The Big Easy is one of the most beloved travel destinations in America and for good reason. From their award winning Cajun cuisine to their natural splender, the entire area offers many magnificent attractions. While visiting, world famous Bourbon Street offers a glimpse into history, delicious cafes and plenty of shops all located in the historic French Quarter. For a little more detailed history you should check out Historic New Orleans Collection and the National WWII Museum. Don't forget to take in some natural beauty while visiting, the Audobon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium can help you with that. Here we've collected ten of the best attractions to see while you're in town.
What Bourbon Street offers is 13 blocks of New Orleans history, restaurants, bars, cafes, souvenir shops, and New Orleans' culture. Stop for a bite to eat at the popular Galatoire's, admire the architecture, do some shopping, and then stick around for nightfall when things really start heating up on Bourbon. If you're lucky enough to be in town for Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street is the place where it all happens, so definitely join in the festivities!
The French Quarter is actually home to one of the most famous New Orleans attractions, Bourbon Street, but it is much more than that. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city, and a lot of its historic buildings were built when the Spanish ruled the city in the late 18th century. It's a wonderful area to spend an afternoon snapping pictures, perusing the streets and their shops and cafes, and generally just taking in the historic scenery and architecture.
You don't have to be an art fanatic to fall in love with Royal Street, although many art lovers do flock to this street's section in the Upper French Quarter to window shop. There are dozens of antique shops, beautiful high-end hotels, and art galleries to appreciate, and you don't have to purchase anything to have fun. Though a portion of the street is quite upscale, an equal amount also includes budget options for the travelers who are trying to keep their spending at a minimum on their trip while still enjoying their time.
History doesn't stop after the streets of downtown New Orleans. In fact, one could say it begins in City Park. This park is home to the world's largest collection of live oak trees, many being more than 600 years old. Being that it was founded in 1853, it is also one of the United States' oldest parks. There are a number of lovely bridges and roads to lead you around the ponds, through the oaks, and up to some of the many sculptures in the park. Take your lunch to go and enjoy it while you explore one of the most stunning urban public parks the country has to offer!
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square is a gorgeous way to spend an afternoon. It's a National Historic Landmark, so it's easy on the eyes to say the least. The square itself was designed after the famous Place des Vosges in Paris, France. In the center you'll see the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson, for whom the square is named, as well as the St. Louis Cathedral.
This cathedral is one of the oldest in the United States and for this reason has some interesting history behind its stunning exterior. It was officially named the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, and had its first version built in 1718. However, there were three more reconstructions, the final expansion and rebuilding happening in 1850. If you're up for the adventure, take a tour and learn about how the cathedral is supposedly haunted by Pere Antoine, a priest who was buried with the church, as well as Pere Dagobert, a monk whose voice is said to be heard on rainy days.
Address: 615 Pere Antoine Alley,
New Orleans, LA 70116
The most famous section of this street consists of three short blocks that pack in a lot of action of the musical variety. Who doesn't enjoy live music while out to eat or out for the evening? This street is where you'll find all of the best live music venues and bands. Spend your day looking through the bookstores, admiring the Creole style Townhouses, and enjoying some coffee shops. Then enjoy dinner and music at one or more of the popular venues on the street, including The Spotted Cat, The Maison, Blue Nile, and Bamboula's.
Head to New Orleans' Central Business District for a look into the United States' contributions to the Allies and eventual victory in World War II, as well as the battle of Normandy. This museum prides itself in providing an emphasis on the American experience during this war and is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, so you can be sure that you'll leave educated and satisfied with your experience at the museum.
Here's your chance to experience and understand the history and culture of the city of New Orleans! The center is dedicated to the preservation and research of New Orleans and general Southern Gulf culture and history, and is located in the French Quarter. Archives include the Sugar Bowl, life after Hurricane Katrina, the William Russel Jazz Collection, and the William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection.
Getting lost here would not be a bad thing in the least- with over 50 live exhibits, you can wander for a few hours and continually feel entertained. The Underground Gallery gives visitors a "bug's eye view" of what it's like to live in an insect's world. It has gigantic animatronic insects and an oversized exhibit, giving you the feeling of being 1000th of the size you really are. The Butterfly Garden is what partially gives the Insectarium its name, and is filled with hundreds of live butterflies so you can interact with them.