Welcome to the vibrant city of New Orleans, a place where adventure awaits at every corner. Known for its rich history, lively music scene, and delectable cuisine, this unique destination offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a music lover, New Orleans has it all.
As you plan your visit to the “Big Easy,” it’s essential to have a well-curated itinerary to make the most of your time. In this article, we’ll guide you through an awesome New Orleans itinerary that showcases the best of the city’s attractions and experiences.
From exploring the iconic French Quarter to immersing yourself in the captivating sounds of jazz, from savoring the mouthwatering flavors of Creole and Cajun cuisine to strolling through historic neighborhoods, our itinerary has something for everyone. Whether you have a week to spare or a few days to explore, this itinerary will help you make the most of your time in New Orleans.
So, put on your walking shoes, get ready to indulge your senses, and let’s dive into the adventures that await you in the enchanting city of New Orleans!
Day 1: Exploring the French Quarter
Your New Orleans adventure begins in the heart of the city, the historic French Quarter. Begin your day with a stroll down iconic Bourbon Street, a lively and vibrant street known for its music, bars, and energy. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the street, and don’t forget to stop by a local café for a cup of strong, flavorful New Orleans-style coffee.
Next, make your way to Jackson Square, a historic park that offers a glimpse into the city’s past. Marvel at the stunning St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States. Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere.
After exploring Jackson Square, venture into the charming streets of the French Quarter. Admire the colorful Creole townhouses with their cast-iron balconies and lush courtyards. Visit the French Market, where you can find an array of local products, from fresh seafood to unique art. Don’t forget to try some beignets, a New Orleans delicacy – fluffy, deep-fried pastries covered in a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
In the afternoon, head to the National WWII Museum, a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Explore the engaging exhibits and learn about the events that shaped the world during this pivotal time in history. The museum offers a comprehensive and immersive experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding of World War II.
As the evening approaches, make your way to Frenchmen Street, a vibrant hub for live music. Catch a performance at one of the many jazz clubs or listen to street musicians filling the air with soulful melodies. Enjoy a dinner filled with Creole flavors at one of the many restaurants in the area.
End your day by taking a ghost tour through the narrow, atmospheric streets of the French Quarter. Hear chilling stories about New Orleans’ haunted past and perhaps even encounter a spectral presence as you delve into the city’s mysterious side.
After a day immersed in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the French Quarter, you’ll have experienced the true essence of New Orleans. Get a good night’s sleep and get ready for another exciting day of adventure in this captivating city.
Day 2: Discovering New Orleans’ History
New Orleans is a city with a rich and storied past, and day two of your itinerary is dedicated to exploring its fascinating history. Start your day by visiting the historic neighborhood of Treme, considered the oldest African-American neighborhood in the country. Take a walking tour to learn about the neighborhood’s significant contributions to New Orleans’ cultural heritage, from jazz and brass bands to Mardi Gras traditions.
Next, head to the famous Garden District, known for its beautiful mansions and tree-lined streets. Take a leisurely stroll through this picturesque neighborhood and marvel at the stunning architecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, a captivating above-ground cemetery dating back to the 19th century. The intricate tomb designs and moss-covered tombs add to the cemetery’s eerie charm.
Afterwards, make your way to the historic St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the final resting place of many notable New Orleans residents, including famed voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. Take a guided tour to learn about the cemetery’s unique above-ground burial practices and the legends that surround it.
For lunch, head to the iconic Court of Two Sisters, known for its famous Jazz Brunch. Indulge in a delectable spread of Creole and international dishes while enjoying live jazz music in a beautiful courtyard setting.
In the afternoon, visit the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum to learn about the city’s mystical and spiritual traditions. Explore the artifacts, artwork, and exhibits that delve into the world of voodoo and its cultural significance in New Orleans.
As the sun sets, embark on a riverboat cruise along the mighty Mississippi River. Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline and learn about the river’s importance to the development of New Orleans as you cruise along. Dinner is served aboard the riverboat, offering a delightful combination of delicious food and captivating scenery.
After the cruise, take a stroll along the Moonwalk, a scenic promenade overlooking the river. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the city illuminated at night, creating a magical ambiance.
End the day by visiting one of the legendary jazz clubs in the city, such as Preservation Hall or Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies of jazz, a genre deeply rooted in New Orleans’ history. Let the music transport you back in time and appreciate the legacy of this iconic art form.
