Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re diving into the vibrant and soulful city of New Orleans, Louisiana. With its rich history, unique culture, and world-famous cuisine, there’s no shortage of amazing experiences to be had in this lively city. So, buckle up and join me as we explore the top 10 things to do in New Orleans.
From the lively jazz clubs of Frenchmen Street to the mysterious allure of the French Quarter, New Orleans is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a good time, you’ll find it all in this incredible city. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my personal top 10 things to do in New Orleans, so you can make the most of your visit to this unforgettable destination.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in New Orleans and discover the magic that awaits you in this one-of-a-kind city.
Discover the Vibrant French Quarter
The French Quarter is the heart and soul of New Orleans, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city. Here are the top 10 things to do in the French Quarter:
Explore Bourbon Street: Bourbon Street is the most famous street in the French Quarter, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the city’s nightlife. With its bars, restaurants, and live music venues, Bourbon Street is the perfect place to let loose and have some fun.
Visit Jackson Square: Jackson Square is the heart of the French Quarter, and it’s a great place to soak up the city’s history and culture. Here, you’ll find the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, as well as street performers, artists, and musicians.
Take a Ghost Tour: New Orleans is known for its haunted history, and the French Quarter is home to some of the city’s most haunted sites. Take a ghost tour to learn about the city’s spooky past and hear some chilling tales.
Try Beignets at Cafe Du Monde: No trip to New Orleans is complete without trying the city’s famous beignets. Head to Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter to try these delicious powdered sugar-covered pastries.
Visit the French Market: The French Market is a historic open-air market that’s been around since the late 1700s. Here, you’ll find a variety of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Take a Carriage Ride: Explore the French Quarter in style by taking a carriage ride. This is a great way to see the sights and learn about the city’s history from a knowledgeable guide.
Visit the Historic New Orleans Collection: The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum and research center that’s dedicated to preserving the city’s history and culture. It’s a great place to learn about the city’s past and see some fascinating exhibits.
Take a Riverboat Cruise: Take a relaxing riverboat cruise along the Mississippi River and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline. This is a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
Visit the Preservation Hall Jazz Club: New Orleans is known for its jazz music, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Club is one of the best places to experience it. This intimate venue hosts nightly jazz performances that are not to be missed.
Take a Walking Tour: The French Quarter is full of history and charm, and the best way to experience it is on foot. Take a walking tour to learn about the city’s architecture, culture, and history.
In conclusion, the French Quarter is a vibrant and exciting destination that’s full of history, culture, and fun. With so many things to do and see, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the top 10 things to do in New Orleans.
Savor the Flavors of New Orleans Cuisine
New Orleans is known for its unique and delicious cuisine that blends French, African, and American influences. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in New Orleans to savor the flavors of the city:
Try Beignets at Cafe Du Monde – No trip to New Orleans is complete without trying the famous beignets at Cafe Du Monde. These fluffy, deep-fried pastries covered in powdered sugar are a must-try.
Indulge in a Po’ Boy Sandwich – Another New Orleans classic, the po’ boy sandwich is a hearty sandwich filled with fried seafood or roast beef and dressed with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.
Sample Gumbo – Gumbo is a thick stew made with seafood, sausage, and vegetables, served over rice. It’s a staple of New Orleans cuisine and can be found in many restaurants throughout the city.
Enjoy Jambalaya – Jambalaya is a rice dish that’s similar to paella, but with a Creole twist. It’s made with sausage, chicken, and seafood, and seasoned with spices like cayenne pepper and paprika.
Taste Crawfish Etouffee – Crawfish etouffee is a rich and creamy dish made with crawfish, vegetables, and a roux-based sauce. It’s typically served over rice and is a must-try for seafood lovers.
Visit the French Market – The French Market is a historic market in New Orleans that’s been around since the late 1700s. It’s a great place to sample local cuisine and pick up some souvenirs.
Take a Cooking Class – If you want to learn how to make some of the delicious dishes of New Orleans cuisine, consider taking a cooking class. There are many cooking schools in the city that offer classes on everything from gumbo to pralines.
Visit a Local Brewery – New Orleans has a thriving craft beer scene, with many local breweries offering tours and tastings. Check out places like NOLA Brewing or Urban South Brewery for a taste of the local brews.
Try a Hurricane Cocktail – The Hurricane is a sweet and fruity cocktail that’s a New Orleans classic. It’s made with rum, passion fruit juice, and grenadine, and is a must-try for anyone visiting the city.
Attend a Food Festival – New Orleans is home to many food festivals throughout the year, including the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience and the Louisiana Seafood Festival. These festivals are a great way to sample a variety of local cuisine and experience the city’s food culture.
So, these are the top 10 things to do in New Orleans to savor the flavors of the city. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try some of the best food in the world while you’re here!
Experience the Magic of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is one of the most famous festivals in the world, and New Orleans is the place to be to experience it. The festival is a celebration of music, food, and culture, and it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in New Orleans during Mardi Gras:
Watch the Parades: The parades are the main attraction of Mardi Gras, and they are a sight to behold. The floats are decorated with colorful beads, and the people on them throw beads, toys, and other trinkets to the crowds.
Visit the French Quarter: The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans, and it’s the best place to experience the city’s unique culture. During Mardi Gras, the streets are filled with music, food, and people in colorful costumes.
Try the Local Cuisine: New Orleans is famous for its food, and Mardi Gras is the perfect time to try it. From gumbo to jambalaya, there are plenty of delicious dishes to sample.
Attend a Masquerade Ball: Masquerade balls are a traditional part of Mardi Gras, and they are a great way to experience the festival’s glamour and elegance.
Catch Some Beads: Beads are a symbol of Mardi Gras, and catching them is a fun and exciting experience. Be sure to bring a bag to collect all the beads you catch.
