New Orleans, LA

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Unique amalgam of cultures in New Orleans

You’re almost there! You’ve taken the first step—deciding to take a trip to New Orleans and experience its colorful cultural ambiance, excellent restaurants, and nowhere-else-but-here traditions make New Orleans one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US. Get ready to immerse in the sea of creativity, romance, drama, and fun!

Unforgettable Moments (Highlights)

In its topography, architecture, people, and music, New Orleans resembles no other American city. The city's long succession of inhabitants, encompassing the Native American indigenous population, French Creole and Spanish colonists, West Indian and African slaves, and settlers from Europe and the eastern US has created a rich mix of people and cultures. The city's distinctive architecture is the result of European ideas adapted to the subtropical climate.

Day 1 

ARRIVAL

Most visitors will arrive via Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, located 12 miles east of CBD. Ground transportation to Downtown is by Airport-Downtown Express (E2), Greyhound bus, airport shuttle, private car, charter limo, or taxi.

MORNING

GET SETTLED

After arriving in New Orleans, you'll want to check into your hotel and freshen up. When heading out for a day of sightseeing, prepare for the Gulf South's often temperamental weather habits: carry water for heat, long sleeves for air-conditioned stores and museums, and an umbrella for the occasional downpour.

AFTERNOON

MUSEUM TOUR

Begin with a central business district museum of choice: The World War II Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art or Confederate Museum Hall. Hop on the streetcar heading Uptown toward the Garden District and take in views of the city's historic Antebellum Mansions. Exit the streetcar at Audubon Park for a romp through its picturesque grounds, ideal for bird watching. For lunch, bring a picnic to the Fly, a section of the park overlooking the river, where barges and cruise ships ply the water.

EVENING

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CREOLE DINNER & MUSIC

From Audubon Park, make the short trip over to the Carrolton Riverbend of Uptown for two historic nightlife experiences: an indulgent creole dinner at Jaques-lmo's and a late night of the best local music at the Maple Leaf Bar.

Day 2 

MORNING & AFTERNOON

FRENCH CONNECTION

Begin your day with cafe au lait and beignets at the famous Cafe Du Monde, then walk alongside the food and knick-knack stands at the French Market. Most people visiting New Orleans head to the French Quarter and then don't go any further, but that doesn't mean you can't have an authentic experience in this neighborhood. You can find locals living, working, drinking and enjoying even the most tourist-heavy parts of the city.

Candy-colored buildings line the street and if you look closely you'll see Spanish, French, and Creole influences. Right in the center of the neighborhood is Jackson Square. This is where you'll see most people posing in front of Andrew Jackson's statue, having their portrait done by a street artist, getting their tarot cards read and checking out the street performers. Take time to stop in the museums that line the square, namely the Cabildo and the Presbytere, both of which offer a good look at the city's history.

EVENING

DRINK YOUR HEART OUT

You can't talk about the French Quarter without mentioning drinking. The entire French Quarter is one of the only places where alcohol can be consumed in open containers on the street. Bourbon Street is the epicenter of the drinking, including local institutions like Pat O'Brien, which invented the famous Hurricane cocktail and has a very popular dueling piano bar.

Day 3 

MORNING

The French Quarter has so much to offer that it will keep you occupied for another day. The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carre, spans 12 blocks situated alongside the Mississippi River. The neighborhood runs from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue and inland toward North Rampart Street. Spend the morning exploring one or two of the eclectic museums of the French Quarter: The Pharmacy Museum, Voodoo Museum, or Museum of Death.

AFTERNOON

For lunch, bite into a traditional muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery before walking it off on Royal Street, popping into art galleries. For civilized daytime drinking, head to the historic Napoleon House Bar and Cafe. Grab a po-boy and wash it down with a Pimm's cup (or two). Schedule a colorful ghost tour, architecture tour or cemetery tour of the French Quarter or Garden District.

EVENING

Plan to spend an evening enjoying the music of the French Quarter. Wait in line at preservation hall, then walk along Bourbon Street as long as you can stand it, making your way to the musically-superior Frenchmen Street. Depending on your taste, pop in for a set at The Spotted Cat, Cafe Negril or Snug Harbor.

