Top 28 Things to do in New Orleans

1. Bayou Boogaloo

This free three-day experience includes live music from some of the city's finest acts celebrates the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans, takes place on beautiful Bayou St. John, and benefits local restoration and sustainability efforts following the damage of Hurricane Katrina.
This free three-day adventure includes live music from several of the town’s finest acts celebrates the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans, takes place on beautiful Bayou St. John, also rewards local restoration and sustainability efforts after the damage of Hurricane Katrina.

2. Greek Fest

This food and dance-filled celebration of the city's deep-seated Greek community has been going strong for 40 years. Attendees swarm the Mid City neighborhood's Lakefront/Gentilly area, to the grounds of Holy Trinity Cathedral – said to be the oldest Greek Orthodox house of worship in the United States, established in 1866.
Kmo139 / Via Flickr: kmo139

This dance-filled and food party of the community of the city was going strong for 40 years. Attendees swarm the Mid City neighborhood’s Lakefront/Gentilly region, to the grounds of Holy Trinity Cathedral — said to be the oldest Greek Orthodox house of worship at the United States, established in 1866.

3. Creole Tomato Festival

The vine-ripe Creole Tomato is an actual vegetable crop that flourishes in New Orleans every June, and its arrival (and various incarnations, including a special Bloody Mary) is celebrated with a weekend-long takeover of the French Market – the nation's oldest citywide marketplace on record, opened in 1791.
The vine-ripe Creole Tomato is a real vegetable crop that flourishes in New Orleans each June, and its arrival (and various incarnations, such as a particular Bloody Mary) is celebrated with a weekend-long takeover of the French Market — the country’s earliest citywide marketplace on record, opened in 1791.

4. Cajun-Zydeco Festival

These regionally native sounds permeate the city year-round, but the inspired two-step dance genres get a whole weekend to themselves every year too. Directly adjacent to the Creole Tomato festival happening at the same time, the Cajun-Zydeco Festival celebrates a strong branch of roots music handpicked by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – better known as the same cats that produce Jazzfest and run critically-renowned community radio station WWOZ-FM.
Flickr: robbiesaurus

These regionally native sounds permeate the city year-round, every year 24, but the motivated dance genres get an entire weekend. Directly adjacent to the Creole Tomato festival occurring at the exact same period, the Cajun-Zydeco Festival sees a powerful branch of roots music handpicked by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation — better called the very same cats that make Jazzfest and operate critically-renowned community radio station WWOZ-FM.

5. FestiGals

Centered at the historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, there is indeed an entire weekend where women flock to take over New Orleans. From formal networking events to spas and shopping, the highlight of this female fête is the Stiletto Stroll – a formally escorted second-line sashay down Bourbon Street.
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Situated at the historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, there’s indeed an entire weekend in which women flock to take over New Orleans. From formal networking events to shopping and spas, the highlight of this female fête is the Stiletto Stroll — a escorted second-line sashay down Bourbon Street.

6. Tales of the Cocktail

In a city already overflowing with unique and infamous forms of libation, Tales of the Cocktail is the only event of its kind in the country – established for the sole celebration of the craft of the mixed drink, and its special heritage rooted only in New Orleans. Held at multiple establishments around the French Quarter, tens of thousands of expert mixologists, bartenders, and cocktail enthusiasts engage in days of detailed sessions, tastings, parties, and pairing meals.
Numinosity / Via Flickr: garyjwood

In a town already overflowing with unique and infamous forms of libation, Tales of the Cocktail is the only event of its type in the nation — established for the sole celebration of the craft of the mixed beverage, and its distinctive heritage suspended only in New Orleans. Held at multiple establishments around the French Quarter, tens of thousands of cocktail fans, and expert mixologists, bartenders engage in times of pairing meals, and comprehensive sessions, tastings, parties.

7. San Fermin en Nueva Orleans

+You don't have to cross the Atlantic to get the experience of Pamplona in the summer. Just hop to New Orleans, where the Running of the Bulls is reincarnated on a Saturday morning with the city's roller derby stars instead of a live bull. The city's Spanish heritage come to life over the weekend-long celebration, with highlights including Spanish wine-pairing dinners to start, the free official El Txupinazo kickoff party on Friday, the free live music and cocktail-laden Fiesta de Pantalones on Saturday, and closes with Pobré de Mi on Sunday, which annually honors Ernest Hemingway with readings and humorous performances.
Flickr: howieluvzus

You do not have to cross the Atlantic to find the experience of Pamplona . Just jump to New Orleans, where the Running of the Bulls is reincarnated with all the town’s roller derby on a Saturday morning celebrities rather than a live bull. The town’s Spanish heritage come to life over the weekend-long celebration, with highlights including Spanish wine-pairing dinners to start, that the free official El Txupinazo kickoff celebration on Friday, the totally free live music and cocktail-laden Fiesta de Pantalones on Saturday, also closes with Pobré de Mi on Sunday, that annually honors Ernest Hemingway with readings and humorous performances.

