15 Must-Try New Orleans Experiences Endorsed by Locals

New Orleans is a vibrant city with a diverse culture, history, and atmosphere. This iconic spot celebrates music, dancing, and food and the best way to experience all three is by asking the locals for their top suggestions.

1. Cafe du Monde

Café du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Image Credit: Didier Moïse – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Cafe du Monde is the place to go for the best beignets in New Orleans. This coffee stand started in the New Orleans French Market in 1862, and in addition to beignets, they serve dark roasted coffee and chicory, white and chocolate milk, and cafe au lait.

2. The French Quarter

French Quarter, New Orleans
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If you’re in New Orleans and want to do a bar crawl, hit the French Quarter. It’s the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans and has played a big role in the city’s unique history and culture. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you busy all night long.

3. Pat O’Brien’s

Pat O'Brien's on St. Peter Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Image Credit: Matt Boulton – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Travelers and locals suggest visiting Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter for a hurricane — the signature drink in New Orleans. The Main Bar has a classic private gentlemen’s club feel to it, while the popular Patio’s motto is “Have Fun!” The Piano Lounge is where the “Dueling Pianos” perform, so take your pick from these three bars when you visit Pat O’Brien’s.

4. Audubon Park

Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

This park opened in 1898 in Uptown New Orleans and has maintained its natural beauty over the years. Brimming with gorgeous lagoons, oak trees, and long stretches of green space perfect for a picnic, Audubon Park is a nature-lover’s paradise. Take a break from eating, drinking, and listening to music, and spend a day cycling, strolling, and relaxing in the park.

5. Cat’s Meow

Image Credit: New Orleans Official Website.

Put the French Quarter’s Cat’s Meow on your radar if you’re in New Orleans for a good time. They rate themselves as the world’s best karaoke bar, and anyone who’s visited would probably agree with them.

6. The Carousel Bar

Image Credit: Hotel Monteleone.

The Carousel Bar is another French Quarter resident. It was established in 1949 in the Hotel Monteleone and is the only rotating bar in the city. Enjoy a cocktail while the bar turns.

7. Jazz Tour

Image Credit: Intrepid Urban Adventurers.

Since New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, it’s only fitting to book a jazz tour while in the city. Learn more about New Orleans’ rich history and the people and music who shaped it.

8. Bacchanal Wine

Image Credit: Bacchanal Wine.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of class and style, spend an evening at Bacchanal Wine in the Bywater district. Indulge in wine and cheese while catching a live music show, or take advantage of their free wine tasting on Wednesdays.

9. Louis Armstrong Park

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Just a few feet from the French Quarter, you’ll find Louis Armstrong Park, which pays homage to the great musician himself. Walk around and look at the sculptures, Congo Square, and duck ponds. Bonus points if you listen to Louis Armstrong jazz through your headphones while walking.

10. Ghost Tours

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Many believe that New Orleans is “very haunted,” so what better way to get to know New Orleans than to get to know those who haunt it? Take a ghost tour through the French Quarter’s most haunted spots.

11. Napolean House

Nicholas Girod House
Image Credit: Elisa Rolle, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

The muffuletta is a Sicilian sandwich that originated in New Orleans with Italian immigrants. Bite into this hearty, meaty sandwich at Napolean House when you visit New Orleans.

12. The Maple Leaf Bar

the Maple Leaf on Oak Street
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

It’s the perfect place to get lost in the music and have a good time. Maple Leaf Bar opened in Uptown in 1974 and is one of the longest-continuing music clubs in the city. You can catch live music every night of the week, so if you can’t decide where to go, Maple Leaf Bar will always be there.

13. National World War II Museum

National World War II Museum - Opal Sedan
Image Credit: CC0/Wiki Commons.

Step back in time when you visit the National World War II Museum. Travelers describe the museum as top-notch. It features many halls, galleries, and rotating exhibits.

14. Piccolo Gelateria

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Nothing is better than a creamy gelato on a hot summer’s day (or even a cold winter’s day). When that sugar craving hits, try out Piccolo Gelateria in Uptown for some of the tastiest gelato in New Orleans.

15. Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar in Uptown is the place to be if you’re in need of seriously delicious oysters. They offer an oyster happy hour you won’t want to miss.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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