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Plan Your Trip to New Orleans: Best of New Orleans Tourism

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New Orleans

New Orleans is full of life—but with a laid-back energy that sets it apart from other cities. For some, it's all about Bourbon Street, a never-ending street party fuelled by daiquiris and brass-band beats. But off the main drag, you'll also find quirky cafes and fancy antique shops, must-visit museums and haunted cemeteries. Hop on the St. Charles Streetcar and take in the Garden District's antebellum mansions, or spend an afternoon in the eclectic Bywater, where you can restaurant hop along St. Claude Avenue and see contemporary art at Studio Be. Good music is everywhere—in Frenchmen Street's jazz clubs, Uptown's dive bars, Treme's lounges, and on nearly every street corner. While Cajun and Creole dishes remain the city's most iconic, there's also very good Vietnamese food, from traditional pho to banh mi po'boys. And that's just for starters—find even more recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential New Orleans

How to do New Orleans in 3 days

Jazz clubs, soul food, and beautiful gardens
Read on

Where to enjoy New Orleans like a local

New Orleans is one of the best places in the world to let your hair down and party, but sometimes you want to escape the crowds to spots that feel more authentic, more local, and more like the kind of place you would visit if you lived here. These are seven of my favourite off-the-beaten-path spots for when you need a break from the French Quarter.
Alex Jennings, Baton Rouge, LA
  • The Avenue Pub
    The knowledgeable bar staff here have been slinging beer, wine, fine whiskeys, and elevated bar food since 1987. Wherever you sit— downstairs, upstairs, in the courtyard, or on the balcony—there are great people-watching, satisfying snacks and a real down-home feel.
  • Blue Cypress Books
    Blue Cypress Books is one of the best bookshops in town. The dedicated staff always have surprise recommendations, and the shelves are filled with signed editions from local authors. Cosy up with the plump bookshop cat and indulge in some much-needed book therapy far away from the crowds.
  • The Country Club
    Want a good drink, a hearty meal, and a swim? Hit up The Country Club for the trifecta. A hidden jewel in the Bywater district, this restaurant turns out excellent New Orleans dishes, but the stars of the show are out back. There are a heated pool and jacuzzi in a leafy grotto where you can listen to carefully curated music as you relax. Don’t forget your swimsuit.
  • Baldwin And Co.
    Don’t miss this Black-owned bookshop/coffee shop named after one of the greatest American authors. It routinely plays host to community and literary events, and it’s not unusual to see New Orleans luminaries from all walks of life chatting and rubbing elbows in the shop’s beautiful courtyard. Grab a book and a coffee, and sit outside to take in the scene.
  • La Boulangerie
    The coffee here is top-notch, the pastries and desserts are perfectly executed, and the staff is super friendly. Park yourself in the dining room or in the quaint, half-hidden courtyard with its shaded tables and old-world charm. Their highly talented pastry team is always crafting something new like the “Elvis,” an aptly named brioche cake stuffed with peanut butter and roasted banana topped with bacon and finished off with toasted marshmallows.
  • Big Couch
    0 reviews
    As New Orleans’s newest comedy club, Big Couch provides some pretty huge laughs. It’s located in the Bywater and is great for standup, improv, and variety shows. They even host live tapings of some of your favourite podcasts. Make sure to buy tickets in advance because the shows have become so popular they often sell out quickly.