Known as the Big Easy, New Orleans is one of the most beautiful places you could ever visit in the United States.
The city is famous for its beauty, rich culture, and history.
New Orleans has so many exciting destinations to check out. You can always find tourist attractions left and right.
One easily feels overwhelmed, especially when figuring out what to do.
I am here to help. I am putting together a list of places you could visit in New Orleans. And what is more interesting is that these places need no cars for you to drive.
All you have to do is walk. And if it is a little far, you can always ride the tram on your way to the site.
Let’s get started!
1. Frenchmen Street
For starters, you should know that Frenchmen Street is not one street alone.
It is a stretch of road that spans three blocks. The location is in the famous Faubourg Marigny in New Orleans.
Frenchmen Street is famous for being the perfect destination for music lovers. Its unofficial status is the most excellent location in the city for live music.
Stroll through the street and see the sights of cultural shops and charming old-fashioned cottages. This street gives you all the fun of a tourist destination with a smaller crowd.
The street is famous for its live music locations. Almost every corner has something good to offer.
Blues and jazz are playing around. But aside from these genres, there will always be more playing somewhere else.
Experience the authentic culture of New Orleans. You can do this by visiting Frenchmen Street.
2. The Garden District
Long ago, wealthy Americans never wanted to live in the French Quarter with the Creoles.
It led to the birth of the Garden District.
The building of the location began in the mid-1830s.
The district’s standard architectural designs were the theatrical Italianate and Greek Revival structures.
Most of the time, the paint is bright white. The mansions usually sport two tiers of galleries.
Strolling the district, one would often find bougainvillea creeping up the many facades of the mansions. The front gardens sprout with jasmine, banana trees, and magnolias. The sidewalks were in the shade of the magnificent oaks.
The most notable of these mansions are the antebellum mansions like the Goldsmith-Godchaux House. You can find the house at 1122 Jackson Avenue.
The famous Commander’s Palace at 1403 Washington Avenue is another destination. It is a Creole restaurant that dates back to 1893 and sits in a fine turreted building adorned with blue and white awnings.
3. The Music of New Orleans
As I previously mentioned, you can find live music everywhere in New Orleans.
You can hear it on the streets, parks, bars, and restaurants. You can listen to music everywhere.
Aside from the Frenchmen Street, which I discussed earlier, there are also great places to listen to New Orleans Music.
Check out the Smoothie King Center. You can also go to the House of Blues or The Fillmore.
These places play jazz, blues, and many more.
You could also schedule your visit during the New Orleans Music and Arts Tour.
The events usually happen on Fridays and Saturdays.
4. New Orleans Museum of Art
Art lovers, check out the New Orleans Museum of Art!
People call the palace NOMA for short.
Situated in the City Park, the museum boasts of the beautiful and historically rich artworks of New Orleans.
The museum opened in 1912. Isaac Delgado, an art collector and a sugar broker paved the way for the museum’s opening.
When he left the city, he left a large financial grant for the people to build the museum.
These days, NOMA is a museum that houses an extensive art collection.
The art collection includes those from the Italian Renaissance to the present-day contemporary works. Today, more than 40,000 artworks are on display here.
Most of the artworks date back to the 19th or 20th century. The paintings are primarily from famous French artists like Monet, Braque, Rodin, and Renoir.
You can find a huge collection of African American artworks from different eras here. There is an American collection, some exhibits of ceramics from Japan, and several recent works by Bob Dylan, Carlos Colon, and many more.
In summary, if you love art, you will enjoy NOMA.
It is one of the best places to visit when in New Orleans.
5. Jackson Square
It was first laid out in the 1720s, inspired by the style of the Place des Vosges in Paris.
Jackson Square was once a military parade ground.
Long after the battle of New Orleans in 1815, the plaza changed names to honor General Andrew Jackson. Later on, he became the seventh president of the United States and led the nation from 1829 to 1837.
At the center of the garden is a statue of Jackson designed by a famous sculptor, Clark Mills.
You can find Jackson Square right on the Mississippi Riverbank.
You can quickly get lost track of time within the vicinity as you explore restaurants, galleries, and shops. Artists swarm the square as they try to sell their wares to tourists.
You can also commission these artists to produce portraits of you in the shortest time imaginable.
6. The New Orleans Swamps
The city of New Orleans is beside the Mississippi Delta. It only means that swamps and marshlands surround the town.
One of the unique experiences you can do when in New Orleans is going on swamp tours. There are swamp and airboat tours that you can take. These tours ply the local rivers searching for waterfowl, alligators, and wild boars.
Most of the swamp tours take about 30 to 45 minutes. The starting point is always at the French Quarter, another famous destination in the city.
7. New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is the perfect place to visit if your interests lie in the city’s rich culture.
The museum is all about the city’s lengthy history. It tells the intricacies of voodoo’s mysterious and misunderstood religious and cultural practice.
Visiting the museum is a popular portion of any tourist’s itinerary when visiting New Orleans. And this is for a good reason. It is because voodoo played a significant role in the history of New Orleans.
The practice of voodoo also gave New Orleans a different character. It is a unique character you can never find in any other city.
