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Antoine's Restaurant
Antoine's Restaurant

Essential New Orleans Itinerary: Day One

Non-stop fun is planned out for you with this itinerary

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.

Cafe du MondeBreakfast – Nothing says morning in New Orleans like a breakfast of café au lait laced with chicory and a plate of sweet beignets (three 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 and are visiting on a weekend, experience breakfast at Brennan’s, another New Orleans tradition. 

St. Louis Cathedral – Across the street from Café du Monde, through the line of horse-drawn carriages, breathtaking St. Louis Cathedral awaits. Nestled within Jackson Square, the cathedral has become a symbol of New Orleans. Pull up a pew and think about those who may have sat there before you, like voodoo queen Marie Laveau (who was also a devoted Catholic).

Paul Broussard
Hurricane - Pat O'Brien's Bar

The Presbytère and the Cabildo – The Cathedral is flanked by two world-class museums. To the left is the Cabildo where the Louisiana Purchase 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 –  For lunch, a muffuletta at Napoleon House is a must. Take it to go and eat it from a bench on the banks of the Mississippi River where you can watch ships pass by.

Take a Tour – Literary tours, ghost tours, cemetery tours, Segway tours, LGBTQ history tours, carriage tours, bike tours … find the one that peaks your curiosity and spend the afternoon discovering the city with a knowledgeable guide. See a full list of tours here.

Cocktails – Before you head for dinner, stop for cocktail hour at Pat O’Brien’s. Order a Hurricane and enjoy it as many have for so many years. 

Dinner – Since you’re only in town for one night, we suggest dinner at one of our centuries-old restaurants like Antoine’s, Galatoire’s or Arnaud’s. You’ll get more than a great Creole meal – you’ll get a history lesson.

After Dinner – Catch a breeze off the Mississippi at Woldenberg Park. Watch the steamboats pass by as you end your quintessential New Orleans day. Or, head to the bustling Frenchmen Street corridor for live music all night long.