Is New Orleans worth visiting?⚜️ If you are planning a vacation to the ‘Big Easy’, the most culturally unique, historically rich, a bit spooky and ‘Jazz capital of the world🎷’ for the first time then you are bound to have this question.
New Orleans is definitely worth a visit. It is a city unlike any other in the United States, with a unique fusion of French, African, and Latin culture, an illustrious history, vibrant architecture, jazz music, wild festivals, and Cajun and Cajon delicacies, and above all, a reputation for being the most haunted city in the United States due to its deep-rooted Voodoo culture. There is so much to see and do in New Orleans that you will be compelled to return to the ‘Crescent City.’
Is New Orleans worth Visiting?
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What is the best time of the year to go to New Orleans?
February to May is the best time of year to visit New Orleans because it allows you to experience the Big Easy at its peak. This is when all of the major festivals take place, including Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. However, this is also the peak season for tourism, with crowded streets and soaring hotel rates.
What is the cheapest month to go to New Orleans?
June through August are the most affordable months to visit New Orleans. Summer is the best time to visit New Orleans if you are not into the crazy partying atmosphere of the festivals, can easily brave the heat and humidity of Louisiana summer, and want to explore the city at your own pace on a budget.
When should you not go to New Orleans?
Avoid visiting New Orleans from late August to November, as this is when the city is most vulnerable to hurricanes.
Is New Orleans pet-friendly?🐶
The city of New Orleans is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States. There are numerous pet-friendly parks, hotels, bars, and tourist attractions throughout the city. Make sure to obtain permission from the hotel/bar staff prior to entering, and in some cases, you may be required to pay a pet deposit to accommodate your pet.
Here are Good Reasons Why New Orleans should be on your bucket list!
The French Quarter ⚜️
When it comes to good reasons to visit New Orleans, the French Quarter stands out as the most compelling reason.
The French Quarter is a testament to New Orleans’ rich history, cultural diversity, Jazz music, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and is a significant part of American history.
The French Quarter, which was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and is also known as Vieux Carré (Old Square), is New Orleans’ oldest neighbourhood, with colorful colonial French architecture with ornate cast-iron balconies, vibrant nightlife, delightful jazz music, Cajun and Creole cafes with raucous bars on Bourbon Street, and St. Louis Cathedral⛪ (the oldest cathedral in the US) in Jackson Square.
There is so much to see and do in the French Quarter that you would probably have to keep a close eye on yourself if you desire to see the rest of the city.
Drink your heart out on the Bourbon Street🍺
The people of New Orleans know how to have a good time better than anyone else in the United States, and the Bourbon Street party scene exemplifies this perfectly.
If your idea of an amazing New Orleans vacation includes getting seriously intoxicated on the streets, enjoying Cajun and Creole food and Gumbo to the tunes of soulful Jazz music performed by street artists, then Bourbon Street is the place for you.
Make sure you don’t stay up too late on Bourbon Street because things can get a little crazy and wild as the night goes on, with strange drunkards and streets smelling like vomit, garbage, and booze, causing a sensory overload.
Explore authentic New Orleans vibes on the Frenchmen Street🎷
The Frenchmen Street neighbourhood has a more authentic New Orleans feel, with old colourful buildings, streets, and pubs bustling with soulful Jazz, French, and Raggae music and to-die-for Cajun and Creole delicacies.
To compare the two, Bourbon Street is like any other street in the United States, known for its crazy nightlife and wild partying scenes, whereas Frenchmen Street is more spohisticated and represents New Orleans’ rich history and cultural diversity.
Your trip to New Orleans isn’t complete unless you visit the iconic Jackson Square in the French Quarter. The Jackson Square, which spans over 2.5 acres, is named after famed US general Andrew Jackson and houses St. Louis Cathedral⛪, the country’s oldest cathedral.
Jackson Square represents New Orleans’ rich history, cultural diversity, and love of jazz music. This iconic Square on the Mississippi River’s bank is a popular destination for public events, weddings, and photo shoots, and it has also been used as a filming location for many Hollywood films.
Apart from the iconic cathedral, you can visit the Louisiana State Museum’s Cabildo and Presbytere, the 1850 House, which transports you to the Antebellum era, and the Old US Mint, which is dedicated to preserving mercantile and musical treasures.
