Are you looking for fun things to do in New Orleans? If so – this is the ULTIMATE list!
New Orleans is an amazing city full of character and atmosphere! With so many interesting and fun things to do in New Orleans, there is so much to choose from!
So whether you’re spending a day in New Orleans, or a week – you’re going to love working your way through this huge list of fun things to do in New Orleans!
Hopefully this huge list of fun things to do in New Orleans will give you plenty of ideas and inspiration!
105 (maybe more, I lost count!) fun things to do in New Orleans…
Let’s get started, here are 105 fun, quirky, spooky, romantic, amazing, interesting and fun things to do in New Orleans!
Jump onboard a steamboat cruise
First on this list of fun things to do in New Orleans, it’s a steamboat cruise. If you fancy being transported back in time, why not head out on a beautiful Steamboat Cruise?
As you glide over the graceful currents of the Mississippi, you’ll learn about why New Orleans was founded and even more about jazz!
Different steamboats offer different things, but I’ve included some of my favourite options below.
It’s a lovely way to spend a few hours in the city, and it’s a chance to see the perspective from a different perspective. This is such a great choice for fun things to do in New Orleans.
These are three of my favourite steamboat trips…
Next on our list of fun things to do in New Orleans, is The Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone. It is the only revolving bar in the city, so we’d say that a visit was absolutely one of the best things to do in New Orleans.
With 25 seats that slowly rotate every 15 minutes, this is a great place in which to grab a drink with style. Definitely one of the best fun things to do in New Orleans, and one you should check out.
Read more about New Orleans: New Orleans weather in December: Everything you need to know!
Try a famous New Orleans beignets donut
Another iconic pick for fun things to do in New Orleans, it’s eat some local food! What is a Beignet? Chances are you’ll see these everywhere when you visit New Orleans, so be sure to actually try one when you’re there.
If you consider yourself a bit of a foodie then make sure you visit some of the top Beignet hotspots in the city! If you’re a foodie, then this HAS to make your list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
Beignet are so delicious, you’ll probably want to sample a few different places! This is such a great foodie experience in the city, so be sure to add it to you schedule of things to do in New Orleans.
Read more about visiting New Orleans: Top 15 upscale restaurants in New Orleans
Marie Laveau’s Tomb
Marie Laveau was one of the most powerful voodoo priestesses that ever lived, and she was prolific in New Orleans during the 19th century. Her tomb is next on our list of things to do in New Orleans.
Though her final resting place is disputed, you can visit her tomb and try to experience her magic from afar. With many believing that Marie grants wishes from beyond the grave, it’s certainly worth a visit!
If the ‘spookier’ side of New Orleans is what you’re interested in (it’s one of the big pulls of visiting the city!) then it’s worth checking out one of these amazing spooky tours in the city… definitely a must-see and one of my top fun things to do in New Orleans.
New Orleans Swamp Tour (by boat)
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s a swamp tour! It’s not a trip to New Orleans without checking out the local swamps.
There’s something a bit mystical, spooky and mysterious about the swamps – and it’s also just a fascinating place to check out local wildlife too.
You can drift along the swamp and see the local wildlife, listen to historical stories, and see amazing creatures in the wild! There are plenty of swamp tours available, which makes it a great choice for fun things to do in New Orleans. Below are some of the best on offer…
Read more about New Orleans: Is New Orleans safe for visitors?
Take a Garden District tour
One of the best fun things to do in New Orleans is to embark on a Garden District Tour. This tour brings visitors to the finest neighbourhood mansions, and even gives fun facts about each residence!
This makes my list of fun things to do in New Orleans because it’s a great way to see some of the beautiful building New Orleans is famous for.
Each Garden District tour offers something a little different, so I’ve included some of my favourite options below.
Ride one of the streetcars
Next up on my list of fun things to do in New Orleans, it’s ride a street car! Though you may be more familiar with streetcars from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, in New Orleans, you can ride the real thing!
One ride tends to be around $1.25, but you can get unlimited passes to head around the city if you wish. It’s such a great choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House
You’ll soon come to find out that absinthe is extremely popular in New Orleans, so be sure to include a visit to Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House on your list of 100 fun things to do in New Orleans.
The Old Absinthe House is one of the oldest bars in the USA at 200 years old, so it’s certainly a must-do. This is a must-do on my list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
Listen to jazz
Next up on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s listening to some jazz music. New Orleans is big on jazz, and it’s something the locals and tourists absolutely LOVE experiencing!
