The Perfect Weekend in New Orleans
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Only have three days to spend in NOLA? Make the most of your time! Day 1: Immerse yourself in all of the French Quarter's touristy sites, including Jackson Square and Bourbon Street, and stay for cocktails and dinner. Day 2: Take the St. Charles streetcar line to the Garden District and Audobon Park, then do a little shopping on Magazine Street before hitting some live music that night. Day 3: After brunch, take a bike tour to see NOLA in a different way.
701 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
A National Historic Landmark that has also been named one of America’s Great Public Spaces, Jackson Square is the historic heart of New Orleans. Under the French, it went by the name the Place d’Armes and it wasn’t until the first half of the 19th...
Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA, USA
Some find this narrow, neon-lit French Quarter street appealing, others appalling. But it’s worth a stroll either way. It’s as if all the sins of mankind and then some were rounded up and corralled here—tawdry strip shows, cheap and potent drinks,...
214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
This family-run hotel, originally opened in 1886, is steeped in history from its classic furnishings to its esteemed guests. Literary legends William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway have stayed here; Tennessee Williams wrote about the hotel in his...
French Quarter, New Orleans, LA, USA
You don't need to work hard to explore New Orleans' diverse architecture. Take a walk around the French Quarter and you'll see Creole cottages and pre-Civil War townhouses with wrought-iron balconies. Hop on a street car and take in the antebellum...
800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Café Du Monde is always open; it’s the clientele that changes—from visiting families and local pensioners early in the morning, to couples in the evening, to Bourbon Street refugees looking for coffee and ballast in the...
615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
As the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States, St. Louis Cathedral is something you won't want to miss on your trip through the Big Easy. Enjoy the spiritual splendor of the interior, then meander the laid-back streets...
718 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Pat O'Briens for a Hurricane. The story goes that in the 1940s, because it was difficult to import scotch during WWII, bar owners were forced to buy large amounts of rum and the...
533 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Anyone interested in the city’s complex and vivid past—and if you’re still breathing, that should include you—would do well to make a stop at the Historic New Orleans Collection. This is a private entity with a public purpose: It was founded to...
New Orleans, LA, USA
Frenchmen Street is, more or less, the local-music version of Bourbon Street. It also has its share of tourists trundling about with go-cups in hand, but they’re drawn more by the music than the drink. Plan to spend an evening (things start...
813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
The French 75 is attached to historic Arnaud’s Restaurant, founded in 1918 and located just off Bourbon Street. Once you get through the doors, you’ll feel miles away from the crass college-age drinkers and luridly colored beverages a...
934 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Well, of course New Orleans has a shop devoted to outrageous wigs in the middle of the French Quarter. (Mardi Gras doesn’t just happen, you know.) Fifi Mahony’s can be packed to the gills and short on stock as the big day approaches, but the rest...
2438 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
Royal Street is to antiques and fine art what Bourbon Street is to booze. This elegant urban thoroughfare is not only home to some of the best examples of the city's early-19th-century Creole town houses, but is also loaded with high-end antiques...
923 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The fragrant, pleasingly cluttered Central Grocery is a holdover from an era when Italian-run groceries occupied storefronts throughout the city. This timeworn shop across from the French Market still boasts an old-world charm, filled with tall...
1201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Verti Marte is at heart a cramped, bare-bones deli. But any effort the owners have failed to expend on stocking the shelves or sprucing up the decor they’ve put into making excellent food. Head to the small counter in the back and make your...
612 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
New Orleans is noted for two kinds of voodoo: the historic kind and the trashy, touristy kind. The latter variety isn’t hard to find; look for kitschy dolls imported from China. But the historic voodoo—an expression of the city’s...
1433 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
There are three old streetcar lines that run in New Orleans. We enjoyed a ride down St. Charles, the oldest of the lines. The trains were beautifully worn originals and gave us a glance at the front of many beautiful old homes. There were also a...
1332 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
The Garden District was developed in the middle 19th century, and is where the mercantile elite built their in-town estates. Unlike the narrow parcels of the French Quarter or surrounding neighborhoods, house lots here were divided up with just...
6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Audubon Park sits on the site of a former sugar plantation—the only plantation in the city that wasn’t subsequently developed for homes or businesses. It’s about 25 minutes via streetcar from downtown, but feels a world apart,...
5631 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
BE A NEW ORLEANIAN. WHEREVER YOU ARE. read the ubiquitous bumper sticker in the years after Hurricane Katrina. It was a simple, direct, and on-target message—the sort that’s been perfected by this T-shirt shop, with stores uptown on...
130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
First opened in 1893 as Grunewald Hotel, this historic building stretches an entire city block and has a storied past that’s equally expansive. The Roosevelt has played host to presidents and senators, duchesses and dignitaries, actors and...
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Chef Tory McPhail was recently named James Beard's Best Chef South and his forward-looking take on Creole classics keeps this New Orleans institution, which has launched the careers of the likes of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, current....
2232, 3025 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
Sucré opened a couple of years after Katrina swept through a bustling stretch of Magazine Street not far from the Garden District. It quickly established itself as the city’s premier destination for chocolates, macarons, gelato, and,...
921 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
It might be a sin to go to New Orleans and not hear jazz. Venues run the gamut from sophisticated hotel lounges, like trumpeter Jeremy Davenport's eponymous salon at the Ritz-Carlton, to dives like the Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street, where swing...
726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Preservation Hall occupies a worn Creole town house that was originally built as a home in the early 19th century, and that had evolved into an art gallery and performance space by 1961. (It was founded by a man of philanthropic bent who fretted...
523 Gravier St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Opened in April 2001, this Central Business District property, a converted dry-goods warehouse, is a departure from the typical New Orleans hotel. Instead of fleur-de-lis wallpaper and Louis XIV chairs, you’ll find Fortuny lamps, Herman Miller...
536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The amazing music and cool vibe on Frenchman Street is irresistible. Some of the world’s best musicians are playing there every night of the week—just one of the many extraordinary things about New Orleans. While you are feeding your soul, don’t...
622 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
New Orleans doesn’t have the national renown of Minneapolis or Portland when it comes to bike culture. But its reputation is growing. Structurally, it's already a great city to explore on two wheels: It’s dead flat (highway overpasses are really...
417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Owen Brennan founded a fine-dining restaurant empire in 1946, when the proprietor of Arnaud’s taunted him by saying that no Irishman could succeed with anything other than a hamburger joint. Brennan got his revenge at this French-and-Creole...
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