Unique Places for an Awesome Night Out in New Orleans

Visiting the bars and clubs of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is a classic thing to do at night in New Orleans
Visiting the bars and clubs of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is a classic thing to do at night in New Orleans | © Rolf_52 / Alamy
Photo of Rebeca Trejo
2 September 2021

Nightlife in New Orleans is serious business. The lively Louisiana city lights up after dark with an atmosphere that’s filled with endless possibilities. You probably already plan on visiting one of the best jazz clubs in the Big Easy, but there’s plenty one-of-a-kind things to do here, too. To help you have an incredible time, here are some unique spots for an awesome night out in New Orleans.

Preservation Hall

Music Venue
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Historic Jazz locations in New Orleans Louisiana USA
© Goddard on the Go / Alamy
Established in 1961 when the future of New Orleans jazz seemed bleak, Preservation Hall was founded to preserve, perpetuate and protect traditional New Orleans jazz. Still going strong, Preservation Hall stages three nightly shows and hosts speciality sets – such as their Midnight Preserves during Jazz Fest. Line up outside early to get a spot in this intimate, one-room venue and immerse yourself in traditional New Orleans jazz played by veteran masters of the local music scene.

To avoid disappointment, you could book a spot on Culture Trip’s special four-day tour of New Orleans, which includes a live jazz performance at Preservation Hall among many other must-do activities.

Clue Carré

Amusement Park
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Gather seven of your best mystery-solving friends and head to the first escape game based in New Orleans, Clue Carré, for an intense 60-minute adventure. To break free from the interactive mystery escape room, you must come together and use keen observations and critical thinking to gather clues, discover hidden objects and solve riddles. Since getting out in time is the aim, this live entertainment puzzle is the perfect idea for all of those competitive gamers who enjoy beating the clock.

Bayou Night Paddle

Park
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Enjoy a romantic view of the moon by paddling down the winding, historic waterways of Bayou St John with Bayou Paddlesports. The popular two-hour evening ride provides an opportunity to have fun while relaxing under the stars. Paddle-enthusiasts can check out their desired gear on the website and pick it up at the launch site.

Steamboat Natchez

Music Venue, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark, $$$
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Louisiana, New Orleans, Natchez Steamboat, Mississippi River
© John Coletti/ Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy
Hop on the last authentic New Orleans steamboat and navigate the mighty Mississippi River on a night filled with delicious Creole food, authentic live jazz and steam calliope tunes. The sternwheel steamboat docks at the Toulouse Street Wharf near the French Quarter and offers the chance to enjoy the beauty and romance of the Crescent City while seeing major landmarks, including the Chalmette Battlefield. Board the vessel 30 minutes prior to the assigned departure time, and return after a two-hour cruise.

Prytania Theatre

Cinema, Theater
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Built in 1914, the Prytania is the only single-screen movie theater in Louisiana and is the oldest operating theater in the New Orleans metro area. Standing at the corner of Prytania and Leontine streets, this vintage movie joint was the first theater in NOLA to convert to digital cinema, and now features a variety of films to satisfy any type of audience, including cult classics and current blockbusters. There are also featured old films, horror movie festivals, influential documentaries and popular national shows, such as the Oscars, shown at this 100-year-old theater.

Club Caribbean

Bar, Beer
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If you’re looking for something a bit more upbeat than jazz and blues, why not immerse yourself in the groove of island-inspired beats? Club Caribbean claims to be the only true reggae club in New Orleans; here, it’s summer year round thanks to the tropical soundtrack and vibrant color scheme of reds, yellows and greens. Make sure you go hungry, too – the jerk chicken is fabulous.

Matt Mills contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on September 2, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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