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Sunset at Crescent Park - New Orleans
Sunset at Crescent Park - New Orleans
Sunset in New Orleans

24 Hours in New Orleans

An Hour-by-Hour Itinerary for a Full Day in New Orleans

Good morning and welcome to New Orleans! You've arrived bright and early in the Crescent City and have just settled into your hotel room. Get ready to dive into the energy of this vibrant place! Whether you're heading out to grab a bite, swaying to the music, or discovering something unique, New Orleans has endless wonders in store for you. We're here to ensure you experience the best of it all because in this city, the fun never stops – even when the sun goes down.

Devonte Williford, New Orleans & Co.
Exploring the French Quarter

So, lace up your comfy shoes, stay hydrated, and prepare to immerse yourself in the excitement with your krewe, because we've only got 24 hours together.

And, believe it or not, this is just the frosting layer! If you're not already planning to extend your stay, get ready to be tempted because there's so much more waiting to be explored. Let's make the most of every moment!

Jump to:

Morning | Mid-Day | Afternoon | Evening | Late Night | After Midnight

Paul Broussard

7:00 a.m. - Beignets for Breakfast at Café Du Monde

Indulge in a quintessential New Orleans experience with a breakfast of piping hot beignets dusted with powdered sugar at the iconic Café Du Monde. Join locals and visitors alike as you savor this deliciously addictive treat amidst the lively ambiance of the Jackson Square area.

Insider Tip: You're just a stone's throw away from capturing one of those iconic St. Louis Cathedral selfies! Don't miss the chance to snap a memorable photo against the backdrop of this historic landmark. #visitneworleans

8:00 a.m. - Explore French Quarter Architecture

Step out into the enchanting French Quarter and marvel at the stunning architecture that tells the story of this city's rich history. From intricate wrought-iron balconies to colorful Creole cottages, every corner reveals a piece of New Orleans' unique heritage.

9:00 a.m. - Learn a Little at The New Orleans Historic Collection

Delve deeper into the city's past with a visit to The New Orleans Historic Collection. Explore exhibits and artifacts that showcase the diverse cultures, traditions, and events that have shaped the Crescent City into what it is today.

10:00 a.m. – Shop for Trinkets at the French Market

Take in the bustling energy of the French Market as you shop for a delightful array of trinkets and treasures. Explore eclectic stalls and vendors offering a diverse selection of unique souvenirs, from jewelry to quirky keepsakes. Lose yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you browse through the colorful displays, and don't forget to haggle for the best deals! Whether you're searching for a memento of your trip or a special gift for someone back home.

11:00 a.m. ­­– Head to Royal Street for More Shopping

Embark on a leisurely stroll down Royal Street, where art galleries and antique shops beckon with treasures waiting to be discovered. Lose yourself in the eclectic mix of local artwork, vintage finds, and unique souvenirs as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this historic thoroughfare.

Insider Tip: Looking for some fun spots to explore? Why not check out FiFi Mahony’s for quirky hair accessories, Union Art Gallery for local artwork, M.S. Rau for unique treasures, and Fleur De Paris for a touch of Parisian flair? These are just a few suggestions to add a bit of excitement to your Royal Street adventure!

Rebecca Todd
Biking Along Esplanade

12:00 p.m. – Blue Bike down Esplanade Avenue

Hop on a blue bike and cruise down Esplanade Avenue, soaking in the picturesque scenery of historic homes and lush greenery along the way. Feel the breeze on your face as you pedal through one of the city's most charming neighborhoods, where every corner reveals a new architectural gem.


1:00 p.m. ­– Grab Lunch at Li’l Dizzy’s Café

Treat your taste buds to a soulful lunch at Lil’ Dizzy’s Café, where mouthwatering Creole and soul food classics await. From crispy fried chicken to savory gumbo, savor the flavors of New Orleans in a cozy, down-home atmosphere that feels like a taste of home.

Historical Note: As you explore, keep an eye out for the house where Edgar Degas once lived and worked during a pivotal moment in his history. You might recall his famous ballerina paintings! Additionally, you can admire a piece painted during his time here, along with several other works from his archives, on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art. It's a fascinating glimpse into the artist's connection with the city.

