, and an optional meal. A gift shop and bar are also available onboard.
Steamboat Natchez will provide you with a unique and entertaining way to explore the city and the river. Also, make sure to tour the engine room while visiting the Steamboat.
A few more places that can’t be left out beside the Top 10 are:
- Mardi Grass World
- Ogden Museum of Southern Art
- Swamp Tour
- Oak Alley Plantation
- Orleans Rum Distillery
New Orleans has a lot to offer, and you can either enjoy the hardcore nightlife or have a relaxing time by alluring the beautiful nature of New Orleans. This stark contrast of the city makes it great to spend your money on and have a wonderful time with your loved ones.
So here is the list of the top 10 fun things to do in New Orleans, from strolling in French Quarters and Frenchman Street to visiting the Museums like of National WWII Museum and New Orleans Pharmacy Museum or exploring the mysterious nature of Cemetery tours.