Things to do in New Orleans
Join Us And Experience New Orleans At Its Finest
Don’t miss these popular tourist attractions in New Orleans
New Orleans offers an endless variety of places to explore, including many free things to do. Our very own French Quarter neighborhood features plenty of hidden gems, and the city’s iconic above-ground cemeteries are always worth a visit.
Here are a few more of our favorite attractions:
The Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine Street; 504-861-2537) is one of the finest in the U.S. and houses more than 1,800 animals. Visitors will find not only exhibits like the Asian Domain (featuring animals like elephants, sun bears, and a white tiger) but also lush foliage and easy access to the Garden District.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (1 Canal Street; 504-565-3033) features a large collection of aquatic species, which includes animals like sea turtles, sharks, jellyfish, otters and penguins. Attractions like a stingray touch-pool and the Aquarium Wild Walk series, held every Thursday through Sunday from January to May, delight guests and inform them about the array of life within our oceans.
Audubon Entergy IMAX Theatre
Films become an immersive experience at the Entergy IMAX Theatre (1 Canal Street; 504-581-4629). Watch movies on the mega-screen – typically you’ll find a mix of nature-oriented and mainstream films.
Harrah’s New Orleans Casino
The South’s largest casino (228 Poydras Street; 504-563-6000) is located at the foot of Canal Street. The casino has five lavish New Orleans-themed areas comprising more than 1,800 slot machines and 113 table games, as well as multiple restaurants on-site.
St. Louis Cathedral
This magnificent St. Louis Cathedral (615 Pere Antoine Alley; 504-525-9585) was built around 1849 and was designated a minor basilica in 1964 by Pope Paul VI. Mass provided daily.
New Orleans - A City Steeped in History
Explore art, history and culture at these museums in New Orleans
Contemporary Arts Center
The CAC (900 Camp Street; 504-528-3805) has been in the heart of the Warehouse District since 1976. It is the place to find new and exciting expression in the medium of painting, theater, music, performance art, dance, photography, video, sculpture and more in New Orleans.
New Orleans Museum of Art
At this stately museum in City Park, you’ll experience New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution, which opened in 1911 and showcased just nine works of art. Fast forward more than 100 years, and NOMA (1 Collins Diboll Circle; 504-658-4100) plays host to a permanent collection of nearly 40,000 objects that include photography, glass works, French and American art, Japanese and African works, and much more. Just outside, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is home to over 60 sculptures by renowned artists from around the world.
National WWII Museum
From the beaches of Normandy to the sands of Iwo Jima, The National World War II Museum (945 Magazine Street; 504-528-1944) provides personal accounts, artifacts, documents, photographs, and never-before-seen film footage to tell the stories of the amphibious landings that made victory in World War II possible. Museum collections and relevant traveling exhibitions further explore and illustrate the war that changed the world.
Ogden Museum of Art
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art (925 Camp Street; 504-539-9650) is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world. The museum is also home to the Center for Southern Craft and Design, featuring matchless glass, metal, jewelry, pottery, fabric and wood items – many available for purchase – by Southern artisans.
Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Homes
A visit to both the Hermann-Grima House and Gallier House (820 St. Louis Street & 1132 Royal Street; 504-274-0746) will give you a glimpse into the elegant lifestyle of Creole families living in the French Quarter before the Civil War. While walking through these meticulously restored residences, you will also experience the Golden Age of New Orleans and gain an understanding of the era.
Take a tour of the Crescent City
Gray Line Tours of New Orleans
Book a tour online or call 504-569-1401 or 800-233-2628 for reservations. Tours include:
- Hurricane Katrina – America’s worst (man made) disaster
- Swamp & Bayou – Boat trip into South Louisiana’s wetland
- Super City – 300 years of history, legends and romance
- Plantations – The South’s most picturesque antebellum setting
- Paddle & Wheel – Natchez Cruise plus the City Tour
- French Quarter – One of America’s oldest neighborhoods
- Garden District – Elegant homes off St. Charles Avenue
- Cemetery & Voodoo – Visit the tomb of Marie Laveau
- New Orleans Cocktail – Discover other famous “spirits”
- Ghost & Spirits – The haunted French Quarter at night
French Quarter Phantoms Ghost Tours
French Quarter Phantoms Ghost and History Tours feature small groups and licensed master storytellers. All tours begin and depart from the Voodoo Lounge (718 N Rampart Street). French Quarter Phantoms offers the following New Orleans tours:
- Ghost & Vampire Tours: 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. nightly
- Saint Louis #1 Cemetery Tour: 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Mon-Sat, 10:00 a.m. Sun
- Tremé Tours: 10:00 a.m. everyday
- Saints and Sinners Tour: 1:00 p.m. everyday
Haunted History Walking Tours
Haunted History Walking Tours specializes in ghost, voodoo, vampire, and cemetery tours of New Orleans. Haunted History Walking Tours offers the following New Orleans tours:
- New Orleans Ghost Tours
- New Orleans Voodoo Tours
- New Orleans Vampire Tours
- New Orleans Cemetery Tours
- New Orleans Scandal Tours
- Garden District Tours
- Garden District Ghost Tours
- French Quarter History Tours
- Specialty Tours
Steamboat Natchez New Orleans Cruises
The New Orleans Steamboat Company locally owns and operates the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River, offering daytime jazz cruises and night time dinner jazz cruises.