8. Coolinary

It's a restaurant week that lasts for an entire month among every neighborhood in the city, with meals at their most major discounts.
New Orleans Tourism

It is a restaurant week that lasts with meals at their most important discounts.

9. Satchmo Summerfest

This annual tribute to favorite son Louis Armstrong is the only celebration of the jazz legend in the entire world. Boasted as a "mini Jazzfest" for free in the French Quarter, the fest sparked in 2001 to celebrate Armstrong's 100th birthday and his impact on the city. Music is stationed on the lawn of the Old U.S. Mint during the day, and moves to infamous Frenchman Street when the sun goes down, with child-friendly programming and chats from Satchmo's musical peers and colleagues run concurrently throughout the day.
Derek Bridges / Via Flickr: derek_b

This annual tribute to son Louis Armstrong is the party of this jazz legend in the whole world. Boasted as a “miniature Jazzfest” for free in the French Quarter, the festival sparked in 2001 to celebrate Armstrong’s 100th birthday and his impact on the city. Music is stationed on the lawn of the Old U.S. Mint through the day, and moves into notorious Frenchman Street as soon as the sun goes down, together with child-friendly programming and chats from Satchmo’s musical peers and colleagues run concurrently through the day.

10. Red Dress Run

This annual event is what one would qualify as a truly beautiful mess. Coordinated by the Hash House Harriers – a local "drinking club with a running problem" – all participants are mandatorily drunk and decked in red dresses as the clock strikes 9am, running through the city before lunchtime for a mileage no one really clocks. All of its funds go to breast cancer research and a flurry of other charities.

This annual event is what one would qualify as a really beautiful mess. Coordinated by the Hash House Harriers — a local “drinking club with a running problem” — all participants are mandatorily drunk and decked in crimson dresses because the clock strikes 9am, running through town before lunchtime to get a mileage no one really clocks. All of its funds go to a flurry of other charities and breast cancer research.

11. Southern Decadence

This 40+ years-strong is the largest gay event in New Orleans, rooted in the celebrations reminiscent of Mardi Gras. The celebration has been held Labor Day weekend since it started in 1972, to provide proper "recovery time" for those who attended, dressed as their favorite Southern icons for an impromptu parade.

This 40+ years-strong is your largest event in New Orleans, suspended from the celebrations. The party has been held Labor Day weekend as it began in 1972, to offer proper “recovery time” for individuals who attended, dressed as their favorite Southern icons to get an impromptu parade.

12. Burlesque Fest

Burlesque was a booming art form in the French Quarter from the 1940s - 1960s, as the French Quarter sported the highest concentration of clubs anywhere in the country at the time. When it saw a major resurgence in pop culture many years later, the city's festival came together at the same time, around 2009. The weekend is produced by NOLA native Rick DeLaup, lauded as the herald of modern burlesque nationwide, having run repeatedly award-winning shows locally and in Las Vegas.
Flickr: kidora

Burlesque was a thriving art type from the French Quarter in the 1940s – 1960s, since the French Quarter sported clubs’ concentration anywhere in the country at the time. As it saw a resurgence in pop culture several years the festival of the city came at exactly the exact same time, around 2009. NOLA native Rick DeLaup, lauded as the herald of burlesque nationwide, having run repeatedly shows everywhere and in Las Vegas produces the weekend.

13. Louisiana Seafood Festival

Leave it to New Orleans to speak for the entire seafood crop of Louisiana. It's reputation is so top-notch, it got an entire weekend of music and sampling on the waterfront for people to enjoy. Participating restaurants and expert demonstrators include the century-old Acme Oyster House, dixieland jazz staple Arnaud's, and Galatoire's, where the same family has been cooking seafood for the Crescent City as long as four generations.
Brian B. Brown / Via Flickr: beleaveme

Leave it to New Orleans to speak for Louisiana’s fish crop. The reputation of it is so top-notch, it obtained an whole weekend of sampling and audio to enjoy. Restaurants and expert demonstrators incorporate the century-old Acme Oyster House, dixieland jazz staple Arnaud’s, also Galatoire’s, in which the household has been cooking seafood to the Crescent City provided four generations.

