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Mardi Gras Indians - Mardi Gras Day
Mardi Gras Indians - Mardi Gras Day
Mardi Gras Indians - Mardi Gras Day

Culture Seeker Itinerary

Our top picks for uncovering the unique culture of New Orleans

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.

Ideal Activities for Culture Seekers:

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.

Larry Everage
Mardi Gras Indians - Mardi Gras Day

The Backstreet Cultural Museum

Nestled in the historic Tremé 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 & Beverage Museum

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.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The Ogden Museum of Southern 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.

New Orleanian Foods for Culture Seekers

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, po-boys, 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.


There's a deep and undeniable connection between New Orleans and Haiti, including much of the city's culinary roots. Located in the heart of Tremé, Fritai serves up Haitian street food, including Akra and plantains, as well as larger dishes like their crispy roasted whole Gulf fish. The restaurant is also known for their top-notch bar program, so be sure to also grab a drink or two.

Dakar NOLA 

Dakar offers communal-style dining featuring Senegalese cuisine with a modern twist. It’s the hottest reservation in town, only open for seatings Wednesday through Saturday. Enjoy the pescatarian menu brought to life by stories shared as the courses are brought out.  

Turkey and the Wolf

Named one of 13 most important restaurants of the decade by Food & Wine in 2019, 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.

Paul Broussard


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.

Dooky Chase’s Restaurant

For seven decades, Dooky Chase was led by the world-famous Chef Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole cuisine. Although she passed away in 2019, her passion for cooking, love for community, fight for equality, and unmatched sense of hospitality and love can still be felt around each table and with each meal shared at Dooky Chase. Enjoy gumbo, fried chicken, stuffed shrimp, and more at this award-winning restaurant. 

Festivals + Celebrations fit for Culture Seekers

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.

Bayou Bacchanal

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.

Second Line

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.

Tết Fest

Ring in the Vietnamese New Year at New Orleans’ Tết 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.

Paul Broussard
Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival

Congo Square Rhythms Festival

Presented by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival takes place in Louis Armstrong Park. African dance troupes, local brass bands, and others celebrate the deep history of Congo Square. This fest coincides with the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival, so you can sample regional cuisine while dancing to the beats of African  drumming. 


The music never stops in New Orleans, and each fall, NOLAxNOLA returns as a citywide celebration of local musicians, music venues, and New Orleans culture. Catch your favorite artists and discover new ones at dozens of live performances all over town for select dates in September and October – find more details here.

There’s plenty more to do and celebrate in New Orleans throughout the year. Browse our Festival Page for a celebration perfect for you.

Neighborhoods + Sites to Explore for Culture Seekers

New Orleans is more than just the French Quarter and Bourbon Street - it’s a city made up of unique and diverse neighborhoods. Here are a few neighborhoods to visit and sites to see during your stay.

Arts & Warehouse District

Known for its hub of art galleries, local museums, and award-winning fine dining, the Arts & Warehouse District is perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Justen Williams, NOTMC
Bayou Road

Bayou Road

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.

St. Claude Avenue

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 - Tremé. Known for being the oldest African American neighborhood in the US, Tremé is filled with traditional Creole eats, historic attractions such as St. Augustine Church, and live music hubs.


The perfect daylong escape from the hustle of the city, Algiers is just a short ferry ride away. Discover Folk Art, Creole cottages, and beloved cafes and bars across the river.

Learn more about all of New Orleans’ neighborhoods and their histories here.