It was Charles Massicot Gandolfo who founded the museum in 1972. His passion was in the practice of voodoo. This passion was the main reason why he created the museum. It was for him to share his love for voodoo with the visitors.
The focus of his museum is heavy on the local practice of voodoo. The slave trade introduced the practice to the city in the 1700s.
Within these walls, you will find fascinating items. There are different kinds of displays related to voodoo available for everyone to see.
There are antique dolls used for voodoo practice. A kneeling bench belongs to Maria Leaveau, the lady known as the Queen of Voodoo in New Orleans. Aside from these displays, you will also find talismans, taxidermy, and many more.
Of course, while in the museum, you can also buy items to bring back home. Items like snake skins, candles, potions, and books are available as souvenirs.
And before I forget, I should tell you about the most exciting part of the museum.
There is a room here where you can go to have your fortune told.
Would you dare?
8. City Park
City Park is the sixth-largest urban park in the country.
It is on a swampland that the French colonists drained in the early 19th century.
Before, the place had a different name. Locals called it the Dueling Oaks, as it is where men would come to settle their disputes away from the eyes of the city residents.
The landscape of the park dates back to the 1850s. The park holds the record for the most extensive collection of mature oaks on the planet.
Some of these oaks are more than 600 years old.
Of course, these oaks drip with Spanish moss, giving them a more Louisiana flavor. These magnificent oaks are excellent sources of shade that benefit joggers, cyclers, and picnic goers.
Within the premises are two other attractions.
You can walk to the New Orleans Museum of Art from the park. The Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is also nearby.
A few minutes away is the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
The garden boasts tropical rainforest species, desert plants, and many prehistoric plants. There are also mountain species and orchids here.
Plus, there is a miniature train that travels on a two-mile track. There is also an opportunity for you to rent bikes and pedal boats here.
9. Saenger Theater
Unknown to all, New Orleans also has a lively theater scene.
You can always expect at least one famous musical or theatrical production available per month. Sometimes, there could even be more.
One of the most popular destinations for theater is the Saenger Theater.
The theater always hosts many different shows most months of the year.
But aside from the Saenger Theater, more theaters in New Orleans show musicals and stage plays.
You can also check out the Mahalia Jackson Theater or the Joy Theater.
10. St. Louis Cathedral
A popular tourist site in New Orleans is the St. Louis Cathedral. And this is for a good reason.
The reason is obvious. The cathedral is the country’s longest-running active church in the Roman Catholic religion.
Its history goes back to 1789.
Over the centuries, some different reconstructions and renovations happened. With its Spanish Colonial architecture, the St. Louis Cathedral that you see now is the product of a renovation that occurred in 1850.
I enjoyed the appearance of the St. Louis Cathedral, and I am sure you would too. I especially like its stunning symmetry.
The cathedral has window pediments, spires, and Doric columns. There are also scallop moldings that create a dramatic and magnificent structure.
Upon entering, be sure to check out the Rococo altar. It has gilded and embellished fineries amidst a background of many stained glass windows in astonishing detail.
11. Royal Street
Across Bourbon Street and passing through the French quarter is Royal Street. The street, compared to the others, is quieter.
What attracted me to the street was its postcard-worthy scene. It has Creole townhouses complete with decorative wrought-iron balconies.
Most of the homes here are private homes. But on several ground floors, there are boutiques, galleries, cafes, and more.
There are also antique shops and artist studios here.
When you have the chance, try to take a glimpse inside. By doing so, you will get an eyeful of the decors of the period.
Of course, there will always be music because you are in New Orleans.
There are street buskers, bars, and restaurants everywhere.
The three blocks that go through St. Louis and St. Ann Streets are usually closed to traffic. They turn into pedestrian zones every day from noontime to around four in the afternoon.
And so, when visiting, take note of the time.
This window should be the perfect time for you to appreciate the beautiful architecture. It is also the ideal opportunity to listen to some live music on the street.
One of the famous landmarks of New Orleans is the Hotel Monteleone. You can also find the landmark on Royal Street.
12. New Orleans Plantations
As you already know, New Orleans is a city with many plantations.
In fact, out of the many cities in the United States, New Orleans is the perfect place to start venturing and discovering the well-preserved plantation estates.
Visiting these plantations allows you to learn about the mansions and the people that lived there. You can come by yourself or go on guided tours.
Most of these plantations are accessible by bus from downtown New Orleans.
A visit includes guided tours of the mansions and the grounds. You will also visit the slave dwellings.
If you want, you can even spend the night here.
When in New Orleans, do not make the mistake of confining yourself to one destination only. Most of the time, tourists stay and lounge in the French Quarter.
The French Quarter is beautiful. But New Orleans is more than the French Quarter alone.
The French Quarter alone has museums, restaurants, and live music. It would be easier to spend many days exploring the place. But if you do, you will be missing a lot.
New Orleans has several legendary neighborhoods, bars, restaurants, swamps, plantations, etc.
Why would you limit yourself to one corner of the city?
Have you been to New Orleans?
Tell me about your favorite place.
We can add it to our list.