Top 5 Must Do's in New Orleans

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1. The French Quarter

There is no trip to New Orleans that is complete without a visit to the French Quarter. There is plenty to see and do in this historical area of the city. The architecture in this area clearly resembles that of buildings found on the streets of Paris. You will hardly find chain stores or restaurants in this area, if any. All shops are locally-owned and operated and offer some unique merchandise and cuisine. Both Cajun and Creole cooking can be found on the streets of the French Quarter.

Head over to Bourbon Street for some drinks. Where else besides Las Vegas can you walk about the streets with a beer in your hand? Be sure to make a stop at Café du Monde for some unbelievable Beignets (French donuts) and Café au Lait. The center of the French Quarter is marked by Jackson Square and Cathedral which is a great place to relax and take in the surrounding scenery.

2. Swamp Tour

Its swamps have defined New Orleans throughout the years. There are numerous tour companies near the French Quarter and surrounding areas that will take visitors to tour one of the city’s many swamps. Some of them even include a tour to a plantation. The swamp tours are quite enjoyable as a bus will drop you right in front of a loading dock on which you embark on a boat. The boats navigate through the swamps swiftly, allowing for that cool breeze. The tour guides then navigate slowly through the waters to explain the history of the swamps and point out surrounding wildlife as well. If you’re lucky, you’re bound to see an alligator or two.

3. Garden District

A walking tour of this prominent neighborhood is definitely a must-do. The Garden District of New Orleans is home to many huge homes and historic mansions. The famous novelist, Anne Rice, has a home in this area. The architecture of these homes is truly a sight to see as they are not only unique but colorful as well. Also in the Garden District is Lafayette Cemetery No.1-one of New Orleans’ oldest above-ground cemeteries.

4. Jazz Clubs and Funeral Parades

No trip to the birthplace of Jazz is complete without enjoying the music of New Orleans. Whether you visit one of the many jazz clubs, attend the annual New Orleans Jazz Festival, or witness a funeral parade, the experience will be unique and the memory will last a lifetime.

5. Mardi Gras Parades

Throughout Mardi Gras season (February-March) numerous parades are held nightly on Canal St. and other major New Orleans streets. They are quite the spectacle as “throws” are literally thrown to the people on the streets from elaborately decorated floats. It is always a treat to catch dubloons, cups and most importantly, beads as souvenirs from the Mardi Gras capital of the world.

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