Five New Orleans Experiences to Try
New Orleans is a city that knows how to have a good time. It’s most famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations, going on currently, of course, but honestly, Bourbon Street and many other parts of this vibrant, resilient city are happening year round. Even if you aren’t into consuming massive amounts of alcohol, New Orleans still tempts with plenty of other diversions, including history and culture and food found nowhere else in the U.S.
Here are five New Orleans experiences beyond Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street:
1. Drinking Holes
New Orleans is definitely a renowned drinking city, and it even gave the world three famous cocktails: the Sazerac, the Obituary Cocktail and the Ramos gin fizz. There are hundreds of places to get a drink in New Orleans, including local favorites like Arnaud’s French 75 in the French Quarter. Also check out the Hotel Monteleone’s revolving bar, the Carousel, which you should order a Sazerac.
2. Live Music
The best live music in New Orleans is not found on Bourbon Street, but instead in the historic neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny and Frenchman Street, which is walking distance from the French Quarter. Here you’ll find clubs like Snug Harbor and The Blue Nile for jazz and solo artist performances. Also check out restaurants The Three Muses and the Marigny Brasserie that attract the late-night crowds.
3. Riding Streetcars
We think one of the best ways to explore New Orleans is to hop onto a streetcar and just ride for a few hours. The shorter Riverfront line follows the river to the Quarter’s French Market. The St. Charles line, designated by the green cars, head Uptown, following parallel to the traffic on the city’s grandest streets. While the Canal Street line’s red cars stop at historic cemeteries like Metairie Cemetery or City Park.
4. Garden District
The Garden District looks like the set from a movie with its 19th-century mansions constructed in everything from Greek Revival to Gothic stylings, along with giant oaks, wrought iron gates and pillars and porticos aplenty. This neighborhood can be reached by riding the St Charles line street car from downtown. Besides architecture, here you’ll find Lafayette Cemetery #1, one of the world’s most photogenic. Also make a reservation to dine at local favorite Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans institution that has been serving fine dining fare across from the cemetery since 1880.
5. Jackson Square
Jackson Square, named for the statue of Andrew Jackson at its center, is the heart and soul of the French Quarter. Here you’ll also find three 18th-century architectural glories: the Cabildo, a former city hall where the Louisiana Purchase was signed; St. Louis Cathedral; and the Presbytère.