Published on February 3rd, 2024 | by Isabelle Karamooz, Founder of FQM0
Best attractions to do when visiting New Orleans
Venturing into New Orleans opens a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences, with an array of attractions awaiting your discovery. Among the must-visit destinations in the vibrant city, a few stand out as quintessential New Orleans experiences.
- Immerse Yourself in History at the French Quarter: Steeped in history and charm, the French Quarter beckons with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and lively atmosphere. Stroll along Bourbon Street, explore Jackson Square, and soak up the vibrant culture that defines this iconic neighborhood.
- Experience the Magic of Mardi Gras: No visit to New Orleans is complete without experiencing the spectacle of Mardi Gras. Join in the festive celebrations, marvel at the elaborate parade floats, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere that electrifies the city during this iconic event.
- Discover the Music Scene: New Orleans is renowned for its vibrant music scene, with jazz, blues, and brass bands filling the air with soulful melodies. Catch live performances at legendary venues like Preservation Hall and Tipitina’s, and dance the night away to the infectious rhythms of the city.
- Explore the Garden District: Step back in time as you wander through the picturesque streets of the Garden District, home to stunning historic mansions, lush gardens, and oak-lined avenues. Take a guided tour to learn about the district’s fascinating history and architecture.
- Take a Riverboat Cruise: Experience the romance of the Mississippi River with a leisurely riverboat cruise. Admire breathtaking views of the city skyline, learn about the river’s storied past, and enjoy live music and entertainment onboard.
- Pay a Visit to the Historic Plantations: Journey back in time with a visit to one of the many historic plantations located near New Orleans. Explore beautifully preserved homes, lush gardens, and learn about the complex history of the antebellum South.
A little insider tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore all three plantations in a single day, as they are conveniently located close to one another. Think of it as a journey through time, sampling different flavors of history from the comfort of your car. I recommend starting with Nottoway Plantation, the furthest from New Orleans, and working your way back to Oak Alley, the closest to the city.
Houmas House Plantation and Gardens stole the spotlight during my visits. This sugarcane plantation boasts knowledgeable tour guides, a picturesque antebellum home, and stunning grounds and gardens. The Turtle Bar, nestled on the plantation, offers a charming spot to enjoy a drink while meandering through the lush surroundings. Don’t forget to inquire about the plantation’s haunted past for a touch of intrigue.
If you’re seeking the quintessential plantation experience, Oak Alley Plantation is the place to be. Complete with a grand mansion, reconstructed slave quarters, and the iconic alley of live oak trees, Oak Alley embodies the essence of antebellum Louisiana. The reconstructed slave quarters and Civil War encampment provide immersive insights into the plantation’s history.
Nottoway Plantation and Resort stands out as the largest surviving antebellum home in the Southern United States. With a mansion spanning 53,000 square feet, Nottoway offers an impressive glimpse into the opulence of the era. The in-character tour guides add an engaging touch to the experience, while the sprawling grounds invite leisurely strolls under the shade of majestic live oak trees.
With each plantation offering its own unique charm and historical significance, a visit to these destinations promises an unforgettable journey through the antebellum South. Whether you’re captivated by the lush gardens of Houmas House, the iconic alley of live oak trees at Oak Alley, or the grandeur of Nottoway’s mansion, each plantation offers a window into a bygone era of Southern history.