New Orleans is an international tourist city. As the second most flown into city in the US (only behind Las Vegas) there are many people who come to the Big Easy for a weekend or short vacation. Although most people come to the Crescent City to party, there are many reasons to visit.
Although the famous French Quarter is still the epicenter of New Orleans tourism, there are many unique activities and locations that only the Crescent City can offer.
Cool Activities in Downtown New Orleans
Most people traveling to New Orleans will be staying in a hotel (or more recently a AirBnB) in the Downtown area. Downtown contains the word famous French Quarter but also has the lions share of the luxury hotels and the most popular restaurants.
With all of that being said, most tourists find that after a hard fought night on Bourbon, they wake up Downtown looking for something a little lighter.
Take a Ferry or Steamboat Ride
Most people are not aware, but NOLA has a set of Ferries that travel across the mighty Mississippi on the hour. The ferry brings cars, bikes and people alike from the Downtown area of New Orleans to the Westbank of New Orleans. It’s a great little ride and lets you experience some of the local flavor such as Algiers Point.
The Big Easy also has the famous Steamboat Natchez parked right there on the Mississippi River. The steamboat is more of a tourist attraction than the ferry, but offers photos, a gift shop, food and music.
Take a Bike Tour
Since much of NOLA tourism is focused on Downtown, you can take a bike tour to see all of the sites. There are multiple types of New Orleans bike tours available, including guided bike tours, self-guided tours and even private bike tours.
These will let you experience some of the lesser traveled areas of New Orleans that truly encompases the history and culture of the city.
Take a Haunted Tour
New Orleans has a deep history of Voodoo and with the city being over 300 years old, has a ton of supernatural stories. There are many haunted tours of the city, most include visiting the above-ground cemeteries as well as some of the places Anne Rice has written about.
Peripheral Tourist Attractions
In addition to Downtown New Orleans, there many other areas of the city with the same charm. You can visit Uptown New Orleans to tour the Garden District, which has tons of 19th century mansions which by-the-way is where many celebrities choose to own a home in New Orleans.
Get a snowball at Williams Plum Street Snowballs. If you think that the “snow cone” you have gotten at a fair is the same thing, you are dead wrong. For 100 years, since an invention by Snow Wizard, New Orleans has created a unique and delicious version that you cannot get anywere else. Although there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of snowball stands sprinkled around the city, Uptown has more than their share of some of the top stands in the city.
Head to the Northshore
The Northshore of New Orleans is right across the famous Causeway bridge and is where many New Orleanians choose to move, while being close to the city. There are tons of things to and places to visit on the Northshore – and it shows the polar opposite of Bourbon Street.
Head To Venice for Some Fishing
Louisiana is known as a fisherman’s paradise. Literally some of the best fishing in the world is in Venice LA. If you are interested in a guided fishing charter to catch some huge yellowfin tuna or do some spearfishing it is worth the short trip from New Orleans to the Southernmost tip of Louisiana.