While Bourbon Street can be avoided (unless it’s your first visit to New Orleans - you have to experience it), the French Quarter is always a must-do, any time of year. As the city’s oldest neighborhood, the Vieux Carre is packed with gorgeous architecture, loads of history, a wealth of food and music, and a cast of characters including long-time residents, chatty tour guides, and talented street performers. Don’t skip out on historic attractions like the Historic New Orleans Collection, and be sure to take in the views of the Mississippi from the edge of the Quarter.
New Orleans is known for Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, and some world-class attractions like the National WWII Museum, not to mention iconic foods that are on many visitors' must-try lists. The best things to do in New Orleans truly offer something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an unforgettable party, a deep dive into history and art or chance to just go with the flow of the "Northernmost city in the Caribbean". Maybe you’re eager to dine at New Orleans’ best restaurants, seeking a classic cocktail at some of the best bars in New Orleans, or ready to check out the live, local music scene that’s alive at countless joints on any given night. New Orleans also has a rich arts scene, miles of local shopping, and plenty of options for enjoying the unique landscape of the Gulf region.
The long and intriguing history of the city can be explored at museums like the Cabildo and Historic New Orleans Collection, while the history of jazz is covered at the New Orleans Jazz Museum (be sure to hit up one of the best spots to listen to jazz too). Find your groove among the young, trendy crowds that pack the Bywater and Marigny, check the most famous New Orleans restaurants off your list, walk amongst historic houses and majestic oak trees, or just embrace the humidity of the season by checking out the city’s beautiful parks and outdoor activities.
Especially if it’s your first time, your visit is not complete unless you stop by Cafe du Monde (or one of the other places to get beignets) and get a little powdered sugar on you. Whatever your jam, New Orleans has something for you. Just be prepared to relax, have fun, and move to the beat that’s a little slower than other places.