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Top Activities in New Orleans

See all 391 things to do in New Orleans


What to Do in New Orleans: Must See Attractions

New Orleans Attractions

Known for coming alive during Mardi Gras, the Big Easy actually has far more to offer than colorful beads and lots of partying. Things to do in New Orleans include enjoying live jazz music, going on paddlewheel river steamboat tours, walking through sculpture gardens, and eating lots of local Creole and Cajun cuisine. There is a great deal of history in this southern city, a fact that will appease both history buffs and patriotic travelers alike. And you will never have a shortage of haunted attractions in New Orleans, where both the historical significance and strong spiritual vibe of the city and Louisiana lend themselves to lots of ghostly stories.

Areas & Neighborhoods in New Orleans

A trip to NOLA has made its way onto more than one bucket list, appealing to night owls, families, and foodies alike. Whether you want to take a walk though streets and attractions steeped in rich tales or sit down at a new trendy restaurant, New Orleans is ready to welcome you with open arms on your next vacation.

French Quarter — This well-known district stands out for its colorful history and raucous bar scene, making it a popular stop on any vacation to New Orleans. Things to do here include touring historical homes and the famed Bourbon Street.

Art District — If you’re artistic, a walkabout in the art district is in order. In this unique stretch of New Orleans, industrial buildings have been transformed into vibrant open spaces.

Lakeview — Just a short distance from downtown, Lakeview gained its moniker from its location near Lake Pontchartrain. This neighborhood is a must-stop destination for anyone visiting New Orleans who has an interest in throwing a line in the water or taking a lazy, thoughtful stroll along the shore.

New Orleans tours and day trips are always available to take you through the most popular areas.

What to See in New Orleans

Once upon a time, the cabaret shows in The Big Easy were frowned upon, but these days they are definitely something to see while you’re in New Orleans. Other sites that attract people from around the country include the New Orleans Opera and the Chickie Wah Wah jazz and dance club.

Sightseeing in New Orleans

People-watch on Bourbon Street, eat lots of Creole food, and pay a visit to the Voodoo Museum. There is lots for tourists to do in the heart of Louisiana. Home to St. Louis Cathedral and its fair share of above-ground cemeteries, New Orleans is worth its weight in history and you’ll never find a better bowl of gumbo anywhere else. Don’t leave without a visit to French Market, which is the oldest public market in the nation, and eat a delicious beignet at Café Du Monde. Tour Jackson Square and catch some of the best jazz performances in the world on Frenchmen Street. Thankfully, tours in New Orleans make it easy to see this memorable city, so you don’t have figure out how to cram it all on in your own.

Things to Do in New Orleans with Kids

New Orleans is an excellent destination for a family vacation. Bring the youngsters along and enjoy these fun family friendly experiences together:

Free Things to Do in New Orleans

Escaping to New Orleans on a budget? The following can be experienced for nix.

Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum - Wander the halls and appreciate the intriguing exhibits and unique collections at this museum.

The New Orleans Artworks at the New Orleans GlassWorks & Printmaking Studio - If you're eager to get cultured, stop by and enjoy the talent on show.

John P Lyons Memorial Center - If you're eager to turn up the dial on fun during your getaway, this is a good place to start.

Spanish Plaza - This modern local landmark is a terrific backdrop for some selfies.

Spring Fiesta Historic House - Stop by this historic attraction and experience a part of the cultural heritage of the region.

Lafayette Square - Stop for a while in this bustling spot and imagine what life would be like as a local.

McDonogh Monument - If you'd love to explore a few of the more important or interesting places in the community, this place is worth a visit.

Immaculate Conception Church - No matter your religious leanings, this place will inspire a sense of reverence in you.

New Orleans Musical Legends Park - Find your green thumb and marvel at the wide variety of plants on display.

Explore The Neighborhoods of New Orleans

French Quarter

One of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods is popular for an ecclectic blend of romantic history, stunning architecture, jazz and black arts.

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Garden District

This historic area was named to remember the plantation lands upon which the city was built.

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Kenner - Louis Armstrong International Airport

Travelers come to Kenner - Louis Armstrong International Airport for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like Lafreniere Park and Pontchartrain Center while you're in town.


Central Business District

The fantastic nightlife and great live music are just a few highlights of Central Business District. Make a stop by Canal Street or Harrah's New Orleans Casino while you're exploring the area.

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Arts/Warehouse District

Get to the heart of modern New Orleans and explore renovated warehouses and modern galleries in this chic district.

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Uptown Historic District

The abundant dining options and colorful gardens are top of the list for many visitors to Uptown Historic District. A stop by Magazine Street or Prytania Theatre might round out your trip.

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Learn More About New Orleans | Blog

New Orleans Playlist – Great Music by Musicians from New Orleans

There may not be any other city as integral to America’s musical history as New Orleans. The city on the …

New Orleans Playlist – Great Music by Musicians from New Orleans. Opens in a new window.

10 True Crime Vacation Destinations in the US

For true crime fans, there’s nothing quite like standing in the spot of an infamous murder or strolling the streets once stalked by serial killers.

Camille Meyers
10 True Crime Vacation Destinations in the US. Opens in a new window.

Guide to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Immerse yourself in the heritage of New Orleans

Jennifer Cuellar
Guide to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Opens in a new window.

10 of the Best Bars in New Orleans

Drink well in the Big Easy

10 of the Best Bars in New Orleans. Opens in a new window.

A Guide to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans

The lowdown on the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans

A Guide to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans. Opens in a new window.

Navigate Mardi Gras Like a Local

Let the good times roll with this handy guide.

Kohleun Adamson
Navigate Mardi Gras Like a Local. Opens in a new window.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in New Orleans on a sunny day?

Enjoy the great weather (and stretch those legs while you're at it) with these top outdoor activities:

What to do in New Orleans on a rainy day?

If it's pelting down during your trip, dry off your umbrella and dive into these appealing indoor activities:

What is New Orleans famous for?

Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a symbol of New Orleans, so allow enough time to visit.

What should I not miss in New Orleans?

You simply can't go home without ticking off the following list of incredible sights:

  • Jackson Square
  • French Market
  • City Park
  • Audubon Park

Are there cheap things to do in New Orleans?

Keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your wallet with these cheap and cheerful experiences:

What can you do in New Orleans for free?

You'll hardly have time to pull your wallet out of your bag with so many free things to do:

  • Jackson Square
  • French Market
  • City Park
  • Audubon Park