2:00 p.m. – Visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 3

Embark on a fascinating journey through history as you explore St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, known for its hauntingly beautiful above-ground tombs and elaborate mausoleums. Delve into the city's unique burial traditions and discover the stories of the remarkable individuals laid to rest here.

Paul Broussard
Besthoff Sculpture Garden

3:00 p.m. – Explore City Park & the Sydney & Wanda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Immerse yourself in art and nature at the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, where captivating sculptures are nestled amidst lush greenery and serene water features. Take a leisurely stroll through this outdoor gallery, admiring works by renowned artists against the backdrop of tranquil gardens.

Insider Tip: For a serene escape in City Park, check out this Café Du Monde location for beignets and a frozen café au lait. They also have the option to rent a paddleboat to glide across Big Lake, soaking in the park's natural beauty. Don't forget to visit the hidden Botanical Garden for a tranquil retreat amidst lush greenery. See even more ideas for City Park fun here.

Devonte Williford
Bayou Kayaking

4:00 p.m. ­– Kayak Bayou St. John

Embark on an adventure along Bayou St. John as you kayak through its serene waters, surrounded by majestic cypress trees and abundant wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of an elusive gator while you paddle through the scenic vistas.

5:00 p.m. ­­­– Sip a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien's

Quench your thirst with a classic Hurricane cocktail at the legendary Pat O'Brien’s, a beloved New Orleans institution renowned for its lively atmosphere and signature libations. Sip on this refreshing blend of rum and tropical flavors as you soak in the vibrant energy of Bourbon Street.


6:00 p.m. ­– See Live Jazz at Preservation Hall

Sway to the soulful sounds of New Orleans jazz at Preservation Hall, where talented musicians take the stage to perform timeless classics in an intimate setting. Let the music transport you to another era as you experience the magic of live jazz in the heart of the French Quarter.

Historical Note: Preservation Hall originally began as a gallery but quickly found its niche by featuring live jazz performances to attract visitors. This innovative idea gained widespread popularity, and as they say, the rest is history! Today, Preservation Hall remains a beloved institution, preserving the rich tradition of New Orleans jazz for generations to come.

Paul Broussard

7:00 p.m. – Indulge in Dinner at Brennan’s

Indulge in a culinary experience like no other at Brennan’s, a timeless institution known for its exquisite Creole cuisine and elegant ambiance. Savor every bite of iconic dishes such as Bananas Foster as you dine in a historic setting that exudes Old-World charm and hospitality.


8:00 p.m. – Explore the  Frenchmen Street Art Bazaar

Discover a vibrant world of creativity at the Frenchmen Street Art Market, where local artists showcase their talent through an eclectic array of handmade crafts, jewelry, paintings, and more. Stroll through the bustling market and find unique treasures to take home as souvenirs of your time in New Orleans.

Justen Williams
Elysian Bar - Hotel Peter and Paul

9:00 p.m. ­– Enjoy a Cocktail at The Elysian Bar

Unwind with a craft cocktail at The Elysian Bar, a chic and sophisticated lounge nestled in a historic hotel in the Marigny neighborhood. Sip on expertly crafted libations infused with local flavors while soaking in the stylish ambiance and mingling with fellow travelers and locals alike.

Architectural Fact: The Elysian Bar is nestled within Hotel Peter & Paul, a unique establishment that occupies a historic church, schoolhouse, rectory, and convent, all beautifully restored and repurposed. This transformation has breathed new life into these venerable buildings, offering guests a one-of-a-kind experience that seamlessly blends history with modern luxury. It's a testament to the city's rich architectural heritage and the enduring spirit of reinvention in New Orleans.


10:00 p.m. – See Burlesque and Drag at the Allways Lounge

Experience the electrifying energy of New Orleans nightlife at the Allways Lounge, where talented performers dazzle audiences with captivating burlesque and drag performances. Sit back, relax, and prepare to be entertained as you immerse yourself in the colorful world of burlesque and drag culture.