With a day filled with historical explorations, you’ll have gained a deeper understanding of New Orleans’ captivating past. Reflect on the day’s experiences and look forward to more adventures in the days to come.
Day 3: Indulging in New Orleans’ Cuisine
No visit to New Orleans is complete without savoring the mouthwatering flavors of its unique cuisine. Day three of your itinerary is dedicated to indulging in the culinary delights that define the city’s gastronomic scene.
Start your day with a visit to the famous Café du Monde, a New Orleans institution known for its beignets and café au lait. Join the locals in enjoying these fluffy, powdered sugar-covered pastries as you sip on a strong and flavorful cup of coffee.
Next, venture into the Bywater neighborhood to explore one of New Orleans’ most popular street markets, the Crescent City Farmers Market. Browse through the stalls brimming with fresh produce, artisanal goods, and local delicacies. Pick up some ingredients to create your own New Orleans-inspired meal later in the day.
For lunch, head to a local po’ boy shop and try one of New Orleans’ most beloved sandwiches. Choose from a variety of fillings, such as fried shrimp, oysters, or roast beef, served on a crusty French bread roll. Pair it with a side of crispy French fries or creamy coleslaw.
In the afternoon, take a cooking class to learn the secrets of Creole and Cajun cuisine. Under the guidance of a local chef, prepare traditional dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, or étouffée. Discover the intricate blend of flavors and techniques that make New Orleans cuisine so unique.
After the cooking class, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor as you savor the delicious meal you’ve prepared. Raise a toast to your newfound culinary skills and the vibrant flavors of New Orleans.
In the evening, embark on a culinary walking tour of the French Quarter. Sample a variety of local specialties, from seafood gumbo and crawfish étouffée to classic Creole dishes. Let your taste buds take a journey through the diverse flavors that make New Orleans a food lover’s paradise.
End the day with a visit to a local jazz and dinner club. Enjoy a live jazz performance while savoring a traditional New Orleans dinner, such as shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, or blackened catfish. Immerse yourself in the harmonious blend of music and food that epitomizes the soul of New Orleans.
After a day of indulging in New Orleans’ cuisine, you’ll have experienced the city’s flavors in a truly immersive way. Reflect on the culinary delights you’ve tasted and get ready for another day of adventure in the Big Easy.
Day 4: Exploring the Garden District
On day four of your New Orleans itinerary, venture into the beautiful Garden District, a neighborhood renowned for its picturesque streets, historic mansions, and lush greenery. Spend the day immersing yourself in the charm and elegance of this captivating area.
Start your morning by taking a leisurely walk along Magazine Street, the main thoroughfare of the Garden District. This vibrant street is lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, and charming cafes. Explore the shops and maybe pick up a locally-made souvenir or a piece of artwork to commemorate your trip.
Next, embark on a guided walking tour of the Garden District. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the antebellum mansions that line the streets, each with its own unique history and character. Learn about the neighborhood’s past and the significant role it played in shaping New Orleans’ cultural heritage.
Be sure to visit the famous Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, known for its above-ground tombs and eerie atmosphere. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate designs of the tombs and the stories they hold. This historic cemetery offers a glimpse into the city’s rich and diverse history.
After a morning of exploration, treat yourself to a delightful lunch in one of the charming cafes or restaurants in the Garden District. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes featuring local ingredients, such as seafood gumbo, shrimp po’ boys, or a refreshing salad with Creole flavors.
In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll under the canopy of ancient oak trees in the Garden District. Admire the well-manicured gardens, intricate ironwork, and vibrant blooms that grace this picturesque neighborhood. Stop by the Commander’s Palace, a historic restaurant famous for its upscale Creole cuisine, and enjoy a refreshing cocktail in their elegant courtyard.
For a change of pace, hop on the St. Charles streetcar and enjoy a scenic ride through the Garden District and Uptown. As you ride along the iconic St. Charles Avenue, take in the majestic mansions, lush gardens, and breathtaking architecture that make this area so enchanting.
As the day comes to a close, head back to the Garden District for a memorable dining experience. Choose from one of the many renowned restaurants in the area and indulge in a gourmet dinner. Savor the delectable flavors of Creole and international cuisine while immersing yourself in the elegant ambiance of the neighborhood.
After a day of exploring the Garden District’s beauty and indulging in its culinary delights, you’ll have experienced a different side of New Orleans. Reflect on the charm and elegance of this historic neighborhood and look forward to more adventures in the days to come.
