Here are some of the best things to do and see in New Orleans as well as day trips you can take from the city.
Best Things to Do and See in New Orleans
Explore the French quarterPopular things to do in the French quarter are visit the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, visit the Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium, see a jazz show at Preservation Hall, and attend the city’s annual spring French Quarter Fest!
Go boatingIt is a must to get out on the water while in New Orleans. Get out onto the Mississippi River and head to the swampland for a boat tour and experience one of the many activities that makes New Orleans so special.
Try local foodNew Orleans is well known for its local food. With French influence, its extensive history, as well as being a port city, the local food of New Orleans has many influences. Must try local dishes are: crawfish, gumbo, po boy’s, beignets, Andouille, muffuletta, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and boudin.
Catch some live musicMusic and culture are so ingrained into the city of New Orleans, and live music venues are constantly hosting shows here. You can find live, local music just about anywhere and the city has a free concert series in many parks and public squares around New Orleans. The city is famous for its jazz music, though you’ll find the music of all types here.
3 of the Top Day Trips You Can Take from New Orleans
1. Lake PontchartrainLake Pontchartrain (though technically an estuary) is a great day trip to make if you want a break from the city and get somewhere out in nature. It is only 22 miles away from New Orleans, making it convenient to pop over to during the day.
Plan to go to a local eatery for lunch, preferably for seafood, and find plenty of other shops, restaurants, and cafes along Harrison Avenue. You can go fishing or boating on the lake, and take to Lakeshore Drive for bike riding or walking along the lake. The Causeway Bridge that crosses 23 miles over the lake is the 9th longest bridge in the world and takes 50 minutes to cross.
2. Honey IslandThe swampland is a natural part of the New Orleans area, and you can go for a tour of Honey Island via a boat tour. The Honey Island Swamp covers almost 70,000 acres and is one of the most pristine natural swampland habitats in the country. Some wildlife that you can see here includes: alligators, waterfowl, bald eagles, deer, otters, beavers, and more.
3. LafayetteLafayette has a different vibe and culture than New Orleans and with it only a 2-hour drive away, it is a great day trip! It is the place to go for some authentic Cajun cuisine and is also where you’ll find Louisiana’s second largest Mardi Gras celebration.
Louisiana in general has a lot of beautiful spots and if you have time, you should explore even more while you’re there!