10 Great Things to See in New Orleans

If you’re looking for things to see in New Orleans, you’re in the right place! Visiting the Big Easy is one of the best trips you can take in the South U.S.

For road trippers along the southern U.S. states, especially those coming to NOLA from Florida, there are some exciting stops along the way.

For instance, you can stop at Biloxi, Mississippi, to see the most beautiful Gulf Coast view and walk along the fishing pier.

walking in the french quarter in new orleans

Once you get to New Orleans, you’ll be amazed by Jazz music in the French Quarter (known as Vieux Carr√©), local art at the Warehouse Arts District, and epic experiences like riding the streetcar down Canal Street.

Not to mention, the delicious Beignets! By the time you have the city map in your hands, you’ll already be excited about the many things you’ll do in Crescent City.

If you want to know where to begin exploring the French Quarter, here are a few of our recommendations for your NOLA trip.

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1. Touch The Enchanted Charm Gate

Right at the entrance to The Court of Two Sisters in Royal Street, this iron gate was wrought in Spain and given to the building by Queen Isabella II.

Legend says that the Queen herself had these gates blessed so that their charm would pass along to anyone who touched them.

the charm gate things to see in New Orleans
the charm gate of the court of two sisters

2. Take A Walk Down Pirate’s Alley

Located between The Cabildo and the St Louis Cathedral, you will find Pirate’s Alley.

In this alley in the French Quarter is where you will see the historic marker of what was the Quartier General de la Garde Municipale, El Calabozo. This is the site of the prison that was constructed in 1726.

Legend says that it was at the Pirate’s Alley where pirates gathered to plan out their defense strategies. This alley was also featured in the vampire show The Originals.

pirates alley new orleans
Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans

3. View The Famous Buckner Mansion

This beautiful 1856 mansion can be found on one of the main streets in the Garden District.

You can also see the Buckner Mansion featured in the TV Series American Horror Story: Coven.

the Buckner mansion at garden district

4. Visit The Royal Hotel

As an avid fan of The Originals TV show, this is a must-see!

The Royal Hotel is one of the iconic filming locations from The Vampire Diaries spin-off show, The Originals.

the Royal Hotel is one of The Originals filming locations
The Royal Hotel, as seen on The Originals TV Show

5. Explore the Warehouse Arts District

From the main neighborhoods or districts in the core of the French Quarter in New Orleans, I would say this is one of my favorites.

The New Orleans Warehouse Arts District is a paradise for all art lovers and a great place to explore the many historic buildings in the city.

In this district, you’ll find the Civil War and World War II Museums, amazing art galleries, and nice dining options along Magazine Street.

new orleans civil war museum

Tip: If you visit the Arts District in New Orleans, go for the most delicious breakfast/brunch at Toast, located at 5433 Laurel Street.

6. Visit the St Louis Cathedral at Night

When you visit the New Orleans St Louis Cathedral at night, you will be treated to a breathtaking view like no other!

Be sure to walk around the back of the cathedral to capture it. Additionally, you can take a French Quarter ghost tour as this is one of the stops of the tour.

You will learn about the haunted and mysterious stories that have happened in and around the cathedral.

St Louis Cathedral night pictures

7. Shop For New Orleans Art at Palace Market Frenchmen

The best place for local art in New Orleans is the Palace Market on Frenchmen Street.

For the best experience, try to fit this into your itinerary as one of the things to see in New Orleans at night.

You’ll find nice sitting areas to relax and enjoy a drink while being in the center of artsy things in NOLA.

the Palace Market on Frenchmen Street

8. Spend the Afternoon at Labyrinth at Audubon Park

Offered to the city of New Orleans after the devastating Hurricane Katrina, this labyrinth provides a space for meditation, centering, and healing.

The Labyrinth at Audubon Park is one of the must-visit places near the French Quarter if you’re looking for a laid-back afternoon before heading back home.

This labyrinth is a replica of the Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France, built in 1203 A.D.

labyrinth at Audubon Park in New Orleans

9. Ride the Canal Ferry For a View of the City

Take a ride on the Canal Ferry to Algiers Point and enjoy a completely stunning view of the lovely city of New Orleans directly from the Mississippi River.

In Algiers, you will get to experience a different side of New Orleans. You can walk around and enjoy the beautiful Victorian houses and learn about the history of this quiet neighborhood.

How much does the ferry cost in New Orleans?

The ride is $2 per person, per trip. No prior reservation is needed to ride the ferry.

new orleans ferry

10. Don’t Miss The Original Street Name Signs

Being attentive to detail is part of the NOLA experience. If you pay close attention while walking around the Quarter, you will see many Mardi Gras beads in the trees or the ironworks of the houses.

In the same way, you don’t want to miss paying attention to the original street signs in the French Quarter.

These signs tell you the dates from which the streets bore the original Spanish name when New Orleans was the capital of the Spanish Province of Louisiana. Super cool!

original street signs in NOLA

Planning Your List of Things to See in New Orleans

Self-guided tours are free and are super fun to do when exploring a new city.

If you’re comfortable on your own while visiting a city for the first time, then a self-guided walking tour is something I would always recommend.

For the ultimate NOLA experience, you can pick up a city map and start mapping out the places you want to visit.

You can grab some maps at the New Orleans Welcome Center located at 701 Canal Street, open daily from 8 am to 9 pm.

Additionally, you can also visit the Louisiana Welcome Center located at 529 St Ann St open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Louisiana visitor's center

Many times, you will also see some locals giving out maps, especially around Canal Street.

Locals are up for a good conversation and showing you the best way to tour New Orleans without missing a thing.

If you driving to New Orleans from Florida, be sure to stop at the Louisiana Visitor’s Center off I-59.

They have all the city maps and you can also grab the Garden Districts Historical Homes Self-Guided Tour map.

This visitor center is open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Getting around the French Quarter: the New Orleans Streetcar

The streetcar fare is $1.25 per ride and it has to be paid with exact change. You can take the St. Charles Streetcar (green) to visit the Garden District and tour the historic homes.

The Canal Street Streetcar (red) moves around the main areas of the city and takes you to the cemeteries.

The streetcar will be your best option to move around the Quarter as it’s very reliable if you want to make the most out of your day for the best things to see in New Orleans.

New Orleans streetcar on Canal Street
The New Orleans Canal Street Streetcar
New Orleans St Charles Streetcar
The New Orleans St Charles Streetcar

What Are the Top Must Eats in New Orleans?

There are plenty of places to eat in New Orleans, especially in the French Quarter. Places like Pierre Maspero’s and El Gato Negro are some of my favorites.

Pierre Maspero’s Restaurant on 440 Chartres Street

El Gato Negro Mexican Restaurant down at 81 French Market Pl

Meals From the Heart Cafe at 1100 N Peters St # 13.

What is one of your favorite places to see in New Orleans? Share in the comments below!

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things to see in New Orleans
Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is an avid adventurer with 15+ years of hiking experience and outdoor travel. As a PADI-certified scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Mallorca, Spain.

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