To stroll the streets of the French Quarter, with those gorgeous Creole townhouses and other structures built centuries ago, is one of the very best things to do in town. Inside the Quarter (or Vieux Carré, as it is also known), you'll discover world-class restaurants like Brennan's and Antoine's, music clubs and rowdy bars, antique shops, high-end clothing boutiques, voodoo dens and down-and-dirty sex shops. It's a heady mix, especially if you're here for a celebration like Mardi Gras or Halloween, when everyone is in costume.
There is something intrinsically traditional about the best New Orleans attractions, especially when visited by tourists used to Instagram-friendly activities and destinations. But that's the beauty of the Big Easy: it offers up the historic with a side of modernity, a juxtaposition that makes for some awesome sightseeing, a chronicle of the city's exciting history.
In 2018, New Orleans celebrated 300 years of vibrant living. Beginning as a French colony, the city was then ceded to Spain and finally became a part of the United States following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Needless to say, the town's monuments and main attractions still retain those French and Spanish influences, especially when diving into the famous French Quarter. Boasting architecture that dates back to the 1700s, two and three-story buildings known as Creole townhouses are found all over, featuring decorative wrought-iron balconies ideal for outdoor parties and bead throwing (yes, that’s a thing here).
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in New Orleans