THINGS TO DO
Sightseeing in New Orleans can be both educational and fun. While the main attraction in New Orleans is the historic French Quarter, there, is plenty to do and see while visiting the city. From the Garden District, riverboat tours, festivals, parks, walking tours, museums, shopping and of course world class dining. Whatever you're in the mood for you can find something to do in the Big Easy! We have put together a few places that you might want to see and experience.
THE FRENCH QUARTER
Located on the bend of the Mississippi River this attraction is what most people come to see. The architecture is both Spanish and French, buildings showcase wrought iron balconies, red-titled roofs and beautiful courtyards; some of these building date back more than 300 years. The French Quarter is easy to walk, and has numerous hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants, galleries, bars/clubs. Jackson Square is the heart of the Quarter, flanked by the Pontalba buildings and in the center the statue of Andrew Jackson.
Originally known as the Place d'Armes, Jackson Square is the heart of the French Quarter. Surrounded by trees and shrubs, in the center is the statue of General Andrew Jackson. The square is by far the most visited part of New Orleans. The St. Louis Cathedral along with the Presbytere and Cabildo (both state museums) sit on the north side of square. Jackson Square (park area) is surrounded by iron fencing; where you will find local artist and entertainers, and the lower Pontalba Buildings host many shops and several restaurants.
A very non-descript building it is an institution in New Orleans know for amazing jazz music, and features traditional jazz music performed by local artist. Opening times and events are listed on the door each day, and seating is limited. For information: preservationhall.com
Covering more than 1,300 acres and contains the New Orleans botanical Garden and The New Orleans Museum of Art. The park is a major attraction for runners, bikers, walkers or those just looking to escape for the day. Within the park is the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, Storyland, and the City Splash Water Park. You can also play tennis and even a round of golf. Picnic areas are found throughout the park, however, camping is not allowed. It is said that the park has the larges stands of mature live oak trees. If you are staying downtown you can take the Canal streetcar to the front of the park. For more information: neworleanscitypark.com
THE GARDEN DISTRICT
A residential area with mansions, mature trees, and lush gardens, and for many the stereotypical image of many foreigners about the Deep South. You can explore either on foot or take a guided tour (the St. Charles streetcar goes right down the Garden District). Located on the Southwest portion of the Garden District is Audubon Park, established on the grounds of the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884, you can access Audubon Zoo, hothouses, Audubon Golf Club, and located in the park are several lakes and vast green spaces. Tulane and Loyola University are located right across from the park. The Garden District has plenty of testaurants and plenty of shopping.
The paddle steamer is a great way to see the city skyline and experience the mighty Mississippi River. The cruses are about two hours and provide a narration on the sites along the river, and you can also enjoy creole cuisine. The Natchez also features a dinner cruise with live music, buffet-style dinner and of course the night views of New Orleans. For more information: steamboatnatchez.com
Considered one of the best zoos in the country, Audubon Zoo features a variety of exhibits with local and exotic animals. Delve into Cajun culture at the acclaimed Louisiana Swamp Exhibit, which explores how interactions between the Cajun people and swamp wildlife shaped Louisiana’s distinct culture. Feed a giraffe and check out monkeys and zebras at the African Savanna exhibit. At the Asian Domain you can visit the elephants, sun bears, white tiger, and a growing family of babirusas (a wild pig native to Indonesia). For more information: audubonnatureinstitute.org
If you don't want to travel all the way Uptown then located on the Mississippi River is the aquarium and is in walking distance from the French Quarter. The aquarium focuses mostly on species found in North, Central and South America. It also highlights the vast marine life from the Gulf of Mexico along with freshwater fish of the Mississippi River. A 30-foot-lomg walk through tunnel allows you to view the Maya Reef, then explore the colorful birds, exotic fish, and snakes of the Amazon Rainforest. For more information: audubonnatureinstitute.org
NEW ORLEANS MUSEUM OF ART
Located in the south part of City Park it is one of the finest museums in the South. With a vast collection of French and American art, and a vast African and Japanese exhibits. On the back side of the museum is the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden; with more than 60 pieces, along with walking paths, and lagoons. For more information: noma.org
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO DO