There are lots of ways to experience jazz in the city, you can do steamboat tours, jazz tours, cocktail tours, there are lots of options which you can see below… This is a great pick for fun things to do in New Orleans.
My next idea for things to do in New Orleans, it’s the French Market. I love this for an afternoon of shopping and wandering around.
If you’re after great shopping and dining, then look no further than the French Market. Deemed one of the best things to do in New Orleans, a visit to the French Market will see you bowled over by specialty food, live music and arts and crafts.
Another great choice for fun things to do in New Orleans.
Things to do in New Orleans: Museum of Death
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s a bit of a controversial suggestion. This won’t be everyone’s idea of a fun day out!
True to its name, the Museum of Death showcases a massive collection of serial killer murderer artwork, photos of the Manson crime scene, relics of fatal murders and more.
Though it’s one of the more macabre things to do in New Orleans, it’s certainly one of the most interesting.
Read more USA travel ideas: 50 fun things to do in St Louis
The Singing Oak
Next on our list of fun things to do in New Orleans, it’s the Singing Oak. Known as the Singing Oak or The Chime Tree, this wonderful tree is adorned with beautiful wind chimes hung by local artist Jim Hart.
Providing a shady place to relax as well as a calm atmosphere to visitors, a visit to The Singing Oak should absolutely be on your list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
Drunk History tour
Next on my list of fun things to do in New Orleans, it’s a drunk history tour! One of the most fun and unique ways to explore old New Orleans, this is such a fun tour of the city!
You’ll drink your way through one of the oldest neighbourhoods in New Orleans, and you’ll get to try loads of drinks, cocktails and craft beers – and also learns loads about the culture and history of this amazing city. This is such a fun choice for fun things to do in New Orleans!
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 Tour
Founded in 1789, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is a must-visit for those interested in New Orleans’ dearly departed which is why it makes my list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
A great hour-long tour runs with a local licensed guide that gives visitors a great overview and unparalleled opportunities to explore the grounds.
Definitely don’t miss this option for fun things to do in New Orleans, especially if you love the spooky ghost stories in the city!
Take a New Orleans food tour
Food tours are always some of my favourite fun things to do in New Orleans. A food tour is never a bad idea when you’re visiting a new area, and New Orleans has some fantastic ones to try out.
The fact is, there are so many amazing restaurants, cafes and bars in New Orleans, and it’s so much fun to join a tour and sample all the best picks!
One of my favourite food tours in the city is the Afternoon Food History tour – which is the perfect way to journey around the French Quarter whilst tasting New Orleans’ finest dishes!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in New Orleans for foodies, this is the one for you!
The Tree of Life
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the Tree of Life. Though this tree was initially named after the first mayor of New Orleans, eventually, this tree was given its more accepted name (The Tree of Life) by the locals following emancipation.
Believed to be between 100-500 years old, this sprawling tree is a wonderful testament to the area. A lovely option for this list of fun things to do in New Orleans.
Explore the French Quarter
Next up on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the French Quarter. Though we’ve briefly mentioned the French Quarter in our list of 100 things to do in New Orleans already, we thought it deserved its own section!
Whether you’re out to enjoy some live music or just want to catch a surprise Second Line Parade, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time in the famous French Quarter.
If you’re a fan of baroque architecture and stunning mansions, then you’ll need to add LaLaurie Mansion to your list of things to do in New Orleans.
With wrought iron balconies and a truly spectacular floor plan, this grand mansion is a striking part of the French Quarter that is not to be missed.
Here’s the story behind LeLaurie Mansion and why it’s so haunted, it’s definitely a must-do on this list of fun things to do in New Orleans – especially for wannabe ghost hunters.
Mardi Gras World
Next on my list of fun things to do in New Orleans, it’s Mardi Gras World. Though it may sound a bit like an amusement park, Mardi Gras World is actually the workshop in which the floats get made for the annual New Orleans Mardi Gras!
Read more about visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras: 14 things to do during Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Providing year-round tours to visitors, you’ll be able to see the fantastic costumes and floats in progress.
You can book tickets by clicking below…
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Next up on our list of things to do in New Orleans, its the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Another fantastic choice for things to do in New Orleans that’s tucked away in the famous French Quarter is the Pharmacy Museum.
