Ok here’s my list of favorite things to do in New Orleans. I created this for a friend who will be traveling there next week. This city has a big piece of my tourist heart. I don't claim to be a NOLA insider, but these are the things I do when I visit. I scribbled this in no time at work so there are quite a few things missing. I'd love for you to point them out in the comments.
Bourbon Street – Go watch fraternity boys binge drink on Bourbon Street for like 15 minutes and then leave. (I know there are other things to do here but the booze/vomit smell generally deters me from discovering what they are. I come back when sauced enough not to care.)
Royal Street – Walk from Bourbon over to Royal Street and mosey in that direction for a while. There are lots of artists and antique shops on this street that are fun to look into. I bought a watercolor from a guy on the sidewalk here that I love (above). There are good deals if you’re looking for art, there are also some fine pieces by talented artists. A variety at your disposal.
LaLaurie’s house – If you keep walking down Royal you’ll eventually come to an area that has more residential homes and vacation properties. In this neighborhood at 1140 Royal you can see the home of this woman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphine_LaLaurie who is something of a New Orleans ghost legend and one of the character’s on American Horror Story this season if you’re into that sort of thing. I usually visit NO at Halloween so this is right up my alley.
Mansion Tours – Right next to LaLaurie’s house is a place that gives mansion tours. I wasn’t able to get in when I last Fall, but the tours are supposed to be excellent. I’d be curious if you checked it out how that went.
Jackson Square – If you head back down Royal the way you came, turn on either St Ann or St Peter St toward the canal (away from Bourbon). Go down about a block and you’ll see Jackson Square which sits in front of St Louis Cathedral. There’s history about this place. I don’t k now what it is. But it’s probably interesting to read. The square is usually overrun with artists and street performers and on a nice day it’s a great place to people watch.
Café Du Monde – walk through Jackson square down toward the canal and look across the street – you’ll see Café Du Monde. They’re famous for their beignets (doughnuts). Good stuff. Their coffee isn’t half bad either. That’s a good place to sit and watch the circus at Jackson Square. The spectacle of traffic will make you laugh as well. http://www.cafedumonde.com/
Magazine Street – great shopping. Cute houses.
Garden District Tour –There are dozens of these just pick one that sounds good. If a reader has been on a particularly good one I'd like to know about it.
Marie Laveau’s House of VooDoo – for all your spell casting needs. It’s on bourbon street. You can find things there like shrunken heads and idols to help you sleep better at night or get rich. All fun.
The Frenchman – this neighborhood has great jazz music but it’s getting more of a party vibe over the years. You could check that out.
Yes there’s Starbucks.
This is one of the last Creole Family-owned (Creole owned) restaurants in the French Quarter. The owner is an incredibly kind gentleman who personally built us a “tasting” menu when I was last there. All of the food – ALL OF IT – was insanely good.
This is a great restaurant owned by Emeril Lagasse whom my dear father once referred to as “that sellout”. I thought his food was actually quite delicious. And I enjoyed the restaurant decor. Food was a bit on the expensive side but good. Food portions are not huge. There’s a good chance you’ll have to wait so make your reservation and go down to the bar on the corner. It's cute and the bartenders are friendly.