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Day 4 - Day Trip

From New Orleans

To         BAYOU LAFOURCHE

Day Via Car hire Duration 90 minutes each way

Today is a great day to hire a car to Bayou Lafourche and discover how the Cajuns transformed the soup into gumbo, the wooden wash in a musical instrument and the swamps in a paradise. Look at the places where alligators, herons, raccoons, otters and many species of snakes nest. 

MORNING

STOP BY ARLINGTON

Arrive at the Wetlands Cultural Scenic Byway on Louisiana Highway 1 or LA 308 (Louisiana Highway 308), which will take you through marshes and shrimp boats.

AFTERNOON

EXPLORING CAJUN COUNTRY

Along the way, you will pass through the natural habitats of wildlife of the swamp, such as crocodiles and bald eagles. After exploring the marsh, discover how the people lived alongside it or, in the case of the ED White Historic Site, right on the banks. This majestic plantation dating from 1825 is a national historical monument that is worth visiting to learn about the history reflected in its architecture about life in Cajun Country during the 19th century. If you want to delve deeper, visit the Laurel Valley Village Sugar Plantation, the largest of its kind in the United States. With more than 60 structures, including a mill, a church, and a classroom school, the town has a lot to offer.

Although the abundant legacy of Cajun culture in the area is felt almost anywhere, there are numerous attractions that are dedicated to exploring their roots by themselves. The Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux interprets the lives of the French Acadians, or Cajuns, who came from Canada and settled in the area. The exhibitions are diverse: they range from home decoration and clothing to gastronomy and religion. In addition, a session of improvisation of Cajun music is held every week to revive the culture. Nearby, the Center for Traditional Boat Building Museum exhibits nine wooden boats, as well as related artifacts that explore the history of fishing and craftsmanship of boats in the area.

EVENING

CAJUN CUISINE

Enjoy traditional Cajun dishes in one of the many restaurants that specialize in everything from po-boys to jambalaya on your way back to New Orleans. At Donner-Peltier Distillers, located in Thibodaux, take a bottle of LA1 Whiskey, which is known to be the first aged whiskey in the state since Prohibition. Visit the tasting room to taste the six spirits or walk around to see how they are made.

Day 5 

MORNING

MARDI GRAS WORLD

Start your day with a visit to the massive warehouse-of-a-museum that takes you through the world of all things Mardi Gras, from traditions like king cake and beads, to how the floats are made and parades assembled. Touring the working warehouse, where you can see how and where most of the giant parade floats used during Mardi Gras are made, is a favorite kid-friendly attraction.

AFTERNOON

ALONG MISSISSIPPI

Take the streetcar (Rampart St. line) or walk to the Faubourg Marigny/ Bywater neighborhood for lunch at one of its colorful cafes. Tour the socially-charged giant murals at StudioBe in Bywater. After a coffee and pastry break at Bywater Bakery, stroll through the colorful architecture and landscapes of the residential Bywater neighborhood, ending along the Mississippi River at Crescent City Park.

EVENING

ENTERTAINMENT BURST

After a glass of wine and dinner in the peaceful courtyards of Bacchanal or N7, choose from a variety of nightlife entertainment, like burlesque, karaoke, and stand-up comedy. at the clubs and venues along St. Claude Avenue.

Day 6 

MORNING

Starting along St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District, and wandering among its early numbered streets and the residential Prytania Street, will take you by some of the beautiful, historic mansions of the area. Begin on First Street at the Joseph Carroll House, an Italianate-style mansion built in 1869 for a Virginia cotton merchant, and notable for its octagonal wings. On the next block, you'll pass the Greek Revival-style Brevard House. It's best known as the former house of novelist Anne Rice and is featured much in her haunting work.

AFTERNOON

Turning onto Prytania Street, make time to tour the Women's Opera Guild Home, a Greek Revival mansion donated to the Opera Guild in the 1960s. Explore the rest of the neighborhood and find for a glimpse at Colonel Short's Villa, an architectural wonder most famous for its cornstalk-shaped cast-iron fence. 