11:00 p.m. – Sing Your Heart Out at Kajun’s Pub Karaoke

Take center stage and unleash your inner rockstar at Kajun’s Pub, where karaoke enthusiasts come together for a night of music, laughter, and unforgettable performances. Belt out your favorite tunes alongside locals and visitors alike, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

12:00 a.m. Frenchmen Street Live Music Venue #1

Dive into the heart of New Orleans' vibrant music scene at the live music venues on Frenchmen Street, where talented musicians perform everything from jazz and blues to funk and soul. Lose yourself in the rhythm of the music as you dance the night away in the company of fellow music lovers.

Insider Tip: From the smooth tunes of jazz to the pulsating rhythms of blues and beyond, there's a sound for every ear. Dive into renowned venues like Snug Harbor, The Spotted Cat, d.b.a., Blue Nile, and Café Negril for an unforgettable jazz experience. For a change of pace, hop over to The Maison, 30°/-90°, Bamboula’s, Three Muses, or Dragon’s Den, each offering its own distinctive vibe and lineup. While most clubs cater to those 21 and older, a select few welcome younger audiences until a certain hour – just be sure to verify with each establishment beforehand.


1:00 a.m. ­– Frenchmen Street Live Music Venue #2

Keep the party going at another live music venue on Frenchmen Street, where the sounds of New Orleans fill the air and the energy is palpable. Whether you're a jazz aficionado or a lover of rock and roll, you'll find something to delight your ears and keep you moving until the early hours of the morning.

2:00 a.m. - Try the Purple Drink at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

Look out for ghosts at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, one of the oldest bars in the country, as you sip on their famous Purple Drink. Let the flickering candlelight and rustic charm transport you back in time as you enjoy this mysterious libation in the company of fellow night owls.


3:00 a.m. – Give Into Late Night Burgers at Clover Grill

Satisfy your late-night cravings with a juicy burger at Clover Grill, a beloved 24-hour diner known for its mouthwatering comfort food. Sink your teeth into a deliciously greasy burger loaded with all your favorite toppings as you soak in the lively atmosphere of this iconic French Quarter spot.


4:00 a.m. ­– Refuel with Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly’s At The Market

Kickstart your early morning with a jolt of caffeine and a touch of Irish spirit with a Frozen Irish Coffee at Molly's At The Market. Sip on this refreshing and indulgent concoction as you watch the city come to life in the wee hours of the morning from the comfort of this cozy neighborhood haunt.

Sorena Briley
Sunrise Over the Mississippi

5:00 a.m. – Watch a Mississippi Sunrise

Witness the breathtaking beauty of a Mississippi sunrise as the first light of dawn paints the sky in a symphony of colors. Find a quiet spot along the riverfront or on a scenic overlook and take a moment to appreciate the serenity and tranquility of the early morning hours.


6:00 a.m. Streetcar to Willa Jean

Hop aboard a historic green streetcar heading Uptown from Canal Street and embark on a leisurely journey to Willa Jean (Hop off at Girod and then walk three blocks over), a charming bakery and café known for its delectable pastries and Southern-inspired breakfast fare. Enjoy the nostalgic charm of a streetcar ride as you anticipate the delicious meal awaiting you at your destination.


Historical Note: On April 23, 1831, the inaugural streetcars made their debut in New Orleans, drawing curious onlookers who couldn't foresee the profound impact this mode of transit would have on the city. Fast forward to the 1890s through the 1920s, often referred to as "The Golden Era" of streetcars, when they were expanded and integrated into the bustling urban landscape, crisscrossing growing street lines and belts throughout the city. This era marked a pivotal moment in New Orleans' transportation history, shaping the way residents and visitors alike navigate the vibrant streets of the Crescent City. See our itineraries for different routes here.


7:00 a.m. – End Your 24 Hours with a Willa Jean Breakfast

Start (or end) your day on a delicious note with a hearty breakfast at Willa Jean, where locally sourced ingredients and Southern hospitality come together to create unforgettable dishes. From fluffy biscuits and gravy to decadent breakfast sandwiches, savor every bite as you fuel up for your trip home.

Now that you've conquered a full 24 hours, it's time to board that plane – you've earned yourself a well-deserved high-altitude nap after the exhilarating day you've had! But hey, every once in a blue moon, pulling an all-nighter might just be the adventure you never knew you needed!


Insider Tip: Staying longer? Check out some of these itineraries for more ideas on how to spend your time in New Orleans.