FREE THINGS TO DO
Stroll along Bourbon or Frenchmen, where Jazz pours out into the street or duck into a few clubs for the full experience.
Dive Deeper into our Musical Heritage
After you’ve soaked up our Jazz music, learn about its roots at the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park on Decatur Street in the French Quarter.
Browse Art Throughout the City
Find art in every corner of New Orleans – the galleries on Julia and Royal Streets, the Mid-City and Bywater art markets, Jackson Square vendors and so much more. The New Orleans Museum of Art offers free admission on Wednesdays.
Experience our Parks
Walk among the centuries-old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park, take in the sights and sounds of Jackson Square or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park.
Take in a Free Festival
French Quarter Fest, Vieux-To-Do, and Satchmo Summer-fest are just a few of the free famous festivals that take place year round.
Enjoy the Neighborhoods
Explore neighborhoods where tradition and culture meet everyday life. Experience the French Quarter, Garden District, Faubourg Marigny and Bywater. Then take in the Warehouse District, Treme and Carrollton neighborhoods.
Immerse Yourself in New Orleans History
Visit countless museums all around town for a crash course on the city’s history, spanning almost 300 years. Visit The New Orleans Historic Collection.
Stroll Down Royal Street
Enjoy a leisurely walk while shopping for antiques, contemporary clothing and vintage jewelry. Afterwards enjoy legendary cuisine at one of the many unique restaurants and cafes.
Take in a Street Performance
Enjoy a mime, musician or group performance. Local artists contribute to the authentic nature of the New Orleans experience.
See St. Charles Avenue
The historic mansions, renowned universities and local favorite restaurants and shops line The Avenue from downtown to Carrollton.
View French Quarter Architecture
Wrought-iron balconies, the cornstalk fence and hidden courtyards accented with plush greenery are a feast for your eyes.
Experience Nature at Jean Lafitte National Park
Immerse yourself in Louisiana’s rich ecological treasures with swamps, forests and marshlands are just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans.
Stroll Magazine Street
A six-mile-long stretch of this Garden District and Uptown thoroughfare features some of the best antique stores, art galleries, restaurants and boutiques in the city.
Haunt our “Cities of the Dead”
Visit our famous above-ground tombs and Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District or St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street, believed to be the final resting place of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
Take Yourself on a Literary Tour
See where Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate’s Alley) Truman Capote (711 Royal), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon), Walker Percy (1820 Milan), and AnnRice (1239 First) lived.
Jam at Wednesdays at the Square
During the spring and summer months, the Young Leadership Council hosts free concerts in Lafayette Square, featuring some of the hottest local acts.
Ride the River Ferry
The free Canal Street Ferry offers some of the best view of the New Orleans skyline and brings you the historic town of Algiers, just across the river from Jackson Square.
Be Moved by our Spectacular Churches
Take a tour of St. Louis Cathedral, St. Augustine and Our Lady of Guadalupe, just a few of the breathtaking churches in New Orleans.
Discover the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Located amid the beauty of City Park, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden features one of the most impressive collections of contemporary sculpture in America.
REASONS TO VISIT NEW ORLEANS
Cuisine in New Orleans isn't the only thing spicing up the city. TripAdvisor announced that New Orleans is one of their 2012 Top 25 Traveler’s Choice World Destinations and Top 25 Traveler’s Choice U.S. Destinations. Indulge your senses, savor New Orleans’ cultural experience and celebrate everything that makes New Orleans America’s most unique, authentic, and enthralling destination.
Time in New Orleans isn't kept in hours or days, but in meals. When dining in New Orleans, experience a culinary adventure that spans a wide array of cuisines. From Cajun and Creole to Soul and Contemporary French, award-winning chefs create food for your taste buds and nourishment for your soul.
Start the day with a beignet drenched in powdered sugar and a steaming café au lait, lunch on a shrimp po-boy or mouth-watering muffuletta, and end the day with gumbo, shrimp Creole, and flaming bananas foster. Taste for yourself why Bon Appétit named New Orleans one of America's Top 5 Restaurant Cities.
