New Orleans Things to Do
13 Fun Facts about The Big Easy
1.If you are like me, you may have thought that Bourbon Street got its name because of the amount of alcohol sold, but It was actually named after the Bourbon dynasty of France which was a European house of French origin originating in the 16th century. That’s a fun fact you may not have known!
2.I know that we all think about New Orleans when we think the home of Mardi Gras, but the first mardi gras in the united states was actually celebrated in Mobile, Alabama.
3.The man accused of killing President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, was born in New Orleans in 1939.
4.I would not have thought that a jazz city like New Orleans would be where the first opera was performed in the U.S. in 1796!
5.Did you know that Louisiana is the only state that does not have counties? Instead, Louisiana is broken into political subdivisions called parishes.
6.OK, this is a fact that most of you will already know, New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz.
7.If you want to take a culinary step back in time, you must eat at Antoine’s Restaurant. This is the oldest continuously run restaurant in Louisiana, established in 1840.
8.Here is a cool fact for the sports fans. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is the largest enclosed arena in the world.
9.We all have been told to brush and floss our teeth. The very first form of dental floss was invented in New Orleans by dentist Levi Spear Parmly.
10.One of my favorite past-times is to go to the movie theatre. I was shocked to find out that New Orleans was home to the world’s first permanent for-profit movie theatre, Vitascope Hall.
11.I’m not a gambler, but I think this is a cool fact. The first game of Poker was played in New Orleans in the 19th century using a 20-card pack.
12.It is often assumed that the grave of Elvis Presley gets the most annual visits, but it is not, that honor belongs to the tomb of New Orleans voodoo queen Marie Laveau.
13.New Orleans was the site for the last yellow fever outbreak, which occurred in 1905.
For years when I went to New Orleans I spent most of the trip on Bourbon street. It was not until I was in one of the shops buying a mask when the clerk says to me, if you want great music we should go where most of the locals go. That place is called Frenchmen street. If you are looking to get away from the rowdy Bourbon street crowd, this is a must visit street. You will find all you need to have an amazing time, bars, night clubs, live music, and restaurants. I highly recommend you check it out!
National world war II museum
The museum opened in 2000. This museum has an immense collection of world war II artifacts. I found the museum to be informative, but it also had films that gave you a glimpse into the war, and what life was like during the Holocaust. This could be a good place for a family visit, but I must warn that some of the exhibits are graphic and may be disturbing to young children.
New Orleans Swamp Tours
Bayou Country extends from Houston to Mobile, Alabama. I had never had a swamp tour before, so this was a treat for me to see New Orleans from a different vantage point. There are different types of swamp tours that range in pricing. You will have to choose the one that appeals to you, but the swap tour is worth it! I will be listing a few of the tours below with pricing and what experience you can expect on the tour.
Cajun Pride Swamp Tours
I think that is a great tour for families because you will get to visit the Cajun town of Frenier. This is a flatboat tour that will allow you to see alligators, turtles, bald eagles, and other swap life. What makes this tour great for families is that you are able to hold crawfish, baby gators and snakes on board. The tours usually run for an hour and a half. I booked my tour online and saved $3-$7 dollars. You are also able to get your tickets on site for $27 for adults and $16 for kids.
Canoe & Trail Adventures
Ok, this tour may not be for families, at least for your average family. On this tour you must be aware that you may end up close and personal with an alligator! Yes, it is safe. The guide is always watching. You must dedicate at least four hours for the tour. This is to allow plenty of time to experience the swamp and its wildlife. I found that this tour is inexpensive in comparison to all you get for your money. Day tours will cost you $35 for kids and $65 for adults. This price includes kayak rentals, water, snacks, and loaner waterproof phone cases.
New Orleans Airboat Tours
Airboat tours are a little more expensive than flatboat tours, but what makes it worth it is that it is an entertaining and fun ride. The tour will last for approximately two hours. Tickets for these tours range from $65 to $105 per person.
You can not visit New Orleans without going to see its cemeteries. This is considered one of the most haunted cities in America. You will find that most of the tombs are above ground to protect them from rising water levels. One of the things that stood out to me is how ornate the tombs were. This is due to the French and Spanish influence. The cemeteries are known as the “cities of the dead”.
The St. Louis Cemetery is one of most visited, but you have to be aware of your surroundings, because it is located near a rough part of the city. I would say that this is a must-see, because the “VooDoo queen” is buried here. It is a really creepy tour! I recommend that to be safe that you tag along with a guided tour. Depending on the tour, you will typically pay anywhere for $15-$45 dollars.
St. Louis Cathedral
One New Orleans’ most-famous landmarks is the St. Louis Cathedral, which is also the oldest cathedral in North America, built in the early 1700’s. As the centerpiece of the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral is one of New Orleans’ most recognizable landmarks. Would you believe that religious services are still held here, as well as numerous cultural events, including free concerts? Even if you are not religious, this is a place you still need to see, it is beautiful! The price tag to see this long-standing landmark? It is free and open to the public every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m!
New Orleans Museum of art
This is a great attraction for a rainy day. The museum contains over 40,000 works of art. The museum is known as “NOMA” by the locals. This is a must see for the art lovers. Past visitors commented on the small size of the museum, but others noted that its size allows you to see all of the exhibits in just one visit. Make sure you don’t miss the sculpture garden!
The park consists of the 12-acre New Orleans Botanical Garden. The garden has over 2,000 different varieties of plants. This is a kid-friendly attraction that is best enjoyed on a sunny day. City Park has several diversions for your young ones including; Storyland (home to giant storybook and fairy tale characters, and an antique carousel), and the Train Garden. I did not know that the park has the world’s largest grove of mature live oaks, including the Anseman Oak and McDonogh Oak, both believed to be between 600 to 900 years old and counting!
Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar
This restaurant has been churning out New Orleans’ most famous sandwich, the Po-boy, since 1918. The Po-boys are filled with battered and fried-to-order shrimp, oysters or catfish, served on pillowy Leidenheimer French bread. This place is always super busy, so expect that there may be a wait.
Café du Monde
You absolutely can not go to New Orleans without tasting the amazing beignets from the world-famous Cafe du Monde! This restaurant has been open since 1862. They beignets so delectable that my mouth is watering as I write this article. LOL!