I grew up outside of New Orleans, and have done many touristy things, eaten in a lot of restaurants, and caught beads at a lot of Mardi Gras parades. Often times, friends will ask me for advice on things to do in the city and if II have any tips, so I thought a blog post as appropriate on the subject.
1.) Riverwalk Mall Outlet Collection: The Riverwalk mall is right along the Mississippi river, and it just reopened last week with a ton of new outlet stores and restaurants. I haven’t had a chance to get over there yet, but I have heard great things about it!
2.) French market: This is where you can browse and buy crafts, touristy things and handmade items from vendors at an open air market on Decatur street. It’s really fun to chat with the locals and see all of the cool things for sale.
3.) Café Du Monde: This is a must do! Beignets and café au lei are a staple of any New Orleans trip. Be prepared, there is ALWAYS a line, but it is well worth it! They are open all the time, so stop in for breakfast or a late night snack.
4.) WWII Museum: I have visited this museum 3-4 times and see different and new things each visit. If you are a history buff, you will love this place. So many great stories and artifacts from World War II.
5.) Wax Museum: This is a kind of fun and quirky place to visit. I remember going on a field trip here in middle school.
6.) Jazz brunch: There are many, many restaurants that offer an authentic New Orleans. Some only offer it on Sundays. Eat traditional New Orleans food, drink a mimosa, and listen to a jazz band as you eat. Definitely one of my favorite things to do!
7.) Ghost tour: May not be suitable for children, but this is a fun touristy thing to do. There are several companies that offer these all through the city.
8.) Audubon Aquarium or the Americas and Imax theater: Right along the river next to the Riverwalk mall you will find the Aquarium and Imax theater. Always a fan favorite with the kids!
9.) Riverboat Cruise: Take a ride on the steamboat Natchez on a pretty day as it heads down the Mississippi River. Another fun touristy things to do in the city.
10.) St. Louis Cathedral: This beautiful cathedral can be found on Decatur across from Café du monde. Sometimes there are private events like weddings so you may not always be able to go in, but if you get the chance I highly recommend it!
-Try at all costs to not visit in the summer. It is VERY hot and humid and there is not a lot of shade aside from some of the buildings, especially if you are out walking by the river.
-Be mindful of holidays like Mardi Gras and festivals like The Jazz Festival and the Voodoo festival. While this may be a plus for some, they aren’t for everyone.
-Some people are afraid of New Orleans and it can get a bad rap, but in reality it is just like any other city. Always be mindful of your surroundings, keep your purses and bags zipped, don’t walk around alone in the dark, and enjoy the city!
-Keep in mind everyone is really really friendly, so don’t be alarmed if strangers just start talking to you on the street. It’s how we are, chat back and you may make a new friend.
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