Showcasing an extensive collection of apothecary jars, medical instruments, surgical tools, and more, it’s a fascinating insight into the history of pharmacy.
Established in 1833, Lafayette Cemetery is the oldest of the city-owned cemeteries in New Orleans. As there are over 7,000 people buried here, it’s one of the largest places to pay your respects to generations past.
The Gates of Guinee
Another fantastic choice for things to do in New Orleans for fans of all things voodoo is to pay a visit to the Gates of Guinee.
According to voodoo teachings, the souls of the dead reside in a sector of the underworld known as Guinee, which is a plane through which spirits must pass through before being united with their ancestors. Spooky!
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s one of the city’s oldest locations. Built sometime between 1722 and 1732, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is one of New Orleans’ oldest fixtures!
Previously used by privateers Jean and Pierre Lafitte as a cover for their illegal smuggling trade, it’s an interesting historical spot that is more than worth a visit.
Séance Room at Muriel’s Jackson Square
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the Seance room at Muriel’s. As you may have already noticed, New Orleans is somewhat of a hotspot for paranormal activity.
Should you wish to grab a bite to eat whilst indulging in some voodoo activity, be sure to pay the Séance Room a visit.
Said to be a great place to dine amongst the spirits, it’s worth a go if you’re wanting to make a worthwhile connection with the recently departed.
There are no guarantees of course… Definitely make sure you add this choice for things to do in New Orleans to your list!
Next on our list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Abandoned Jazzland. Though this place isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s certainly an interesting part of New Orleans’ history.
A reminder of the wrath of Katrina in 2005, this reminder of the Six Flags amusement park is a ghostly wonderland that drives home the horror of one of the world’s worst hurricane disasters.
The Luling Mansion
Though now a neglected shadow of its former self, this grand mansion built for the famous cotton merchant Florence Luling is a must-visit for those interested in New Orleans’ past.
One of the grandest buildings in the city that’s hidden away in the Esplanade, it’s a must-visit if you’ve got the time. Another great option for things to do in New Orleans.
Another cemetery that we felt deserved a place on our list of things to do in New Orleans is the Metairie Cemetery. Originally home to the Metairie horse races, this cemetery is now the final resting place of some of New Orleans’ finest.
French Quarter Ghost Tour
If you’ve not already been sufficiently spooked by the voodoo and cemeteries on our list, then why not embark on a haunted ghost tour? There are plenty to choose from in the city and it’s definitely one of the best things to do in New Orleans hands down.
With real ghost stories and trips to haunted locations, it’s a spooky thing to do in New Orleans that’s guaranteed to be spine-tingling!
Nicholas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb
OK, here’s one of the weirdest things to do in New Orleans. Though a strange thing to do in New Orleans, a visit to Nicholas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb should probably be on your list!
Though it’s literally just an odd pyramid mausoleum that he purchased, it’s testament to the actor’s eccentricity.
Things to do in New Orleans: Storyville
Next up for things to do in New Orleans, it’s Storyville. Acting as the red-light district of New Orleans from 1897 to 1917, this little slice of history is well worth a visit.
Though Storyville is no longer reserved for dark deeds, it’s an awesome place to visit for history buffs that wish to know more about the downfall of New Orleans’ prostitution trade.
Next up on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Napoleon House. Though originally built in 1797 as the home of the city’s mayor, this grand home earned its name due to a strange plot from the 1820s.
During these years, there were plans to spring Napoleon Bonaparte from exile in Saint Helena to live on the first floor of this building! This is a great choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Ruins of Fort Macomb
Fort Macomb is next on my list of things to do in New Orleans. Built in 1822 as part of the “third system” seacoast defence plan enacted in the wake of the War of 1812, Fort Macomb is one of the most visited ruins in the area.
Just one of 42 forts that were constructed at the time, it’s a great slice of southern history that should not be missed.
Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation next on my list of things to do in New Orleans. It is a historic plantation located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, in the community of Vacherie.
It’s located a short distance from the centre of New Orleans, and has also been the filming location for many well known movies and music videos, including:
- Midnight Bayou.
- Ghost Hunters.
- Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu” Music Video and “B’Day” CD insert photos.
- Dixie: Changing Habits.
