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new orleans attractions

NEW ORLEANS ATTRACTIONS GUIDE

Art. Music. Food. Culture. Life. New Orleans has everything you need for a healthy and happy soul - and then some. If you're looking to eat, dance, and explore to your heart’s content, NOLA is where you want to be to let the good times roll.

New Orleans is a melting pot of many different cultures, which helps to establish its unique, eclectic, and inclusive atmosphere. French, Spanish, Haitian and Cuban influences come together to create a whirlwind of unmatched sights, sounds, and tastes. It only takes a few hours in NOLA to see that all of the tales you’ve heard are true: New Orleans’ reputation for vibrant food, fascinating history, magnificent live music, and of course, thriving party hub, is all true.

The cuisine is rich. The live bands are hot. The architecture is unforgettable. On your way home, you’ll already be planning your next visit. Before you start sipping Sazeracs and munching on po’ boys, here is what you need to know to plot the perfect itinerary for your upcoming stay in the Big Easy.

“You’ll never know what heaven means until you’ve been down to New Orleans.” – Elvis Presley

Things to Do in the Warehouse District

new orleans art district attractions

Things to Do in the Warehouse District

The Warehouse District (also known as the Arts District) has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past few decades, prompting many to call the neighborhood the “SoHo of the South.” With over two dozen galleries in the Warehouse District alone, the neighborhood has evolved into a destination for guests who want a visual dose of the Deep South’s art and culture.

The Warehouse District’s historical significance, close proximity to the St. Charles Streetcar line, and fine-tuned focus on art emanate the heart and soul of America's most unique and eclectic city. As you explore the neighborhood, check out the galleries, visit the National WWII Museum and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and hit up the Howlin’ Wolf for an evening of energetic live music. Just around the corner and across Poydras Street, you will find Harrah’s Casino - try your luck!

Explore the Warehouse District

Things to Do in The French Quarter

attractions in the new orleans french quarter

Things to Do in The French Quarter

Awaken Your Senses

Known simply as the Quarter, this iconic 85-square block district is the oldest neighborhood in the city. It’s the go-to New Orleans tourist destination for visitors from all over the world, but it attracts plenty of locals too. From the open-air French Market to Preservation Hall to some of the city's most historic museums, you'll find countless New Orleans attractions around every corner as you explore the truly singular French Quarter.

What to See

As you explore the French Quarter, don't miss the opportunity to tour the St. Louis Cathedral or take a ride on the Steamboat Natchez. Grab some beignets and chicory coffee from Café Du Monde to start your day, and for lunch, you can’t go wrong with a po’ boy from Johnny’s. Take a picture in Jackson Square, then tour the 1850 House to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the middle to upper class during the prosperous times of trade in the Crescent City.

For more insider recommendations about what to see and do in the Vieux Carré, check out our French Quarter Attractions Guide!

French Quarter Attractions Guide

New Orleans Dining Is Unmatched

new orleans restaurant guide

New Orleans Dining Is Unmatched

Consistently ranked as one of the nation's top foodie destinations, New Orleans is home to hundreds of world-class restaurants, some of the country's best seafood, and the ultimate melting pot of American cuisine. As you explore the French Quarter, Garden District, and beyond, you'll find no shortage of options when it’s time to eat in New Orleans. The list of must-try restaurants likely exceeds the number of meals you can possibly fit into your trip!

To make things simpler for you, make sure you sample the best versions of all of New Orleans’ famed dishes. For classic French-Creole fine dining in the French Quarter, make a reservation at Galatoire’s. For classic Cajun-Creole fare like gumbo, visit Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in Tremé. If you're in the mood for Cajun-infused pork and seafood dishes, get a table at Chef Donald Link's Cochon in the Warehouse District. Or try something new with Turtle Soup at Commander’s Palace in the Garden District.

As you plan your trip, take a look at our New Orleans Dining Guide to see how the techniques of the French, the spices of the Caribbean, and the native seafood, produce, and livestock of Louisiana make New Orleans’ cuisine the best in the world.

New Orleans Dining Guide

Take a Walk Down Bourbon Street

new orleans attractions on bourbon street

Take a Walk Down Bourbon Street

You haven’t partied until you’ve partied on Rue Bourbon. A night out on Bourbon Street is a carnival of sights and sounds that will keep you entertained into the early morning hours. You can walk the streets with a cocktail in hand (hand grenades, anyone?) and check out the parade of clubs and burlesque bars, with live jazz playing on every corner and lively people dancing everywhere you look. The party kicks up a notch during Mardi Gras, but don’t worry – any time of year there’s revelry on Bourbon Street, day and night.

