Things to Do in New Orleans

Things to Do in New Orleans

Students in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism (HRT) Administration program at the Satellite Center in Luling, Louisiana, provided these suggestions. Thank you to Cheyenne, Alexis, Kevin, Hannah, Elena, Addie, Shayla, Brandon, Amber, Jael, and HRT Facilitator Mr. Craig Howat! (To learn more about the Center’s programs, check out their conference workshop, “Satellite Center: Building a Better You.”)

*French Quarter Festival

First and foremost, the French Quarter Festival is happening Thursday, April 16th -Sunday, April 19th.This marks the 37th celebration of the festival. The festival has charmed New Orleans since it first began in 1984, to help bring residents back to the French Quarter. Nearly two dozen stages take over the French Quarter throughout the weekend. Festival goers will hear jazz, Latin, R&B, Zydeco, New Orleans funk, swing and rock. See this link for a map and travel information. There is no cost to attend the festival, but you do have to pay for your food, beverages and any merchandise you may buy. (The most youth-friendly times will be earlier in the day, before noon.)

*Due to the French Quarter Festival, tourist sites in the French Quarter will be much more congested and transportation may be at surge pricing, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Destrehan Plantation

If you’re really into history the Destrehan Plantation is the place for you to visit. It's a very good combination of history, slave life, plantation owner life, good view of the house and other buildings and slave quarters and a lot of great information. And it's one of the closest ones to New Orleans.


Audubon Zoo

It may sound juvenile, but the Zoo is actually a cool place to visit, especially ours. You get to see the diversity between many animals and the importance of their protection. Audubon Zoo tries to recreate the animals’ normal environment in order for them to feel comfortable and at home. They aren’t just doing this for entertainment for guests but to actually preserve these animals for future generations to come and that’s why I believe you guys should visit this amazing zoo of ours.


Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World is the building where the famous Mardi Gras floats are made. Here you can take a tour of the building where they design and create the floats that make Mardi Gras so vibrant. Throughout the tour, you get to learn step by step how they build the exterior of the floats. If you have never tried king cake, a traditional food eaten during Mardi Gras, then you get to try it for the first time during this tour.


National WWII Museum

If you are looking for something in the city that is more historical, then check out the National WWII museum. This museum teaches about what happened in WWII and you get to learn about how it affected the city of New Orleans. The museum also has different food options if you get hungry during your visit.


*French Market

The French Market of New Orleans is the heart of the French Quarter and is currently the oldest of its kind in the United States. It spans the length of six blocks and sells all types of things, such as meat, vegetables, fruit, meals, alcohol, merchandise, clothes, accessories, and much, much more. (The world-famous Café du Monde is located here.) The original market was set up as a Native American trading post as well as a place for farmers to set up and sell their products. It is now one of the most popular tourist destinations, providing street shows, live music, food, and many more new experiences for any out-of-towners!


Swamp Tours

Swamp tours are a fun way to a unique and educational journey back to the early days of Louisiana Bayou and swamp explorations by offering authentic Louisiana swamp eco-tours, plantation tours, and combination tours. You will see all different types of animals, such as alligators, snakes, herons, etc. The nearest one is Cajun Pride Swamp Tours. Also try Cajun Encounter, which offers a night swamp tour with the option of hotel pickup, as well as many other types of tours.



Audubon Aquarium of the Americas or the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Animal lovers may be interested in visiting the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas or the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. These two attractions are within walking distance of each other if a group wants to do both in one day.


City Park

City Park in New Orleans is a great place to spend time. It is packed with many activities, some free and some requiring admission. (For example, City Putt - 36 hole mini-golf complex.) Visitors can take a walk around the big lake. There are also bikes and canoes to be rented. If visitors want a sweet treat, they can make a stop at City Park Snowballs. Interested in art? Visit the New Orleans Museum of Art, which features permanent and limited time art installations. The beautiful New Orleans Botanical Gardens are also located in the park


*St. Louis Cemetery

This cemetery is known for being the oldest running cemetery in New Orleans. It is also the resting place of the voodoo queen, Marie Laveau.

New Orleans “Must Eats”

Beignets are one of New Orleans’s most beloved sweet treats; fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. Amber recommends trying Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. (Locations include City Park, Lakeside Mall, Veterans (Metairie), Williams (Kenner), Riverwalk (New Orleans). Elena prefers Café Beignet at 311 Bourbon Street. at four locations throughout the French Quarter, one of them is located in Bourbon Street, one of the most famous streets of New Orleans!

Oysters are one of New Orleans’s best seafoods, served in a shell. I recommend trying Oysters at Acme Oyster House or The Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar. Acme has locations in Metairie and New Orleans and The Harbor is located in Kenner. Both have an amazing seafood selection if Oysters are not for you.


King Cake is another New Orleans signature sweet treat; the base of the cake is made of brioche dough and it is covered in sugar. Try Manny Randazzo’s King Cake Shop, located in Metairie.


Also try Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee. Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, Po-Boys, Muffalettas, Snowballs, Pralines, and more. Jael recommends Flavors for snowballs (“a hidden gem”), Copelands for Red Beans and Rice, and Seafood Pot in New Sarpy for Gumbo.


Finally, you will find many restaurants with unique specialties. Jacques-imo's has become famous all over the world for its Alligator cheesecake! Alligator meat is one of the most typical food of Louisiana and here in New Orleans you`ll have the possibility to try this interesting and unusual dish!