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Top 10 Things to Do in New Orleans

From Bourbon Street to world famous restaurants to the tomb of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, this is a city of legendary nightlife, good food, ancient history, and some of the greatest urban architecture in the world. Narrowing the Things to Do in New Orleans list down to just 10 things wasn’t easy, but here it is. We encourage you to explore the city’s sights while you’re in town for the 2021 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo.

  1. Frenchman’s Street – Away from the tourists on Bourbon Street, find a more authentic New Orleans experience with this four-block stretch of live music, restaurants, art galleries, and trendy bars popular with locals. Avid shoppers should check out Palace Market, which opens at 7 PM.

  2. Garden District – Stroll the leafy streets of this peaceful area to get a break from Bourbon Street and see some of the most beautiful homes in the city. Famed for its gardens and ancient trees, this neighborhood boasts some of the most stunning and well-preserved old architecture in North America. Take a peek at famous Lafayette Cemetery and, if you’re hungry, cross the street to Commander’s Palace (reservations and business attire strongly recommended!) for an elegant dining experience in one of the best restaurants in a city filled with great restaurants.

  3. The Cabildo – Over 220 years old and next to Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, the Cabildo has done and seen it all in the city. Built as the headquarters of the Spanish colony, the Louisiana Purchase was signed in this building. Later, it served as the state Supreme Court and City Hall. Today it is the Louisiana State Museum, filled with Native American artifacts, paintings from the colonial era, and rare treasures like Napoleon Bonaparte’s death mask. For more recent history, don’t miss the entire floor of the museum devoted to Hurricane Katrina. Admission is very reasonable, $6 for adults and $5 for seniors.

  4. St. Louis Cathedral – The oldest cathedral in North America is also one of its most famous, right in the heart of the French Quarter. Religious services are held at the cathedral, but if you’re not interested in attending a service, St. Louis Cathedral is a stunningly beautiful building and well worth a tour. While you’re there, don’t miss the Old Ursuline Convent, which is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, and St. Anthony’s Garden, where you can see the famous Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. Touring the Cathedral is free and easily reachable with the Riverfront Streetcar.

  5. The French Quarter – You know it, or at least, think you do. Vieux CarrĂ© is the heart and soul of New Orleans. No trip to the Big Easy is complete without a thorough tour of the French Quarter, the site of the original French colony in 1718. The architecture is justly famous, with intricate baroque iron balconies and gurgling old fountains in sun-dappled courtyards. This is the charming New Orleans everyone loves, but it can be very busy and touristy. Nevertheless, don’t miss the aforementioned St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, the Cabildo, and Faulkner House Books

  6. New Orleans Museum of Art – This 110-year-old museum has more than 40,000 works of art, including European masters old and modern. It’s not a large museum, but its size makes it easy to see everything in just one visit. While you’re there, don’t skip a visit through the Sculpture Garden, located in the City Park right next to the museum. The park is dotted with the region’s famous moss-covered oak trees, but just as impressive are the 64 sculptures designed by famous artists from across the globe. The garden is free, museum tickets are $12 for adults.

  7. Audobon Nature Institute -  It’s a zoo. And an aquarium. And an insectarium. And a butterfly garden. And a golf course. There’s a Jaguar Jungle at the zoo that should not be missed and definitely see the massive Gulf of Mexico exhibit in the aquarium, featuring rays, sharks, and tarpon. The Gulf area is a natural wonder and the Institute is a great way to see it up close.

  8. Mardi Gras World – You cannot attend Mardi Gras during the Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo, but you can do the next best thing by visiting Mardi Gras World, a cross between a workshop and a warehouse where some of the most eye-popping costumes and floats from Mardi Gras are stored. You can see floats being restored and constructed on a guided tour, but don’t forget to bring your camera. You’ll have a chance to try on a costume, as well. Admission is $22 for adults and $17 for seniors.

  9. National World War 2 Museum – Located on Magazine Street, this museum is a fascinating and immersive deep dive into everything about World War 2, from D-Day to the Holocaust. Filled with objects and educational films, this is easily one of the best places in the world to learn more about the most colossal conflict in world history. Absolutely do not miss “Beyond All Boundaries,” a 4-D film narrated and produced by Tom Hanks. General admission is $27.

  10. Cemetery Tours – Alternately spooky and grand, the cemeteries in New Orleans are unlike any other in the world, which is why some visitors spend an entire day visiting them. Due to rising water levels, the city’s tombs are located above ground and feature amazing design and architecture you won’t find anywhere else. Visit the gravesites of notorious pirates, famous musicians, and, of course, Marie Laveau, the “Voodoo Queen” of NOLA. These “cities of the dead” are so famous you’ve seen some of them in movies like “Double Jeopardy” and “Interview with a Vampire.”

To learn more about New Orleans, please click on Visit New Orleans.