Distinctively Different Neighborhoods
Immerse yourself in the eclectic culture of the Arts District, experience the historic architecture of the French Quarter or enjoy the modern luxury and convenience of the Central Business District. All our neighborhoods are easily accessible to convention facilities, world-famous restaurants and attractions.
Jazz, America's only original art form; was born here while rhythm & blues, gospel, Cajun and zydeco all express the rich melting pot that is our heritage. Music is where New Orleans' first settlers found common ground and no other city loves music more. In New Orleans music occurs effortlessly and joyously; let our music move your soul.
Art & Architecture
Countless architectural gems await you in New Orleans. In fact, the city is home to more National Historic Landmarks than any other city in the United States. Venture to the Arts District, a vibrant community of galleries, and experience why it has been called the SoHo of the South. Then visit one of the oldest and most diverse districts in New Orleans, Magazine Street, an area filled with art exhibits, restaurants, shops and more. Finally, submerge yourself in the historic French Quarter by strolling down Royal and other famous French Quarter streets.
Rich History & Culture
New Orleans is a city rich in history with traditions and customs woven into the fabric of everyday life. Take a trip back in time and experience living history by riding on the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.Then ride the red car down Canal Street and explore the historic Mid-City cemeteries.
Sports & Outdoor Recreation
The climate allows for plenty of outdoor adventures and activities in and around the Crescent City, an urban resort that offers year-round golf along with memorable swamp tours conducted in local bayous. For the spectator, enjoy a NBA game featuring the New Orleans Hornets in the centrally located New Orleans Arena or, if you're lucky, score a seat in the Louisiana Superdome to watch the New Orleans Saints.
Conveniently situated in the central region of the US, New Orleans is ideal for travelers. The Louis Armstrong International Airport is just 20 minutes from city center.
GETTING AROUND NEW ORLEANS
$2.00 sur charge. Compliments or complaints? Call the Taxicab Bureau at 504-658-7102. Please be sure to remember the cab company and cab number. The airport flat rate is $33.00 for up to 2 people and $14.00 for each additional passenger, not to exceed 5 people.
This is the official transportation company providing shuttle service for the City of New Orleans to and from the airport. Upon arrival at the airport, guests can purchase tickets for $20.00 each way or $38.00 round trip from the airport shuttle information desks. Children (under 6) free. Shuttles run until 2:00 a.m. Call 504-522-3500.
Travels to “Mid City”. At the intersection of Canal St. and Carrollton Ave., the line splits into 2 branches, one going up Canal St. ending at the cemeteries and the other turns onto North Carrollton to finish at City Park: Fare $1.25; Cemetery Branch operates 5:00a.m.- 3:00a.m. The City Park/Museum branch operates 7:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m. Exact fare required; transfers to public bus: 25 cents. Schedules are available at the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) office: 2817 Canal Street, 504-248-3900.
St. Charles Streetcar
Stops along St. Charles and Carondelet Streets: Fare $1.25; Operates around the clock with less frequent service in the evening and early-morning hours. Exact fare required; transfers to public bus: 25 cents. Schedules are available at the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) office: 2817 Canal Street , 504-248-3900.
Runs along the Mississippi River, quick and easy access to riverfront activities. Operates 7 days; 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Fare $1.25.
Entitles bearer to unlimited rides on all streetcar and bus lines. 1-Day Jazzy Passes can be purchased from the bus driver or streetcar conductor when you board. Only cash is accepted. The 1-Day & 3-Day Jazzy passes are available from Walgreens in New Orleans, various hotels, grocery stores, banks, and retailers. Cost: $3.00 for one day, $9.00 for three days.
Service throughout city. Fare: $1.25. Schedules available at the RTA office: 2817 Canal Street, 504-248-3900.
THE premier pedicab company operating in bicycle-friendly New Orleans. Pedicabs are a new, green form of transportation to recently hit the streets of New Orleans. Eco-friendly, efficient, and fun, a pedicab is a great way to get across the Quarter, go to and from your hotel to dinner and back, avoid traffic and parking frustrations, or just pop across town in style and comfort. Call 504-274-1300 to Ride Now!
Those traveling in rented vehicles may obtain a special handicap place card by calling 504-658-8040.
