It’s no secret when people think of New Orleans they think beer, bars and beads. Mardi Gras and the party scene down there draw in people 21 and over from every state and several countries around the world.
But this Louisiana city is much more than a place to get your drink on. It’s a vibrant city full of historical attractions, catchy cultural events and tasty treats you can’t get anywhere else — at least not as good as you can here.
New Orleans attractions
Most tourists travel on foot to get to know New Orleans, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not the only way to check out this city. Give your legs a different kind of workout as you paddle through various NOLA neighborhoods.
Urban kayaking is not only a different way to sightsee, it’s also a fun way to see special spots and work off all the good food you eat. Go down the historic trail provided by Bayou St. John and see the likes of the Spanish Custom House, City Park and the Pitot House (pictured below), among other things.
Canal Street Ferry ride
Another option is to go on a Canal Street Ferry ride from New Orleans to Algiers where you get one of the best views of the city — for free! Riders can stay on the ferry for the round trip ride or hop off on the other side to explore the West Bank on bikes or foot.
The city of New Orleans is divided into 17 wards, which are kind of like counties. Each ward has a wonderful rich culture and history with its people and attraction. From parks to museums and festivals, you can discover the hidden gems in each New Orleans ward and all the qualities that combine to make The Big Easy much more than partying on Bourbon Street.
New Orleans tours
Everyone knows about the New Orleans haunted tours, but many don’t know about the variety of tours offered throughout the city. Below are a few options, and there are several other trip ideas for New Orleans for your vacation.
The New Orleans Movie and TV Tour is an interactive exploration involving video clips, touring through filming sites and enjoying some buttery movie theater popcorn. Three movies featured on the tour include Ray, Django Unchained, American Horror Story: Coven, The Pelican Brief and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Some locals may tell you to avoid the bayous, but don’t listen to them. Get a good tour guide then go out on an airboat or pontoon and be ready to see alligators, other swamp creatures and some graveyards. It’s not the cleanest of tours, but a New Orleans swamp tour is one promising adventure and great opportunity for Instagram bragging rights.
Mardi Gras World tour
You don’t have to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras to experience the color explosion and grandeur of the event. Mardi Gras World gives you an authentic Mardi Gras experience throughout the entire year. The family-friendly destination shows you how floats are created, the history of the event and ends with a delicious slice of King Cake! And in a rare treat, selfies and photography are encouraged.
New Orleans food
Postpone your diet because New Orleans food doesn’t scream healthy, but it sure does scream delicious! Three things worth breaking your healthy eating habits over are gumbo, beignets and po-boys. If you’ve been there, done that and want something different, then see why Magazine Street has the best food in New Orleans.
Get your Po’ Boy!
The po-boy is New Orleans’ most famous and most delectable sandwich. This is a classic French bread sandwich, and the most popular ones served down here are made with fried seafood. But really, you can’t go wrong with your choice. Try one of these 20 Essential New Orleans Po’ Boys, and your stomach will be totally satisfied.
Sweet treat Beignets
The wonderful breakfast or dessert treat is synonymous with New Orleans, and while it’s offered many places, it’s most popular at Cafe du Monde. Beignets are like sweet doughnuts (served hot!) with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, and not your waistline’s best friend. Beignets are also considered one of the New Orleans 25 most iconic dishes.
Locals see gumbo as its own food group. There’s really no specific recipe for it, so eat as many different types of gumbo you can at various restaurants. Try one of these best gumbo dishes in New Orleans, and you will find your favorite version of this NOLA dish.
Have we enticed you with plenty of reasons to visit this energetic Southern city? If so, be sure to check out our hotels in New Orleans and its surrounding areas before finalizing your trip.