Day 5: Immersing in New Orleans’ Music Scene
Get ready to let the rhythmic sounds of jazz and blues guide you through day five of your New Orleans itinerary as you immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant music scene. From iconic venues to lively street performances, you’ll discover why New Orleans is hailed as the birthplace of jazz.
Start your day with a visit to the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, where you can explore exhibits that showcase the evolution of jazz music and its deep roots in the city. Learn about jazz legends like Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, and gain insight into the cultural significance of this uniquely American art form.
Afterwards, make your way to the legendary Preservation Hall, an intimate venue that has been a cornerstone of New Orleans’ jazz scene since 1961. Experience an authentic jazz performance, where talented musicians will transport you back in time with their soulful melodies. Be sure to arrive early, as seats are limited and the line can get long.
For lunch, head to the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood and explore Frenchmen Street, a vibrant hub for live music. Many jazz clubs and bars line the street, offering an eclectic mix of genres and talented musicians. Find a spot that catches your ear and enjoy some delicious local cuisine as you soak in the energetic atmosphere.
In the afternoon, take a walk through the French Quarter and listen to the street musicians who fill the air with their captivating tunes. From brass bands to solo saxophonists, the vibrant sounds of the city will surround you as you explore the historic streets. Don’t forget to show your appreciation by dropping a few dollars into their tip jars.
As the evening approaches, head to the famous Tipitina’s, a legendary music venue that has hosted renowned artists like Professor Longhair and Dr. John. Catch a live performance of blues, funk, or jazz and feel the energy of the crowd as the music fills the air.
For dinner, why not try some soul food? Visit a local restaurant that serves up dishes like fried chicken, gumbo, or red beans and rice – all accompanied by the soulful sounds of live music. Let the flavors of the cuisine and the rhythm of the music transport you to the heart and soul of New Orleans.
End your day by indulging in a late-night jazz session at the Spotted Cat Music Club or Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. Lose yourself in the melodic improvisations and infectious grooves that permeate the venues, experiencing the pure essence of the city’s music culture.
With a day dedicated to New Orleans’ music scene, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for the rich musical heritage that fills the streets of this vibrant city. Reflect on the harmonies, melodies, and rhythms that have defined New Orleans’ cultural identity and prepare for more adventures in the days ahead.
Day 6: Enjoying Outdoor Activities
On day six of your New Orleans itinerary, take a break from the city’s bustling streets and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and outdoor activities that the area has to offer. From scenic parks to swamp tours, there are plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors in and around the city.
Start your day by visiting City Park, a sprawling urban oasis filled with lush gardens, majestic oak trees, and picturesque lagoons. Take a leisurely stroll or rent a bike to explore the park’s scenic trails. Be sure to visit the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, home to an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures.
Afterwards, venture out of the city to embark on an unforgettable swamp tour. Head to the nearby swamplands, such as the Honey Island Swamp or Barataria Preserve, where you can witness the unique ecosystem of cypress trees, Spanish moss, and diverse wildlife. Hop on an airboat or guided boat tour to get up close and personal with alligators, turtles, and exotic bird species.
For lunch, enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s beautiful parks or grab a bite to eat at a local seafood shack, where you can savor fresh, Gulf Coast seafood. Treat yourself to a po’ boy sandwich filled with fried oysters or shrimp, or opt for a seafood boil featuring crawfish, crab, and shrimp.
In the afternoon, visit Audubon Park, a charming green space located in the Uptown neighborhood. Take a leisurely walk around the park’s picturesque lagoon or rent a paddleboat to explore the calm waters. The park also features an 18-hole golf course, so golf enthusiasts can hit the links and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re looking for a thrill, consider taking a kayak or canoe trip along the scenic Bayou St. John. Paddle your way through the calm waters, surrounded by lush greenery and historic homes. Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as herons, turtles, and even the occasional alligator.
As the day comes to a close, head back to the city and treat yourself to a relaxing riverboat cruise along the Mississippi River. Enjoy the picturesque views of the city skyline and the gentle breeze as you glide along the historic river. Take in the serenity of the moment and reflect on the natural wonders you’ve experienced throughout the day.
For dinner, savor the flavors of outdoor dining at one of the many waterfront restaurants in the city. Enjoy fresh seafood dishes while enjoying the mesmerizing views of the river or the picturesque Bayou St. John.
