New Orleans is a small city with a big personality with a melting pot of cultural influences. New Orleans is famously known for its Mardi Gras and a busy roster of colorful festivals. While the party scene may be one of its main attractions, there are many more things to do in New Orleans. This guide to the best things to do in New Orleans in 2021 is just what you need to help you kickstart your visit and discover the best of what this vibrant city has to offer.
Visit Preservation Hall
Known for being one of the best places to visit in New Orleans if you want to get a taste of the traditional jazz music the city has been known for. This historical landmark is housed in a building that has its very own house band, a record label, and a non-profit foundation. Take time to relax and savor the local jazz bands performing in the well-preserved hall. Shows are available throughout the week so you have the option to jive with the music any day of the week here.
Explore Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras World is a quirky and vibrant place that is located along the Mississippi River, next to the Morial Convention Center. It is one of the most famous attractions in the city. You’ll be able to explore an enormous 300,000 square foot functional warehouse where all the colorful floats are made for the Mardi Gras and other parades. It’s the perfect place to revel in a cultural trip while you learn all about the traditions surrounding Mardi Gras parades, balls, and music.
The National WWII Museum
In the Central Business District of New Orleans, you’ll find the National WWII Museum, also known as The National D-Day Museum. A must-see for history lovers wanting to uncover more about America’s role and the different events that transpired in the dark eras of war. The museum is home to powerful images alongside extraordinary artifacts that bring to life the patriotism and sacrifice of young men and women who changed the world.
This street is a famous location in the 7th Ward of New Orleans and is best known for the three-block section in the Faubourg Marigny area. It’s bursting with a thriving variety of clubs and it’s the perfect place to enjoy all kinds of music. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing time after exploring the city's highlights or looking for things to do at night, Frenchmen Street is a must-visit.
Take a walk in City Park
Spend some time exploring the massive 1,300-acre public park nestled in New Orleans which is known to be the 87th largest and one of the most-visited urban public park in the United States. This park has been serving as the city’s largest venue for outdoor fun-filled activities since 1854. City Park is also one of the oldest parks in America. If you’re looking for something outdoors to do, a walk in this park is just what you need. This lush park is home to iconic oak trees and lush moss canopies alongside wide open spaces. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for things to do in New Orleans with the whole family.
Marvel at St. Louis Cathedral
St. Louis Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the city and is one of the best free things to do in New Orleans. You’ll find it directly in front of Jackson Square, it’s unmissable as St. Louis Cathedral is one of the tallest and most recognizable structures in the French Quarter. The cathedral has been featured in a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and other visual presentations. Explore the massive while learning tidbits about the preservation and story of the Roman Catholic faith in New Orleans.
Wander through the French Quarter
Often called the Crown Jewel of New Orleans, the French Quarter is among the most historic areas in the city. The French Quarter is the city’s iconic historic heart that is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and colorful buildings that have long withstood the test of time which offers some of the most fun things to do in New Orleans. Enjoy a trip down memory lane as you shop in quirky gift shops, dine on local cuisine and revel in the magnificent architecture.
Take a peek at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Uncover early medicines and superstitious cures in the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum that has been structured like a pharmacy from back in the day. The pharmacy is housed in the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist and features a variety of exhibits. If you’re looking for a unique indoors activity filled with educational, fascinating, and even creepy nostalgic facts about New Orleans, then you should definitely pay the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum an eventful visit.
Founded and constructed in 1721, Jackson Square is one of the oldest destinations in the whole of New Orleans. The square is one of New Orleans’ most recognizable landmarks, nestled right in the center of the French Quarter. Grab coffee and beignets from Cafe du Monde and enjoy breakfast while people-watching in the square. The square is home to an open-air artist colony, where artists display their work on the outside of the iron fence. You could even have your portrait drawn by one of the many talents utilizing Jackson Square as their studio.
Enjoy dinner and a show at Steamboat NATCHEZ
This historical attraction in the city combines two of the most famous things in New Orleans: jazz and food. Enjoy the picturesque view of the Mississippi River as you’re entertained with live music by the Steamboat Stompers jazz band. Get a taste of New Orleans' cuisine with the optional buffet and enjoy the delicacies this city has to offer. This steamboat is the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River, if you have time visit the engine room to see the workings of 100-year-old steam engines.
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