Todo: New Orleans

The common response to “what should I do in New Orleans” is walk around until you find good food, music and drinks. All are in abundance in Nola, and there are plenty of sights to see along the way.

If you’re looking for something a bit more detailed, here are some places worth checking out.

The National WWII Museum. One of the top museums in the world and ranked the #1 Attraction in New Orleans by TripAdvisor.

Jackson Square. Artists and shops fill this central plaza, and it’s easy to get great photos of St. Louis Cathedral. While you’re in the area, take a walk along the Mississippi River as well.

Café Du Monde Coffee shop. Right off Jackson Square. On weekends, it will be busy. Pro tip, the line on the far side of the building is to get your coffee and beignets to go. Avoid the wait.

Preservation Hall. You can either stand in line for general admission seats, or snag reserved “Big Shot” tickets off their website. Concerts are nightly starting at the top of every hour from 5-10 p.m., except 7 p.m.

The French Quarter. There are plenty of tours in New Orleans, depending on interests. History, ghost and vampire, just to name a few. If a guided tour isn’t you thing, a simple walk though this historic area will suffice.

Bourbon Street. Depending on your age and inebriation level, this can be done during the day or late at night. Worth checking out at both times.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. On the corner of Bourbon and St. Phillip Street, it’s one of the oldest structures in the city. No surprise, it’s now a bar. Have a drink and check out the fireplace.

Erin Rose. Worth a stop in this local pub for the frozen Irish coffee.

Old Absinthe House. Another pub worth visiting for the atmosphere. While you’re there, have a Sazerac or one of their other mixed drinks.

Visit a cemetery. There are plenty around the area, filled with tombs and statues that date back centuries. St. Louis Cemetery is the most famous.

Frenchman Street. If you’re looking for a less-crazy version of Bourbon Street with great pubs, food and live music, this is the place for you.

Cochon restaurant. Incredible cuisine in the heart of the city. The fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise and the wood-fired oysters are both a treat.

Stay in a haunted hotel, if you dare. New Orleans has three of the most haunted hotels in the world. Try your luck sleeping through the night, or actually trying to see a spirit. Your choice.

That should get you through a day or two. What are your New Orleans recommendations?


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Jason is a writer and photographer. He has been published on, Beloit Daily News, The Capital Times Mashable and CNN. You can follow him on Twitter @The_Dean.

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