New Orleans is one discovery after another. Students come here from all around the world not just to have fun, but to learn and become enriched. Immerse yourself in our unique culture and history by following the itineraries here.
If you have only one day in New Orleans, you better read this while you walk. Since time is limited, we suggest you stick to the French Quarter and save the rest of the city for another visit. Here’s what you just can’t miss.
Breakfast – Nothing says morning in New Orleans like a breakfast of café au lait laced with chicory and a plate of sweet beignets (3 to an order) from Café du Monde. Get there early and watch the city on the river wake up. If you’re looking for something more substantial, experience breakfast at Brennan’s, another tradition. End with Banana’s Foster, one of New Orleans’ most famous desserts.
St. Louis Cathedral – Across the street from Café du Monde, through the line of horse-drawn carriages, past the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square, breathtaking St. Louis Cathedral awaits. Pull up a pew and think about those who may have sat there before you, like voodoo queen Marie Laveau (who was also a devote Catholic).
The Presbytère and the Cabildo – The Cathedral is flanked by two world-class museums. To the left is the Cabildo where the Louisiana Purchased was signed. It now features exhibits on Louisiana history (don’t miss Napoleon’s death mask). To the right is the Presbytère where you can immerse yourself in the culture and chaos of Mardi Gras.
Lunch – You gotta, gotta get a muffuletta at Central Grocery, where the Superdome-shaped sandwich was invented. Take it to go and eat it from a bench on the bank of the Mississippi River where you can watch ships on the river go by.
Take a Tour – Literary tours, ghost tours, cemetery tours, Segway tours, LGBT history tours, carriage tours, bike tours … find the one that peaks your curiosity and spend the afternoon discovering the city with a knowledgeable guide.
Stroll the French Quarter – The best time to hit the Quarter is early evening when the neon comes on and the music pours out the doors but things haven’t gotten too crazy yet. You can’t go to New Orleans without taking the stroll between the balconies on either side of the rue.
If you have two days to explore New Orleans, spend Day 2 getting to know the Garden District and Uptown New Orleans. This part of the city was settled primarily by wealthy Americans who were not exactly made welcome by the old Creole families who lived in the Vieux Carré (aka- French Quarter).
St. Charles Streetcar Ride - Begin your journey Uptown on the world’s oldest continuously operating streetcar, complete with mahogany seats and brass fittings. You’ll travel beneath a canopy of oak trees, passing mile after mile of grand mansions, Audubon Park and the university section. For a full day of on/off privileges on streetcars and buses, pick up a Jazzy Pass for $3. All the places here are accessible by the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.
Brunch – Start your day with Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace, which came in at No. 1 on Southern Living’s list of “The South’s Best Restaurants 2017.” No trip to New Orleans is complete without the Commander’s experience.
Cemetery Tour – After Commander’s, walk across the street to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Either sign up for a guided tour ahead of time, or tour on your own. In 1853, a yellow fever outbreak took the lives of more than 8,000 people in the city. Many desperate families left the bodies of their loved ones here at the gates of Lafayette.
Garden District Tour – Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic, Georgian, Swiss Chalet, Queen Anne … you’ll see them all on a tour of the Garden District. Many tour companies offer combined cemetery and Garden District tours.
Lunch – With all the walking you did on the tours, chances are you’ve worked up an appetite. Get off the streetcar at Camelia Grill on Carrollton Avenue. Since 1946, locals and visitors alike have been coming here for the gregarious counter service, cheeseburgers, chocolate freezes (Harry Connick, Jr. loves them) and pecan pie, heated on the grill.
Magazine Street – Take the streetcar back to around Napoleon Avenue and then go explore Magazine Street, five miles of fun and funkiness. You’ll find antiques, home décor items, clothing boutiques and fun thrift shops galore. Need to caffeinate? There are a lot of great coffee shops on the street. Grab a table outside and watch the action.
In New Orleans, “lagniappe” means a little something extra. If you have three days in the city, we recommend you spend the third day experiencing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Here are some ideas.
Brunch – Feel like being part of a New Orleans second line? Have brunch at the Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter and “buck jump” off that bread pudding.
Swamp Tour -- Have a tour company pick you up and then go explore the swamp before it gets too hot. There’s nothing like seeing enormous alligators, wild boar and other critters in the wild.
Lunch – Back in the city, take the red Canal Street/City Park streetcar to the Ralph Brennan’s award-winning restaurant, Ralph’s on the Park.
Afternoon – Spend the afternoon in City Park, famous for ancient oaks. Highlights of City Park include the Botanical Garden, the Peristyle, paddleboats, the antique wooden carousel, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the sculpture garden.
Afternoon – Another afternoon option is to walk around the art galleries in the Warehouse and Arts District, perhaps starting with the low-key vibe of Ariodante Gallery on Julia Street and working your way over to the Contemporary Arts Center on Magazine Street.
Dinner – Since 1910, folks have been getting their oyster fix at Acme Seafood in the French Quarter. If you’re not up for a dozen “rawsome” oysters, there’s plenty more to tempt you on the menu, including seafood platters and the Acme “10 Napkin Roast Beef Po-boy.”
Late Night – Experience jazz, “America’s only original art form,” in an intimate setting at Preservation Hall. Come hear the greats play the greats. It's all ages and always fabulous.