Recently I was asked by a friend, “what are the things that I must do while in New Orleans?”  “Well, laissez les bon temps rouler, of course,” I replied.  As I started to rattle off item after item to her, I realized that this would be a great blog post!    So without further ado my friends, here are our top 7 Must Do Items in New Orleans.

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Are you planning a trip to New Orleans? Then you don't want to miss this list of the 7 Things You Have to do in New Orleans. From eating at the famous Cafe du Monde, to visiting Frenchmen Street, our list will have you loving New Orleans. #NOLA #neworleans #bourbonstreet #visitneworleans

1.  Eat!

You definitely don’t want to go to New Orleans on a diet!  New Orleans is known for its great cuisine.  That’s why New Orleans is home to many world-renowned chefs.  Put on your elastic waisted pants and get your taste buds ready for a culinary adventure!

Beignets-Indulge in this delicious powdered sugar topped pastry with a steaming hot cafe au lait while visiting Cafe du Monde.  It’s guaranteed to not disappoint.

PoBoy-Head to either Johnny’s PoBoys, or Killer PoBoys to grab one of these New Orleans staples.  A delicious sandwich made from your choice of meats including shrimp, roast beef, or fried oysters!

Cajun cuisine-No trip to New Orleans would be complete without some great Cajun food.  Cruise down to Jacques-Imo’s Cafe and feast on crab stuffed shrimp, jambalaya, shrimp etouffee, or Boudain balls.

Consider taking an awesome cocktail or food tour while you’re here!

 

 

2.  Go On a Tour

New Orleans is a city full of intrigue, history, and culture.  Taking one of the many tours offered is a great way to get to know New Orleans better.  The options for tours are almost endless!

French Quarter Ghost or History Walking TourWe love booking “ghost” walking tours in historic cities.  During these tours, you learn so much history, and in New Orleans, you start to understand why it’s considered one of the most haunted cities in the world!

Plantation TourThere are numerous plantations surround New Orleans.  Consider visiting Oak Alley Plantation, Houma’s House, or Laura Plantation.  There are several tour companies that will pick you up and do all of the driving for you!  Now that makes for a relaxing day!

Garden District Walking TourI love strolling through the Garden District dreaming of which mansion I would choose if I won the lottery.  LOL!  Take a self-guided walking tour like this one, or sign up for one of the many guided tours using this link.  If you opt for the self-guided tour, check out our post 3 Days In New Orleans for information on getting to the Garden District.

3.  Visit a Cemetery

I know, I know, you must be thinking a cemetery, really?  I’m serious though, the cemeteries in New Orleans are incredible and are always on our “must-do” list.  Book a tour into St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to hear stories of the infamous VooDoo Queen, Marie Laveau.  You will have the opportunity to see her grave as well as hear many other haunting stories from the city of the dead.

 

4.  Explore the French Quarter

The French Quarter is much more than just Bourbon Street.  Take time to walk around and just get lost.  Marty and I love just roaming the streets, peering into the corridors and popping into the shops.  There is just so much to love about this historic area.

Royal Street-Royal Street is one of the oldest streets in New Orleans!  It begins at Canal Street and runs right through the French Quarter. Marty loves taking photographs on Royal Street.  The architecture is amazing, and there always seems to be street performers on every corner.   I love admiring the gorgeous wrought iron balconies that are prevalent up and down this street.  Royal Street is lined with something for everyone.  Here you will find antique shops, art galleries, thrift stores, cafes, restaurants, and courtyards.

Bourbon Street-I know that Bourbon Street is touristy and lined with bars, but it does scream New Orleans.  In my opinion, you have to visit Bourbon Street at night.  It is full of life and excitement.  Go to have a drink, listen to some great live music, or just people watch.

The French Market-Visit the vendors and find a unique New Orleans souvenir at The French Market.  The French Market is located riverside in the lower French Quarter area.  This market stretches six city blocks, but my favorite part is the outdoor flea market.

Jackson Square-Jackson Square is the perfect selfie spot!  I mean, come on, you know you take selfies.  Despite the fact we have visited New Orleans countless times, Marty and I still make our way to the stairs across the street from St. Louis Cathedral and pose for our selfie. After your picture, make your way over the square.  Admire the work of the artist that is always displayed on the perimeter fence.  Sit in the gardens of the square, and then go inside the cathedral.

5.  Visit Frenchmen Street

Once you’ve checked Bourbon Street off of your list, go to where the locals go, Frenchmen Street.  If it is music you crave, you will not be disappointed.  Music seems to pour out of every doorway on Frenchmen Street.  Clubs line the street, ranging from jazz to blues to rock and reggae.  I love visiting the Frenchmen Street Art Market that sits up here Thursday-Monday.

6.  Drink (alcohol or not)

Not only is New Orleans home to famous food, it is equally popular for its great drink offerings.  We recommend Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane (splurge for the souvenir glass).  The Carousel Bar inside the Monteleone Hotel, I mean they have a carousel that is a bar!  Molly’s at the Market for a great Irish coffee or Hansen’s Sno Bliz for a yummy snow cone topped with sweetened condensed milk.

