Oysters, po-boys, jazz, more jazz and classic cocktails feature heavily on any New Orleans itinerary… But the ‘Big Easy’ is about so much more than that. So no matter if you’re a newcomer to this magical place or a lifelong local, here’s an essential checklist of places to go and things you simply must do. From exploring the French Quarter to discovering a wondrous world of music and dancing, to lapping up some of the tastiest eateries you’ll ever find – this city has it all!
Get lost in the French Quarter
There’s much more to Crescent City’s oldest and most famous neighbourhood than the neon lights at night at Bourbon Street. Get started by exploring the galleries of Royal Street, like M.S. Rau Antiques, where you can find hidden gems (literally) including secret rooms filled with extravagant paintings, jewellery, sculpture and furniture.
Knock back some oysters
Louisiana oysters are some of the biggest, yet surprisingly, the cheapest bivalves to be found in the whole of the US and New Orleans is renowned for them. You’d be a fool not to get yourself down to Casamento’s – a Magazine Street institution since 1919 serving up the very best oysters in town. This is the perfect place to also indulge in some oyster loaf – a delicacy served on buttery Texas toast instead of traditional New Orleans French bread, but just as tasty nonetheless!
Stroll round City Park
City Park spans a whopping 1,300 acres and is one of the oldest in the country, built in 1854. Enjoy a walk, jog or cycle - there’s even a chance to rent a bike form the Boathouse. Walk past deep lagoons and bask amongst the luscious oak trees and greenery the park has to offer. Whilst you’re there you could even enjoy a spot of tennis - the park has a whopping 26 courts! Or visit the magical yet slightly haunting Carousel Gardens…
Enjoy a good old po’boy
You simply can’t visit this part of Louisiana without fattening up with a traditional Po’boy sandwich. There’s no shortage of places that sell these babies – but by far one of the best is served up at Domilise’s. This Uptown restaurant been making them since 1918, so they’ve had plenty of practise and certainly won’t disappoint the taste buds.
Have a boogie on Frenchman Street
If it’s authentic local music you’re after, many wouldn’t think to bypass the French Quarter clubs – but you’ll be glad you did when you head over to the Faubourg Marigny neighbourhood. Here you’ll find Frenchmen Street (between St. Claude Avenue and N Peters Street) and a whole world of restaurants and clubs with truly unrivalled jazz music to really feed your ears.
St Louis Cathedral
This stunning piece of architecture is one of New Orleans' most recognizable landmarks. The oldest cathedral in North America, St. Louis Cathedral was originally built in the early 1700s but still stands today as one of the city’s centrepieces. A visit here is an absolute must to marvel at it’s artistry.
Explore the Garden District
Take a stroll around here for a look at some of the city's most beautiful and ornate homes. As the name suggests, this historic residential neighbourhood is laden with luscious trees, flowers and yep – gardens.
As you can tell – there’s an abundance of fun, food, drink and dancing to be had in this sprawling and intriguing metropolis. With an unrivalled history and an atmosphere that’s completely magical, you’ll never want to leave and neither will you run out of things to do at the Big Easy.
So what are you waiting for?! Get exploring - - there’s a world of opportunities out there…