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Five Must-See New Orleans Attractions

by Louise W. Rice

New Orleans is a bucket list destination with plenty to do and interesting people to meet – or at least watch. Yes, the people watching in N’awlins is unlike any other and it gets even better when the sun goes down. But don’t take it from us, read what some of the world’s most popular celebrities have to say about The Big Easy.

“I’ve been all over the world. I love New York, I love Paris, San Francisco, so many places. But there’s no place like New Orleans. It’s got the best food. It’s got the best music. It’s got the best people. It’s got the most fun stuff to do.” – Harry Connick, Jr. – Singer

“I fell in love with the place! You know, the people, the bourbon, the music… it’s in the air. It’s something you can’t describe on camera.” – Brad Pitt – Actor

“If I could put my finger on it, I’d bottle it and sell it. I came down here originally in 1972 with some drunken fraternity guys and had never seen anything like it — the climate, the smells. It’s the cradle of music; it just flipped me. Someone suggested that there’s an incomplete part of our chromosomes that gets repaired or found when we hit New Orleans. Some of us just belong here.” – John Goodman – Actor

Five of New Orleans’ Best Bets

1. The French Quarter

The French Quarter houses one of the most famous party destinations in the world, Bourbon Street. If you want a place to relax, stay away, because this street is unlike any other and it isn’t quiet, especially at night. The French Quarter is roughly 14 blocks, runs parallel to the Mississippi River, and spans the distance from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue. It is also the home to the world-famous Mardi Gras.

If you like to bar hop then your legs will be worn out by the time you’re through, and even then you won’t get to every watering hole in the French Quarter. There are simply too many to count but you will have fun trying to do it.

One of the interesting aspects of this novel section of New Orleans is that it caters to all kinds of people from those laidback, Jimmy Buffet lovin’, wasting away in paradise kind of folks, to others who like the glitz and glam of a contemporary disco, and even those who desire a more sophisticated setting to sip their cognacs as opposed to quaffing their beers.

The Beach on Bourbon, Funky 544, Bourbon Cowboy, and Tropical Isle are just a few of the rowdy stops frequented by locals and tourists alike. But there are more restaurants, lounges, and barrooms than you can shake a stick at so whatever you don’t get to in one night, don’t worry, they will be waiting for you the next night!

2. Mercedes Benz Superdome

If you like the NFL and want to watch a live game when you’re down on the bayou between September and January then check out the Mercedes Benz Superdome. And if you’re the kind who likes to put your money where your mouth is then you should know that the NFL odds on the Saints to win the Super Bowl are +800, trailing only the Chiefs and Packers.

It’s a state-of-the-art facility and if you happen to be around in the offseason then no worries, go for a tour or check out the live events being held in the state’s most dynamic facility.

3. Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo

Why not work a little culture into your stay in New Orleans with a visit to the Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo. Originally home to the Spanish governor in 1795, it was the place where the Louisiana Purchase was signed back in 1803. It is part of the National Register of Historic Places and its collection features a wide range of works and artifacts focusing on Louisiana in general but New Orleans specifically.

4. Orpheum Theater

Speaking of live performances, The Theater District is now booming, or at least it was pre-COVID, but when things return to normal it is a must-see attraction that houses some of the best blues and jazz bands in the nation. The Louisiana Philharmonic also plays here so make sure to check out what’s next at the Orpheum Theater.

5. Steamboat Natchez

What would a trip to the Big Easy be without a ride on a steamboat paddler? It’s a great way to see the Mississippi River and it will only take a few hours out of your day so you can move on to other fun-filled N’awlins destinations. There are also lunch and dinner options available with live music if you want to fill your belly while seeing the sights.

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