Six Things to Enjoy in New Orleans Besides Mardi Gras
When you think about New Orleans, one of the first things that come to mind is Mardi Gras, followed by the food. If you’re planning a trip to the area, I’ve created a guide of six things to enjoy in New Orleans besides Mardi Gras.
Once you’re ready to start planning your vacation, start by booking your New Orleans hotel with Intercontinental Hotels Group based on attractions and activities you’re interested in. The attractions and activities on this list will help you find something to do during your trip.
Photo via Flickr by brittreints
A statue of Andrew Jackson sits in the center of Jackson Square. See local artists or get your fortune told by one of the fortune tellers around the edge of the square. Visit during the Tennessee Williams Festival, held at the Pontalba Apartments next to the square, for the “Stella!” shouting contest inspired by “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Also at the square is The Cabildo, the flagship of the Louisiana State Museum.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Located in the city’s warehouse district, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art houses a collection of ceramics, paintings, and photography. Everything showcased at the museum is from below the Mason-Dixon Line. Just a short cab ride from the French Quarter, Ogden After Hours is considered one of the best cocktail parties in town. Visit on Thursdays for the after-hours affair, featuring local musicians.
Inside the old U.S. Custom Court House on Canal Street is the Insectarium, the largest museum devoted to insects in North America. Visitors have the opportunity to see the rare pink katydids or check out giant hissing cockroaches. Check out the snack bar Bug Appétit, featuring dishes with insects as the main ingredient. While there, be sure to visit the Butterfly Garden. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tickets cost $19.95 per adult and $14.95 for children and seniors.
You can’t visit New Orleans without visiting one of its cemeteries to see the above-ground tombs. Lafayette Cemetery #1 in the Garden District offers tours to tourists. You can reach the Garden District from downtown on the St. Charles line streetcar. Stroll around the neighborhood viewing the 19th-century mansions featuring various styles, including Greek and Gothic.
New Orleans City Park
New Orleans City Park is a 1,300-acre gem that stretches from Bayou St. John to Lake Pontchartrain. Although Hurricane Katrina destroyed the park’s landscape and drowned many of the live oaks in the park, the community rallied together to restore the park. Storyland and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park are just two of the attractions at the park, and the pairing of these is perfect for families.
Music lovers must visit Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny. The neighborhood is within walking distance of the French Quarter. Listen to renowned jazz bands and solo artists in local clubs like DBA and The Blue Nile. Grab a bite to eat at The Three Muses restaurant after a late night at the club. Have fun without worrying about getting home, as there are plenty of cabs available late at night.
The local attractions and activities aren’t the only things to enjoy in New Orleans; be sure to try a Po’boy sandwich and a beignet, take a street car tour, and sample some of the local specialty drinks.