New Orleans

iStock International
When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in New Orleans

Audubon Nature Institute

Legendary naturalist John James Audubon resided in New Orleans, establishing an institute dedicated to preserving wildlife habitats and the natural world. The institute features a zoo and an aquarium, along with a unique swamp exhibiting Louisiana’s native bayou ecosystem.

6500 Magazine St., LA, 504-581-4629,
Tags: family | things to do | aquarium | zoo

Cemetery tours

New Orleans’ ghostly history is best experienced on a cemetery tour, which traverses the eerie aboveground tombs and marble crypts that provide the final resting place for some of the city’s most legendary residents. St. Louis No. 1, which dates back to 1789, is the oldest and most iconic cemetery, home to the tomb of famous voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.

723 St. Peters St., LA, 504-861-2727,
Tags: things to do | history | tour | walk | cemetery

Frenchman Street

All you have to do is stroll along this strip and use your ears: jazz and blues music seeps through the cracks and windows of its street side clubs, allowing passersby to follow the groovy tune to the corresponding venue. Snug Harbor is a favorite for live music, with classic jazz by internationally renowned artists.

Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St., LA, 504-949-0696,
Tags: nightlife | local favorite | things to do | jazz

Julia Street

In the past few decades, numerous art galleries have moved into the restored Warehouse along the 600 block of Julia Street, making the street an excellent venue for art shopping.

600 block of Julia St., Lous,
Tags: shopping | trendy | art | things to do | gallery

Magazine Street

Stretching from Canal Street to The Audubon Park, Magazine Street is the go-to place for boutique shopping, with art galleries, artisan showcases, jewelry shops, funky clothing stores, and antique shops competing for shoppers’ attention.

Magazine Street, LA, 504-342-4435,
Tags: shopping | trendy | art | boutique | things to do | jewelry | clothing

Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World is a 75,000-square-foot storehouse and construction studio where the Kearn family has constructed floats for the annual Mardi Gras parade since 1930, and the warehouse is packed with decades of these creations. Located across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans, visitors can journey on a free ferry ride that departs from Canal Street.

233 Newton St., LA, 800-362-8213,
Tags: family | things to do | culture | history

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Follow the evolution of jazz from its slave beginnings in Congo Square and Louis Armstrong Park at the turn of the 20th century to the definitive artistic expression it is today. Pick up a history map with a self-guided walking tour at the Visitors Center in the French Quarter before heading over to the park, which encompasses both the 32-acre Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square. Live performances (Tues-Wed; Sat) explore the history of New Orleans jazz; check the website for times and artists.

Visitors Center, 916 N. Peters St., LA, 877-520-0677,
Tags: family | things to do | culture | history | park

Preservation Hall

Before it became a performance venue, Preservation Hall did time as a tavern, an inn, a photo studio, and an art gallery. With the introduction of modern jazz and rock and roll, the establishment quickly became a sanctuary for traditional New Orleans jazz. Now the organization is famous worldwide thanks to the seven-member Preservation Hall Jazz Band and its eponymous record label.

726 St. Peter St., LA, 504-522-2841,
Tags: nightlife | things to do | culture | history

Ride the St. Charles Streetcar

This streetcar may not be named “Desire,” but it’s nonetheless a charming, nostalgic way to spend an afternoon (and a great way to explore the Garden District), as it winds its way along streets lined with magnolia trees and historic Southern mansions.

Board at Canal St., LA,
Tags: things to do | culture | history

Riverwalk Marketplace

Located along the Mississippi River, this large indoor mall is a pleasant place to pick up thrifty souvenirs, Cajun cookbooks, and Louisiana memorabilia.

1 Poydras St., LA, 504-522-1555,
Tags: shopping | things to do | souvenirs | books

Royal Street

Dating from the French Colonial era, Royal Street is renowned for restaurants, luxury hotels, and opulent shops selling antiques and artwork from every corner of the world. Though the street runs from Canal Street to St. Bernard Parish, the most famous section is near Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

Royal Street, LA,
Tags: shopping | things to do | eclectic | antiques

The French Market

Strolling through this open-air riverside shopping district is like taking a trip back in time to an Old World French marketplace. Browse everything from homemade pralines, handmade jewelry, and jazz CDs to hot sauces and even voodoo and occult items.

1008 N. Peter St., LA, 504-522-2621,
Tags: shopping | historic | things to do | market | eclectic | novelty

The French Quarter

Spend the day strolling by pastel colonial-era buildings, exploring art galleries on Royal Street, and lunching al fresco while absorbing the distinct ambiance of historic Jackson Square. At night, listen to jazz and blues at bars, restaurants, and in the street while party hopping on rowdy Bourbon Street. For the best bars and restaurants on Bourbon Street, check out our Top 10 Tourist Traps Tips.

Bounded by Rampart St., Esplanade Ave., Canal St., and the Mississippi River, LA,
Tags: things to do | culture | architecture | history

The Howlin' Wolf

Get away from the nighttime hustle of The French Quarter and Frenchmen Street by escaping to the Warehouse district to see premier jazz and blues acts in a venue boasting a bar relocated from Al Capone’s Chicago hotel.

907 S. Peters St., LA, 504-522-9653,
Tags: nightlife | things to do | bar | jazz

The Old Absinthe House

This Bourbon Street mainstay has an illustrious history dating back to 1807. Originally an importing firm and corner grocer, the Old Absinthe House now throws open its big green doors to cocktail-seeking business types and sports fans. Past patrons include Mark Twain, P.T. Barnum, General Robert E. Lee, and Franklin Roosevelt. Sip an Absinthe House Frappe made from flavorful Anisette liquor.

240 Bourbon St., LA, 504-523-3181,
Tags: nightlife | historic | lounge | things to do | sports bar


This R&B mecca is dedicated to legendary musician Henry Roeland Byrd, also known as Professor Longhair. In 1977, Tipitina’s, named after one of Longhair’s songs, began in a defunct juice bar in the Uptown neighborhood. To this day, the club still hops with music workshops, storytelling nights, and performances (a French Quarter location keeps the vibe alive at 233 N. Peters St.).

501 Napoleon Ave., LA, 504-895-8477,
Tags: nightlife | historic | things to do

Compare Rates to New Orleans

Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals

Tell Us Your Preferences

To help us understand your travel preferences, please select from the following categories

Check all that apply
Oops, something went wrong.
No Thanks