A Solo Traveler's Guide to New Orleans

There are a lot of activities for solo travelers in New Orleans.
There are a lot of activities for solo travelers in New Orleans. | © The Station Coffee
Photo of Sarah Ravits
18 April 2018

A popular destination, New Orleans is an excellent choice for those seeking a group adventure, a romantic getaway, or some much-needed alone time. It’s a social city, known for its hospitality and booming tourism industry, but it offers plenty of options to get in touch with your introverted, thoughtful side, too.

Where to Stay

There are seemingly limitless accommodations in New Orleans that match different price points and preferences. If you’re looking for a weekend of luxury, check out the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel or the Ritz-Carlton, both of which are located downtown. Literary types may rejoice at the French Quarter’s Hotel Monteleone, a favorite hangout of authors including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Eudora Welty, decades ago. For those who want a bed-and-breakfast type experience in a historic home, consider the Canal Street Inn. Millennial travelers may prefer some of the newer, hipper additions that have appeared in recent years, including the Drifter Hotel, a mid-century modern hotspot on Tulane Avenue, or the trendy Ace Hotel.

Where to Meet People

New Orleans is full of friendly people that love to celebrate and mingle for any occasion. On any given day, you’re likely to stumble across a block party, a parade, a free festival, or live music. Frenchmen Street is a popular hangout spot for visitors who are drawn to the city’s music scene and Bohemian vibe. The street is also home to Washington Square Park, which is frequently full of hula hoopers, people practicing yoga, picnicking, or reading on a park bench. There are also some atmospheric wine bars that bring in a mixed clientele, including the Delachaise, Bacchanal, and Bayou Wine Garden; alternatively, if you prefer a craft beer in the company of laid-back people, check out Second-Line Brewing, Urban South, or Port Orleans Brewing Co.

Have a glass of wine at the Bayou Wine Garden. | © Bayou Wine Garden

Where to Eat

Fortunately, you can’t go wrong when it comes to food in New Orleans. The city takes great pride in its culinary capabilities and it’s home to hundreds of restaurants that will provide memorable dining experiences. Some of the freshest seafood can be found at Seaworthy, Peche, or the pricier but worth it GW Fins. You can’t go to New Orleans and miss out on the opportunity to eat a po’ boy sandwich; for that, check out Killer PoBoys, or R & O’s. Herbsaint, Cochon, and Boucherie are popular spots for an elegant but casual dining experience. For more options, consult our list.

Try some delicious food from GW Fins. | © GW Fins / Flickr

Safety and Getting Around

People generally look out for each other in New Orleans, and the newly installed crime cameras are plentiful throughout the city (and hard to ignore, with their flashing lights). Nonetheless, the city still experiences high levels of crime, so don’t walk around alone at night, especially in dimly lit areas. Another tip we have is the following: Don’t wear Mardi Gras beads if it’s not Mardi Gras or you’re not in the upper French Quarter. Criminals may peg you as a tourist and try to take your belongings. So, stick to well-lit areas and use ride-share services, taxis, or even pedicabs to get around if you’re alone. New Orleans, of course, is big on drinking; nevertheless, you’ll want to keep your wits about you and use common sense if you’re out partying.

Remember these tips to stay safe in New Orleans. | © Paul Burani / WikiCommons

Where to Find Solo Adventures

For an afternoon of mellow soul-searching, head in the direction of some of the city’s waterways. There’s the New Orleans Lakefront, overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. There are also several picturesque spots up and down the Mississippi River, including Crescent Park in the Bywater neighborhood. For a cup of coffee in a place that welcomes you to stay a while, check out The Station Coffee in Mid-City, housed in a former gas station that underwent extensive renovations. It’s a relaxing space with top-notch homemade pastries and sandwiches on fresh bread. Art buffs should check out the small, intimate galleries of Royal Street in the French Quarter, or the more contemporary atmosphere of Julia Street. If you’re into museums, check out our list. The options for a good solo adventure exist in multitudes, and you can’t go wrong with setting out on your own two feet with an open mind.