New Orleans is one of those magical places where there is always something to do. It is a city where fun is as important as work, with a culture that embraces this philosophy.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to do, per day, to make your time in New Orleans unforgettable.
Monday: It’s tour-ific!
Having a “Monday case” is impossible in New Orleans. It may be the start of the work week, but it’s also just the start of the fun in New Orleans.
To Do: Tour the city.
New Orleans is one of the oldest and most peculiar places in the United States. We vote by touring one (or more) of our many neighborhoods with a New Orleans historian. He will learn about the distinctive history and character of each neighborhood. There is the French Quarter, whose streets are full of seduction and mystery; the Garden District, where it’s easy to spend hours visiting famous homes, cemeteries and restaurants; or the Lower 9th Ward, famous for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Some restaurants, museums, and attractions are closed on Mondays (hey, everyone needs a day off), including the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, and the Children’s Museum. Don’t forget to do your research before you leave!
Rebirth Brass Band plays at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.
Tuesday: Who needs gold when you have bronze?
Not many people say that Tuesday is their favorite day of the week, but not many people are from New Orleans.
To Do: Renaissance at the Maple Leaf Bar
New Orleans is built on music. With artists like Louis Armstrong, Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino, and Dr. John calling New Orleans home, it’s easy to see (and hear) that there’s something special about this city’s music.
Head to Oak Street, at the end of the St. Charles Streetcar line, on Tuesday nights for one of the best brass bands in the world. The Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band takes the stage every Tuesday night (10pm sharp) at the Maple Leaf Bar. You can’t help but feel the magic of the music as you dance and sing along.
After dancing with 200 of your closest (and new) friends, head to Camellia Grill for a giant breakfast omelette, served until 2am. It’s a New Orleans landmark and you can’t miss it!
Wednesday: To the Plaza you go!
Hump Day means it’s time for free live music, the best New Orleans food, and local crafts, all for a good cause.
To do: Wednesday in the square
Each spring, the Young Leadership Council hosts a free 12-week concert series in the New Orleans CBD (Central Business District) in Lafayette Square. Both locally and nationally recognized musicians take the stage, while businessmen, fresh off work, kids, graduate students and tourists sit back and enjoy New Orleans food and music.
Lafayette Square is smack in the middle of bustling downtown New Orleans, just steps from most hotels. Come on an empty stomach and get ready for a unique New Orleans good time. PS All proceeds from the food go to the YLC!
Bring a blanket and/or lawn chair. You will take your food and drink, but you will need a place to enjoy it. These two articles are really helpful.
Thursday: Are you happy to be here?
We take you on a tour of the world’s largest collection of southern art, just steps from your hotel.
To Do: Ogden After Hours
The New Orleans art scene is boosting. We even have an entire district dedicated to it: the Arts District, naturally. Head to Camp Street for exquisite art, live music and interviews from Southern music historians.
The Ogden Museum celebrates the art, music and culture of the South. Every Thursday from 6 to 8 pm, Ogden opens its doors to visitors, providing a Southern art experience like no other. There’s live local music (including notables like Trombone Shorty and Anders Osborne), artist interviews, light food, and cocktails.
Ditch the jeans and t-shirt and try a smart casual look. James Beard award-winning restaurants surround you, so ask your concierge for recommendations and enjoy the night.
A bar on the New Orleans cocktail tour.
Friday: Sazeracs and Pimms Cups and Hurricanes, wow!
You are in the city that “invented the modern cocktail”. It’s time to pamper yourself.
To Do: A Cocktail Tour
New Orleans and cocktails literally go hand in hand. The city celebrates excess in everything it does, and drinking is no different. It features famous mixologists, bars that started the modern cocktail revolution, and even a week-long festival dedicated to the art of modern cocktail making called “Tales of the Cocktail.”
Take your story straight with a cocktail tour. Your guide will take you to the best and oldest bars in the city that invented some of the most famous cocktails in the world. Learn the stories behind Sazerac, Pimms Cup and Hurricane, along with many others.
It’s Friday night in the French Quarter. Once your tour is over, head to Marigny for some of the best live music in town.
An art market in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Saturday: Remarketable purchases.
Take home a piece of New Orleans culture at one of its many art markets.
To Do: Art Market
Saturdays are market days in New Orleans. Every neighborhood, from the Warehouse District to Bywater, hosts an open-air market, where artisans promote their crafts and local farmers share their wares. Experience the renaissance of New Orleans by visiting an art market.
One of the largest markets is the French market. Hundreds of vendors set up their stalls on the outer edge of the French Quarter, making the open-air market stretch for blocks. You can buy trinkets, souvenirs, local products and handicrafts. If you’re staying near the French Quarter, you must go, if only for the fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade.
Bring cash. Since art markets have individual vendors (and there are usually no ATMs), some vendors may accept credit cards and some may not. You don’t want to fall in love with something without payment!
Sunday: Eggs with a side of Jazz.
It’s been a long week of revelation. Now it’s time to slow down, eat and enjoy some New Orleans jazz.
Things To Do: Jazz Brunch
If you’ve come to New Orleans, you’ve come to eat. The entire culture of the city revolves around its gastronomy. There’s no better way to end (or start) your week in New Orleans than by attending a jazz brunch.
Some of the city’s culinary greats offer Jazz Brunch -Arnaud’s, Commander’s Palace, Palace Café… -so save room for Eggs Sardou and traditional New Orleans jazz. Don’t rush during brunch. Take your time. You’re in New Orleans, remember? Things move slower here. Appreciate your wonderful food and the live jazz that surrounds you.
Take a stroll around the neighborhood after your brunch is over. You’ll see the beauty of New Orleans while burning some calories.
We mean it when we say, “The fun in New Orleans never stops.” Head to the Big Easy to let the good times roll, no matter what the day!