Available throughout the city and is designed for short-term parking. Downtown meters usually cost a quarter for 12 minutes and are effective 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
A day of music
Morning: Your Crescent City song best begins with beignets and café au lait on the open-air patio at Café Du Monde, where funky street performers clue you in to the city’s rhythm. Then it’s time for a formal introduction: Visit New Orleans’ 16 historic neighborhoods on a city tour, such as John McCusker’s Cradle of Jazz Tour (Saturdays only), a two-and-a-half-hour outing for true music lovers. You’ll see the former homes and hangouts of musicians like Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, and King Oliver, all set to a soundtrack from McCrusker’s extensive collection of vintage recordings.
Afternoon: After the tour, a Muffaleta sandwich from Central Grocery will fuel you up for a visit to Tremé, an historic African-American neighborhood where much of New Orleans’ music has roots. Tremé’s Backstreet Cultural Museum details such traditions as jazz funerals, Mardi Gras Indians and second line parades; special exhibits on Louis Armstrong, Jellyroll Morton, Fats Domino and other local legends will inspire greatness in you.
Evening: Get in tune with Uptown tonight, starting at Mid-City Lanes Rock ‘N Bowl, an unlikely—but amazing—music venue where the sounds of Kermit Ruffins and other Big Easy stars will accompany your strikes and spares. Have an order of red beans & rice, then head out to see who’s playing at the Maple Leaf Bar, Le Bon Temps Roule or Tipitina’s.
If music, art and handcrafted treasures are what get you going, plan a stop by the historic French Market. As America’s oldest public market, it’s a treat for all the senses and free to explore. Or add another layer of liveliness with a stop at nearby Dutch Alley, home to Jazz National Historic Park, which offers live music and programs for kids.
Keep the creativity flowing with a visit to Jackson Square, and wander the pedestrian mall to watch artists at work – maybe even get a family portrait done on the spot. Magicians, mimes and musicians provide free entertainment nearly every day of the week, and several museums surrounding the square have free admission for children age 12 and under.
No doubt about it: The place to be for endless fun is the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Here, your kids can step inside a giant bubble, climb a rock wall, create a sculpture, explore a cargo ship, and build a Lincoln Log Cajun cottage – just don’t tell them that they’re learning as they play.
Children big and small will be transfixed by the swamp things they encounter on a tour of the area’s moss-shrouded waterways. Catching a glimpse of a gator, not to mention waterfowl and swamp deer, from an expertly skippered boat is an adventure your kids won’t soon forget.
Speaking of adventure, head down the Mississippi herself to give your family a taste of New Orleanains spirit. A giant paddle wheeler cruises you from one of America’s busiest ports to sites like the Chalmette Battlefield. Disembark and let kids explore the fields where, in 1815, Andrew Jackson’s troops won the Battle of New Orleans.
A Taste of New Orleans - Wining & Dining Your Way through the Crescent City
Start your first morning with a New Orleans traditional Jazz Brunch. Sample some local favorites, such as beignets, eggs benedict, grits & grillades, bananas foster or a traditional New Orleans style bread pudding. And, of course, it wouldn't be a real Jazz Brunch without a live Jazz combo playing Dixieland tunes, accompanied by a cool mimosa to drink.
Now that you have tantalized your taste buds, take the opportunity to get the story behind the food. A New Orleans Culinary History Tour should be next on the day's menu. Stroll through some of the nation's oldest neighborhoods and learn about historic cooking techniques.
For lunch, nothing can be compared to the enjoyment & pleasure of a New Orleans cooking class. Learn how to make some of our most famous Creole and Cajun dishes, such as red beans & rice, chicken & andouille gumbo, or jambalaya.
New Orleans has the oldest rum distillery in the mainland USA. Take a tour of Celebration Distillation Company and see where Cane Rum and New Orleans Rum are made. Also, if you happen to be visiting with a group and during sugar cane harvesting season (October-November), your group may be able to tour a sugar cane farm and learn about the harvesting process.
Later in the afternoon, finish up a day of spirits with a New Orleans Cocktail Tour. Take a walk through the French Quarter's famous bars and restaurants and discover the history of the city's celebrated cocktails. It's history - with a twist! From the Sazerac and Pimm's Cup to the Hurricane and Hand Grenade, you'll enjoy a view of New Orleans through its history of fine dining and drinking.