Saint Roch Chapel
Up next for things to do in New Orleans, it’s Saint Roch Chapel. With yellow fever raging across the gulf coast from 1817, many sought shelter from its scourge.
As a result, the Saint Roch Chapel was a haven for many, with Reverend Peter Thevis dedicating his prayers in this area to Saint Roch, the Patron Saint of Good Health!
Tomb of the Unknown Slave
One of the most sombre sights in New Orleans is the Tomb of the Unknown Slave.
Made from thick chains that represent the shackles of those sold into the slave trade, this tribute is a must-visit for those looking to expand their knowledge of one of the darkest periods in American history.
The Sazerac Bar
The Sazerac Cocktail was the very first official cocktail created, and the famous art deco Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel aims to honour this historic milestone.
Serving up this delicious cocktail amongst others, it’s the perfect place to visit for a tipple with a tale. This is one of the best things to do in New Orleans for cocktail lovers!
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Fort Pike. Originally built to defend the city of New Orleans from invasion by Sea, Fort Pike is another important section of the country’s “third system” of defence.
Another great place for history buffs to visit in the area, it’s a military marvel that still stands strong.
Museum of the American Cocktail
If a visit to the Sazerac Bar wasn’t enough to satisfy your cocktail curiosities, then a visit to the Museum of the American Cocktail must be one of the best things to do in New Orleans as a follow-up.
Detailing the creation of the Sazerac as well as further details of this famous drink, it’s a great place to learn about New Orleans’ boozy past. A perfect option for things to do in New Orleans for those who love a cocktail or two!
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Fort Proctor! Another great choice for people who love history.
Located in St. Bernard Parish, Fort Proctor dates all the way back to the early 1800s. Intended to be part of the fortifications that protected water routes towards New Orleans, it’s another interesting place to visit for a taste of the area’s military history. This is one of the best things to do in New Orleans for history buffs!
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
This small museum has been inviting visitors to enjoy the fantastical nature of the occult since 1972.
Housing a bunch of interesting objects and artefacts relating to voodoo (including a kneeling bench that once belonged to Marie Laveau), this place is a must-visit for those looking to experience New Orleans’ dark side. Another great (and very unique) choice for things to do in New Orleans.
The Secret Room at M.S Rau Antiques
If you’re a fine art collector, you may already be aware of the Secret Room at M.S Rau Antiques. One of the finest things to do in New Orleans for those that love to find hidden treasures, you’re sure to leave this trove with a newfound appreciation for rare artefacts and museum-calibre art.
This is a great option for things to do in New Orleans!
Don’t forget to book a hotel!
If you’re visiting New Orleans soon, don’t forget to book a great hotel! You can use the map below to easily search for the best hotels in New Orleans. Booking a central hotel in New Orleans means you’ll be located perfectly for all these great things to do in New Orleans!
National World War II Museum
If you’re interested in history, then this next suggestion on my list of things to do in New Orleans will be right up your street.
This world-class museum is a fantastic place to gain insight into World War II, and this famous museum is actually the official WWII museum of the USA! With 5 soaring pavilions that are home to historical exhibits, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in New Orleans.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Boarding House
Known as the place where the beloved author got their start, this house of courtship is well worth a visit if you’re in New Orleans. This is quite a unique choice for things to do in New Orleans, and it might not be one of the busiest attractions, but it is interesting!
The New Orleans Train Garden
If you’re a train fan, then we’ve sourced one of the best things to do in New Orleans! Located within City Park’s Botanical Garden, it’s home to almost a quarter mile of scale streetcars and freight trains that will delight any train lover!
Next on out list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the Eiffel Society. Though you may have paid a visit to the famous French landmark, you may not be as familiar with the Eiffel Society.
Now a versatile events venue in the city, it’s built from pieces of a restaurant that was initially in the original Eiffel Tower. Cool, huh?
This is a great option for things to do in New Orleans, as it includes great food, and also a little slice of history too!
Backstreet Cultural Museum
The Backstreet Cultural Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of African American community-based masking and processional traditions.
Containing filmed records of over 500 events as well as a host of great permanent exhibits, it’s an amazing thing to do in New Orleans that both educates and dazzles.
Honey Island Swamp
Next up on this list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Honey Island Swamp. New Orleans is home to many an old-wives tale, and one of these is the existence of the Honey Island Swamp Monster.
This creature is supposedly the offspring of circus chimps that mated with local alligators and now resides in the Honey Island Swamp.