14. New Orleans Film Festival

Hosted by the city's own Film Society for over 20 years, major producers and distributors look to the N.O.F.F. for unique voices in regional cinema to bring to the national stage. Over 200 screenings take place over the 8-day event, including panels, a gala, and a filmmaker's brunch to celebrate up-and-coming masters of the craft. Major cinematic powerhouses including the likes of Todd Phillips, writer/director of "The Hangover," have had the festival as their launchpad.
artsneworleans.org

Hosted by the city’s own Film Society for more than 20 decades, major producers and distributors look to the N.O.F.F. for unique voices in regional cinema to bring to the national point. Over 200 screenings happen over the 8-day event, such as panels, a gala, and a filmmaker’s brunch to observe up-and-coming masters of this craft. Major cinematic powerhouses such as the likes of Todd Phillips, writer/director of “The Hangover,” have had the festival as their launchpad.

15. Ponderosa Stomp

This annual celebration sets the spotlight on the finest side men and session musicians in the history of American music. More than just a trip down a roots music memory lane, admission is staggeringly cheap for a multi-faceted weekend of panels, dance contests, rare records, and of course, the penultimate Rock 'N' Bowl concert showcase at the famed Mid City Lanes.
New Orleans Tourism / Edgar Mata

This celebration sets the spotlight about session musicians and the side guys in the history of music. More than only a trip down a music audio memory lane, admission is staggeringly cheap for a multi-faceted weekend of panels, dance contests, rare documents, and naturally, that the penultimate Rock ‘N’ Bowl concert display at the famous Mid City Lanes.

16. Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival

Rooted in the nation's first African American community, and also produced by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, this weekend is all about the brass band, like local heroes the Soul Rebels – known widely for mixing up their original materials with ridiculous all-brass reinterpretations of classic pop and hip-hop songs, like Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. The other star, of course, is the gumbo itself, which attendees can sample from world renowned-but-locally rooted purveyors like Lil' Dizzy's and Miss Linda the Ya-Ka-Mein Lady.
Flickr: derek_b

Rooted in the country’s very first African American community, and also made by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, this weekend is all about the brass ring, such as local heroes that the Soul Rebels — known widely for mixing up their original substances with ridiculous all-brass reinterpretations of classic pop and hip songs, like Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. The other star, of course, is the gumbo which attendees can sample from planet purveyors like Lil’ Dizzy’s and Miss Linda the Lady.

17. Celebration in the Oaks

The holiday season kicks off with this festival of lights in City Park, scattered across fixtures like the Botanical Gardens and Carousel Gardens, with humorous setups for adults and amusing ones for kids alike. The event is intertwined with the retelling of the Cajun Night Before Christmas, which syncs up with a portion of the lights for an animated display.
Flickr: infrogmation

The holiday season kicks off with this festival of lights in City Park, sprinkled across fittings such as Carousel Gardens and the Botanical Gardens, with humorous setups for adults and ones for kids alike. The occasion is intertwined with the Cajun Night Before Christmas’ retelling, which syncs up with a portion of the lights to get an animated display.

18. Oak Street Po-Boy Fest

Tens of thousands of people flood Uptown's Oak Street all for the love of the legendary sandwich, including the coveted competition to be known as the best one in the entire city.
Flickr: infrogmation

The Oak Street of Uptown floods all including the coveted contest to be called the best one in the city, for the love of this sandwich that is legendary.

19. Hell Yes Fest

New York and Los Angeles may be known as the nation's bastions for alternative comedy, but once a weekend, the scene descends on New Orleans to bring together sideways comedy from all over the Southeast. Coined as "a bad ass comedy festival," parties and showcases of stand-up and improv are curated for a weekend of underground giggles.

New York and Los Angeles might be known for humor as the country’s bastions, but after a weekend, the spectacle descends on New Orleans to deliver comedy that was sideways together . Coined as “a bad ass humor festival,” showcases and parties of stand-up and improv are curated for a weekend of underground giggles.

20. Holiday Home Tours

Sponsored by the city's Preservation Resource Center, every December brings a significant blast from the past to New Orleans as people take walking tours through homes in various neighborhoods dating back to the 1800s, specifically decorated in the style of Creole Christmas.
nola.humidbeings.com

Each December brings a significant burst from the past to New Orleans as folks enjoy tours through homes in various neighborhoods dating back into the 1800s decorated in the fashion of Creole Christmas.

21. Reveillon Dinners

An old Creole tradition, this traditional meal started being served after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve to "awaken" the holiday spirit. The tradition came back to New Orleans in force in the 1990s, and restaurants city-wide serve special and traditional multi-course meals at major prix-fixe discounts to keep that spirit alive.
New Orleans Tourism

An old Creole convention, this traditional meal started being served after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve to “awaken” the vacation spirit. The tradition came back into New Orleans in force from the 1990s, also restaurants serve particular and traditional multi-course meals at major prix-fixe discounts to keep that spirit alive.