As the world’s Jazz capital, there is no shortage of music in Jackson Square, with street performers on every corner. You can also visit the outdoor art colony, where artists display their work, and have a portrait of yourself drawn by the artists.
Is Jackson Square pet-friendly?🐶
Pets of any kind are strictly prohibited from visiting Jackson Square but you take a stroll along the outer part with your four-legged companion.
Take a stroll along the Garden District🏡
The Garden District, best known for its grandiose mansions and elegant landscaping, is a calmer and more relaxed alternative to the French Quarter. If you want to get out of the sun and enjoy the spectacular and posh vibes of New Orleans, you should definitely visit the Garden District.
The mansions were built in 1832 for newly-rich Americans who settled in the city, with old American architecture that contrasts sharply with the French Quarter, which is known for its colourful French buildings with cast-iron balconies.
The Garden District is also home to the Lafayette Cemetery, which is considered to be New Orleans’ largest and most haunted cemetery.
Visit the Art/Warehouse District🎨
Every street corner in New Orleans is alive with music and beautiful arts displayed by local and international artists who strive to enhance the city’s cultural diversity and rich history. The Arts/Warehouse District is one such location where you can see New Orleans through the eyes of talented artists.
This street, which connects the French Quarter and the Garden District, has undergone extensive renovations in the last two decades. The street was named after the old run-down warehouses that were renovated and converted into shops, art galleries, apartments, and chic restaurants.
The Mardi Gras World is one of the main highlights of the Warehouse district, where most of the floats required for the iconic Mardi Gras festival are made, with some floats taking an entire year to build.
Enjoy one of the greatest Carnivals on earth- The Mardi Gras Festival🪅
New Orleans celebrates festivals like no other city in the United States, and the crazy, wild, and spectacular Mardi Gras festival is a testament to the city’s celebratory attitude toward life.
This Grand Carnival that takes place every year in the month of January and runs until ‘Fat Tuesday,’ as it is also known, is one of the grandest festivals on the planet, with over 1.5 million tourists visiting each year to enjoy this crazy and wild festival.
Mardi Gras has one of the most colourful and spectacular parades you’ll ever see, with beaded necklaces and colourful coins zooming overhead as costumed performers wave from enormous parade floats.
Whether you come with your soulmate or your family, the week-long Mardi Gras festival has something for everyone.
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Visit the Mardi Gras Museum🎉
You weren’t able to attend the Mardi Gras festival? Don’t worry, because the Mardi Gras Museum has you covered.
The Mardi Gras Museum, located across the Mississippi River, brings the fun and joy of the Mardi Gras all year long with a vast array of grassroots traditions of Mardi Gras revellers, walking clubs, colourful costumes, enormous floats, and other ornaments that showcase the rich history of the Mardi Gras festival.
A walk through the museum takes you through the Mardi Gras festival’s creativity and fantastic celebration. You can take pictures of yourself dressed up in one of the many Mardi Gras costumes to show off to your friends.
Learn about the Voodoo culture☠️
If there is one thing that distinguishes New Orleans from all other cities in the United States and makes it super-weird, it is the practice of Voodoo rituals, fortune tellers, and devil worshippers, which is one of the many mind-boggling reasons why you should visit this eerie city.
The Voodoo rituals are underground dark practices that were brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans who were exploited on New Orleans’ cotton plantations. A visit of the Voodoo Museum is the greatest way to learn about New Orleans’ Voodoo roots.
The Voodoo Museum is dedicated to preserving and educating tourists about the legacy of New Orleans Voodoo history and culture. It pays homage to Marie Laveau, known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, and includes voodoo relics, paintings, sculptures, and other items.
Visit the beautiful and haunted cemeteries⚰️
The list of eerie and strange New Orleans attractions does not end here. The cemeteries of New Orleans are tourist attractions in and of themselves, as they are reputed to be the most haunted cemeteries in the United States due to its extensive Voodoo heritage.
Begin by visiting the St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans’ oldest and most famous cemetery, as well as the ultimate resting place of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen.
Apart from having a spooky atmosphere, the cemeteries in New Orleans are notable for their white tall crypts and mausoleums, as the deceased are buried above ground because the cemeteries are built on marshes with higher water levels.
