Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans
Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States – and it’s not hard to understand why. With its unofficial motto “laisser les bon temps rouler,” NOLA is a unique and lively city that boasts everything from quaint cafes and shops and lively bars and restaurants, to historic landmarks and an eclectic mix of cultural influences.

Before heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, or anytime of the year for that matter, check out these top 10 things to see and do in New Orleans to ensure you make the most of your experience.


St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square
This majestic cathedral located in the heart of the French Quarter in Jackson Square is one of New Orleans’ most notable landmarks. It’s said to be haunted by Pierre Antoine, a priest whose body was buried in the church, and has been known to appear in the nearby alley named after him.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Haunted History Ghost Tours
When it comes to ghosts and hauntings, New Orleans is a city that few others can contend with. There are many local tour operators who specialize in historic walking tours of the French Quarter and The Garden District. Knowledgable guides take you on a walking tour around the paranormal homes and sites of the French Quarter and offer detailed and concise historic accounts of New Orlean’s ghost and voodoo culture.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Local Shops
The French Quarter provides an interesting mix of shops designed for the tourist, the connoisseur, the casual shopper, and everyone in between. Eclectic shops of all kinds line the streets with everything from cooking accessories and ingredients, to articles of clothing and house accessories.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Bourbon Street
The infamous street in the heart of the French Quarter is the top destination for tourists visiting New Orleans. Bourbon Street is known for its party atmosphere, but also boasts a variety of quaint cafes, local shops, and restaurants in every price range. If partying until the wee hours and collecting beaded necklaces is not your thing, you can still enjoy the eclectic, unique atmosphere that surrounds Bourbon Street.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Le Café du Monde
No trip to New Orleans is complete without a taste of their world-famous French beignets. This historic landmark located just steps away from Jackson Square is famous for its cafe’ au lait and beignets – pillowy, deep fried choux-pastry served warm and smothered with icing sugar. Part of the experience also involves people-watching, as well as perusing the local shop.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

An honorable mention goes to Café Beignet, located in the French Quarter. If waiting for hours for a pastry is not your cup of tea then head on over to this busy quaint cafe, which boasts an eclectic menu, including local favourites, like beignets. (On a side note, I’m a fan of Starbuck’s Chai Tea Latte, and their version gave them a run for their money!)

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans


Magazine Street 
Located in the Lower Garden District, Magazine Street is popular among New Orleanians and tourists alike. This six-mile-long stretch in the Garden District features some of the best antique stores, art galleries, trendy cafes, vintage shops, and restaurants to be found anywhere in the city. Plan to peruse the shops for an entire afternoon (like I did) because there is just so much to see.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Stop by Commander’s Palace for brunch, Arana Taqueria for lunch, or opt for a walking ghost tour, taking in the haunted sights, we well as famous residences like Anne Rice’s and Sandra Bullock’s mansions.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Lafayette Cemetery No.1
Established in 1833, Lafayette Cemetery No.1 is a unique monument to a city which has known a tremendous amount of cultural diversity. One can spend hours in this eerie yet alluring landmark, exploring and delving into the rich history of New Orleans.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans


Frenchmen Street
Frenchmen Street, Bourbon’s trendier counterpart, is the perfect antidote for a busy, sometimes overwhelming French Quarter experience. Many locals head to this four-block stretch of live music, bars, restaurants, night clubs and art galleries. Here, it’s more likely that one will find fewer crowds, as well as cheaper eats, drinks, and better music.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans


Swamp Tours
The swamps, marshes and bayous of New Orleans tell just as much about its history and heritage as its museums and famous landmarks. Swamp tours allow visitors to observe wildlife. Most companies offer combined tours of Lafitte and the nearby plantations, and one can opt for a traditional boat tour or (for the more adventurous traveler) an airboat.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Many swamp tour companies allow you to get really up close and personal with local wildlife!

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

Plantation Tour
South Louisiana is known for its beautiful architecture, and plantations tours give you the opportunity to admire it, as well learn about it rich, historic folklore.

Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans

24 thoughts on “Top 10 Things To See and Do in New Orleans”

  • Wow! New Orleans seems so stunning and fun, Lisa! Are the shops opened every day?

  • I traveled through New Orleans when I was a child and have wanted to go back to truly explore it ever since. I hope to do this sooner rather than later..especially after see all these amazing things to do there!

  • Looks like it’s so much fun out there! new orleans has been on my bucket list to visit for quiet some time! Like most others my fave would probably be the ghost tours. Hoping i get to visit soon!

    • To be honest, it was never really one of the top places to visit on my bucket list, but I am so happy now that we went!

  • Mary Edwards 7 years ago

    I have only been to New Orleans once. I was just 12 years old and therefore I don’t remember much. After reading your post, I want to go back. I would love to take the ghost tour. And now I’m craving a delicious beignet.

    • They are delicious, although my husband wasn’t too impressed – only because he is from Italy and they make traditional fritters during Mardi Gras as well. He didn’t really know what they were, but heard me talking about them all week. When we finally he had them, he was sort of in disbelief that people go so crazy over them! lol

  • I have been to New Orleans 2 times and have yet to see all of these things. I do love the city though. Hoping for a couples vacation to New Orleans one day. It would be a fun trip.

  • I LOVED visiting NOLA last year and can’t wait to go back. I didn’t have enough time to get in a Plantation tour so that is on my list for next time. I spent the day wandering and finding new things to see and do without a real agenda and it was almost magical.

    • The Plantation tour was actually one of the top things that I wanted to do. How I decided tp forgo it, I have no idea!

  • nmetolen75 7 years ago

    I went to New Orleans right after I graduated high school, for a week. It was amazing and one of my favorite memories! I did quite a few things on your list: the cemeteries, Garden District, Bourbon & the rest of the French Quarter. I really want to go back and see more of the city.

  • We are heading to NOLA for a wedding in April and I can’t wait to eat EVERYTHING in sight. They have the best food ever! We have been two other times and the Hurricane Katrina tour was so sad, but a must.

  • I haven’t been to this place yet — but you bet when I do, I’ll surely be taking note of your tips here! New Orleans looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for the tips!

  • Vera Bortolotto 7 years ago

    That is so funny because my husband and I were just talking about how much we wanted to plan a trip to New Orleans. I would for sure need to do some sort of ghost tour! Thanks for this post.

  • I love New Orleans! I have only been there once, and it was a press trip so we didn’t have time to sight see. The few places we did see were amazing. I sure would love to go back with my family for a week long vacation. Maybe next year.

    • I definitely think it’s a place that grow on you. I was quite perplexed my first time seeing Bourbon Street, but as the days went by I fell in love with the city more and more.

  • Stefany 7 years ago

    Just a heads up it’s spelled Frenchmen!

  • I always want to visit New Orleans. You know Im a huge fan of Ellen DeGeneres show and she is from New Orleans lol. Would love to see the architecture there.

  • Having never been to New Orleans -after reading your post, I want to book a ticket there right now. I would loved to go on the haunted house/ manson tour-that would be right up my alley! And let’s not forget all the great looking food.

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