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French Quarter Festival- Second Line Parade
French Quarter Festival- Second Line Parade

New Orleans Culture Itinerary

Cultural activities are everywhere in the Crescent City

Cultural experiences you can only have in New Orleans

New Orleans culture is famous, an amalgam of tradition and history and neighborhood pride that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. We’re highbrow and lowbrow and everywhere in between. And that’s how we like it. 

Rebecca Todd
Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indians

1. Our table is the best table. Make a reservation at one of our James Beard Award winning restaurants. There are so many to tempt your palate, it’s hard to pick.

Dr. Bob Folk Art Gallery2. Dig a little deeper into our Southern and Gulf-fed foodways and visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. It’s also home to the Museum of the American Cocktail, naturally, because cocktails were invented here.

3. While you’re in the neighborhood, spend some time exploring Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard – the cultural crown jewel of Central City named for the storied civil rights activist. Stroll nearby to hear some music at the New Orleans Jazz Market, then revel in art at Ashe Cultural Arts Center.

4. Still hungry? For a truly local experience, reserve your spot for a farm-to-table dinner and concert at the urban outdoor farm experience at Paradigm Gardens.

5. Join a second line. These celebratory parades happen most Sundays in neighborhoods like Central City, Treme and Uptown, but they can also be found to kick off weddings and special events on Saturdays in the French Quarter. Everyone is invited to dance along.

6. Learn more about the history behind second lines, jazz funerals and those incredible Mardi Gras Indian costumes at the Backstreet Cultural Museum.

7. And while you’re in Treme, visit the oldest African-American church in New Orleans, or plan a trip to the nearby St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery.

8. Take a stroll along the river through Crescent Park. Explore the Bywater neighborhood while you're there.

9. There’s live music to be heard all over the city, but a great place to start is along Frenchmen Street, where music clubs pulse with compelling live acts every night of the week.

Paul Broussard
Crescent Park at Sunset - Bywater

10. Mosey into the Art Garage on St. Claude Avenue to meet regional vendors offering a little piece of New Orleans to take home with you. The monthly Palmer Park Art Market Uptown is another fantastic option for local art.

11. Check out Dr. Bob Folk Art street gallery, where the phrase “Be Nice or Leave” is the artist’s motto.

12. Then head over to the Marigny Opera House for an evening dance performance.

13. Hop on a streetcar and head out to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. Make sure to save some time to wander through the adjacent Besthoff Sculpture Garden (bonus -- admission to the gardens is always free!)

14. Speaking of museums, you won’t want to miss the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. And if you’re in town on a Thursday, you can stick around for Ogden After Hours, their weekly concert series.

15. History buffs will want to spend hours roaming through the different exhibits at the National WWII Museum. Trust us, you won’t want to leave.

M.S. Rau Antiques16. Stroll through the galleries on Julia Street every first Saturday of the month for show openings and entertainment.

17. Curious about NOLA architecture? Stop by the Preservation Resource Center to learn more about all of the city’s unique neighborhoods and architectural styles.

18. Go beyond the gorgeous exteriors, and tour the house museums at historic homes throughout the city.

19. Spend the day roaming in and out of courtyards and galleries on Royal Street.

20. Ogle the massive diamonds, ancient sculptures and antiques at M.S. Rau Antiques. And don’t forget to ask to see the secret room.

21. Catch the famous Preservation Hall Band at one of their three nightly shows, which are open to all ages.

22. Fancy a night at the symphony? Perhaps you’d like to take in a Broadway show? Keep up to date with various cultural arts performances and see what’s playing when you’re in town.

23. Head Uptown and roam through endless amount of boutiques and contemporary art galleries on Magazine Street. Then get lost wandering amongst the homes of the Garden District.

24. Book a Sunday afternoon Sip & Sew class at Second Vine Wine and learn more about Mardi Gras Indian Cultural here in New Orleans. 

25. Try one (or all) of these festivals and events that are known for their local art vendors.