Visit the Lafayette Cemetery as well, which is famed for its incredible tall crytps and eerie stories.
Explore the dark past of New Orleans at the Cotton Plantations🌳
For a place that truly lives up to the adage “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”) and represents unity within cultural diversity, it had to unfornately go through a dark past of slavery, injustice, and racism to become what it is today-‘The Big Easy.’
Begin by visiting the world-famous Oak Alley plantation, which takes its name from the 250-year-old oak trees that line the lane leading up to the Antebellum home. Although the interior of the house is not particularly impressive, the exterior atmosphere, complete with oak trees and a well-kept garden, makes it a pleasant place to stroll.
Visit the St. Joseph Plantation, Laura Plantation, and Houmas House Plantation for a more in-depth look at life in the Antebellum era and to learn about the atrocities committed against African Americans. These plantations also have great interiors, well-preserved slave quarters, and a more in-depth tour of the Plantation history than the Oak Alley Plantation.
The National World War II Museum⚔️
The National World War II Museum is the largest World War II museum in the US and is also hailed as the best museum in the US due to its extensive repository of World war II artifacts.
Take an interactive tour and explore the history of weapons, strategies and different modes of vehicles, fighter jets and heavy artilleries used in the War with audio, video tours and personal stories that tie the history of the war together in incredible detail.
There are so many fascinating things to see and so much to explore that you might end up spending an entire day in the museum.
Take a food tour🥘
What better way to explore the ‘Big Easy’ than taking a food tour around the city, an inseparable part of New Orleans cultural diversity. Be it Cajun or Creole food or the beloved Gumbo, a food tour is not only a fun way to learn about the culinary culture of NOLA but you also get to sample some of the most delicious dishes of New Orleans.
Doctor Gumbo tours provide a fun and in-depth food tour of New Orleans which obviously includes the delicious food and to top the experience some of the most interesting facts behind the origin of every renowned dish in New Orleans.
Visit the Sazerac House🍾
If you are a wine connoisseur, then there is one more reason why New Orleans just might the ideal vacation destination you were looking for.
The Sazerac house, opened in 2019 is part bar and part museum which highligths the importance of this local spirit and the drink named after it. The Sazerac house provides an interactive journey into New Orleans past with vitual bartenders answering to your questions around an amazing three-storey exhibit.
The Confederate Memorial Hall Museum🏛
The Confederate Memorial Hall Museum, which opened in 1891, is one of the state’s oldest museums and houses the state’s second largest collection of Confederate Civil War artefacts.
The Museum houses 5000 Civil War artefacts, including personal items from Generals Braggs and Beauregard, such as their uniforms, and President Jefferson Davis’ bible and crown, which he received from Pope John Paul II. There are also a number of weapons and Civil War army uniforms on display.
A visit to this museum will transport you to the harsh realities of common people in the South as well as those of men enlisted in the war.
Café’ Du Monde☕
Your trip to New Orleans would be incomplete if you did not try the city’s favourite delicacy, ‘Beignets,’ and the best place to get a cup of coffee and eat a beignet is at the fantastic Cafe Du Monde.
This cafe, which opened across the Jackson Street in 1862, is still the go-to spot for locals to have a nice chat over a bite of sugary-sweet beignet and a cup of coffee. Make sure you don’t miss out on this one, because it’s well worth your time.
Is Café Du Monde dog friendly?🐶
No, avoid taking your dog to Café Du Monde as it is well-crowded at all times which makes it difficult to find space for your dog. There is outdoor seating available but there is not enough space to keep your four-legged companion closer to you without some difficulty.
Take an adventurous Swamp tour🐊
If you thought New Orleans was only about colourful festivals, ornate mansions, fascinating museums, jazz music, and French delicacies, you were mistaken. ‘The Bayou,’ a swampland of the Mississippi Delta teeming with alligators, turtles, ibis, and wild boar, awaits you just beyond the city limits.
Explore the rich wildlife that exists in the swamps of the Mississippi Delta, which are home to alligators and Spanish covered moss, on a kayak tour. If that’s too daring for you, you can take a guided boat tour that will take you deep into the swamps and teach you about the swamp ecosystem.
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