Learn About The Past At These Antebellum Mansions
Oak Alley Plantation
One of the most picturesque landmarks in the state, Oak Alley Plantation (3645 Highway 18, Vacherie, LA 70090; 225-265-2151) is open daily for tours except New Year’s Day, Mardi Gras Tuesday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Exhibits give visitors perspective on the history of slavery and sugarcane farming at the plantation, as well as a glimpse into a 19th century blacksmith shop and a Civil War military tent.
After the discovery of an inexpensive method of granulating sugar, Destrehan Plantation (13034 River Road, Destrehan, LA 70047; 985-764-9315) began producing America’s “White Gold.” The plantation flourished, and the Destrehan family grew along with it. One of the oldest plantations in the area, Destrehan is also one of the closest – just a half hour drive from New Orleans.
Built in 1830, Greenwood Plantation (6838 Highland Road, St. Francisville, LA 70775; 225-655-4475) is the largest plantation house in the Feliciana Parishes. The plantation is the work of William Ruffin Barrow, whose family may have built more plantations in Louisiana than any other single family. Greenwood Plantation is open daily for tours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, and closed on major holidays.
Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
First it was the happy hunting ground of the Houma Indians, who sold the land to French settlers in the mid 1700s. The Houmas House Plantation (40136 Highway 942, Darrow, LA 70725; 225-473-9380) eventually encompassed a vast 300,000 acres, and by the late 1800s it was producing 20 million pounds of sugar per year, making it the largest source of sugar in Louisiana. In 1963, the classic film Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte featuring Bette Davis was shot on the property.
Laura Plantation (2247 Highway 18, Vacherie, LA 70090; 225-265-7690) offers daily guided tours that take you through the experiences of four generations of both free and enslaved people who lived here. Based on more than 1,000 pages of documents, the tour explore the lives of the plantation owners, slaves and emancipated men and women of this sugarcane plantation.
Nottoway Plantation Restaurant and Inn
Nottoway (31025 Hwy.1, White Castle, LA 70788; 225-545-2730 or toll free, 866-527-6884) is the largest remaining antebellum mansion in the South. It features daily guided mansion tours and is located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge alongside Louisiana’s famed River Road. Nottoway Plantation frequently hosts festivals and events and also offers bike rentals.
San Francisco Plantation
The San Francisco Plantation (2646 Highway 44, Garyville, LA 70051; toll free, 888-322-1756) is a National Historic Landmark that is open daily for plantation tours. Dating all the way back to 1856, the plantation is notably different from other nearby plantations in that it features Gothic architecture rather than Greek Revival.
Located less than an hour from New Orleans, Whitney Plantation (5099 Highway 18, Wallace, LA 70049; 225-265-3300) opened its doors to the public in 2014 as the first plantation museum in Louisiana to focus specifically on slavery. Visitors gain a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people via first-person slave narratives, exhibits, memorial artwork and restored buildings. The Whitney Plantation may only be viewed by guided tour. Tours sell out on busy days, and reserving tickets online in advance of your visit is highly recommended.
Shop Til You Drop
Explore great shopping just steps away from Hotel Monteleone
Famous for stores brimming with elegant antique furniture, décor and jewelry, Royal Street also provides a glimpse of quintessential French Quarter architecture. Art galleries, cafes, and live performers give the street a vibrant feel day or night.
Find New Orleans shopping, entertainment, and cuisine within the atmosphere of the country’s oldest public market founded in 1791. The French Market (1008 N. Peters Street; 504-636-6400) is a tradition as old as the city itself, located on the riverfront in New Orleans’ celebrated French Quarter.
The Shops at Canal Place
Located adjacent to the French Quarter, The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal Street; 504-522-9200) is anchored by department store Saks Fifth Avenue in addition to shops like J.Crew, Anthropologie and local jeweler Mignon Faget. A movie theater on the top floor features in-seat dining service.
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk
A premier outlet shopping experience located on the Mississippi River. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk (500 Port of New Orleans Place; 504-522-1555) has shops like Coach, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Forever 21, and much more.
Faulkner House Books
Specializing in fine literature and rare editions, this small bookstore (624 Pirate’s Alley; 504-524-2940) is a book lover’s treasure chest – and, appropriately, it is located in Pirate’s Alley.