7.  Watch a Parade or Attend a Festival

Of course, New Orleans most famous celebration is Mardi Gras, but New Orleans is always looking for a reason to party!  On our most recent trip, we had the opportunity to see the Chris Owens Annual Easter Parade.  Next on our list of festivals is San Fermin in Nueva Orleans festival.  This is the running of the bulls New Orleans style!  Check out a great listing of festivals here.

 

 

Well, there you have it, our 7 Things You Must do in New Orleans!  For more information on New Orleans, check out our post, 3 Days In New Orleans.

 

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27 Comments

  1. Chelsey

    New Orleans has always been on my bucket list. Definitely saving this post when I finally get around to heading out there. Great info, thanks a bunch!!!

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Hi Chelsey! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. We absolutely love New Orleans. It’s always such a great time!

      Reply
  2. Bryce Rae

    I didn’t think your cemetery comment was creepy. I like looking at the dates . EG : seeing them very far back. Sound creepy ? haha

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Thank you, Bryce. The cemeteries are fascinating. And I also like to look at the dates and imagine the history. The cemeteries in New Orleans just create a sense of mystery and intrigue.

      Reply
  3. Amanda

    I live in Nola so as for po boys Sammys is the spot. There are great spots such as Commanders Palace, New Orleans Seafood and Spirit. As for alcohol try at of hundred drive thru daiquiri shops our walk up to Tropical Iisle on bourbon street. I can go on. Never a dull moment and I live here. Love your article and thanks fir sharing this great city.

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Hi Amanda! We do love your city. New Orleans is always so fun. I agree you could just go on and on about food, drinks, and activities. Thanks for your suggestions!

      Reply
  4. Carlee Hebert

    I live in Texas too and we often take a weekend trip to New Orleans! Cafe Du Monde is amazing! I think we will have to try Frenchmen Street next time! I will be studying abroad in France (and blogging about it) so I always get excited for anything French!

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Hi Carlee, fellow Texan! Thanks for reading and yes, please go to Frenchmen Street it is a different vibe than Bourbon. How fun that you will be studying in France. Be sure and check out our section on France. We only have a couple of posts right now, but Chateau Fontainebleau is one of them, and I highly recommend visiting it if you can :). Safe travels!

      Reply
  5. Paulina

    I have never travelled to New Orleans but it is so high on my bucket list. I will save this for later. Especially your foodie tips are great!

    Reply
  6. Paulina

    What a lovely list! I haven’t been in New Orleans, but I will definitely save this for later. Because it is really high on my bucket list. Especially the foodie tips are great.

    Reply
  7. Unta

    I loooove New Orleans! Been there last year and for sure would love to come back. 🙂 This post brings back good memories.

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      I’m so happy to hear that, Unta!

      Reply
  8. Bernie

    There’s just so much history to explore here, isn’t there? We have to do one of the walking tours next time, although to be honest we normally just meander and stumble on all kinds of fascinating things, including the cemeteries. I’m deeply jealous of those po-boys and beignets; being coeliac, I have to smell the wonderful aromas rather than taste them, although it leaves me with room for the rest of the delicious local cooking.

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      You said it, Bernie, history just surrounds you in New Orleans. We tend to stumble around and pop into quirky little places as well. I think that is part of the charm of NOLA. I’m sorry you don’t get to enjoy the delicious beignets. I guess I can eat your portion!

      Reply
  9. Helena

    Really liked this post, debated going to New Orleans this year but ended up in Japan instead. New Orleans is so high on my US bucket list though, together with the rest of the state. Will save this list for when I finally go 🙂

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Thank you, Helena! You really should go. It is such a unique city. I think you either love it or hate it though, and we love it!

      Reply
  10. Lenka

    Thank you for such a great tips. I would like so much to visit New Orleans and try all that stuff from your list! Saving for later 🙂

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Thanks for reading and saving Lenka!

      Reply
  11. Taryn

    This a great list. I especially like the walking tour recommendations – I love taking walking tours when I travel because I think you get so much better local insight into a place.

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Thanks, Taryn! We love walking tours also. They are such a great way to get to know the city and we always get recommendations from the tour guides!

      Reply
  12. Kelly

    So I hate to admit it but I have never been to New Orleans but love all the suggestions!! I would love to take a tour and explore some cemetaries!! And don’t even get me started on the food. I am dying to devour a beignet!!

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      You have to go, Kelly! Once you go, you will be addicted!!

      Reply
  13. Siarra | Wander.Focus.Love

    This just makes me want to go back to NOLA…I’ve done nearly everything on this list!

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      NOLA is great!!! Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  14. Sarah Shumate

    Eating would be my #1 in New Orleans, too. 😉 Despite living within a reasonable distance for many years (we’re from Nashville), I have never actually visited NOLA. When we make it back to the USA someday, that’s going to change. Saving your post for when we do!

    Reply
    • thattexascouple

      Thank you, Sarah. Be careful, once you go to NOLA you will be addicted. We find ourselves going back once or twice a year, and yes, eating is #1! LOL!

      Reply
  15. Isa

    Your article gets me so excited for my upcoming trip! I can’t wait to try all the delicious food! Thanks a lot for sharing your tips and experience.

    Reply

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Are you planning a trip to New Orleans? Then you don't want to miss this list of the 7 Things You Have to do in New Orleans. From eating at the famous Cafe du Monde, to visiting Frenchmen Street, our list will have you loving New Orleans. #NOLA #neworleans #bourbonstreet #visitneworleans