20 Best New Orleans Attractions – A Must See and Do List!
Devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans is slowly getting back up on its feet. The tourist areas that are one of the only streams of income for the city got rebuilt faster than the rest of them, so there are plenty of New Orleans attractions that are back up and running looking forward to receiving crowds of tourists. So come on over to the Mardi Gras City and let the good times roll.
To help you plan your vacation more effectively so you don’t miss a beat we have come up with the list of 20 best New Orleans attractions for you to explore.
1. French Quarter – The minute you arrive in the city you should start making your way to the historical French Quarter, one of the premier New Orleans attractions. It holds such a wealth of things to do in New Orleans including great restaurants, unusual museums, art galleries and simply great places to people watch. Historic Voodoo Museum comes highly recommended by the locals so you should definitely visit it. If you are at a loss where to begin, book a French Quarter walking tour to uncover even more interesting historical insights on this incredible place.
2. Mardi Gras Festival – Every February on a Fat Tuesday come over to the Mardi Gras Capital to enjoy world renowned festivities, music, dancing and good times with friends. Put on your costume and join the rowdy crowds to celebrate the last pig out day before lengthy Lenten season.
3. Mardi Gras World – For those visitors coming here other than during the Mardi Gras season but still willing to get in touch with the culture of this spectacular event, head over to this popular Blain Kern’s landmark located on the banks of the Mississippi River taking you behind the scenes of the Mardi Gras parade magic holding all of its floats, decorations and memorabilia.
4. New Orleans Aquarium – Located on the banks of the Mississippi River Audubon Aquarium of Americas is one of the largest and most celebrated aquariums in the country. Here you will see marine creatures inhabiting waters of the North, South Americas and the Caribbean.
5. Confederate Museum – To truly understand what New Orleans is all about, you have to take a journey back in times of the Civil War. The museum holds a large collection of artifacts and personal belongings of officers and soldiers who went through bloody battles of the Civil War. Take your time going through exhibit by exhibit to really soak up the atmosphere of the historical period.
6. New Orleans Museum of Art – It is one of those New Orleans attractions that often get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of busy Mardi Gras City. If you come here you will be surprised how peaceful its uncrowded rooms are and how many fantastic pieces it contains including Asian, African American and Native Indian artwork.
7. Metaire Cemetery – An outstanding historical place notable for the remains of important New Orleans citizens and beautiful architecture of the headstones, burial tombs and statues. Among the highlights of the attractions you will find Brunswig Mausoleum that was built like an Egyptian pyramid with a sphinx guarding the final resting place of Luciene Brunswig, a founder of a large pharmaceutical company.
8. Bourbon Street – It is part of the French Quarter area that is better suited for adult crowds packing a lot of bars, boozy nightclubs and even adult entertainment joints. Locals believe it’s the best place to be for party lovers, bachelor parties or anyone in the mood for good music and nighttime entertainment.
9. French Marketplace – One of the quintessential landmarks in the city that should be visited by tourists at least once to dive into the authentic New Orleans atmosphere. Fresh fruits and vegetables, Hot Cajun and Creole sauces are available 24/7 at the open air farmer’s market. Nearby restaurants and flea market provide for the best local flavor encounters.
10. Southern Food and Beverage Museum – If you are a foodie and take delight in learning anything you can about world cuisines, here’s your chance to learn everything and more about authentic Louisiana cuisine that is a combination of Creole traditional dishes with a strong influence of several European cuisines like French, Spanish and even Italian. Located on the Riverwalk Mall, this attraction is not to be missed.
11. Mississippi River Cruises – Slow down to the old fashioned pace aboard a traditional steamboat and cruise along Mississippi River and its tributaries. Spacious dining rooms and decks provide great panoramic views of the surrounding scenery and fantastic live music is sure to bring enjoyment to your overall experience.
12. New Orleans Swamp Tours – A great opportunity to get away from the city by booking one of fantastic Cajun Encounters tours offering to take you in the midst of the Honey Island Swamp inhabited by large crocodiles, slithering snakes, raccoons, turtles and many other swamp creatures. See a unique and the only surviving Cajun village in the area that you can only get to by boat.
13. Audubon Zoo Cruise – Come aboard John James Audubon Riverboat for one hour cruise taking you from Audubon Aquarium to Zoo and back. What a great opportunity to see both of the fantastic New Orleans landmarks.
14. Garden District – It’s the best place to feel the energy of New Orleans, admire its centuries’ old houses surrounded with lush urban gardens.
15. Musee Conti Wax – Enjoy one of the historical museums in the city and allow wax figures tell you a story of New Orleans with a series of historical exhibits and scenes. Historically accurate costumes, details and settings are heightening your learning experience by allowing you to witness important events in the history of this magnificent city.
16. Saint Louis Cathedral – Located on the Jackson’s Square of the city, stately Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest catholic churches in the country.
17. Louisiana Superdome – Any sporting enthusiast will love visiting this massive sporting arena, home to New Orleans Saints, a place that became refugee grounds for people escaping the massive destructive powers of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
18. City Park – Just a great place to come to your senses after a hectic day of touring multiple New Orleans attractions and plan more activities. Compared by the locals to the NYC’s Central Park, it offers a variety of activities ranging from kayaking in the lagoon, biking, walking or playing at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
19. Evening Jazz Cruise – Combining two of New Orleans’ specialties, good food and jazz music, prepare for 2 hours of nonstop entertainment aboard Steamboat Natchez cruising along the Mississippi River. On the menu you will find Louisiana specialties like shrimp, chicken and rice dishes.
20. Westbank Plantation Tour – Take a tour to the New Olean’s past and visit several sugar cane plantations to see impressive revival style architecture, gruesome slave quarters and learn very sad details of tragic lives of plantation Creole slaves.