In a city so packed with corners to explore, it can be hard to know where to start. Today we’re sharing how to spend your first weekend in New Orleans!
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New Orleans is a magical city. It’s small enough to feel doable in a weekend, but you could go back twenty times and still not experience everything that’s packed into the city.
How to Spend a Weekend in New Orleans
French Quarter & Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street. Can you get any more iconic New Orleans?
It’s probably what you think of first when planning your trip here, so no harm starting off with the French Quarter!
I’ve shared a ton of tips on the French Quarter already, but there are a few things you should definitely check out beyond Bourbon Street.
Watch the artists and musicians at Jackson Square, grab a drink on the carousel at Hotel Monteleone, explore a voodoo shop, eat some great food, and definitely wander the streets to see the gorgeous architecture. It’s unlike anything else in the US.
You could spend an entire weekend in the French Quarter, so I recommend staying here. That way, you get tastes of it all weekend long.
Since NOLA gets pretty sweaty for most of the year, it’s best to explore the Garden District in the morning. Ride the trolley over for quick and cheap transportation!
The Garden District’s appeal is the stately homes along tree-lined streets. While some can claim celebrities living in them, their historic architecture makes them worth a walking tour.
Also in the Garden District is home to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, one of the most famous cemeteries in the city. Definitely explore it – it’s free to wander, unlike its
Another winner: eat at the world-famous Commander’s Palace for lunch. If you’re there on a weekday, don’t miss the quarter martinis at lunch!
Dinner at Jacques Imo’s
This spot is a little out of the way for the typical walking/streetcar tourist weekend, so plan to grab an Uber. But it’s worth it!
Jacques Imo’s is known for “real Nawlin food.” The restaurant is built right into a home, with eating areas set up in each room. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a table on the back porch and walk through the kitchen on your way through!
They don’t take reservations, so plan to get there early. But it’s worth the wait!
See some Jazz in on Frenchman Street
Marigny, the neighborhood just east of the French Quarter, is home to some of the best jazz you’ll ever hear.
Frenchman Street houses tons of clubs and bars packed with musicians on weekends. The Spotted Cat is one of the most famous here, and it’s worth squeezing your way through the crowd for great music.
Just down the road from The Spotted Cat is a night market full of local artists selling creations of all kinds. From paintings of the city to leather goods to custom jewelry, you can find just about anything you want here. It’s worth exploring even if you’re not looking for souvenirs, – you never know what you’ll see!
The National WWII Museum
Before you leave, there’s one more thing to check out: the National WWII M
While it feels a little unusual to associate this with New Orleans, it’s the pre-eminent WWII museum in America. Everyone I know that’s gone has raved about it, so leave some time to head over.
The fun of here never-ending, and this doesn’t even take into account the many parades and celebrations the city hosts. These suggestions will get you started on a weekend in New Orleans!
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