Afternoon - Make plans to visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located on the banks of the Mississippi River. Following a tour, you can enjoy an "in your face" entertainment at the Entergy IMAX Theatre, which is just next door or walk on over to the new Audubon Insectarium.
For dinner the group can take in a Dinner Jazz cruise aboard an authentic steamboat or paddle wheeler. See and feel the power and history of the Mississippi River and its influence on New Orleans.
Finish the evening off with a traditional local treat… Beignets at the world famous Café du Monde.
Start your day with a City Sightseeing Tour to include our "cities of the dead". After the tour, your group can shop and dine at the Riverwalk Marketplace's unique shops, push carts and eateries, all while boasting spectacular views of the Mississippi River.
After lunch, you may want to visit one of our many museums.
Dinner this evening can be at Rock 'n Bowl, truly a New Orleans institution.
After breakfast this morning, venture outside of New Orleans where you will travel through the swamps and bayous with a local Cajun guide. Your group will see alligators, egrets, flora, birds, and more.
Later, your group may want to enjoy a New Orleans style po-boy on the way to a visit of one of our plantation homes that line the Mississippi River. You can tour one of these national treasures before heading back into New Orleans.
Evening - Get ready for a foot stompin' and toe tappin' evening when your group takes in one of our Cajun music restaurants. Younger kids and adults alike get out on the dance floor to work off that rich meal with some Cajun and zydeco two-stepping.
Acme Oyster House
Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant
605 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Palm Court Jazz Café
1204 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
312 Exchange Place
New Orleans, LA 70130
Pier 424 Seafood Market
424 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Ralph & Kacoo’s Restaurant
519 Toulouse Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Ralph’s on the Park
900 City Park Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
309 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Rock ‘N Bowl
3016 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
Superior Bar & Grill
3636 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115
823 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
1525 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
BUS RULES AND REGULATIONS
French Quarter / Vieux Carre
The French Quarter/Vieux Carre District is bounded by Esplanade Avenue, North Rampart Street, Canal Street, and Decatur Street.
Rules and Regulations
Buses less than 31 feet are required to use authorized routes as indicated on the map. “Out of Town” buses longer than 31 feet can enter the French Quarter using authorized routes ONLY on day of arrival and day of departure provided they acquire a permit from the hotel. Buses longer than 31 feet are not allowed to pick up or drop off in the French Quarter any other time. See designated peripheral bus loading and unloading areas on the map. Buses can only make turns at intersections within the French Quarter as noted on the map. Buses are not permitted on routes designated “No Bus Zone”. Please refer to map. Buses must load or unload passengers in loading zones or passenger zones. They may also use freight zones if no other vehicle is waiting to enter. Loading and unloading are limited to fifteen minutes. Buses shall not idle for longer than ten minutes. Buses shall not idle for longer than ten minutes while stopped or parked.
Permits and Maps
Permits are to be obtained in advance by the hotel. The permit must be displayed in the top right hand side of the front windshield.
Penalties for violation of the French Quarter/Vieux Carre bus restrictions may be imposed and can include fines.
The Garden District is bounded by St. Charles Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, and Magazine Street.
Rules and Regulations
No buses with a seating capacity of more than 20 passengers may travel in the Garden District (see exception below). The Department of Safety & Permits Ground Transportation Bureau may authorize up to 22 buses per month having a capacity of more than 20 passengers to travel on Prytania Street and Washington Avenue within the Garden District for the sole purpose of receiving and discharging passengers from commercial establishments. Buses must have a permit and a copy of the bus route on board. Loading and unloading is authorized only in zones that are marked and bear signs. Tour buses may be parked while pedestrian Garden District tours are in progress at authorized zones in non-residential areas. Buses shall not idle for longer than ten minutes while stopped or parked.
Permits and Maps
To obtain a Garden District permit, contact the Department of Safety & Permits Ground Transportation Bureau at 504-658-7170.
Penalties for violation of the Garden District bus restrictions may be imposed and can include fines.