Though we’re sceptical, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the famous beast in the local area… and if you don’t spot him, then looking around the swamp is still a great option for things to do in New Orleans.
Labyrinth at Audubon Park
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Labyrinth at Audubon Park was laid to bring calm to the people of New Orleans.
An area that was somehow spared the worst of the storm’s flooding despite its location, it remains a tranquil reminder of the hope of the Southern people.
Experience New Orleans nightlife
How could I write a list about the best things to do in New Orleans, and not mention the nightlife?
The nightlife is New Orleans is really unlike no other! If you can, make time for one ‘night on the town’ and explore the bars and clubs that New Orleans has to offer! One of the main hubs for this in New Orleans is Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.
Doullut Steamboat Houses
The Doullot Steamboat Houses located just downriver from the French Quarter are some of New Orleans’ most interesting architectural showpieces, which makes them a fascinating option on this list of things to do in New Orleans.
Built in 1905 and 1913 by a steamboat captain, these interesting houses were made to look just like steamboats and are well worth a looksee for the sheer uniqueness of the architecture! This is a classic choice for things to do in New Orleans.
General Laundry Building
Next on this list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the General Laundry Building. Built in the 1930s, this amazing building that’s steeped in the Art Deco style is a fantastic place to visit in New Orleans. During its prime, this laundromat even hosted fashion shows and served champagne!
Musical Legends Park
As we’ve already mentioned, New Orleans is lauded for its amazing music and jazz scene. The small Musical Legends Park is an excellent place to pay tribute to the great musical heritage of New Orleans and paying it a visit is absolutely one of the best things to do in New Orleans!
Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo
Another Marie Laveau based thing to do in New Orleans is a visit to Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.
With many bizarre voodoo-related items on display including voodoo altars, spiritual items and more, it’s an incredibly interesting look at New Orleans’ voodoo past. If you’re looking for really interesting things to do in New Orleans, this is it!
With many believing her ghost haunts the halls of the house, it’s a spooky way to experience the city.
Do a city bike tour
Next on this list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s a city bike tour! Exploring the city on a bike is a great way to see the sights, especially if you do it using a tour!
You’ll set off from the historic core of the city, trace the city’s expansion into its surrounding bayous, and check off lots of amazing attractions and sights.
Royal Street is just packed with picture-perfect houses with wrought-iron balconies. If you’ve got a spare couple of hours, why not check out the amazing street buskers and restaurants in this pedestrianised area?
This makes my list of the top things to do in New Orleans because it’s so scenic and beautiful, and well worth some instagram-snaps.
Louisiana’s Civil War Museum
This Civil War Museum is the oldest operating museum in the state of Louisiana. Amongst the relics are weapons, uniforms, flags, portraits and more that showcase the trials and tribulations of the deadly American Civil War.
If you’re interested in the history of the famous struggle between the North and South, then this place will probably interest you. This is a great choice of things to do in New Orleans, especially for history lovers.
Music Box Village
The Music Box Village is in New Orleans’ Bywater neighbourhood, and perfectly captures the area’s dedication to all things musical.
With interactive “music houses” that play harmonies all day long, this sculpture garden the perfect spot to visit for those that have a creative side.
Faulkner House Books
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s something for the literary lovers! Faulkner House Books is One of the most charming bookstores in New Orleans.
If you’re a fan of William Faulkner, then be sure to check this place out as you’ll be able to sneak a peak at the space in which William Faulkner lived whilst in the city!
New Orleans Jazz Museum
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the New Orleans Jazz Museum. New Orleans is well known for its jazz history, so what better way to celebrate this fantastic genre of music than a visit to the New Orleans Jazz Museum?
One of the best things to do in New Orleans for those that adore music for obvious reasons, this is not to be missed.
House of Dance and Feathers
A visit to The House of Dance and Feathers is an excellent thing to do if you love the culture of Mardi Gras.
With some great information available to visitors regarding the culture of Mardi Gras Indians, Skull & Bone Gangs and more, it’s the perfect place to educate yourself further on New Orleans’ traditions, which makes it a great choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
One of the best things to do in New Orleans if you’re around at the right time is to attend the annual literary arts festival partially devoted to Tennessee Williams. A great celebration in the French Quarter that celebrates all things literary, it’s a fabulous way in which to feel inspired.
