New Orleans, Louisiana: 7 Essential Things to Do and See
Colorful, historic and world-famous New Orleans is a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
In the southern extreme of Louisiana lies the city most often associated with the state. New Orleans’ party-loving atmosphere is well-deserved; after all, it’s where they “laissez le bon temps rouler” – or, as the French say, let the good times roll. In addition to nightlife, New Orleans offers a diverse array of attractions, from historic architecture to renowned museums. If you’re looking for the must-see, must-do things when you visit, take note of these seven landmarks.
The historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter is home to the only revolving bar in the city. Order a specialty cocktail at the Carousel Bar & Lounge, a slowly rotating merry-go-round bar. During the day, the view over Royal Street makes it an excellent venue for people watching. At night, enjoy the intoxicating Jazz and Blues music.
The historic Hotel Monteleone
With the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson astride his horse and St. Louis Cathedral in the background, Jackson Square is one of the city’s most iconic locations. This National Historic Landmark is just steps from the Mississippi River in the French Quarter and within walking distance of many hotels. Around the square’s perimeter, artists and street performers add a festive ambience.
Take your camera to New Orleans’ second-oldest neighborhood, the Faubourg Marigny. The architecture is colorful and historic, dominated by French and Spanish styles. The neighborhood is known for its local artists and live music, particularly along Frenchmen Street, as well as innovative restaurants frequented by locals and foodies.
Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood has plenty of cafes and specialty shops within colorful French and Spanish architecture
Pat O'Brien's is famous for creating the Hurricane, a fruity rum cocktail. There are several locations in the French Quarter, but the best-known is the one on St. Peter Street. Take a photo by the flaming fountain in the outdoor courtyard and see a nightly dueling piano concert. You can purchase the iconic cocktail glass to take home as a souvenir.
Preservation Hall was established in 1961 to honor a truly American musical form, New Orleans Jazz. In the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter's Street, just a few doors down from Pat O’Brien’s, the venue hosts nightly Jazz concerts by the Preservation Hall Band. It’s a must-see for any visit to New Orleans.
Established in 1961, Preservation Hall is located in the heart of the French Quarter
This authentic steamboat is the only one of its kind in New Orleans. The daytime harbor cruise is a two-hour, narrated tour and features live Jazz music. There’s also an evening dinner cruise, a romantic and scenic option to enjoy a buffet dinner and the pretty night lights of the city.
Vieux Carré (French Quarter)
The French Quarter, also known as "Vieux Carré” and frequently called simply the Quarter, is the epicenter of the city’s tourism. Restaurant options are endless; be sure to try signature items like gumbo, a muffuletta, a po’ boy and pralines. Visit the many museums, including the National World War II Museum and several Louisiana State Museum properties. Watch the boats cruising by on the Mississippi River and listen to Jazz and Blues every night.
Buskers playing live music on the street in the French Quarter
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