Join the Locals on Frenchmen Street

things to do on frenchman street nola

Join the Locals on Frenchmen Street

"Feel good music, I've been told, is good for your body and is good for your soul." - The Meters, Hey Pocky Way

If you lived in New Orleans, where would you go? For many who call NOLA home, the answer is invariably Frenchmen Street. When you’re ready to go slightly off the beaten path and bid adieu to the mayhem of Bourbon Street, Frenchmen Street is the place to find the city's best music, a warm good-times feel, and the local vibe of New Orleans.

As you hop from club to club on Frenchman, keep an eye out for local favorites like the Treme Brass Band, Washboard Chaz, and Glen David Andrews at places like the Spotted Cat, d.b.a., and Blue Nile. Want to refuel after a late night out? Book a jazz brunch at The Maison and enjoy tasty cooking with lively jazz and swing music in the background.

Plan Your Family Vacation

family friendly attractions in new orleans

Plan Your Family Vacation

While New Orleans is known around the world as a dining, nightlife, and music destination, it's also an amazing city for a family vacation! With great museums, beautiful outdoor spaces, and tons of history, you and the kids will have a blast during your upcoming trip to NOLA!

Audubon Nature Institute

If your kids love nature, don't miss the Audubon Nature Institute, which operates museums throughout the city. Within walking distance of the hotel you'll find the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. For an interactive, outdoor experience, head to the picturesque Audubon Zoo, located 20 minutes from Cambria New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District.

Louisiana Children's Museum

If you're traveling with youngsters, the Louisiana Children's Museum is the perfect way to spend a day! Just a five-minute walk from the hotel, the museum's bubbles exhibit, kid-sized grocery store, and Art Trek installations are family favorites.

French Market

With Cafe du Monde's airy beignets, a handful of praline shops, and tons of souvenir stands in the open-air market, the French Market is the French Quarter's premier family-friendly attraction. If you grow weary of traversing the crowds with your kids, find a bench along the riverfront for a relaxing reprieve.

Visit City Park New Orleans

city park new orleans

Visit City Park New Orleans

City Park has to make it onto your New Orleans bucket list! You thought New York City’s Central Park was huge? Think again. City Park is about 50 percent larger and is home to the world’s largest group of live oak trees – some are over 600 years old! Man made beauty abounds as well in New Orleans Museum of Art’s Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, five acres filled with over 60 sculptures by artists from around the world. After a pleasant afternoon at the park, treat yourself to some cajun boucherie at Toups Meatery on Carrollton.

Take a Self Guided Tour

New Orleanse Self Guided tour

Take a Walk Down Bourbon Street

Looking to explore the city of New Orleans but don't know where to start? We have partnered with GPS my City to create interactive self-guided tours right from your hotel room. Choose iconic attractions you want to see and download the customized walk right to your phone or tablet. Start your adventure now!

Design Your Tour

New Orleans Event Calendar

mardi gras is new orleans

Credit: Jeff Anding Photography

New Orleans Event Calendar

Few cities know how to throw a party quite like New Orleans, and in the Crescent City, partying goes above and beyond late nights in the Quarter. On any given weekend, you'll find jubilant second line parades, tons of great concerts, and a rotating cast of exciting events. From Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest to French Quarter Fest, New Orleansdistricjt does it right.

Take a look at our New Orleans Event Guide to find out what's going on during your upcoming visit to New Orleans.

New Orleans Event Guide

The Unbeatable 48-Hour NOLA Itinerary

New Orleans 48 Hour Itinerary

The Unbeatable 48-Hour NOLA Itinerary

Just two days to see New Orleans? Here's our recommended itinerary, with hand-picked activities you'll love.

Arrival: Check into the award-winning Cambria Hotel New Orleans (ranked #1 on Trip Advisor since June, 2018). If you’re driving, take advantage of our valet parking (located on the Commerce Street side of the building), with in and out privileges. $38 per night, plus tax.

Settling In: Enjoy a cocktail at our Lobby Bar. If you can’t wait to get out into the city, get a "roadie" – a.k.a. a grab-and-go cocktail. After all, you can drink on the street in NOLA, as long as the container is plastic!

Taking a Stroll: Head out to explore the Warehouse/Arts District, home to some of the best restaurants in the city. Or, if you’d like to stay close to home, Emeril’s (Emeril Lagasse’s newest venture in town) is just around the corner on Girod St., serving small plates and offering an amazing Happy Hour. A little further away in the neighborhood, Peche serves awesome fresh seafood dishes and a raw bar.