The Shops at Jax Brewery
In a prime location near the river, this former brewery from the 1890s is now a haven for shopping. At Jax Brewery (600 Decatur Street; 504-566-7245), visitors will find restaurants, stores, and proximity to several French Quarter attractions.
UAL United Apparel Liquidators
This boutique is brimming with brand-new designer finds – at 70 to 90 percent off the original prices. High-end designs from Chloe, Isabel Marant, and Lanvin are all here at UAL (518 Chartres Street; 504-301-4437), as are affordable street labels like Splendid and Velvet. Jewelry, handbags, and shoes put the finishing touches on fashionable looks.
Goorin Bros. Hat Shop
The French Quarter outpost of Goorin Bros. Hat Shop (709 Royal Street; 504-523-4287) harks back to its 1890s roots in Pittsburgh. Hats in all styles top off looks casual and fancy: whether a baseball cap or an old-school bowler, Goorin Bros.’ can find the shape and size that’s right for you with their knowledgeable staff and comprehensive fit guide.
Nola Kids (333 Chartres Street; 504-566-1340) boasts books, toys, gifts, and apparel for babies and children. Operated by a mother and daughter team, the shop frequently hosts local authors for book signings.
New Orleans Dining & Restaurants
New Orleans Restaurants
“New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” ~ Mark Twain
New Orleans is famous for its cuisine, with good reason. Indulge and explore the many culinary offerings to be found, ranging from traditional Creole and Cajun cooking to multi-cultural influences like Vietnamese, West African and even Tiki-inspired cuisine. Delicious dining is just a few steps from your room at Hotel Monteleone’s very own Criollo Restaurant.
Criollo Restaurant (214 Royal Street; 504-681-4444) is a refined Creole bistro located inside Hotel Monteleone. Criollo offers an ingredient-driven seasonal menu inspired by Southern Louisiana’s abundant bounty of fresh, home grown products from the land and sea.
Located inside of our sister property, Bienville House, Latitude 29 (321 N. Peters Street; 504-609-3811) serves up exotic Tiki cuisine and cocktails including options for our gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan guests.
More Delicious Dining Ideas
Continue your exploration of some of the city’s best restaurants on our blog and the blog of our sister property, Bienville House. Get a taste of what the Crescent City has to offer and discover the restaurants that locals love in the French Quarter or check out where to get authentic Creole food. Have something specific in mind? We’ve also rounded up the best spots for brunch and crawfish.
Looking for even more ideas? Visit the official New Orleans restaurant guide.
Live Music and Nightlife, New Orleans Style
New Orleans Nightlife and Live Music
“I’m not sure, but I’m almost positive, that all music came from New Orleans.” ~ Ernie K Doe
Whether you want to watch a Broadway show at the Saenger Theater or spend a romantic date night with someone special, New Orleans offers plenty of things to do after dark. The local nightlife scene offers everything from live music to comedy shows to burlesque, and much more!
d.b.a. New Orleans (618 Frenchmen Street; 504-942-3731) offers live music nearly every night of the week, in the heart of Frenchmen Street nightlife. (Just across the street you’ll find the Frenchmen Art Market, which features work by local artists nightly, Thursday-Monday.)
House of Blues (225 Decatur Street; 504-310-4999) features Southern-Inspired Delta Cuisine in a casual juke-joint setting. Visit their website for a calendar of live music performances.
Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub (733 Bourbon Street; 504-586-4800) has been a Bourbon Street mainstay since 1969, offering nightly live jazz & drinks in an intimate space.
Tipitina’s (501 Napoleon Avenue; 504-895-8477) is a staple of New Orleans music and culture. Since 1977, they’ve been one of the city’s (and the nation’s!) premier music venues.
What's Happening Around NOLA?
Where to find out what events are happening in New Orleans
In addition to the resources below, be sure to also check our events calendar and our blog for ideas on where to go and what to do in New Orleans.
Annual New Orleans Events You Won’t Want To Miss:
- Valentine’s Day
- Mardi Gras
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival
- French Quarter Festival
- Jazz Festival
- New Orleans Wine and Food Experience
- Memorial Day Weekend
- New Orleans Oyster Festival
- French Market Creole Tomato Festival
- July 4th Celebration
- Tales of the Cocktail
- San Fermin en Nueva Orleans
- Satchmo Summerfest
- Carnaval Latino
- Voodoo Fest
- Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
- New Year’s Eve
Gambit Magazine is a free, weekly news-magazine which can be readily found in coffee shops and restaurants around town. Gambit offers a local’s look at life in New Orleans, and features a full array of event listings each week. Gambit’s event calendar can also be viewed online.
Reserve Your Room at the Historic Hotel Monteleone Today!
Ready to visit New Orleans and experience all that the Crescent City has to offer? Join us and book your stay at Hotel Monteleone today!