From Mardi Gras to the non-stop parties rocking on seven nights a week on Bourbon Street, New Orleans is famous for being one of the best party cities around the world. And, as much as I love to live it up in New Orleans, that’s just the beginning.
Spending four days in New Orleans, every morning I started a new adventure. Exploring the diverse neighborhoods of this fascinating city opened my eyes to the wonders of Louisiana’s culture capital.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in New Orleans — here are 10 places to visit that aren’t Bourbon Street.
Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone
Is snapping a unique photo on your list of things you’d like to do? This is definitely a sight to see in New Orleans!
Get playful and snap some epic travel pics at the stunning Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone. This whimsical spot inside of one of the most iconic hotels in the French Quarter was named one of the top 20 bars in the world. As soon as you walk in the door, you’ll understand why.
Come for the photoshoot, and stay for a drink in this essential New Orleans stop.
What to do in NOLA, oh, what to do? There’s a myriad of interesting places to discover and the Pharmacy Museum deserves a spot!
Back in the 1820s, this apothecary was a mainstay of the community. Today, it’s a showcase mixing a fascinating array of early medical advancements and bizarre superstitious fixes.
Out of all the things to do in New Orleans, this is definitely a top place to visit!
Fun Fact:According to local legend, this is also one of the most haunted spots in the country. Hop on one of the infamous local ghost tours and get goosebumps hearing about all about those who passed the threshold before you.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
While a cemetery might not make it on my usual list of must-sees, cemeteries in this area are truly exceptional. First of all, they are different from the style you’ll see in much of the rest of the world.
Due to the height of the local water table, cemeteries are all above ground. If you’ve never seen this type of cemetery before, it truly is worth exploring.
The St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of the most famous cemeteries in the south. Not far from the Hotel Monteleone, you’ll find more than 100,000 former residents, including iconic figures like Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.
As a heads up, you will need to join a tour to visit the cemetery.
Cafe du Monde
One of the city’s most famous destinations, Cafe du Monde is famous for its café au lait and beignets (a fritter-like deep-fried pastry). You’d probably also recognize their tins of coffee with chicory sold around the country.
While their French Market location is gorgeous, you can also sample the goods without the wait at their cafe in City Park or the Mall. It’s the same menu at any location, with maybe a tiny bit less atmosphere, but the same five-star freshly baked delights.
Of all the places to visit in New Orleans, Cafe du Monde takes the cake…or beignet. 😉 And for good reason!
Wandering the oak-lined streets of the leafy Garden District, you can take in the rich local architecture.
Walk down the Mardi Gras parade route, beside the quaint collages and stately mansion, then alongside Lafayette Cemetery. Make your way along Magazine Street for an eclectic blend of fine dining, bars, and sidewalk cafes.
You can easily spend a whole weekend just exploring the Garden District so plan ahead to make sure that you can have plenty of time to soak it all in.
Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace
Experiencing a jazz brunch is one of the best things to do in NOLA!
Since way back to 1880, this has been the go-to joint for Creole delights and world-class jazz. For more than a century, they’ve been attracting foodies since before that was even a thing.
During prohibition, they used to sneak alcohol across the nearby cemetery into their grounds. Today, they have a 2,600-bottle wine list. One thing that’s not changed is the electric energy of their jazz shows!
Stop by Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm, or from Sunday 10:00 am to 2:30 pm for their legendary jazz brunches.
The Sazerac House
Located on the corner of Canal and Magazine Streets, just beside the location where the original cafe stop in the 1850s, you’ll find Sazerac House.
Much more than its original coffeehouse, this is home to some of the most fascinating bits of local history. Sip cocktails, take a free tour, experience the interactive exhibits, and celebrate the rich history of this one-of-a-kind city.
One of the longest-running family-operated restaurants in the United States, Antoine’s Restaurant was started all the way back in 1840.
Famous dishes like Eggs Sardou, Oysters Rockefeller, pompano en papillote, and Pigeonneaux Paradis were literally invented here. Antoine’s Cookbook, put together by the fifth-generation owner, details the hundreds of recipes that have been knocking the socks off of patrons for nearly 200 years.
The 25,000 bottle wine cellar and famous French-Creole menus attract way more than just hungry tourists. Famous faces like Pope John Paul II and more than a handful of US presidents have pulled out their forks here.
What places have you been to in New Orleans or what places would you recommend for someone looking to visit (aside from Bourbon Street, of course)?