Day 1

The French Quarter is only a few short blocks from our doors – it’s what put New Orleans on the map (literally), and is not to be missed. Start at Jackson Square, flanked by the Pontalba Apartment Buildings and adjacent to the St. Louis Cathedral, Cabildo and Presbytere. Stroll through the narrow streets and admire the centuries-old architecture, window shop the myriad stores (or better yet, treat yourself to something really unique) or take a carriage ride to get the lay of the land.

When it comes to food, there are so many restaurants in this area, you can’t possibly try them all; but here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Café du Monde – This beloved cafe is located on Decatur Street, just across from Jackson Square. Open 24/7, serving only French doughnuts with powdered sugar and Café au Lait. Great for breakfast or a midnight snack.
  2. Napoleon House – A great bar and casual restaurant on the corner of St. Louis and Chartres Streets. The Muffaletta (a large Italian sandwich, great to share) is amazing, and they are famous for their Pimm’s Cup Cocktail.
  3. Café Amelie – Located at 912 Royal Street, the charming courtyard and tempting menu is always a hit.
  4. Brennan’s – Located at 600 Royal Street is famous for their over-the-top breakfast, complete with Brandy Milk Punch. Newly renovated and reopened, it’s a traditional environment with an up to date menu.
  5. Arnaud’s – An old-world New Orleans restaurant, great service and a Mardi Gras Museum! Order the Souffle’ Potatoes to start.
  6. GW Fins – Award-winning chef/owner Penney Flynn keeps the hot mini-biscuits coming and the "scalibut" is the dish to try – halibut with scallops is divine.
  7. Justine – The newest addition to the culinary scene in NOLA, Justine was recently opened by husband and wife team, Chef Justin Devillier and wife Mia. They also operate Le Petite Grocery, Uptown.

End the day with an evening of live music – there are many, many choices depending on your taste, but a tried-and-true authentic New Orleans experience always includes Preservation Hall, with four sets nightly.

Day 2

A leisurely day starts with breakfast at Mother’s, just a block and a half from the Cambria. After your meal, head on over to the National WWII Museum – part of the Smithsonian, it’s the #1 attraction in New Orleans. Start with the film, Beyond All Boundaries, which will set the stage for your visit. Narrated by Tom Hanks, you will be reminded of the reason that the Greatest Generation fought for our freedom. Allocate 3-4 hours to see the many exceptional exhibits. (The landing craft used at Normandy were built by Andrew Higgins in his New Orleans boatbuilding plant).

After your visit you may want to take it easy for a little while – a great low-impact activity is to hop on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, heading uptown, (exact fare $1.25 required) at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Lee Circle, just two blocks from the Museum, for a great way to experience the Garden District, one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods.

The 100+ year-old cars will transport you back in time, as you roll past Ante-Bellum mansions and towering Oak trees. Tulane and Loyola Universities are located on the Avenue, as well as Audubon Park. Ride to the end of the line and back again (switch sides so that you get to see both sides of the Avenue), or hop off anywhere along the route if you want to explore more or grab a bite.

When it’s time to start thinking about lunch, there are many great choices in the Uptown area, including:

  1. Commander’s Palace – Offering a great jazz brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s a true local experience. You can’t miss the aqua and white striped awnings on the Victorian building at 1403 Washington Avenue. You can disembark at the Washington Avenue Streetcar stop and walk the four blocks to the restaurant. Take a few minutes to peek into St. Louis Cemetery, just across the street. The above-ground tombs are unique.
  2. Coquette – Also located on Washington Avenue (corner Magazine Street), this modern bistro is a favorite of locals and visitors.
  3. Pascal’s Manale – Famous for their barbecue shrimp (not really BBQ, but REALLY wonderful if you like Shrimp), this is a neighborhood tradition. Located on Napoleon Avenue.

The afternoon runs into the evening. Start out at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue for a traditional New Orleans Old Fashioned Cocktail, then head back downtown and consider spending the evening on Frenchmen Street, where you can wander through the various bars and restaurants, all offering live entertainment. Plus, check out DBA, Snug Harbor and the Spotted Cat for authentic jazz, then the last stop to make is at Marigny Brasserie for a late-night bite.

Kid-Friendly Attractions
If you are traveling with the family, we recommend these kid-friendly attractions and restaurants:

Destinations for Family Fun
Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, Insectarium, Children’s Museum, Snow Balls, Streetcar, Riverboat, City Park’s Storyland, Carriage Ride though the French Quarter, Café du Monde

Kid-Approved Restaurants
Deanie’s, Johnny’s Po-Boys, Mother’s (400 block of Poydras, just down the street from the Cambria), Reginellis’ (930 Poydras Street, Walk On’s, Grand Isle, Manning’s, Gordon Biersch.

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Cambria New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District
632 Tchoupitoulas Street,
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 524-7770

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