Take a Riverboat Cruise: A riverboat cruise is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. During Mardi Gras, many of the riverboats offer special cruises with live music and food.
Visit the Mardi Gras Museum: The Mardi Gras Museum is a great place to learn about the history and traditions of the festival. The museum has a collection of costumes, floats, and other artifacts from past Mardi Gras celebrations.
Watch the Zulu Parade: The Zulu Parade is one of the most popular parades during Mardi Gras. The parade features colorful floats and costumes, and the people on the floats throw coconuts instead of beads.
Take a Ghost Tour: New Orleans is known for its haunted history, and a ghost tour is a great way to learn about it. During Mardi Gras, many of the ghost tours offer special Mardi Gras-themed tours.
Join a Second Line Parade: Second line parades are a New Orleans tradition, and they are a great way to experience the city’s music and culture. During Mardi Gras, there are many second line parades throughout the city.
So, these are the top 10 things to do in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Don’t miss out on the fun and excitement of this amazing festival.
Explore the Hauntingly Beautiful Cemeteries
New Orleans is known for its unique above-ground cemeteries, which are a must-visit for anyone exploring the city. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in New Orleans that you can experience while exploring the hauntingly beautiful cemeteries:
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: This is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans and is the final resting place of many famous people, including Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and legends of the cemetery.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1: This cemetery is located in the Garden District and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate ironwork. It has also been featured in many movies and TV shows, including “Interview with the Vampire” and “American Horror Story.”
St. Roch Cemetery: This cemetery is located in the Bywater neighborhood and is known for its unique above-ground tombs and shrines. It is also home to the St. Roch Chapel, which is dedicated to St. Roch, the patron saint of good health.
Metairie Cemetery: This cemetery is located just outside of New Orleans and is the final resting place of many famous people, including Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. It is also known for its beautiful landscaping and architecture.
Exploring the cemeteries of New Orleans is a unique and unforgettable experience that should not be missed. Make sure to add it to your list of top 10 things to do in New Orleans.
Immerse Yourself in the City’s Rich Music Scene
New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz, and its music scene is one of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in New Orleans to immerse yourself in the city’s rich music scene:
1. Visit the French Quarter
The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans’ music scene. You can hear live music on almost every street corner, from jazz and blues to brass bands and funk. Some of the best venues to check out include Preservation Hall, The Spotted Cat Music Club, and d.b.a.
2. Attend a Jazz Fest
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is one of the city’s biggest events. It takes place over two weekends in late April and early May and features some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, and gospel music.
3. Take a Music History Tour
Learn about the city’s rich musical heritage on a music history tour. You can visit landmarks like Congo Square, where slaves would gather to play music and dance, or the former homes of jazz legends like Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton.
4. Explore the Music Box Village
The Music Box Village is an interactive art installation that features a collection of musical houses and structures. Visitors can explore the village and even play the instruments themselves.
5. Catch a Show at Tipitina’s
Tipitina’s is one of the city’s most iconic music venues. It’s hosted some of the biggest names in music, from Professor Longhair to The Neville Brothers. Catch a show here to experience the true spirit of New Orleans music.
6. Visit the New Orleans Jazz Museum
The New Orleans Jazz Museum is located in the historic Old U.S. Mint building. It features exhibits on the city’s musical history, as well as live performances and educational programs.
7. Attend a Second Line Parade
Second line parades are a quintessential New Orleans tradition. They’re typically held to celebrate weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. Join in the fun and dance along to the music.
8. Check out the Maple Leaf Bar
The Maple Leaf Bar is another iconic music venue in New Orleans. It’s been around since the 1970s and has hosted some of the city’s best musicians, including Rebirth Brass Band and The Radiators.
9. Take a Swamp Tour
Swamp tours are a great way to experience the natural beauty of Louisiana while also enjoying some live music. Many tours feature local musicians playing traditional Cajun and zydeco music.
10. Attend a Mardi Gras Indian Parade
Mardi Gras Indian parades are a unique New Orleans tradition. The “Indians” are actually African American tribes who dress up in elaborate costumes and parade through the streets, accompanied by brass bands and drummers.
No trip to New Orleans is complete without experiencing the city’s rich music scene. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or just love to dance, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and diverse city. So, make sure to add these top 10 things to do in New Orleans to your itinerary.
Cruise Along the Mighty Mississippi River
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience New Orleans, a cruise along the Mighty Mississippi River is a must-do activity on your top 10 things to do New Orleans list.
There are several options for river cruises, ranging from short sightseeing tours to multi-day excursions. One of the most popular options is the Steamboat Natchez, which offers daily cruises with live jazz music and delicious Creole cuisine.
As you cruise along the river, you’ll get a different perspective of the city and its surroundings. You’ll see the French Quarter, the Port of New Orleans, and the beautiful skyline of the city.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Mississippi River and its impact on New Orleans, you can also take a guided tour. The guides will share interesting facts and stories about the river and its importance to the city’s culture and economy.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views of the city and the river. A river cruise is a perfect way to relax and enjoy the beauty of New Orleans.
So, add a river cruise to your top 10 things to do New Orleans list and experience the city in a unique and unforgettable way.
In conclusion, the vibrant city of New Orleans offers a plethora of unique experiences that cater to every traveler’s taste. From the lively jazz scene to the mouthwatering cuisine, the top 10 things to do in New Orleans are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring this culturally rich destination. As Journeying Jack, I can confidently say that my Suitcase Stories from New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart.
So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a good time, the top 10 things to do in New Orleans are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. As you plan your next adventure, don’t forget to include these top 10 things to do in New Orleans on your itinerary. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Until our next journey together, this is Journeying Jack from Suitcase Stories, signing off and wishing you happy travels as you explore the top 10 things to do in New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps rouler!