22. Twelfth Night

Sure, people famously flock to New Orleans for Mardi Gras every February, but the Carnival season actually kicks off the month before with Twelfth Night - January 6th - 12 days following Christmas. Self-organized Krewes like the Phunny Phorty Phellows begin to descend on the city to welcome the season, and King Cake gets reintroduced to everyone's sweet tooth.
Patrick Semansky / AP

Sure, individuals famously flock to New Orleans for Mardi Gras every February, but the Carnival year kicks off before with Twelfth Night – January 6th – 12 days following Christmas. Self-organized Krewes such as the Phunny Phorty Phellows begin to descend on the city to welcome the season, also King Cake gets reintroduced to everyone’s sweet tooth.

23. Battle of New Orleans Anniversary

Every year, January 8th commemorates the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Re-enactments and the ceremonial wreath-laying take place in Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserves.
nps.gov

Each Year, January 8th commemorates the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Re-enactments along with the ceremonial wreath-laying take place in Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserves.

24. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon

Music, sport, and Mardi Gras all at once, at every mile. Even major athletic events are a party in New Orleans, with participants from all over the world. The event also features a selection of shorter courses so everyone can get a fantastic peek of the city's most famous streets and neighborhoods no matter how fast their feet feel like taking them.
Eliot Kamenitz / AP

Music, sport, and Mardi Gras all at the same time, at every mile. Even important events are a party in New Orleans, together with participants from all over the world. The event also has a collection of courses so everybody is able to get a great glimpse of this city streets and areas.

25. City House Hostel New Orleans

Fully stocked kitchen at City House Hostel New Orleans Hostel

You don’t have to spend a fortune to stay in New Orleans.  At City House Hostel New Orleans / French Quarter Hostel you have your choice between a shared bunk room with 6 bunk beds at the very cheapest, all the way to private rooms with memory foam queen sized mattress!

City House Hostel New Orleans / French Quarter is IN the French Quarter and a block from Bourbon Street. Stop in and see why guests from all over the world choose City House Hostel New Orleans / French Quarter when they are in New Orleans and the French Quarter!

Ride the trolley streetcar along tree lined streets and past cemeteries that host parties, or listen to jazz at one of dozens of famous music joints throughout the city. It’s pretty hard to get stressed in New Orleans, but having a good time is easy – especially when you stay at City House Hostel New Orleans.  Make a reservation at the coolest ( and least expensive ) New Orleans Hostel!

26. Tennessee Williams Literary Festival

Founded in 1986, this annual event explores and celebrates the rich roots of the written and spoken word in New Orleans - the inspiration and creative home to Tennessee Williams - with plays, panels, workshops, and even culinary and literary walking tours of the city. The highlight of the event takes place when attendees take turns in a "Street Car Named Desire" STELLA contest, beckoning from below a balcony in the French Quarter.
Flickr: witty_name

Launched in 1986, this yearly event investigates and celebrates the abundant roots of the spoken and written word in New Orleans – the inspiration and creative home to Tennessee Williams – with plays, panels, workshops, and even culinary and literary walking tours of town. The highlight of the event happens when attendees take turns in a “Street Car Named Desire” STELLA competition, beckoning from below a balcony in the French Quarter.

27. Soul Fest

Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, Soul Fest at (and founded by) the Audubon Zoo is New Orleans' signature celebration of African American heritage, health, and wellness. Past performers include locally-based but internationally-renowned talent like Yolanda Adams and Rebirth Brass Band.
New Orleans Tourism

Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, Soul Fest at (and based by) the Audubon Zoo is New Orleans’ signature celebration of African American heritage, health, and wellness. Past performers include talent such as Yolanda Adams and Rebirth Brass Band.

28. French Quarter Fest

A 30-year tradition, this weekend-long romp amidst the city's most famous blocks is New Orleans' largest free music festival with over 150 acts on multiple stages appearing each year. Famous bars and restaurants fill the streets with samples of their signature best for no more than $5 during the height of the event, known as the world's largest jazz brunch on the waterfront.
Flickr: tulanesally

This weekend-long romp beneath the most famous blocks of the city, A tradition is New Orleans’ largest free music festival with over 150 actions on phases every year, appearing. Famous pubs and restaurants fill the roads with samples of their signature best for no more than $5 during the peak of this occasion, called that the world’s largest jazz brunch around the waterfront.

 

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