New Orleans is unlike any other city in the world. Its unique culture and unforgettable experiences can only be found here. If you’re someone who seeks cultural encounters, craves off-the-beaten-path activities and enjoys trying new and exciting things then look no further. This itinerary has everything you need to plan the perfect cultural excursion in New Orleans.
No culture seeker’s visit is complete without historic tours and hidden museums highlighting lesser-known and untold stories of the city. Whether you’re planning on guided travel or solo exploration, New Orleans is filled with the perfect places and people to help you along the way.
Nestled in the historic Treme neighborhood, the Backstreet Cultural Museum gives visitors insight into the hidden history of Mardi Gras Indian culture in New Orleans. Home to the city’s largest collection of Mardi Gras Indian suits and memorabilia, Backstreet is a must-visit on any culture seeker’s itinerary.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFab) is located along the culturally significant Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. SoFab is dedicated to identifying, preserving and celebrating food and drink culture in the South. Exhibits have included The Creative Kitchen of Al Copeland, Galatoire’s Restaurant: An Exhibit and many more. SoFab hosts monthly events, special cooking classes and is home to the American Cocktail Museum.
The Ogden Museum of Art is housed in New Orleans’ Arts + Warehouse District. It is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world. Its ever-changing lineup of featured exhibits perfectly captures varied aspects of life in the American South throughout time. Check their calendar for reception openings, children’s events, workshops and more.
Explore more attractions and things to do in NOLA, here.
Culture seekers always have a taste for adventure and fun. But what do they eat when it’s time to refuel? New Orleans is known for its traditional cuisines such as red beans & rice, crawfish, poboys and much more. Discover its signature dishes and some of the best places to find them here.
Interested in something different? Here are some restaurants for culture seekers looking to eat outside of the box.
Named one of the 12 best restaurants in the country in 2017, Turkey and the Wolf is known for its daring and delectable sandwiches and sides. Try their signature fried bologna sandwich and top it off with one of their house cocktails.
Ditch the traditional chicken + waffles and head to Elizabeth’s to spice up the best meal of the day - BRUNCH! Best known for their praline bacon, Elizabeth’s has a menu filled with attention-grabbing dishes fit for a culture seeker. Stop in for the Duck Waffle, French Toast Burrito, or Smoked Salmon and Brie Grilled Cheese for an unusually satisfying midday meal.
SoBou specializes in Cajun small plates, but is far from your typical southern meal. Enjoy Wild Shrimp and Crawfish Beignets, Yellowfin Tuna Cones, and Cracklin Crusted Oyster Salad to name a few. Located south of Bourbon Street-- hence the name-- SoBou is a great spot before a night out.
*Editor’s Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Orleans is currently in a Phased Reopening plan. This includes restrictions on live music, clubs and festivals. For more information, see here.
New Orleans is a city that knows how to celebrate. A festival for every food, neighborhood, music genre and season exists in the Crescent City. Consider planning your next visit around these fests to maximize your vacation.
An annual fall fest that pays homage to Caribbean culture right here in the Crescent City. Attendees can enjoy traditional soca music, varied Caribbean foods and the signature Bayou Bacchanal parade.
Nothing says New Orleans quite like a second line on a Sunday. If you’re lucky enough to catch one during your time in the Crescent City, make sure to join in the excitement.
Ring in the Vietnamese New Year at New Orleans’ Tet Fest. This annual celebration takes place in New Orleans East over three days every February. Traditional Vietnamese foods, activities and breathtaking firework shows and performances are all for guests to enjoy.
Presented by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival takes place in Louis Armstrong Park. African dance troupes, local brass bands and others celebrate the deep history of Congo Square.
Closeout Hispanic Heritage Month with the largest celebration of Hispanic culture in the Crescent City at Carnaval Latino. Through the use of parading, music and food, fest-goers are able to celebrate the strong influence of Spanish culture on New Orleans.
There’s plenty more to do and celebrate in New Orleans throughout the year. Browse our Festival Page for a celebration perfect for you.
Known for its hub of art galleries, local museums and award-winning fine dining.
A block-long stretch of land filled with black-owned businesses. Everything ranging from retail shops, bakeries, restaurants and nightlife can be found along Bayou Road.
Nightlife, art, music and more. St. Claude is filled with dive bars, local eateries and off-the-beaten-path experiences.
One of the most culturally significant neighborhoods in the world is in New Orleans - Treme. Known for being the oldest African-American neighborhood in the US, Treme is filled with traditional Creole eats, historic attractions such as St. Augustine Church, and live music hubs.
Learn more about all of New Orleans’ neighborhoods and their histories here.