1. Go on a Voodoo Tour
One of the things New Orleans is known for, of course, is Voodoo. It’s like the Voodoo capital of the United States and the city is full of ways to experience it for yourself. From the museum, to the tours, to the shops, and even real Voodoo readings, you are sure to get your feel of the religion. The Voodoo tour is one of my favorite things to do in New Orleans because you hear a lot of interesting facts and stories, yet you don’t actually have to dip your toes into the actual practices.
2. Go on a Private Carriage Ride
One of the best ways to see New Orleans is from a horse drawn carriage, which you can find all over New Orleans, but not just any horse drawn carriage. Make sure to take a private carriage ride. It’s a little more expensive but worth the money. Not only do you get to focus on the parts of the city that interests you most but you really get to know the tour guide. You can learn a lot from the locals as they can tell you the best restaurants and attractions in the city. A private ride is also much more romantic if you are with that special someone.
3. Dinner at K-Pauls Louisiana Kitchen
I’m telling you this is the best steak I have ever had in my entire life. I don’t live anywhere close to New Orleans but I would drive all the way there just for this steak. Located in the French Quarter, K-Paul’s serves upscale Cajun and creole dishes. The restaurant is a little expensive, as it is fine dining, but the food is amazing.
4. Try Gumbo
When it comes to classic Louisiana food, gumbo tops the list. That being said, you can’t go all the way to New Orleans and not try the famous dish and there is nowhere better to try it than the Gumbo Shop. If you have never had it, it is basically like a soup or stew. I personally am not a soup fan so it’s not something I would eat again but some people love it!
5. Visit the Plantations
Being a part of the historic south, obviously Louisiana is full of plantations. None of them are actually in the city of New Orleans itself but if you want a break from the city, about an hour away, you can find some of the most beautiful plantations in the state. Of course, if you have been to Charleston or any other destinations full of plantations, then they really aren’t anything that special. Nonetheless, they are a great getaway from the loud parties of Bourbon Street. The scenery surrounding the plantations is worth the drive. What makes Louisiana plantations different from the plantations of South Carolina and Georgia is that they were primarily sugarcane plantations. Still today, the roads are lined with sugarcane.
6. Take a Ghost Tour
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? New Orleans is one of the most haunted cities in America so you would think they have some of the best ghost stories in the country. And they do. Robby and I love ghost tours and we take one in every historic city that we go to. We definitely recommend taking one while in New Orleans. (Tip: make sure to take it with a reputable company. We took all of our tours, including the ghost tours with Haunted History Tours. They were all great. The guides were awesome and we learned a lot but I will say the people who set up the tours and get you ready for the tour are some of the rudest people we have met.)
7. Take a Cemetery Tour
I know what you are thinking…why do I want to pay to spend time in a cemetery. I would ask the same thing. The cemeteries in New Orleans, however, are no ordinary cemeteries. The city is built below sea level so all of the graves are constructed in chambers above ground. In New Orleans, these cemeteries are known as the cities of the dead. In full disclosure, there are cemeteries that you can visit without paying for a tour but the tour is the only way into St. Louis Cemetery #1 which houses the tomb of legendary Voodoo queen Mary Laveau as well as the future burial spot of Nicholas Cage. It is also the most famous cemetery in New Orleans.
8. Try Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
Okay, so this must do is kind of a stretch. Honestly, beignets are just funnel cakes. Yes, I went all the way to New Orleans just to discover that. I say it is a must do because Cafe Du Monde is world famous for their Beignets. And, I’m not going to lie, they are pretty good!
9. Buy Some Art from a Roadside Painter
One of the things Robby and I always do when we travel somewhere is buy something to take back home. Usually it’s just a t-shirt or something simple because we don’t like clutter but on this trip we bought a painting. Typically, we stay away from people or are selling things on the side of the road but I feel like art is different. Some of these artists are really good. The bigger paintings are a little expensive but they have various sizes to fit any budget. You are supporting a local artist while gaining some nice decor for your home or office.