Things To Do In New Orleans PART UN

Monday, November 12, 2018

1.  Go During Halloween

Aside from Mardi Gras, which can be a bit of a culture shock, Halloween is another great time to be a tourist in New Orleans. For first time visitors, the whole month of October is when New Orleans’ rich haunted history and culture is at its best.  Known as “The Most Haunted City in America”,  New Orleans is where you’ll really feel that Halloween is a holiday.  Not only is the weather mostly perfect,  but there are so many fun Halloween activities that both kids and adults can enjoy.  Locals fill their front yard with decorations that can rival some haunted houses.  Music festivals (like the Voodoo Festival) and Halloween parades (like the Krewe of Boo) are just some of the events that tourists can partake in!

2.  Visit Jackson Square

One of New Orleans most iconic and instagramable spots is Jackson Square.  It’s a small park between Decatur Street and St Louis Cathedral.  You’ll find plenty of street performers like jazz musicians, dancers, and magicians. 
If you want further proof that you were in New Orleans, you definitely have to snap a photo in front of the St Louis Cathedral.  I recommend going as early as possible because crowds of tourists gather in front of the church making it difficult to get descent photo.  If you’re catholic, and if time permits it, why not go ahead and attend mass?  We conveniently arrived at the cathedral 5 minutes before mass, so my Buddhist boyfriend randomly thought “do as the romans do, I guess”.  Lol.

 3. Eat a Beignet

You can actually do this on the same day you visit Jackson square.  Cafe du Monde is a renowned open air coffee shop on Decatur Street.  It’s a landmark and a tourist destination where they serve their famous beignets and cafe au lait. Beignets are basically square fried dough covered in powdered sugar, and cafe au lait, translated in English, is just coffee with milk.  Cafe Du Monde only serves beignets; there are other choices for drinks, but coffee is the best pairing for the beignets.   From what I remember one order, which comes with 3 huge beignets, is only $3.00!  Keep in mind that it’s CASH ONLY, so be prepared and go to an ATM.  Almost every cafe and restaurant in New Orleans have beignets, so if the long wait lines in Cafe Du Monde seems daunting, you can still get your beignet fix at other shops like Cafe Beignet. 

 4.  Explore the French Quarter

The French Quarter is New Orleans’ tourist hub.  Here is where you’ll find  those beautiful, historic, corner buildings and cottages with cast iron balconies brought by the French, Spanish, and Creole era.  The French Quarter is known for its vibrant night life, but in the daylight, you can easily spend hours walking in and out of cute vintage shops, boutiques, and art galleries.  There is also a plethora of restaurants and bars to try!
For pop culture fans, like moi, there are so many points of interests from shows like The Originals and American Horror Story.  You can even take a Vampire tour where the guides will point out all the shooting locations of The Originals in the city.  We chose to go off on our own without a tour guide, and we ended up at Madame LaLaurie’s mansion from American Horror Story and from real life! 

It was super windy!

Madame Lalaurie's Mansion

5. Spend Nightlife In Bourbon Street or Frenchmen Street

I’m not really one to take part in nightlife activities, but NOLA’s nightlife is a tourist destination of itself.  Located in the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is most known for bars and strip clubs spanning 13 blocks.  Local open container laws allow drinking in the quarter, so don’t be surprised when you see people walking around with giant containers full of mixed drinks.  It’s definitely tourist heavy and has a bit of a “grimy” feel, but you have to experience walking down Bourbon Street at least once. 
I really wanted to go to Frenchmen Street, but time just did not permit it.  One of our Uber drivers said that Frenchmen Street is what Bourbon Street was like before tourism started booming in New Orleans.  Locals recommend it for the amazing live music such as jazz, blues, reggae, and Latin.  I didn’t know it at the time, but it’s apparently just walking distance away from Bourbon Street.

It's bigger than my face!!!

6. Listen to Some Live Music

There are several places in New Orleans where you can listen to the best live music that the city has to offer.  Because we spent a while in the French quarter, we decided to go ahead cross off this portion of our NOLA tourist list in Bourbon Street.  Almost every inch of Bourbon Street is booming with loud, hype, club music.  The New Orleans Musical Legends Park sits a few blocks away from Canal Street, and has a more subdued atmosphere compared to the rest of Bourbon Street.  It’s a free outdoor venue where live jazz music is played every night.  Its centerpiece is the sculpture of the city’s music personalities.   Cafe Beignet is inside the park which serves some New Orleans specialties like the poboy and beignet.  There is also a bar inside where you can get your alcohol fix.  It’s a great place to listen to some jazz music, people watch, and wind down after a long day of walking and drinking.

Lassez les bon temps rouler!

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