EVENING

Ghost lovers must make a stop at Buckner Mansion, especially at night. This Corinthian-columned behemoth of a mansion is the home of many rumored ghost stories. The 20,000 square-foot house, with three ballrooms, was constructed for the prideful Henry S. Buckner, a 19C cotton king. Now a rental house (for those with very large budgets!) the house was a recent setting for the television show American Horror Story.

Day 7 

One last photo-op

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Getting an evening flight out of New Orleans is ideal so you can soak up every bit of the city on your last day.

Preserving and celebrating New Orleans' historic role as the birthplace of jazz music, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park houses a jazz library, bookstore, a small performance venue and a well-stocked information desk where rangers can direct you to jazz-related sights around the city. The park's rangers (many of them accomplished jazz musicians) organize walking tours and demonstrations, host jazz-related live performances and lectures, and maintain and operate Perseverance Hall in Louis Armstrong Park, home to a weekly hands-on jam session where anyone can jump in to learn to perform in a traditional New Orleans brass band.


For a final fling in the city, head to St. Louis Cathedral, the official seat of the Archdiocese of New Orleans which ranks as the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the US. What bride wouldn't want to get married in this iconic church, with its grand three-steepled white façade? (If you're planning a wedding in New Orleans, be advised that the waiting list is long!)

The Black Experience

Ma Momma’s House of Cornbread Chicken & Waffles The inspiration for Ma Momma’s House of Cornbread, Chicken and Waffles came from a combination of two mothers and a grandmother of the dynamic owners, Earl and Nicole Mackie.

Sassafras Restaurant  New Orleans is our hometown, a city with its own unique history. Over 10 years ago, we started a tradition of serving authentic New Orleans flavor in an ambiance for our guests who get pleasure from exceptional food and hospitality at a reasonable price.

Big Shirley’s  We are committed to offering our customers the best in fresh, local, and seasonal food.

The JuJu Bag Cafe  The JuJu Bag is a locally-owned cafe and barber salon, located at the intersection of Franklin and Filmore Avenues, directly across the street from the Milne’s Boys Home.

Coco Hut Caribbean Restaurant Coco Hut offers made to order meals with Caribbean flair, like spicy jerk shrimp or chicken.

Cafe’ Dauphine  Traditional New Orleans cuisine comes in an updated century-old building with cheery yellow walls.

Dooky Chase Restaurant Dooky Chase’s Restaurant opened its doors for business in 1941. What was initially a sandwich shop and lottery ticket outlet in 1939 blossomed into a thriving bar and later a respected family restaurant in Treme.

LIL’ DIZZY’S CAFE At Lil’ Dizzy’s, producing great fried chicken is a matter of historical pride.Owner Wayne Baquet learned the restaurant trade from his father Eddie, namesake of the legendary 7th Ward restaurant Eddie’s, who got into the business in the 1940s working at Paul Gross Chicken Coop with his aunt, Ada Baquet Gross. Lil’ Dizzy’s is the only Baquet-owned restaurant still going, and Wayne is serious about doing the Creole-Soul tradition proud.

Dreamy Weenies Have you ever heard of a New Orleans-style hot dog? Well now you can experience it for yourself at Dreamy Weenies restaurant, located in the historic French Quarter at 740 North Rampart Street, directly across from Louis Armstrong Park.

Compere Lapin  Inspiration for the menu comes from the traditional Caribbean folktales featuring a mischievous rabbit named Compère Lapin that Chef Nina Compton read during her childhood in St. Lucia.

Neyow’s Creole Café  New Orleans eatery serving creole cuisine and chargrilled oysters.

Boswell’s Jamaican Grill Jerk chicken, beef patties & other hearty Jamaican eats are offered at this no-frills eatery.

The Munch Factory is a restaurant featuring contemporary New Orleans Cuisine.

Cafe Istanbul  Café Istanbul is a 3,800-square foot, handicapped-accessible performance hall with a mission of fostering, encouraging and promoting the performing arts in New Orleans. The line up of events includes live music, dance, theatre, poetry, comedy, film and visual arts.

Luxury Hotels & Villas List 

Trip Prep 

FLIGHTS / BUS / TICKETS

Oh, logistics!

Flight costs are annoyingly unpredictable. You’ll save the most money if you book 3-6 months out. New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) operates buses, ferries, streetcars, and Paratransit services within the New Orleans area. Hiring a car can provide you with the much-needed flexibility to travel at your own pace and wander off to offbeat places.