The Faerie Playhouse
Known as the secret site of many organised meetings of the LGBT civil rights movement during the late 20th and early 21st century, the Faerie Playhouse is a crucial spot in which to understand the struggle for equality in the U.S.
If you’ve got time, be sure to check out the garden behind the home, as it is the final resting place of many significant leaders from the movement. Another fantastic place to visit and one of the top things to do in New Orleans.
La Belle Nouvelle Orleans Antiques
If you’re a fan of antiques, then be sure to head down to La Belle Nouvelle Orleans Antique. Packed with relics, ancient medical goods, and portraits of jazz singers, it’s a weird and wonderful way to spend an afternoon!
This is a great choice for things to do in New Orleans, especially if you love treasure hunting!
Though we’ve already mentioned a bunch of cemeteries on our list of things to do in New Orleans, we felt that Holt Cemetery deserved a place on our list.
Despite a high-water table being present here, 99% of the dead here are actually buried below ground, so it’s a super interesting place to visit if you’ve got the time!
The Oldest Fire Hydrant in New Orleans
OK, a slightly weird suggestion on this list of things to do in New Orleans. Though you may miss this one if you’re not keeping an eye out, the Oldest Fire Hydrant in New Orleans is a must-see whilst you’re here.
This oxidised fire hydrant was installed in 1869 and bears the date of a patent that revolutionised firefighting!
Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Dooky Chase! In the 1940s, black workers in New Orleans had limited places in which to cash their checks. Dooky Chase’s is famous for being one of the few businesses to cash customers’ weekly wages.
One of the first establishments to properly welcome African Americans, it’s a historical spot that’s well worth a visit.
BMike Studio Be
Artist “BMike” is well-known for transforming abandoned spaces into beautiful pieces of art. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, numerous artists (including BMike) transformed areas of the city w ith murals that aimed to restore hope to the area.
Exhibit Be is the best example of this and includes a great number of murals across a 360-unit apartment complex. Another great choice for .things to do in New Orleans.
Edgar Degas House
Next up on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Edgar Degas House.
Though the famous Impressionist Edgar Degas was born in France, he actually spent a period of five months in New Orleans at the Creole estate of his mother’s family! So, if you’re a Degas fan, be sure to pay his home a visit.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
Known as the longest bridge over water in the 1969 Guinness Book of World Records, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is a 24-mile bridge that runs across the south.
Though a rival claim in 2011 was put in by China, it remains the largest over-water bridge in the world and a drive across it is absolutely one of the things you should do in New Orleans if you are able to. It’s beautiful and certainly one of the top things to do in New Orleans whilst you’re there!
The Cats of Jackson Square
Though by day Jackson Square is a reasonably normal town square, by night, you may just catch a throng of cats strolling through the area! Keep your eyes peeled, as this one’s certainly more than just a rumour…
This is such a unique option for things to do in New Orleans.
Serving since 1840, Antoine’s Restaurant is home to New Orleans’ best French-Creole cuisine. Whether you fancy classic favourites or some unique family dishes, look no further than the French Quarter for your food fix.
New Orleans has a big french influence, so trying out some of the top french food has to make the list for things to do in New Orleans.
Ignatius J. Reilly Statue
If you’re a fan of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, then you’ll want to check out the statue of Ignatius J. Reilley that stands in the streets of New Orleans. In the novel, Reilly bumbles around New Orleans and experiences the best of the local scenery. This is another historic choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Whitney Plantation Tour
For a personal look into the lives of slaves and their owners during the 1800s, be sure to check out this Whitney Plantation Tour.
As the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery, it’s the perfect place to gain a unique perspective on the enslaved people that lived and worked in New Orleans.
Crescent City Cat Club
If you’re a cat lover, then a visit to the Crescent City Cat Club will definitely be one of the best things to do in New Orleans for you.
The Crescent City Cat Club is a non-profit that works with local rescues to provide shelter for cats and kittens. So, why not hang out with some kitties in New Orleans?
Old Egyptian Courthouse
Next on this list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s the Old Egyptian Courthouse. Built in 1834, this original courthouse and prison is an amazing example of the Egyptian Revival trend that gained significant traction in the 19th century. So, architecture buffs unite and be sure to pay this place a visit!
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Congo Square. Just a short walk from the French Quarter is the unassuming Congo Square.
