New Orleans, Louisiana is a unique and culturally diverse destination for many people each year. Whether they’re visiting for Mardi Gras or simply a weekend getaway, New Orleans has a lot to offer. While the city is a place that could be explored for much longer than a weekend, it’s also a great destination for abbreviated trips, to get just a taste of their culture. After your first visit, you may (probably will) end up coming back for more. The question is, what should you do for your first weekend adventure in NOLA?
The French Quarter is a Must
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest and most well-known “village” in New Orleans. A small rectangular area, about thirteen by eight or nine blocks, the French Quarter is home to some places you should definitely experience if you’re only staying the weekend. Arguably, its most notable attribute is Bourbon Street, often seen as THE destination. As most well-known tourist areas go, though, remember that there’s way more to the French Quarter and New Orleans than what’s on Bourbon. Walk around and enjoy all that the French Quarter and surrounding areas have to offer.
Recommendations in the French Quarter:
Café Du Monde — This 24/7 café was established in 1862. Stop in for some of their famous beignets and a cup of coffee.
Preservation Hall — This historic, no-frills venue is a must if you’re looking to fill your ears with some Jazz. It’s an all ages venue, and there are shows every night. GA tickets are available, and all you have to do is line up outside of the venue to grab one. Their website recommends showing up about half an hour before the show you’d wish to see (room is limited).
Other Things to Do:
- Hop a ride on one of New Orleans’ famous street cars.
- Visit the National World War II Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, or the New Orleans Jazz Museum — There seems to be something for people with all different interests.
- Take a bike riding tour to see the city with a guide who can tell you all about it.
- Enjoy the fine cuisine and drinks. New Orleans is home to places such as Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant.
- Just walk around — sometimes the best parts of an adventure are unplanned.
The benefit of New Orleans as a weekend getaway is that it’s a very walkable, nice place to stay with an amazing take on music, art, and cuisine. You can’t possibly see it all in two days, but you may be able to keep finding reasons to stop by again and again.