New Orleans is a city that boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and a unique blend of European, African, and Caribbean influences. Known for its iconic Mardi Gras celebrations, jazz and blues music, and Creole cuisine, the Big Easy has a lot to offer visitors. However, beyond the tourist traps and crowded Bourbon Street, New Orleans is a city of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Food and Drinks

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise, with a cuisine that blends French, Spanish, and African flavors. Creole cuisine is the highlight of the city’s food scene, with dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice being staples. Visitors can also indulge in famous local dishes like beignets at Cafe Du Monde, po’boys at Parkway Bakery, and muffulettas at Central Grocery. For drinks, the city has a thriving bar scene with local favorites like the Sazerac and Hurricane.

Music and Culture

New Orleans is often referred to as the birthplace of jazz, and the city’s music scene is a major draw for visitors. From jazz to blues, visitors can catch live music performances at iconic venues like Preservation Hall, Tipitina’s, and the House of Blues. The city is also home to numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Essence Festival. Additionally, the city has an impressive collection of museums and art galleries that showcase its unique culture and history.

Architecture and Landmarks

New Orleans is a city with a rich architectural heritage, with influences from French, Spanish, and American styles. The French Quarter is the heart of the city’s architecture, with its iconic balconies, courtyards, and wrought-iron fences. The Garden District is another neighborhood that boasts stunning mansions and historic homes. The St. Louis Cathedral, located in Jackson Square, is a must-see landmark, along with the city’s famous cemetery tours.

Outdoor Activities

For visitors looking to enjoy the great outdoors, New Orleans has plenty of options. City Park is the largest urban park in the country, with over 1,300 acres of green space. Visitors can take a stroll through the Botanical Garden, rent a paddleboat on Big Lake, or visit the New Orleans Museum of Art. For a more unique experience, visitors can take a swamp tour and get up close and personal with alligators and other wildlife. Riverboat cruises are also a popular activity, with options for dinner and jazz cruises.

Shopping and Souvenirs

New Orleans is home to a variety of local markets and boutiques, offering unique souvenirs and gifts. Visitors can explore the French Market, a historic open-air market that has been operating since 1791, or visit the Arts District, home to numerous galleries and independent shops. For those looking to take home a piece of Mardi Gras, there are plenty of options for beads and costumes. The fleur-de-lis, a symbol of the city, is also a popular souvenir.


New Orleans offers a range of accommodations to suit any traveler’s needs. For those looking to stay in historic properties, there are numerous hotels that have been operating since the 1800s, such as the Hotel Monteleone and the Pontchartrain Hotel. Boutique hotels like the Ace Hotel and the Catahoula Hotel offer a more modern take on New Orleans style. For those looking for a more local experience, Airbnb options abound in the city.

Getting Around

New Orleans is a walkable city, with many attractions within a few blocks of each other. Public transportation options include the streetcar system and buses. Visitors can also take advantage of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, or traditional taxis. For those looking to get some exercise, biking is also a popular option.

Safety and Precautions

As with any city, there are certain precautions visitors should take when visiting New Orleans. Some neighborhoods, like the 7th Ward and Central City, are best avoided at night. Visitors should also be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye on their belongings. Hurricane season runs from June to November, so visitors should keep an eye on weather reports and be prepared in case of a storm.


New Orleans is a city that has something for everyone. Beyond the tourist hotspots, visitors can discover hidden gems in the city’s food scene, music and culture, architecture and landmarks, outdoor activities, and shopping. With a rich history and unique blend of cultures, New Orleans is a city that is worth exploring.


  1. What is the best time of year to visit New Orleans? The best time to visit New Orleans is from February to May when the weather is mild and there are numerous festivals and events.
  2. Is New Orleans safe for tourists? New Orleans has a higher crime rate than some other cities, but as long as visitors take precautions and avoid certain neighborhoods, they should have a safe trip.
  3. What is the best way to get around New Orleans? New Orleans is a walkable city, but visitors can also take advantage of the streetcar system, buses, ride-sharing services, taxis, and biking.
  4. What is the food like in New Orleans? New Orleans is known for its Creole cuisine, which blends French, Spanish, and African flavors. Local dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, red beans, and rice, beignets, and po’boys.
  5. What are some outdoor activities to do in New Orleans? Visitors can explore City Park, take a swamp tour, or go on a riverboat cruise. There are also numerous walking tours and bike tours available.