New Orleans, The Big Easy, The Crescent City, NOLA - the city of many names is open an inviting to all. You will fill your day with good weather, sunny attitude, live music on every corner, plentiful drinks at night, bustling art scene, beautiful architecture, and definitely authentic Cajun and Creole dishes.
The city has enough to offer for days at a time, but not many of us have such time on our hands, so there is a list of some must see highlights. Don't forget to pack comfortable shoes for lots of walking and a sunscreen to protect from the often merciless sun. Other than that, just be ready to celebrate life and all the city has to offer.
The beginning of the trip can be spent walking. There are so many beautiful historic neighborhoods for sightseeing.
Garden District is where the most breathtaking old New Orleans mansions are located. Enjoy the streets lined with ancient oaks, willows, and lush gardens. Refreshments are plentiful in best New Orleans eateries and bars nearby. This district was established in 1832 and offered all newly rich Americans a great opportunity to build large and stay out of French way in French Quarter. Lafayette Cemetery is also located here.
The Riverfront and Warehouse District has been recently modernized and opened to public. Old warehouses were turned into fashionable restaurants, upscale stores, and modern art galleries. The cobblestone streets along the Mississippi River are great for walking in the footsteps of the past.
French Quarter is one of the main symbols of New Orleans. This is a great place to end your day and marvel at remarkable French style homes with wrought iron balconies. The area was populated in 1718 and is now mecca to party lovers, foodies, and antique hunters. Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral are located here.
Voodoo Tours - voodoo religious practices are synonymous with the City and were brought here with the African slaves. This practice is still alive underground and gives the Big Easy a spooky vibe. Take a guided tour to learn about the best known voodoo queen Marie Laveau and enjoy the rich history of this occult.
1850 House is a great example of what the houses of wealthy plantation owners looked like. Slaves made many new settlers rich here, and some great mansions were built around 1850s. This is how the upper class lived and showed their fortune off before the Civil War. This house is located next to Jackson Square and decorated in antebellum style.
Audubon Park and City Park are great places for some quiet family time. Those green parks offer serenity for weary travelers and their kids. Enjoy the greenery, ponds, and ancient 900 year old oaks draped with moss.
Ghost Tours are very common here. The city is the oldest in the country with a very colorful past, so you will surely be entertained whether you believe in ghosts or not. Those tours enrich visitors with many historical facts and details. There is a reason why New Orleans is the most haunted city in the nation.
Listen to live Jazz and rest your tired feet. The music is available in every bar and on every corner, so you won't have to travel far for that. Have a nice dinner to end the day and enjoy fantastic music.
Bayou Tour is a great way to escape the city and learn about the natural ecosystem here. The bayous were and still are the lifeline of this whole region. They provided early settlers with building materials, fish, and waterways for traveling and communication. Take a guided kayak tour to get close to alligators, crocodiles, and snakes while paddling through marshes shaded by moss covered cypress trees.
Oak Alley visit is an amazing way to experience the dark part of the New Orleans history. This plantation is a testament to cruelty and slave history in the early days. This is an eerie and beautiful place at the same time. 28 oak trees frame the road to the picturesque old house located right on the Mississippi River. This plantation is the most impressive from outside and has very detailed exposition about slave life here.
The National World War II Museum is definitely worth a visit and might take all day, so limit yourself if you want to see some other noteworthy city's museums. This museum is voted 11th best in the world and is truly impressive. Spend at least three hours looking at war technology, pictures, listening to veteran audio recordings to get a full picture of the events that took place then and shaped our life as we know it.
The Confederate Memorial Hall Museum is another great place to immerse yourself into the period. This is a Southern museum and thus portraits the fight of honor against the Northern aggression. Whatever way you feel about this issue, the museum offers more than 5,000 artifacts and helps visitors understand the historic realities of that period.
There are many other museums in this great city, but you do need more than one day to visit at least some of them.