Best Experiences in NOLA
New Orleans is a city full of history and adventure. It's so easy to lose yourself in the city and wind up missing out on some of the best things the NOLA has to offer. That's why we've compiled a list of some of the best experiences to have while visiting!
Swamp Tour on Airboat: If you’re visiting New Orleans, you’ve probably heard about the swamplands that are just outside the city. Participating in a swamp tour is a must-do if you are in town for a few days. Explore the scenic backwaters, from the comfort of a boat and enjoy swamp tales and folklore as a local guide takes you through Louisiana’s vast swamps. Just a short drive from the center of New Orleans, a host of tour companies offer swamp tours on airboats. Here you’ll be able to become one with nature and experience a bit of excitement as you see various forms of wildlife, and see and feed alligators of all sizes!
Plantation Tours: It’s no secret that New Orleans is rich in history! History is a huge part of what has fine-tuned the culture of this city into one like no other. Travel back in time with a tour of the plantations along the Mississippi River. Located as close as an hour outside New Orleans, you can tour these historic mansions, while hearing stories from the local families who built and owned them, as well as the views of the slaves that lived there. During these tours, you’ll learn about life for the residents of these plantations and how life was lived pre the modern era. Additionally, many of these plantations serve lunch and offer overnight stays, so feel free to make a day of things and see them all, or take a short trip and see just a few.
- World War 2: The National World War 2 museum tells the story of the American experience during the war and hopes to convey the price of freedom and inspire an appreciation for American history. This museum is great for history buffs as well as those just looking to learn a bit more about important American wars. One of the best parts of this museum is its immersive simulations! Here you can live out the last days of the famous U.S submarine that sank 33 enemy vessels, watch a short film directed by Tom Hanks on the complexities of war, and utilize the large touch screens that allow you to explore warplanes through various angles.
- African American Museum: Located in the historic neighborhood of Treme, the New Orleans African American Museum has dedicated itself to the “preservation, presentation, and interpretation of the culture of the African diaspora”. The museum spans an entire city block and is a worthwhile visit for a few hours while stopping in New Orleans. Additionally, guests can enjoy a host of art and cultural programs that reflect the contributions of African American people in New Orleans.
- NOMA: The New Orleans Museum of Arts is the oldest fine arts institution in New Orleans. Located in City Park, the museum has a permanent collection of over 40,000 pieces and is known for its strengths in the French and American Arts. This museum is definitely a worthy stop, especially because of its impressive sculpture garden and proximity to other fun things in City Park, like the Cafe du Monde location and the park’s bike and boat rental shops.
Saints Game: Attending a Saint’s game is a New Orleans must-do if you can find tickets and if the weather is good! This is a city that rides hard for its football team and few things rival the adrenaline of game day. Worry not. If you weren’t able to procure tickets, watching it in Champion Square is the next best thing. Every game day, Saint’s fans flood the square for pregame revelry. You’ll get to huddle up with other fans, enjoy some live entertainment, cool drinks, and delicious food. The best part...it’s free!
Cemetery Tours: Fun Fact- New Orleans is surrounded by water, and was built below sea level, which is why its dead are buried above ground. Here, the graves are kind of a big deal and a monumental affair. The cemeteries in New Orleans are home to all sorts of people, and you’re likely to run into a couple of celebrities while out on a tour. The St. Louis Cemetery is home to New Orleans’ very own voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. It is said that if you scribble an “X” on the mausoleum that Marie will grant your wishes, but since the renovation of the tomb, this practice has since been banned. If you’re feeling brave, book a tour and get down with the dead!
Studio Be: Studio Be is the home to local artist Brandan Odums' first independent project. In this small warehouse space, you can find visual art depicting the stories of heroes, revolutionaries, and the everyday people of New Orleans. Both guided and independent tours are available. Prints, apparel, skateboards, and other merchandise can be purchased during your tour as keepsakes to remember your time in NOLA.
Steamboat Natchez: Take a trip back in time when you board the Steamboat Natchez. This authentic steamboat is the last of its kind traveling the Mississippi River. Today, you can enjoy a two-hour cruise on the steamboat as you listen to a live jazz trio, indulge in a fresh lunch banquet prepared onboard, and lose yourself to the whispering waves of the Mississippi. If you are in the mood for something slightly more romantic, take the cruise at night and savor the sunset and New Orleans skyline, while dancing and enjoying a cocktail or three.