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Top Activities in New Orleans

See all 242 things to do in New Orleans

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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.

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.

Live MusicDancingJazz

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.

Live MusicDancingEntertainment

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.

ShoppingDiningBaseball

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.

Live MusicDancingArchitecture

Garden District

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

GardensLive MusicDancing

Arts/Warehouse District

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

Live MusicDancingMuseums

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in New Orleans on a sunny day?

Take advantage of the good weather (and get some fresh air while you're at it) with one or two of these popular outdoor activities:

What is New Orleans famous for?

Mercedes-Benz Superdome is usually mentioned in the same breath as New Orleans, so make sure you allow time to visit.

What should I not miss in New Orleans?

You just can't go home without checking off the following list of unmissable sights:

  • Jackson Square
  • French Market
  • City Park
  • New Orleans Museum of Art

What can you do in New Orleans for free?

Your time away in New Orleans needn't cost a bundle with free things like these to keep you entertained:

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