One of the most important places in the history of music, the square itself is a testament to the desire to be free and should absolutely make it onto your to-do list.
The Birthplace of Dixie Plaque
Though it’s difficult to spot, New Orleans is actually home to the phrase “Dixie” that we now associate with the south! If you’d like to learn more, be sure to keep an eye out for the plaque that lies where the Citizens State Bank once stood.
According to locals, this bank issued its own $10 notes that had the word Dix printed on them. Southerners then started calling these notes Dixies!
Fisherman’s Castle on the Irish Bayou
Next on this list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Fisherman’s Castle! This place was designed to withstand the most extreme weather conditions and managed to survive both Hurricane Katrina and Isaac.
Constructed in 1981, this tiny castle is a lovely tribute to medieval décor in bustling New Orleans.
Located only five miles from the city centre, Lakefront Airport was intended to be the region’s primary airfield in the 20th century. If you’re a film buff, you may notice that it was featured in the film Green Lantern, so be sure to bring a camera along for some great snaps.
It also makes my list of things to do in New Orleans, because it’s such a beautiful art deco building.
Standing 80 feet above the city is the Moriarty monument. One of the finest things to see in New Orleans for visitors due to its sheer size, this amazing memorial is well worth a look!Another great choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Street Name Tiles of New Orleans
New Orleans used to forgo street signs for simple ceramic tiles in the mid-1880s. Though most have been replaced, these iconic blue and white tiles can still be spotted in older sections of the city, and tile spotting remains one of the best things to do in New Orleans for keen eyes!
This is a cute little activity you can do during your time in New Orleans, keeping your eyes out for them during your trip!
Though it’s an abandoned building, the Plaza Tower is the third tallest building in all of Louisiana! If you fancy gazing upon its grandeur, be sure to pay it a visit.
Café Lafitte in Exile
Next on my list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s Cafe Lafitte. One of the finest gay bars in existence is the Café Lafitte in Exile, and we highly recommend paying it a visit. Having garnered a reputation since its opening in 1933, it’s an amazing place to grab a drink amongst friendly famous ghosts that still walk the halls.
Louis Armstrong Park
If you fancy a leisurely stroll, then Louis Armstrong Park is a lovely option for things to do in New Orleans. Though not initially named this, Louis Armstrong Park was a gathering point back in the 1800s for slaves that wished to partake in African dance and music.
Amongst the monuments here is a 3.6 metre statue of Louis Armstrong which is certainly a standout feature of New Orleans. A great choice for things to do in New Orleans outdoors!
Next up on this list of , things to do in New Orleans, it’s Bacchanal Wine. If you want to try some amazing wines whilst relaxing with some live music, then look no further than Bacchanal Wine at 600 Poland Avenue.
With more wine than you could ever drink and some excellent cheese accompaniments on offer, this is the perfect spot to wile away the hours.
The Rosegate House
Once owned by author Anne Rice, The Rosegate House served as a setting for many of her famous witchcraft sagas. The epitome of the grandeur of the “Old South”, this manor is certainly worth a visit whilst you’re in New Orleans! A great choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Odd Fellows Rest
If you’re looking for a glimpse into New Orleans’ secret societies, look no further than Odd Fellow’s Rest.
This crumbling New Orleans cemetery is the final resting place for members of the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which just so happened to be one of the largest fraternal organisations in the country at the time. Another interesting choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Jackson Square is next on my list of things to do in New Orleans. It is just in from the Mississippi riverbank, and is a stunning place to wile away an afternoon.
A historic park in the French Quarter, it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, so has been extremely well preserved.
With jazz and blues blaring from numerous spots on Frenchman Street, it’s the perfect place to catch some amazing live music.
Acknowledged as one of the best tourist spots in the city, it’s the perfect place to indulge in what makes New Orleans tick without feeling overwhelmed. A great place to explore, so it had to make my list of things to do in New Orleans.
Next on this list of things to do in New Orleans, it’s City Park! With handsome conservatories, desert plants, mountain species and more, City Park is home to some of the best flora in New Orleans. This is a great place to spend time in New Orleans on a sunny day!
Yes, New Orleans has a zoo, and it’s next up on my list of things to do in New Orleans. Whether you’re interested in elephants, orangutangs, lions, tigers, or giraffes, you’ll find them here!