End your day by enjoying a stunning sunset over the river or taking a leisurely stroll along the riverfront promenade. Reflect on the outdoor adventures you’ve experienced in and around New Orleans and get ready for the final day of your memorable trip.
Day 7: Sampling the Vibrant Nightlife
On the final day of your New Orleans itinerary, immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife scene. From lively bars and clubs to live music venues, New Orleans comes alive after dark, offering a plethora of options for a memorable evening.
Begin your evening with a visit to the lively Frenchmen Street, known for its vibrant music scene and bustling nightlife. Explore the numerous bars and clubs lining the street, each offering a unique atmosphere and live music performances. From jazz and blues to funk and rock, you’ll find a genre that suits your taste.
As you hop from one venue to another, don’t forget to indulge in some delicious late-night snacks. Stop by a local eatery or food truck for a taste of classic New Orleans fare, such as gumbo, jambalaya, or a po’ boy sandwich. Fuel up for a night of dancing and fun.
If you’re in the mood for a more relaxed evening, head to one of the city’s renowned cocktail bars. Step into the world of mixology and enjoy expertly crafted cocktails that showcase New Orleans’ unique flavors and spirits. From Sazeracs to Hurricanes, the city’s cocktail scene is sure to impress.
For a taste of local culture and traditional dance, witness a lively Cajun or zydeco music performance. These energetic genres will have you on your feet in no time, dancing to the irresistible rhythms. Let the lively music and infectious energy of the performers create an unforgettable experience.
As the night progresses, make your way to Bourbon Street, arguably the most famous street in the city. It’s a bustling hub of neon lights, music, and people. Stroll along the street, taking in the lively atmosphere and stopping at bars to enjoy a drink or two. However, keep in mind that Bourbon Street can get quite crowded, so be prepared for the energetic chaos.
End your night at one of New Orleans’ iconic jazz clubs, such as the historic Preservation Hall or the cozy Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies and improvisations that have made New Orleans famous. Enjoy a captivating performance by talented local musicians and let the music transport you to another world.
As you reflect on your time in New Orleans, savor the memories of vibrant nights filled with music, laughter, and camaraderie. Appreciate the city’s dynamic and diverse nightlife scene, knowing that you have experienced the true essence of New Orleans.
So, raise a glass, tap your feet, and bid farewell to the enchanting city of New Orleans, knowing that its vibrant spirit will stay with you long after you’ve left.
As you come to the end of your New Orleans adventure, you can reflect on the amazing experiences and memories you have created in this vibrant city. From exploring the historic French Quarter and immersing yourself in the sounds of jazz to indulging in the mouthwatering flavors of Creole cuisine and enjoying outdoor activities, New Orleans has offered a diverse array of adventures for you to discover.
Throughout your journey, you’ve witnessed the rich history, cultural heritage, and lively spirit that define this captivating destination. The city’s unique blend of influences, from French, African, Caribbean, and beyond, has shaped its vibrant culture and created a melting pot of art, music, and culinary delights.
From the iconic landmarks of Jackson Square to the charming streets of the Garden District, every corner of New Orleans has its own story to tell. You’ve taken the time to delve into the city’s past, exploring its historic cemeteries, museums, and neighborhoods.
But New Orleans is not just about its history; it’s also about its lively present. You’ve experienced the energy of the city’s music scene, dancing to the soulful rhythms of jazz and immersing yourself in the vibrant nightlife. You’ve tasted the unique flavors of Creole and Cajun cuisine, from beignets to gumbo, delighting your taste buds with the city’s gastronomic wonders.
And let’s not forget the natural beauty that surrounds New Orleans. Whether it was exploring the swamps, strolling through parks, or enjoying a relaxing riverboat cruise, you’ve embraced the outdoor activities that make the city even more enchanting.
New Orleans is a city that captivates the senses and leaves a lasting impression. Its rich history, cultural diversity, and lively spirit create an atmosphere that is incomparable to any other destination. As you bid farewell to this unique city, carry the memories of your adventures and the soul of New Orleans with you.
Remember the sounds of jazz echoing through the streets, the taste of mouthwatering cuisine on your tongue, and the vibrant energy that fills the air. And perhaps, one day, you’ll return to this remarkable city to dive into new adventures and create even more cherished memories.
Farewell, and may the spirit of New Orleans continue to inspire and ignite your sense of adventure wherever your journey leads you next.