RESERVATIONS

Call ahead

New Orleans has hundreds of amazing culinary and cultural experiences to enjoy - it would be a shame to miss out. It’s best to book your outings and tables in advance as a steady mix of tourists and locals make this city a busy one. Want to go on a jazz concert? Call ahead to avoid the tickets being sold out. 

INSURANCE

Better safe than sorry

While New Orleans is a safe city with a top-notch medical system, it’s always safer to travel with insurance. Not only does it protect personal belongings, but ensures access to expensive medical treatment should the worst happen. If you think you might take part in adventure sports make sure to check whether these are covered too.

PASSPORT

Visa on arrival

Nationals from 37 countries, including Canada, Australia, and European Union members, are eligible to apply for Visa Waiver before 72 hours from arrival into the US. If your ESTA Application is denied, you will be required to apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa. Try to ensure you're traveling on a passport with over six months' validity and check with the US Embassy in your respective countries.

Booking Checklist 

FLIGHT

For this itinerary, allow 6 nights, 7 days.

ARRIVE: New Orleans (MSY) in the morning of DAY 1

DEPART: New Orleans (MSY) in the evening of DAY 7

LODGING

There are plenty of lodging options available—hotels, B&Bs, hostels—just be sure to secure your accommodation in advance. Airbnb is a great option if you are traveling as a group. (See next page for recommendations.)

New Orleans, USA | DAY 1 - 7, 6 nights

RESERVATIONS

Some tickets and reservations can be made 1-2 months in advance.

Transfer from New Orleans Airport to Lodging | DAY 1

Jaques-lmo's | Dinner DAY 1

Cafe Du Monde | Breakfast DAY 1

Car hire from New Orleans to Bayou Lafourche | DAY 4

Bacchanal| Dinner DAY 5

Transfer from Lodging to Airport | DAY 7

Recommended Airlines & Routes 

North America: Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, Baltimore, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Boston, Toronto, Fort Lauderdale, Cancún, Denver, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Austin, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Cancún, Seattle, Denver, Detroit, Boston, Nashville, Las Vegas, Baltimore.

Europe:  Frankfurt, London.

Alaska Airlines has constantly been voted as the best airlines to travel in the US with a high customer satisfaction due to entertainment options, leg room, and complimentary refreshments. Spirit and Frontier offer the most economical options. Southwest Airlines has the best connectivity with international destinations from New Orleans.

Apps, Transportation & The ‘Gram 

APPS

Splitwise | eliminates the headache of bill splitting & a must for group travel

Tripadvisor | a favorite resource for finding off-the-beaten-path restaurants and things to do. However, all reviews are subjective, so don’t obsess over scores

Whatsapp | free text messaging to other Whatsapp users

NobelApp | make cheap calls locally and back home

TRANSIT BOOKING SITES

skyscanner.com | easy to use the website for finding low airfares

google.com/flights | helpful fare prediction technology

www.norta.com |New Orleans public transport agency

https://www.amtrak.com/stations/nol | Regional train timings and tickets

https://www.uber.com/en-CA/cities/New-Orleans/ | Uber is a popular mode of transportation in New Orleans

INSTAGRAM THIS

    For re-posts of your shots, @tag and use the following hashtags:

New Orleans | @visitneworleans  #visitneworleans #neworleans #neworleansstyle

USA | @usatodaytravel #ustrip #usatravel

Bayou Lafourche | @bayou_lafourche #bayoulafourche

Travel Noire | @travelnoire #travelnoire

Destination Facts 

  • NEW ORLEANS FACTS

  • New Orleans is the place where Voodoo was introduced in the country. Spooky! One of the most notable personalities of New Orleans was Marie Laveau, an oracle who presented various sorcery and voodoo rituals and was known as the Voodoo Queen in the 1800s.

  • 393,292 NEW ORLEANS RESIDENTS

  • AIRPORT CODE: MSY

  • The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is home to the longest continuous bridge in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

  • 12:00 - 2:30 PM LUNCH 7:00 - 11 PM DINNER

SEE YOU, NEW ORLEANS!