With New Orleans’ humid climate creating the perfect atmosphere for the animals, a visit to Audubon’s zoo remains one of the best things to do in New Orleans for families.
If you love a spontaneous parade, then keep an eye out for New Orleans’ famous Second Lines. Usually starting out of nowhere throughout the city, the Second Lines are a testament to the Tremé where the custom began.
Café du Monde
Open 24/7, Café du Monde is a famous coffee shop that opened way back in 1862. One of the best things to do in New Orleans for those that love to feel local, we recommend ordered a beignet and coffee at this quaint spot!
This place is so cute (just look at that decor!) so it definitely makes my list of things to do in New Orleans.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
If you’re in the city at the right time, then this is a must-do on my list of things to do in New Orleans. Running at the end of April and the start of May, this world-famous event sees more than 500,000 revellers each year.
Celebrating the music and heritage of New Orleans with jazz, gospel, blues and more, it’s a fantastic way to let loose in the south!
St Louis Cathedral
The oldest active Catholic church in the US stands in Jackson Square and is dedicated to Louis IX of France. Reconstructed in 1850, this stunning building is well worth a visit both for its architecture and historical significance. How beautiful is this cathedral? It has to make your list of things to do in New Orleans.
St Louis cemetery tour
As well as visiting the cathedral, I also recommend booking the St Louis cemetery tour. Marvel at the centuries-old above-ground tombs (that are really unique to New Orleans) and hear about voodoo religion. You’ll also visit the future tomb of Nicolas Cage!
If you’re not sure which jazz joint to head to in the French Quarter, then look no further than Preservation Hall.
A traditional jazz venue that has a massive house band, you’re sure to have a rip-roaring good time here! With concerts on 350 nights of the year, it’s unlikely that you’ll miss out.
New Orleans Museum of Art
For art lovers, this next suggestion of things to do in New Orleans is going to tick your boxes. Housing over 40,000 pieces of art, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is one of the best places to see French and Italian Renaissance pieces in the US.
We reckon that this is one of the best things to do in New Orleans for art aficionados, so be sure to book in!
New Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
If you’ve not had your fill of art at NOMA, be sure to check out the New Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. With some amazing works by modern artists, it’s a stunning way to spend your afternoon.
Another one of New Orleans’ famous plantations is the Laura Plantation. One of New Orleans’ largest sugar plantations back in the day, this spot was home to 69 slave cabins and an infirmary.
An excellent permanent exhibition goes into depth on African American slavery and is one of the best things to do in New Orleans for those that are looking to expand their knowledge of the slave trade.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has a cracking exhibit that holds stingrays, sharks and sea turtles!
With various showrooms that mimic habitats from across the Americas, it’s a unique day out for the family that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s a great choice for things to do in New Orleans.
Things to do in New Orleans: Superdome
If you’re a fan of the New Orleans Saints, then be sure to take a trip to the Superdome! With a diameter of 210 metres, this is the largest domed structure in the world. Wow!
Even if you’re not an NFL fan, it’s worth booking tickets for a game and experiencing the atmosphere and energy! Definitely a fun option for things to do in New Orleans.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Located near the National World War II Museum is the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Housing a variety of genres from abstract to landscapes, it’s the perfect way to widen your artistic horizons whilst educating yourself on the south.
Old New Orleans Rum Distillery
The oldest premium rum distillery in the U.S. is actually located in New Orleans, and a visit to this place is actually one of the most popular things to do in New Orleans!
Located inside a 150-year-old cotton warehouse, this run distillery offers some truly delicious rum and cocktails- so drink up!
Canal Street/Algiers Ferry
The final thing on our list of things to do in New Orleans is a trip on the Algiers Ferry. Though it’s not a cheap way to see the city, a trip across the water from Algiers Point is a fantastic way to see the area.
Ferries tend to depart on the hour starting at 6am, so there are plenty of opportunities to head aboard!
Don’t forget to book a hotel!
If you’re visiting New Orleans soon, don’t forget to book a great hotel! You can use the map below to easily search for the best hotels in New Orleans. Booking a central hotel in New Orleans means you’ll be located perfectly for all these great things to do in New Orleans!
I hope this ultimate list of things to do in New Orleans has been helpful!
There’s so much to do in New Orleans (so much, I lost count!). Hopefully this list of things to do in New Orleans has been helpful and given you loads of ideas and inspiration for your trip!