The National WWII Museum
Central Grocery and Deli
Maple Leaf Bar
Jackson Square – French Quarter
Cafe Du Monde
No trip to New Orleans, especially for first-timers, is complete without at least a quick stop at Cafe du Monde for an order of beignets (a signature French pastry that is covered in a generous serving of powdered sugar) and a cup of cafe au lait. In proximity to the Mississippi River, Cafe du Monde is also a place to soak in the sights and sounds of street musicians.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
New Orleans City Park
One of the largest city parks in the country, New Orleans City Park features breathtaking gardens, centuries-old oak trees draped with Spanish moss, waterways, tennis courts, the New Orleans Museum of Art and other outdoor attractions. Nature enthusiasts and curious explorers will appreciate the numerous bike and running paths, along with picturesque places to sit back and enjoy the views.
Brimming with shops, galleries, flea markets, eateries and bars, Magazine Street is a six-mile stretch that extends from Uptown to the Lower Garden District. It is easily accessible from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar; we recommend exploring it on foot, as it tends to be a high-traffic area for cars and it can be difficult to find parking.
New Orleans Saints game/tailgate party
There’s no energy that can really compare to the New Orleans Saints fans’ energy in the Superdome and its surrounding tailgate parties before, during and (depending on the outcome) after the game. New Orleanians are passionate about this team, whether they win or lose, and the whole city gets involved. It’s never difficult to find a tailgate party, porch gathering or a dive bar offering cheap drinks and often complimentary food.
An enclave of the city with a Bohemian bent, Frenchmen Street is lined with music venues, bars and places to grab a late-night snack. While it was once considered more of a locals’ hotspot (along with in-the-know tourists), it is now the lively scene for group outings, bachelor parties and other festivities due to its abundance of live music venues, casual eateries and the general bustling scene.
The New Orleans Lakefront
Unbeknownst to most tourists, the New Orleans Lakefront offers beautiful views of Lake Pontchartrain, along with a number of laid-back restaurants along the water that serve fresh seafood. Get there in the late afternoon to hit up a happy hour, and stay for a sunset stroll.
The French Quarter
With gorgeous, historic buildings that date back to French and Spanish colonial times, the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in the city and one of the best places for a photo opportunity and an adventure. It’s the spot where you can find a number of historic landmarks, bars and other places mentioned in this list. We recommend starting at the foot of Canal Street, and meandering all the way until you get to Esplanade Avenue; don’t set a strict agenda, just let it play out as you see fit.
If you’re not a hurry to get anywhere, and you want to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace, hop onto one of the city’s streetcars. For just $1.25, you can get across town while soaking in the cityscape along the way. There are a number of routes along St. Charles Avenue, Canal Street, Rampart Street and the Riverfront.
Another outdoor spot that offers sweeping views of the water – this time, the Mississippi River, not the lake – is dubbed “The Fly” and it’s located Uptown. It’s the waterfront portion of Audubon Park behind the Audubon Zoo, and on warm days it is a popular destination for students at the nearby Tulane and Loyola universities. It’s also a pleasant spot to go for a jog or a bike ride; to throw a frisbee around; or just sit back and enjoy a good book as the riverboats pass by.
Even though it’s a tourist trap that’s generally avoided by locals, it would be remiss to publish a list of main attractions without mentioning Bourbon Street, the neon-colored festively chaotic strip of bars, music clubs and strip joints in the bustling Upper French Quarter. It is known for its all-night parties, balcony views and sense of abandon, and it’s definitely something to experience – at least once.
It seems a little creepy to just hang out in a cemetery, but the New Orleans cemeteries are famous for their above-ground tombs (since the city is below sea level) and the general sense of antiquated beauty. There are about 45 cemeteries in New Orleans, and within them are thousands of mysterious-looking vaults, often adorned with sculptural decorations that represent the surname, occupation or faith of the deceased inside.
St. Claude Arts District
A number of artist-run independent galleries along the St. Claude Avenue corridor have popped up in the past several years in this urban hipster haven that has been experiencing a population boom. More than two dozen collectives, co-ops, pop-up restaurants and collaborative spaces can be found in the area, drawing in some of the most imaginative performers and budding entrepreneurs.